One of the priciest homes on sale in Nairobi risks being pulled off the market after potential buyers quoted prices that were far below the asking price.
The 20,000-square foot mansion that former Police Commissioner Major Gen Hussein Ali built has been in the market for several months without finding a serious taker.
The double storey home is set in the middle of an expansive compound with a 50-metre drive way that leads to the parking bay beside the imposing structure. Sitting behind the main house, on the three-acre parcel of land that projects sheer affluence, are twin houses for the resident domestic staff.
The mansion comes with several entertainment rooms, a prayer room and two sunken living rooms that make it possible to host different audiences at the same time, on the ground floor.
There is one more expansive family room on the upper floor whose architecture and finishing has become the subject of jokes.
One resident agent quipped that the generous family room on the upper level, which opens out to the balcony was designed to allow enough space for gift-wrapping.
Along with the deep brown wooden floor that makes it an absolute pleasure to walk barefoot, the floor-to-ceiling walk-in wardrobes in all its bedrooms all add up to an outstanding piece of real estate.
But at a quoted price of Sh200 million, this is no property for the ordinary buyer.
Ranked as one of the priciest single residential units in Nairobi by realtors, the 7-bedroom, all en-suite fancy home in up-market Karen estate hit the market last year just as Ali approached the end of his term as Postmaster-General.
In fact, the palatial home, which took more than four years to build, has stayed in the market for so long without a buyer that valuers now appear to be convinced that a price cut could help spice up the offer.
Knight Frank, a top end real estate market operator has recently quoted the mansion at Sh150 million but Ali is said to be unhappy with the valuation.
The fact is, however, that even at that price, the property still ranks among the most expensive private homes on sale.
Real estate firms say there are only a few homes selling at comparable prices mainly on the beach fronts at the coastal town of Malindi.
Upon its completion towards the end of last year, real estate firm Villa Care placed Ali’s mansion on the market but none of the offers received from prospective buyers was good enough prompting the owner to consider pulling it off the market.
Daniel Ojijo, the managing director of Villa Care, says that Ali was dissatisfied with the offers that the property attracted in the market and decided to use it as his family home.
“That house is not available for sale anymore, he (Major Gen Ali) was not happy with the offers and I think he might want to live in it,” said Ojijo, whose firm until early this year had exclusive selling rights on the jumbo home.
Ojijo agrees that Ali’s was among the priciest residential homes he has ever handled adding that most other pieces of real estate of comparable price tags have come from redevelopment sites.
In a market where the average home prices for the top end of the housing market is around Sh50 million, Daniel Biwott - a real estate dealer and managing director at Zenith Homes reckons this is likely to be the most expansive piece of real estate.
“I do not have a contemporary home which is that expensive,” said Biwott, whose firm has been selling homes in the middle to upper income market segment for a decade.
Other selling agents like Realcom and Knight Frank, however, still have the prestigious home on their listings meaning that the mansion remains on sale.
It was not immediately possible to reach Major Gen Ali to find out if the home was initially intended for sale or as a luxurious abode for his family.