By Patrick Kagenda
The Independent’s Patrick Kagenda talked to Noah Senyondo the Public Relations Officer at HB Matovu Property Consultants about their new concept in the real estate sector.
What makes HB property consultants unique?
At HB Property Consultants we are for the ordinary Ugandans to acquire property. Our package is different from what others are offering. We are offering what we call getting property and pay in installments. You can get a property worth Shs 9 million and pay the first installment which can be either half or less than half and get your property within a period of less than five years.
We believe that any working Ugandan can save his/her money with us by paying for his property in small installments. What makes us different from the other real estate developers is that we welcome everyone and we talk to everyone who has a dream of acquiring property however small it may be. We are here to demystify the thinking that owning property is a reserve for the high income earners. We believe that you can start depositing for a plot of land of Shs 5 million with anything from Shs 1 million and in 3 years you will own it. You can acquire property with whatever little money you have. It is difficult saving Shs 5 million if you earn less but you can save Shs 200,000 by directly depositing it on the property you want to acquire.
What currency are you trading in because most real estate developers are charging in dollars?
For us we are for the Ugandan shilling but if you want to pay us in dollars we do not refuse them. Our major aim is to encourage the low income earner to own property in a period of five years. The depreciation of the local currency is not a worry to our customer because if we sign an agreement of Shs 5 million, we do not renegotiate the agreement. It is once and final.
What happens if a person fails to pay within the stipulated time in the agreement?
The first thing we do is to call you back to our offices, because we believe in dialogue. We advance a number of options including reselling that piece of land and refund you money and in case of a house we advice you to rent it out and pay us until our money is covered up, then you take your house. We never encourage our clients to jump out of the deal but to stick onto their dream.
Where are your estates located?
We have estates located in Buloba, Nansana, Kavumba, Kitezi and all other out of town areas. We have estates on all roads leading out of Kampala because people like associating with roads leading to their home areas.
Does the cost of a plot vary with the road of one’s preference?
The cost of the road of ones choice varies say if you wanted a plot on Entebbe Road, it is more expensive because very many people would like to own property along the road. Plots for residential houses on that road range between Shs 20- 40 million while on Mityana road a similar plot will go for Shs between 5-9 million. The reason for this price variation is that Entebbe road is more developed than Mityana or Bombo road. Mityana and Bombo road have almost similar prices if you factor in the distance from the city centre. Kawanda, which is almost the same journey from town as Buloba, goes for Shs 5 million for residential plots because it is less developed.
Apart from offering affordable out-of- town plots what other innovation do you offer?
If you bought a plot of land say of Shs 9 million from us and paid cash, and since you are a low income earner you run out of money, we can build for you a 2 to3-roomed house and then we give you three to five years to clear with us.
What happens in case one dies before clearing you?
We encourage people who are signing agreements with us to always have lawyers and their next of kin as signatories so that incase of such a scenario, there is continuity of the development.
How are you going about the fake land titles that have become a syndrome in this country?
We know the right people to deal with and besides we have our own surveyors and lawyers so we do not buy anything without fully verifying it. This is because land titles are the only security we have and the only security we take.