It is undoubtedly the most ambitious housing project in Rwanda to date. Planned to be a fully self-sustaining neighborhood once complete, Ultimate Developers Ltd (UDL)’s flagship Vision City will comprise of 4,500 housing units, a modern town centre and world class amenities. The first phase of the project is now complete, putting 504 spectacular properties on the market.
Emmanuel Ngabire spoke to UDL Chief Executive Officer, Liliane Uwanziga Mupende about why property lovers should be excited by Vision City, and how they can go about owning a property in one of Kigali’s most select neighborhoods.
PMR: With Vision City’s inaugural phase finally complete, property lovers will be asking themselves, “What is special about this project?”
Vision City is a truly revolutionary project in many ways- the first of its kind in the region. We are pioneering a shift in focus for property developers from just putting up isolated standalone properties with little or no regard for location, to creating a fully self-sustaining neighbourhood complete with the very best amenities to facilitate a modern life.
For instance, residents of Vision City will have access to vast public spaces, first-rate asphalt roads and pedestrian walkways, secure open parking, street lamps, a pre-installed fibre-optic network, water and power backup systems, to mention just a few.
PMR: Tell us about the houses.
Vision City has eight different property options including Villas, Semi-detached units, Townhouses and Apartments. Each of typologies offers a unique design option, allowing you a diversity of choice; and each individual property has been constructed out of the very best materials, and finished with exquisite attention to detail.
PMR: How does one go about acquiring a house in Vision City? What is the procedure?
All a client needs is to pay a 30% deposit on the value of a property they are interested in, then we seal the house for them and give them room to make payments over a year. Alternatively, they could put down the 30% and then go and process their mortgage and come back and make full payment.
PMR: Is this offer open to interested buyers outside Rwanda?
It is open to everybody who would love to own a high-end property in one of Africa’s fastest growing cities.
PMR: There are a number of real estate projects currently underway all over East Africa. Why should someone buy a house with Vision City, in Kigali ,as opposed to buying elsewhere in the region?
What I want to emphasise is that with Vision City we are not selling just a house; we are selling a neighborhood and the related experience. And so, if you get a property here, you get to enjoy more than just your house (which is exquisite), you have an unmatched experience of living in a neighborhood that has been created to give you a great living experience. As far as I know there is no other project of its kind anywhere in the region, and this is what makes Vision City stand apart.
Another advantage Vision City has over its competition is its outstanding location. Many of the new real estate developments in the region are situated far from the city centre. Vision City on the other hand is located in Gaculiro, an uptown neighborhood of Kigali, just 3 km from the Central Business District and 6 km from Kigali International Airport, putting it 15 minutes from airport and only 10 minutes from the Central Business District.
Finally, going even beyond Vision City are the benefits that Kigali as a city offers. It is a secure, modern, highly planned city, guided by a clear vision. Thus, any one acquiring property here can be sure that the value of properties can only appreciate with time. There is no danger that an informal settlement will develop next door in the future, nor will issues of land disputes arise since the land tenure system is properly structured.
PMR: How do the prices of Vision City compare to those of other real estate properties in the region?
I’d say they are very favourable, especially if you consider the quality of the properties themselves, the support infrastructure we have put in place and the entire environment in which Vision City is located. Our pricing is very competitive.
PMR: Any arrangements with banks to offer financing to people who want to acquire the properties?
Yes, we are actually in talks with a number of them to see if we can arrange any sort of special programs or financing structures for our clients.
I finally have my dream home, thanks to Vision City – Rutikanga Phocus
By Francis Byaruhanga
Buying a property in Kigali is regarded by many to be no mean feat. However, for Phocas Rutikanga, it has been a whole rosy experience, thanks to Ultimate Developers Limited’s state-of-the-art Vision City. He shared with Property Magazine Rwanda what inspired him to acquire an apartment at Vision City, the process of acquiring the prized property and why he feels the Gacuriro-based apartments, located in Gasabo District, should be every home hunter’s destination.
Rutikanga says he came to know about Vision City project during the Gikondo Build Expo that took place at Gikondo Expo Ground last year. The expo was organised by the Private Sector Federation to promote the premium residential houses in Kigali.
He confesses that it was during the expo that he learnt that Vision City offers a wide range of packages, top among them, luxury villas that make perfect use of indoor and outdoor spaces, top range infrastructure and amenities suited for the decent urban dweller, as well as public spaces that are ideal for the children’s play and communal activities which makes one feel right at home in this exceptional neighborhood.
He explains that he bought a 5-bedroom Luxury Villa at USD560,000 (about Rwf 436m), noting that the best part is that he does not regret taking this deal because the villa he bought, just like its name, suites the definition of a luxury villa.
“In those five bedrooms, each room has its bathroom and a toilet, which you can’t find in any residential house around Kigali,” he says.
“The villa also guarantees privacy with its ‘Gipangu’ surrounding it,” he adds.
Process of buying an apartment at Vision City
Rutikanga says when it comes to the formalities of attaining ownership of a unit at Vision City everything is smooth. He says he personally chose to settle for the higher purchase option, explaining that he initially paid only 30% of the total cost to UDL, who then gave him the ownership title and now he is paying the balance.
Rutikanga says that he worked with GT Bank to help him to pay the mortgage for his house, which will take five years on 14% interest rate.
“I agreed with the bank to give me a loan at the above-stated interest rate. However, as soon as the first payment of 30% is paid to UDL, one is given full access to the house,” he says.
Advice to clients
Rutikanga says Vision City neighborhood offer the best residential option around Kigali with full-time staff to receive the guests and potential clients.
“That aside, the estate is built to the specifications of the City of Kigali Masterplan; so once you get a chance to reside in the area you are rest-assured that you will never be disturbed by anyone telling you to shift because of new or emerging government projects,” he says, emphasizing that Vision City guarantees security for the property acquired.
My Vision City apartment is a real gem – Teame Mehretab
Mehretab Teame, a fifty two year old Eritrea national, has been living in Rwanda since 2000. For all these years, he has been staying in a rented apartment in Gacuriro, an upscale Kigali suburb.
Although he runs a chain of other business in Angola and South Sudan, Teame says he resolved to stay in Rwanda because of its aesthetic topography and good weather, favourable investment environment and security compared to other African countries he has been in.
“The Government of Rwanda is very receptive to foreigner investors who do their transactions legally,” he notes.
On how he learnt about Vision City houses, he says it was a friend who tipped him about these modern villas.
“When the houses were still being constructed, I was contacted by a friend who directed me to the site so I could see first-hand what was going on. After the visit, I resolved to get a house there and immediately started finding out the modalities of buying one of the villa,” he says.
“What attracted me most was that the area where the neighborhood is located is safer and the houses are eye-catching even from afar. Vision City is an incomparable urban residential area. The way it was planned ensures maximum peace and relaxation,” he adds.
Teame says the specific villa he chose is a 5-bedroom Luxury Villa – boasts of spacious rooms, and a big compound for her six children to play around.
“I paid USD560,000 (about Rwf 436m) for the house. Some people may be put off by the price, but only because they have not visited these units. To get the best thing, one has to invest. I can attest that the house is worth its price,” he says.
Teame says it took him a whole year to mobilize the resources to purchase the unit.
“The only challenge I faced was that I had to take some of the capital from my other businesses to buy this golden house. But although it was risky, I was confident because I knew I was investing the money in a safer and secure country,” he says, urging every Rwandan and non-Rwandan with the means to book themselves what he calls a ‘gem of a neighborhood’ at Vision City.