Fractional ownership or timeshare is a popular property ownership concept in the west just recently beginning to take root in Africa. It involves partially owning a piece of property with other like-minded people – mostly four or more individuals. Imagine trying to own an expensive 8-figure piece of luxury property in upmarket Nairobi today on your own. This may be difficult if not impossible to achieve single-handedly, especially for a majority of Kenyans.
Thanks to Baobab Development Group, a local company here in Kenya, now you can own a fraction of a luxury property and share the burdens of purchasing and maintenance with others. Under this kind of arrangement, the properties are typically resort or lodges units. Each partial owner is allotted a period of time in which they may use the property.
In the case of Baobab, a home owner will be given a chance to choose the time of ownership for 4, 8 or 12 week fractions in a year under a 99 year lease. Depending on the size of the unit purchased and the time one wants to occupy, the houses range in price from Kshs 2.5 million to Kshs 7.5 million.
The 1 or 2 bedroom townhouses are fully furnished and come loaded with a multiplicity of benefits which include nanny services, a private members’ only beach club, a swimming pool, gym and spa, tennis court, room service and airport shuttle service among others.
According to the Baobab website, the group is currently constructing a lifestyle residential complex in Malindi with planned developments in Watamu, Lamu, Diani and Naivasha. The Malindi project dubbed the Malindi village comprises 32 1 and 2 bedroom townhouses. The Diani houses will be 3 bedroomed with a private swimming pool. The company targets to put up 500 fractional units.
All the properties under the project will be professionally managed on behalf of the owners by the African Collection Management Company which will ensure the smooth running of the lifestyle complex. The company will provide services such as security, gardening and maintenance of all units and common areas, maid service, cleaning, airport transfers (when required), insurance, resale, operation of restaurants, spas and sporting facilities, among others.
The time share arrangement will be based on a pre-set revolving usage calendar which leaves little room for flexibility of usage outside the agreed time share. This may pose a problem for the owners since one may end up paying for a facility they may not use due to the dynamic nature of life where one may be committed elsewhere during their time fraction.
The good news is that the owner may opt to lease out their property if they are not available to make use of it or swap the time of use with other owners of the same house. The arrangement also allows the fractional owner to sell their share while enjoying the normal appreciation in value of properties.
So next time you are off to Kenya on a business or leisure trip, you may not have to go through the hassle of looking for a decent accommodation if you own a fraction of a luxury condominium at the Kenya Coast or Naivasha. What do you think about this idea? We would love to hear from you.
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