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'Virtual reality' is innovative way of cutting cost of houses in Kenya

by Robert Manyara NAKURU (Xinhua) -- A Kenyan software developer is giving prospective home owners an ingenious option of designing interior finishings of their homes amidst fast rising of property prices in the urban centers.

With the virtual interior design application developed by Busalire Emeka, buyers eyeing a particular house under construction can select and define decorations of the interior sections.

In this way, Emeka says, buyers can reduce the total cost of the house by reviewing the rates of the whole interior design.

"Should the prospective buyer feel like the interior design finishing is too expensive, then they can have a discussion with the real estate developer and cut it by up to 25 percent," Emeka, the founder of custom software developer firm, Egalaxykenya, said on Tuesday.

He said the application gives the homeowners the power to determine the final look of the house unlike when one buys a finished one and is too constrained financially to make adjustments.

"This (house) is a lifetime investment and therefore it is important to have control over how it looks," he said.

"Many of the current homeowners are buying houses through mortgages and when you start paying, it really hits you so hard (that you have no money to consider changes to the house)," he noted.

The application available on his online system solutions platform allows one to have a 3-D view of the interior finishing. These include the floors, walls, kitchen and washrooms.

Further, one can have a view of the physical shell of the house such that the intended buyer can have a clear perspective of the finished product.

"By looking at all the features, the buyer can then come up with his or her own finishing and present the requirements to the property developer to customize it to his or her liking," said Emeka, who has assisted various Kenyan developers and prospective homeowners design their interiors with the application since the beginning of the year.

The software developer is one of those who represented young innovators at the Nairobi Innovation Week in August, 2016.

However, he says capital is a major challenge to developing a product that meets the needs of the consumers within a shortest period.

His plan is to synchronize it with low cost housing units to capture a market in need of affordable houses but that requires huge capital currently out of his reach.

"To come up with a complete product and market it widely to reach local and international customers, I would need 10,000 U.S. dollars.

"It projects as a major challenge to me," stated Emeka, who hopes to engage an equity investor in his undertakings.

             

 

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