On this post, we celebrate and feature one of Kenya’s Registered Valuers, Kariuki Waweru. He has written an invaluable book on How To Invest in Real Estate in Kenya. This book has a wealth of information on how to invest, tips on home ownership in Kenya and how to navigate the confusing world of loans and mortgages in Kenya. Mr. Kariuki was kind to answer my questions on his book and his publishing journey. Let’s take a look!
1. What is the most favorite question you’ve ever gotten from a reader?
I have had people who are at the verge of making a decision on real estate investing and when they ask questions, I direct them to the book. (How To Invest in Real Estate In Kenya). It feels good to have all the answers to their questions in one book. Feels like the motto for Nakumatt, “ You need it, we’ve got it”.
2. Did you always want to be a published author?
I didn’t always want to. My first article was on whether to buy a car or a plot? I was dating my then fiancée, now my wife, and I needed to convince her that land is a good investment but I also knew that a car can earn one some extra cash… so I thought I should write down my arguments and see. I did that and she was very impressed. She encouraged me to keep writing and I wrote so many articles which I could send to her. She then encouraged me to start a blog, which I did. It’s now called www.kariukiwaweru.com … I then extracted some articles from the blog to publish my first book and extracted some more to publish my second book.
3. What prompted you to write, ‘How to Invest in Real Estate in Kenya’?
After publishing my first book in 2012 and revising it in 2014, I realized that there was a gap in the market for a more practical book. Between 2016 and 2018, I went through a practical hands on experience of taking a commercial bank loan, a mortgage, buying a plot, building my family a house and investing in a commercial property for rental purposes. I blogged about this journey, the lessons learned and these came to refine my consultancy journey and made me a more practical consultant. I compiled all the experience and lessons learned and came up with this book. This book has everything you need to know about home ownership, commercial investments, loans and mortgages set in a Kenyan context by a Kenyan Registered Valuer and consultant.
4. What is your most memorable experience as a Registered and Practicing Valuer in Kenya?
It took me 13 years from the time in joined the University of Nairobi as a first year BA Land Economics student to becoming a Registered Valuer. Getting that title was my highest professional achievement and a culmination of dreams… it was a dream come true. Later on, seeing my name published in the Kenya Gazettee alongside the less than 600 valuers in Kenya since Kenya got its independence was also one of my greatest achievements.
5. You have published two books, that is, ‘The ABC of Real Estate Investments in Kenya’ and now ‘How to Invest in Real Estate in Kenya.’
a. What has your publishing journey been like?
I have learned a lot. There is need to keep reviewing your work, get good editors and designers and most importantly a good person to print the book. My first book was poorly printed in downtown Nairobi and I had to redo the printing and change the layout and design in 2014. This current book, I have used very well established printers and designers (which is quite costly) and I have not regretted the outcome.
b. Which book was easier to publish? The first or the second?
The second was easier as I knew exactly what I wanted and how to go about the publishing, editing and marketing.
c. What challenges, if any, did you face the first time, and were they present the second time around?
The challenges from the first time were using inexperienced designers and printers to do my work. This cost me a lot in terms of money and time.
6. What is your view on publishing books in Kenya?
I think we should immortalize ourselves through publishing books.
7. What advice would you give to someone hoping to publish his or her first book?
The longest journey starts with a single step. Start writing. Start a blog… your readers will critic your work and you will be a better writer. Once you are ready, talk to someone who has published before and learn from them on how to proceed.
8. Lastly, will you write another book? What do you think the title will be?
God willing I will write many other books. Ng’ugi wa Thiong’o has more than 15 titles under his name…I have 3…I’m just getting started.
The titles normally come after the content is done…so I don’t have any ready titles as yet.
Elly in Nariobi’s Thoughts:
It is always so inspiring to see an author’s journey in to publishing. If you’re wondering if the journey is possible, I hope Mr. Kariuki’s answers are enough to let you know that yes, it is. Whatever your idea, fiction or non-fiction, you can get it published in Kenya.
How to Invest in Real Estate in Kenya is a great addition to your bookshelf.
1. Because it simplifies the process of purchasing land, navigating mortgages and helping plan for the future in terms of real estate investments.
2. All the content is based on Kenyan experiences. I always feel we need more professionals sharing, and demystifying their industries for Kenyans, as Mr. Kariuki has done.
To purchase this book:
The book goes for Kshs. 500.
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org or Visit our shop at Shililia stores, El Roi plaza, Ground floor. Tom Mboya street next to Odeon or call 0793772490.