Source: Business Daily
Buyers have snapped up the townhouses, and the remaining apartments are attracting locals and Kenyans in the diaspora alike.
The final jigsaw puzzles are falling into place at the luxurious, stylish Crystal Rivers Mall and Residences located on Mombasa Road. More than 85 percent of this real estate development is sold. The race is on for investors to grab the remaining housing units.
All the three and four-bedroom townhouses at this mixed-use real estate development have sold out. The swimming pool and the playground are in use. The green spaces for recreation are ready. Diamond Junior School is open. The water treatment plant is operational. The solar water heating system is up and running. The backup generator is installed. The apartment blocks have lifts in place.
And now, the game-changer: An operational mall, with the anchor tenant – Chandarana Supermarket – and a host of other shops, is open for business.
Crystal Rivers’ Sales Lead, Ms Judy Muiruri, explains that the growing mall occupancy is enhancing convenience for the estate’s residents. “They don’t have to leave the gated community to shop, swim, take their children to school or just relax,” she says.
Interestingly, some of the shoppers who drop in at the mall are people headed for Machakos.
Ms Muiruri says with the mall attracting even non-residents and traffic to the shops increasing, the value of the houses at Crystal Rivers is bound to appreciate.
Investors and homeowners have snapped up the townhouses, and the remaining apartments are attracting locals and Kenyans in the diaspora alike.
Ms Muiruri says buyers interested in getting some units at Crystal Rivers have several financing options at their disposal. There’s the cash option for those who can raise the Ksh6.5 million upfront. Buyers can also pay the full amount within 60 days.
They can alternatively go for mortgage financing from Crystal Rivers’ financial partners, at a fixed rate of 9.5 percent, up to a 25-year tenure. Further, buyers have the choice of paying the full amount in 12 monthly instalments. A 10-percent deposit applies across all payment options.
Investment groups and chamas that plan to buy multiple units – five or more – enjoy a special discount. Buyers of five to nine units get a five percent discount per unit. Ten to 20 units earn buyers a 10 percent discount on each.
On payment modes, Ms Muiruri adds: “In this project, we do not have a Tenant Purchase Scheme.”
The Crystal Rivers Mall and Residences comprises three-bedroom apartments, three-bedroom maisonettes, and four-bedroom townhouses, all totalling to 398.
The ABC of owning a home here
The process of owning a home at Crystal Rivers Mall and Residences is easy, says the project’s lawyer, Ms Judy Kabubu.
Ms Kabubu, who is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a partner in charge of the real estate practice group at MMAN Advocates, says Crystal Rivers has already transferred 61 sectional titles to buyers who have fully paid or are being financed for their units. The transfer of the sectional title is the final step in the homeownership process at Crystal Rivers.
“We got all the 398 sectional titles during the second quarter of 2023 in the name of the project developers, the Safaricom Staff Pension Scheme Registered Trustees,” says Ms Kabubu.
The 398 sectional titles held by the developer are for all the units at Crystal Rivers. As buyers complete paying or obtaining financing for their units, MMAN Advocates procures transfers of the titles to the respective owners. This is in accordance with the Sectional Properties Act 2020.
Ms Kabubu reveals that other than the 61 already transferred sectional titles, Crystal Rivers is processing others, with 40 almost ready. “By December 31, we expect to have transferred more than 100 titles,” she says.
According to her, having a sectional title is beneficial in many ways to the owners of the units.
“You can transfer your unit to a new buyer without needing the consent of the original owner, the Safaricom Staff Pension Scheme,” says Ms Kabubu.
She adds: “Using the sectional title, you can take a facility with a financier. You are also in charge of your land rates and land rent.” To arrive at the point of receiving a sectional title, a buyer will go through a clear homeownership process, says the Crystal Rivers lawyer.
The first step is to make a physical or virtual tour of the real estate development. A physical tour is preferred. You will be shown the units available for sale.
Identify the unit you want to buy. An agent contracted by the Crystal Rivers project will give you a Letter of Offer and share with you a photocopy of the sectional title for that unit. The letter explains the payment terms.
You should then sign the letter and pay 10 percent of the purchase price. A Crystal Rivers agent will ask you to send a copy of the signed letter and proof of the payment, or a Letter of Offer from a financial institution if you are being financed. And so your journey to home ownership begins.
Why the apartments are a bargain
The three-bedroom apartments Crystal Rivers are a bargain, says Mr Moses Kemibaro, the project’s digital and diaspora expert. He breaks down why people who buy each apartment at Ksh6.5 million to live in, rent, or flip, will get value.
First, Crystal Rivers is not a mere concept on paper, he points out. It is a tangible real estate development people can see, touch, and experience. “You can start living there from day one,” he explains.
He says when you go to Crystal Rivers, you see all that encapsulates the best of fine living: a high-quality, well-planned modern development in a prime location with units available at a fair price. The houses are good value for money. The boulevard and set-up of a secure environment make Crystal Rivers ideal for families. “For example, children can safely ride their bikes here,” says Mr Kemibaro.
He adds, “You have a fully-fledged supermarket in your backyard, where you can get all your household shopping done without having to go to other shopping malls or shops outside of Crystal Rivers. Think about that for a second. It’s really ideal.”
Mr Kemibaro adds that the Crystal Rivers’ close proximity to the Nairobi Expressway opens up opportunities for residents. The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is a stone’s throw away. Via the expressway, Westlands is only 20 minutes away, and the central business district (CBD) is even much closer.
For the prospective diaspora buyer, information on Crystal Rivers Mall and Residences is available through the real estate project’s digital marketing platforms, including the website (www.crystalrivers.co.ke). Also, Crystal Rivers has active social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter), YouTube, and LinkedIn.
“We have made it really easy for anyone outside of Kenya to access the information and make a well-informed purchase decision,” says Mr Kemibaro, adding that Crystal Rivers provides regular updates on the latest developments. Additionally, Crystal Rivers has a dedicated team that responds to online customer enquiries.
“People are looking for a home where they can find accommodation, shopping facilities, recreational spaces, and educational facilities for their children, all in one place, as it makes life simpler in many ways, and not to mention it’s more affordable to do so,” says Mr Kemibaro.
He points out that buyers of the apartments will also easily find tenants. Already, Crystal Rivers has a waiting list of interested tenants, he points out.
This is good for investors who can start receiving rental income more or less immediately after they finish purchasing a unit.