We had the pleasure of interviewing Stella Mutai, Head of Property Finance and Diaspora Banking at the Commercial Bank of Africa Limited. CBA is a top bank in Kenya which focuses on helping people achieve their financial goals by providing exceptional financial services to help you invest, save and ensure you grow your wealth.
Owning a home is a huge step in someone’s life. As a first-time homeowner, you will get advice from your family and friends on the different options available which could get confusing in the long run. That being said, the more you know about the entire process, the easier it is for you to make the right decision.
BuyRentKenya has partnered with CBA to ensure we provide you with the best solutions to make you achieve your dream of owning a home.
If you have decided it is time to buy a home, and you are thinking of doing it through the bank, Stella Mutai shares with us tips on how to go about it and what you should expect.
BuyRentKenya: What challenges do people face when it comes to owning a home?
Stella: Owning a home is a scary journey for a first-time owner. Many people don’t know where to start from. They ask themselves different questions. “Will I fall prey to dubious deals? Is the house fully approved? Will I start making payments then realize it’s not legal?” On top of all this, people don’t understand the mortgage concept. It feels like a lifelong commitment with no exit option.
BuyRentKenya: Tell us more about the CBA Home Ownership Offering.
Stella: CBA takes all these fears you have and demystifies them. Once you come to us, we assess your needs and advise you accordingly in respect to your income, location of the property etc. Our relationship managers will guide you through the entire process and walk with you every step of the way.
Customers can access our property center to find all the available properties. We vet all our developers making the property search easier. We work closely with valuers and lawyers to ensure that the process of home ownership is a seamless one.
BuyRentKenya: How Can Customers Benefit from CBA?
Stella: We offer different home ownership solutions that range from 5 year period to the maximum period of 25 years. If you are looking to buy a plot, we have plot loans just for you. For a ready home, the straight purchase loan will do. Or maybe you have a plot ready and you are thinking of constructing, you should consider the construction loan.
Buy and Build solution allows you to purchase a plot and also construct your home simultaneously. Then we also have equity release which basically means, if you already own a home, either on a mortgage or one you purchased fully, you can use the value accrued against that house to take out money for other investments. In short, you are using your property to acquire even more property.
BuyRentKenya: What is the 105 Own Your Own Home solution?
Stella: This is targeted at first-time homeowners. We not only fully finance the purchase of the property, but also part of the incidental costs associated with the property purchase. Through research, incidental costs become a hindrance to property purchase, especially for first-time homeowners.
BuyRentKenya: How does one apply for a loan?
Stella: Visit our property center located on Mama Ngina Street or any of our branches countrywide to apply for a loan. We will advise you on what documentation we require based on what you are looking for.
BuyRentKenya: What are the qualifications criteria?
Stella: We look at two things; income and the property the customer wants to buy. We check whether you are employed, in consultancy or if you are receiving any regular income. As long as you can show your ability to repay the loan, you are eligible.
BuyRentKenya: Could you shed some light on the mortgage journey?
Stella: The mortgage journey is not as laborious as people tend to think. More so if you have a dedicated relationship manager. Once you fill out the initial application form, we start the property identification process. Some customers will already have identified what they want in which case then we just fill in the application form.
Once this is done and the necessary documents have been submitted, we then approve them which typically takes 2 days. After approval, we issue the customer with an offer letter which once accepted, we proceed with the valuation of the property through our valuers saving the customer the headache of searching for one.
The legal process then kicks in which at the end of it we have a fully registered property. The property is now legally in your name which is a 100% assurance that we have done all the checks to ensure you are covered. Finally, the loan is disbursed and the customer can collect his key to his new home.
BuyRentKenya: What are the overall benefits of using CBA as a property financing provider?
Stella: Apart from the exceptional customer service we provide to our customers, we also offer periodic bus tours as a way of inspiring homeowners to assess and visit the potential homes.
- Customers can access more than one mortgage subject to repayment ability.
- Joint mortgages allowed.
- No penalty for a lump sum or early payments of the loan.
- Does not need to be an existing CBA Account holder.
- Regular updates on property market trends.
- A dedicated Relationship Manager assigned to each customer.
- Free cover limit of up to 20M.
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