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Book Review: Climbing the Property Investment Ladder in Namibia. A book written by Nanyemba Katamba.

Review by Etuna Josua
In this book, published in November 2012, the author, Nanyemba Katamba, seeks to educate and inform the Namibian public how to ascend in the world of investment in immovable property, starting from the lowest possible point of being a first time home buyer.

Katamba starts off by explaining why he became interested in investing in immovable property, whereby he gave a personal account of what he went through as a novice first time mortgaged home buyer.

This part includes explaining how and why he chose to buy his first house in Rundu, and how various circumstances within his personal life and the property market at large converged and ultimately led to him losing his home after the bank repossessed it and sold it.

Katamba briefly related how he remarkably planned his finances and overcame his misfortune by paying off the debt he still owed after the house was sold. By narrating his personal experiences in this book, although briefly, Katamba joined the list of the very few brave Namibians who have in some way written about their experiences in life, whether good or bad, so that they serve as a lesson to others and to future generations.

In Katamba's case, this is even more important because Namibia's population is increasingly becoming urbanized and knowing how to navigate one's way in the immovable property market is increasingly becoming critical.

A whole chapter is devoted to explaining in very easy and understandable terms, how immovable property plays a key role in the economy of Namibia. What Katamba Calls The Nine Steps in property investment is very critical advice, especially for young professionals and all young adults alike. The Nine Steps highlight the importance of planning one's property acquisition and life at large carefully.

In a chapter devoted to maintaining and preserving value of one's property, Katamba gives seemingly simple but highly valuable tips on how to maintain one's property, including some tips on how to go about beautifying one's home at a reasonable cost.

Katamba gives important information on the various professionals that play roles in the immovable property market, this includes real estate agents, lawyers, architects, town planners, interior decorators, property developers and building contractors, to mention a few. Katamba also offered advice on how to go about engaging professionals and stresses that going for cheap service provider would not always get the best overall result. Before concluding his book, Katamba gives a synoptic assessment of the towns that he considers to offer the best property investment opportunities in Namibia. In the same breath (and rightly so) he did not hesitate to subtly assail the leadership of the towns that seem to be not run properly or in a way that is likely to attract serious property investors. In the final chapters, Katamba gives useful advice on the implications of and various taxes and duties levied in property transactions.

Being a mere 120 pages of less than A5 size with average font size, this book should not seem to be daunting at all even for those not very fond of reading. Once you tackle it, you should be able to finish reading it within a few days. All young adults, and especially young professionals and graduates from tertiary institutions are advised to obtain this book and to actually read it.

Young adults who read this book may realize the importance of considering intertwining property investment with family planning, including choosing the appropriate matrimonial property regime jointly with the spouse to be, from an informed position. Readers would also realize the importance of seeking professional advice, even for some things that at first glance seem to be simple and ordinary.

The book reviewer is a Namibian lawyer involved in the mining industry. E-mail: jjosua@me.com / Twitter: @EtunaJosua.





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