rent or buy - mortgage

When success in real estate needs just one courageous plunge.


Investing in real estate involves taking calculated risks in pursuit of great benefits. Are you ready to take the plunge today, hoping to reap the rewards that come with investing in real estate? Just ask Joe.

Kenya’s real estate industry is replete with some heart-warming stories. You may have heard one.

You probably know someone with a fascinating real estate experience worth retelling – over and over.

Take Joe (not his real name). He was a casual worker in Nairobi when he got his share of the family land. He would usually trek to Industrial Area to look for odd jobs, barely making ends meet.

One day, an idea hit him: Why not sell a portion of his ancestral land in rural Kenya and buy a plot in Nairobi? He would then develop the plot and start earning rent – as a newly-minted landlord. Oh, yes! Why not? After all, that was his land.

Some members of his family sneered and jeered at him. They reproached him. Others warned him he would remain cursed forever, an outcast.

What sensible man sells his inheritance and risks the resultant fortune? They wondered aloud. Would Joe’s be a repeat of the Biblical fable of the Prodigal Son who sold off his entire inheritance and fled home to seek worldly pleasures that ultimately consumed all his newfound riches?

Undeterred, Joe forged on.

You should have seen the steely determination on his face! No matter what, he would not budge. You should have then seen the broad smile that illuminated his face when the buyer paid cash for the five acres.

An overjoyed Joe returned to Nairobi and bought his plot.

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He built 20 neat rooms, dug a borehole in the compound and started raking in a monthly rent of Ksh5,000 per room from happy tenants. That was a cool Ksh100,000 per month! A fortune!

The former casual worker quit Industrial Area and devoted his time to keeping his beloved plot sparkling clean. He took good care of it – really gave it tender loving care. The rent kept flowing in every month (and still does).

What do you think happened next?

You may not believe this. After four years, the man who had bought Joe’s ancestral land decided to sell it. He wanted to relocate to another part of Kenya.

Joe heard this and offered to buy back that land. He bought it together with the house the previous owner had built there.

In four short years, his fortunes had changed. He had regained his ancestral land and owned a 20-room house in Nairobi to boot. You can imagine how embarrassed his family members were. They shut their mouths. They never again referred to Joe’s perceived folly of four years earlier.

Joe was now a landlord. He was also the proud owner of the 10 acres he had inherited – all intact. Talk of a man having his cake and eating it too, and you’d be referring to Joe.

Was he lucky? Maybe. Was he a risk-taker? Definitely!

One person who would probably laud Joe’s approach is Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The American entrepreneur, visionary and philanthropist made a profound statement on risk-taking when still in his 20s. He said: “The biggest risk is not taking any risk.” And added: “In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”

Joe took a risk. And the risk paid off handsomely.

More than half-a-century ago, American president John F. Kennedy noted: “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.”

Note that last word: inaction.

Yet another American leader, George S. Patton, a general of the United States Army, gave similar advice: “Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.”

Investing in real estate, just like Joe did, involves taking calculated risks in pursuit of great benefits. Are you ready to take the plunge today, hoping to reap the rewards that come with investing in real estate? Just ask Joe.

Better still, talk to a RE/MAX agent today to learn more about how to make that first step.

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