Investing in Vacant Land

Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs“. –Zig Ziglar

Sorry that I have been ‘missing in action’ for a while now, the reason I have not written posts is that I got overwhelmed by the numerous things I had to deal with such as work, gym and family life. I also took a holiday at the coast for seven days, and I thus have also not really saved any money for the last two months.

Anyways, what I wanted to talk about today is investing in vacant land. This is something that I have been considering for a while and it is one of my financial goals for next year. Land investment is very popular in Kenya and most people who can afford, would already have bought land, in fact most of my peers have land.

My main personal reasons for wanting to invest in vacant land is that I want an illiquid investment, which is important because that way my money remains “safe” from me accessing and using it stupidly. Listed securities are extremely easy to sell and I think its important to have a balance with investments that have different liquidity characteristics.

The other reason for investing in land is that I will eventually get into real estate because I need a roof over my head and also because I love beautiful houses and gardens and I would really like to be involved in creating new and interesting places for living. So I guess what I am saying is that I would rather build than buy because its cheaper and you can get what you want. Also if done right, it can work out to be a very good investment.

However, I don’t just want to buy any random land for the sake of it. I want to be thoughtful, deliberate and get something good – somewhere that I can see myself eventually living. Also my ideal size is something between 2-5 acres. I believe that if you have a bigger land you are able to do more things to make the space appealing with gardens etc etc, also if the land appreciates nicely and you need cash to develop you can always sell a chunk and use the proceeds to develop on your land. From my initial enquiries – I have found that the prices of land in Kenya are not very efficient – some are extremely expensive only because it has been transferred a number of times and the owner has invested allot and needs to make his money back.  To get a good deal I am going to look for land in an area that is not very developed yet.

I am going to start looking for land by getting in touch with brokers through the internet and various publications like expatlink. Hopefully by next year I will have bought something which will be a big achievement.

Happy investing!

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