Skip to main content

Why moving houses in Nairobi is hard

A view of Nairobi's CBD. Moving houses in the city is difficult for most tenants
as they lack enough information on what the different neighbourhoods offer. 

Moving in Nairobi is hard. The hardest bit about moving isn’t even finding houses or finding a mover, but getting the courage to move.

Most of us are already used to our current neighbourhoods and know its insides outs- where to get the mbogas, the butcher with the meanest cut, neighbourhood crushes, where all the potholes are, water and power outage schedules, what time we can come in at night.

Having to move to a new neighbourhood, relearn all these and the fear that something may not fit into our established lifestyles makes us baulk at the prospect of moving. Change, after all, has never been easy.

Should you, however, get the courage to move, one then needs to audition different neighbourhoods to find one that fits their expectations in security, location, utility reliability, price, schools and much more. 

The next challenge with moving is finding a house. There’s a mismatch of information between landlords seeking tenants and tenants seeking landlord. We all wish there were a Tinder for houses - Hinder? - where we could swipe left and right. 

For now, we have to contend with the agent, who ranges from the scrupulous one who is out to defraud us with no houses to offer, to those who actually have houses, but ones which don’t fit what we are looking for.

It is for this reason that most people rely on their friends and relatives to find houses. In a low-information low-trust economy like Kenya, referrals matter a lot. You are likely to find a reliable agent through referrals, and you are more likely to identify the characteristics of a neighbourhood through referrals.

All these challenges are what primarily contribute to many Nairobi residents living far away from their places of work, and having to commute and crisscross the city. Those who live around Mombasa Road commute through the CBD to Westlands and Ngong Road; those from Ngong Road commute to Mombasa Road; those from Waiyaki Way commute to Mombasa Road and Thika Road; those from Thika Road commute to Mombasa Road, Waiyaki Way and Ngong Road…

The result, our commutes, especially the evening commute where we all leave work in the shorter 5 PM - 7 PM window is hell as we criss-cross the city. It doesn’t help that we are still working on ring roads that connect one bit of the city to the other without needing to pass through the city centre.

Should you find a house, the next obstacle is finding a mover. There have been some developments in this area with the emergence of professional movers. The challenge, again, is that their pricing is high for a majority of the city residents.


Among the highest recommended movers is Senga, Armstrong, Cube and Dasambi in that order.

These are just but a few players, whose criteria here is based on recommendations. As I mentioned, business in Nairobi depends heavily on referrals.

Armstrong has costs that begin at about Kshs. 13,000 including packing and unpacking. For all these firms, all you have to do is book, and wait to be moved. You can enquire about costs by calling each of them.

Meanwhile, which neighbourhoods should you consider? Well, I wish I had a ready answer.

However, you can contribute to the search of an answer by filling in the questionnaire on this link https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfTMyn7bQDC2IXQ6Bo0zzmDjywIk2SmtOSB19cNNxJQpv8qsA/viewform . The results will be published on this blog, and hopefully, should provide us with enough information in the search for the perfect home in Nairobi.

Next Post - 83% of Kenyan Job Seekers have a work experience of less than 5 years.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bitter story of the downfall of Mumias Sugar company

Have you heard the bitter story of Mumias Sugar?

Regarded by many as Kenya's most successful sugar miller, Mumias Sugar Company was a disaster waiting to happen.

Many pointed out how Mumias Sugar Company was a fortress in the wreck that is Kenya's sugar industry, only unaware that it was just a matter of time. As the old wise men said, "Ukiona cha mwenzako cha nyolewa, tia chako maji".

The proverb means that if you see your neighbour's head getting shaved, your head will soon be undergoing the same - you'd therefore better wet your head for a smoother shave, otherwise you will be forced to undergo a painful, dry, shave.

But what ails Kenya's sugar industry?

The Kenya sugar industry is under legal siege. The typical Kenyan issue of coming up with laws to tackle a problem is evident here.

Many of Kenya's sugar factories are owned by the government, and have slowly declined under mismanagement and corruption. The appointing of political cronies and trib…

Tuskys Bread Versus Ukwala Sukuma Wiki

Ukwala is a relatively cheapaffordable supermarket. The exact same good sold in Nakumatt, Tuskys and Ukwala chain of stores will most of the time cost less in Ukwala. For example, I was recently looking at a Kenpoly Plastic rack that comes with 3,4,5 or 6 compartments that I saw in a friends house.

My friend, wait, colleagues says that the rack set him slightly more than kshs 2000 at Nakumatt. It is quite a good looking rack and adds up to the spruced up appearance of his house.Why he doesn't have a girlfriend beats me.n This is not to say I have one, neither do I deny.Also,my house is the equivalent of the Commonwealth Games in India,something a relative once described as a dustbin, and for this reason , "No Visitors" policy remains.

Back to the Kenpoly rack, the rack is available in most Nakumatt stores and at least one Ukwala store that I visited. As for Tuskys, I have never figured how they operate big stores that competing stores beat when it comes to variety. For t…

How I lost my phone to Nairobi's best con man

A good con requires the highest level of cooperation from the victim.

*** I lost my phone on Friday evening, some time between 6:40 p.m. and 7:10 p.m. I know the time because my receipt indicates I was served at Ukwala Supermaket, Tom Mboya at 6:32 p.m., on the 26th of February, 2016.

Given I'm a brisk walker who avoids crowds, it should not have taken me more than five minutes to get to the area around the Tom Mboya statue on Moi Avenue,  just opposite the Hilton.

My habit of avoiding crowds is what led to what became a tragic decision, to walk along the road and emerge at the bus stop next to Ambassadeur Hotel, rather than walk along the pavement. It is here that I bumped into the villain, Nairobi’s best con man. He was running, kicking a plastic bottle along the road.

He said something to me that I didn't catch, to which I responded with a “huh”? It was only the two of us and lots of buses, for everyone else was using the zebra crossing next to Pizza Inn, then walking past t…

The Bible. Why you should read your Bible.

After reading what The Candid Tin man had to say about the Bible on his blog, I felt a disappointed man. In my opinion, the candid Tin man had committed the same errors of omission and commission that have plagued the Bible for centuries.

In the beginning, the Roman Catholic church was the dominant church worldwide, and the bible existed in Latin language which common folk like me and you did not understand. Latin was a dead language used by the priests of the roman Catholic church and perhaps a few scholars.

The Roman Catholic church aimed at controlling the public's opinion , as the church still does today, and especially their opinion of what was God's word. Therefore, back then, if you needed to understand God's word, you had to consult the Roman Catholic Priests to read the Bible for youa nd then tell you what it said. How well they did this and their intentions remained questionable, with accusations directed at the Roman Catholic Church for mistranslating The Bible…

Kenyan products: The art of punishing your consumer

Peanut butter used to taste so good, but you could not afford it on the pocket money that you got back in school. A few years later, you have your first real job and your first "disposable" income. You buy your first real tub of peanut butter , probably the first in your life. You feel proud that Dominion peanut butter is manufactured in Ruiru, a town that you visited in your campus days to withdraw your pocket money , it was the nearest bank ATM to your campus. This was before Equity bank became a mainstream bank and decided to open an ATM in your campus, and before M-Pesa meant that you could withdraw your pocket money next to the kibanda  where you had your one meal of the day.

The peanut butter though is a far cry form the peanut butter you remember. It does not taste that good, and turns into some sort of stone barely before you are a third way through the jar. The stone is not a kind that you learned about in your Geography classes though.

Dejectedly, you decide not …