The perils of house hunting in Kigali

It is a tale of ups and downs, twists and turns for people trying to get a house to rent in Kigali. These range from families shifting from one house to another to young corporates starting out their careers and embarking on the journey of living out of their parent’s homes for the very first time.
A house for rent in Nyarutarama. Most of the houses in the part of town are on the high end. / Nadege Imbabazi.
A house for rent in Nyarutarama. Most of the houses in the part of town are on the high end. / Nadege Imbabazi.

It is a tale of ups and downs, twists and turns for people trying to get a house to rent in Kigali. These range from families shifting from one house to another to young corporate starting out their careers and embarking on the journey of living out of their parent’s homes for the very first time.

The big question is; “What is the most ideal way to house hunt? It is generally about how to find a house that fits within a particular budget, the ideal locations to find decent houses to rent, among other factors.

 

After all, where you live may even be more crucial than where you work. The place where you eat, sleep and carry out important life activities needs to be somewhere you can relax, afford, and in a location that will not turn your journey to the work place into a nightmare.

 

The process of getting a house to rent

 

People get houses through different ways. When it comes to hunting a house for rent, almost everybody has a story to tell.

Some get the houses themselves by walking around the city making the necessary inquiries in various places. In this, on rare scenarios, others learn about vacant houses from friends, relatives or workmates.

And others go through brokers. Whatever way you choose to get a rental, you must be sure of some pros and cons.

Using a broker

Busy people will ideally prefer to get houses through brokers. A broker links the landlords with clients.

A broker alleviates stress when it comes to searching for a house. He saves you the trouble of spending your valuable time on the process.

He ensures accurate information about the house so that such cases like being conned into paying rent to people that are not owners of the house are avoided.

They literally handle the entire business of helping you get a house, while you’re sitting back or you are busy doing something else.

There is, however, a fee that accompanies their work. And to most people this is no small fee. Typically, after they get you a house, you have to give them half a month’s payment.

Besides, during the process of helping you get a house, the broker will ask for transport facilitation.

This money differs in amount depending on the price of the house that you want.

Modeste Sinayobye, a broker with 8 years experience, explains that if you need a house for 700,000 RWF, he may charge you transport facilitation of Rwf 50,000.

And if you need one between 350,000 and below, he may require facilitation of Rwf20, 000 to 30,000.

After getting you the house, you can deduct this money from the commission you give him. In case he fails to get one that you desire, this money is not refundable.

Many people decide not to use brokers because they find it hard to find the money to take care of all that a broker may ask for.

When one decides not to engage a broker, it is money saving but it needs someone with quite a free schedule and a good knowledge of the city.

Whatever decision you make about where to rent, you must ensure that you know about locations, prices, and the neighborhoods beforehand and try to be realistic about what you can and can’t afford before you take the decision.

Let us take a look at some of the residential areas in Kigali and what it may take for one to afford a rental there.

Nyarutarama

This is the dream neighbourhood for anyone. However, with houses and apartments being hired out for amounts ranging from Rwf450,000 to Rwf2m, to get a house here you may need to be sure of an 8 figure monthly salary. 

Besides, you should also have a private car since there are no buses taking that route to the city.

Kibagabaga

This is also considered one of the posh residential areas in the city. Here, you are ensured of a silent neighbourhood, a hospital nearby, and recreational services.

Brokers say most of houses here go for Rwf 250,000 but there are high end houses too which range from Rwf700,000 or Rwf1.2m.

Public transport in Kibagabaga is not easy since the number of buses that ply this route are few while there are very few supermarkets and ATMs machines in case a person wants to get some quick money.

Gacuriro

This place ignites debate as people say it is the most beautiful residential area. With new RSSB apartments all over the hill, the place is a force to reckon with as far as a good home environment is concerned.

This may also not favour one who starts to work since it has no market nearby, car park for easy transport. And it is very difficult to get a house of Rwf 150,000.

If you were young and not making a great deal of money, it would be quasi-impossible to find a house there.

Kimironko

This is an ideal location for a fresh graduate who has just landed their first job. With a monthly salary of Rwf300,000; one can find a decent abode of 80,000 to 150,000.

It also comes with easy means of transport as the area is served by an efficient public transport system. So without a private car you will easily move around. It’s also within vicinity of key services like banks and clinics and a big market. 

Nyamirambo

A place that bustles with business, and with Biryogo market, you can be assured of getting almost anything cheaply ranging from clothes to groceries.

You can get a one bedroom house for Rwf 40,000. This combined with the cheap standards of living and someone starting work is good to go.

Remera

One of the greatest strengths of this place is the car park that will help you link up with most parts of the city and upcountry.

The place has both cheap and expensive houses. So it can be ideal for different classes. The fact that there are a number of shops, boutiques also makes it a neighbourhood in high demand.

Kanombe

With many new private constructions coming up, it may become easier in the future to get rentals here more easily. The Houses are not expensive because few people want to stay far from the city and there are crucial services like banks, supermarkets and good hotels.

The bad side to living in Kanombe is the constant noise from planes flying overhead as it is where the airport is located.

Kabeza, Kicukiro

Not too far from town. Young corporate Kigalians with salaries ranging from Rwf250,000 upwards can consider sharing houses here whose rental price ranges from Rwf 150,000 to Rwf 200,000.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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