A place to stay
When you arrive in Kenya, you will probably stay in a hotel for the first few days. To get some more privacy you can consider a furnished apartment for the next few months. You will find a lot of possibilities around Nairobi. For a one-bedroom apartment or a small two-bedroom apartment it is usually around Ksh 85,000 to 100,000 per month. If you are going to stay longer, you might want to find a bigger apartment or a house. A three bedroomed fully furnished would go for around Ksh 150,000 per month. To help you find a place, you can look in TheExpatriate.org Notice Board, the daily Nation or Standard newspapers, Focus on Property, the weekly ADmag (free, every Friday), notice boards in shopping centres/organisations, or go to some of the real estate agencies.
Remember to ask for availability of water, electricity and phone. These resources are scarce in some areas. The waiting lists are long for getting a telephone line, and it is best to make sure that it is already connected to your proposed home. Also, if possible try to talk to a prior tenant, in order to know some more about the place, area and landlord.
As a matter of precaution it is advised not to sign any documents before any work that is to be done by the landlord has been dealt with.
Real Estate Agencies
There are several real estate agencies around who are of great help in the search for a home. Usually, they are good at helping out with all the practical things. – contacts of Real estate agencies from the Expatriate Service listings.
Prices for housing
Apartments with 3 bedrooms are around Ksh 70 to 100,000 per month including 24h security of the compound. Maisonettes (or town houses) usually have a small garden and parking within the compound and go for around 80,000 to 120,000 per month. Houses with 3 to 5 bedrooms are around Ksh 100,000 to 180,000 per month, depending on location, size of garden, etc. For houses, the price does not include security. In Kenya it is advised to have 24h security. So you should add around 18,000 per month. for 24h security through one of the major companies.
No matter where you are staying in Kenya it is advised that you have 24 hours security on your premises. It is possible to hire guards (ascaris) yourself, but there are several security companies that offer 24h security service. By using a major company you save yourself a lot of trouble if a guard is sick or going on leave etc. Also, the companies can install alarm buttons in strategic places around the house and for the guard. If the button is pressed, assistance will arrive within minutes, as the companies have cars placed all over residential areas. More on residential security here.