Livingstone Marufu Property Reporter
STEWARD Bank has started lending money to Zimbabweans living and working in the diaspora for property purchases in a bid to generate foreign currency while at the same time developing the country’s infrastructure. Steward Bank CEO, Dr Lance Mambondiani told this publication that an individual must have a work permit, resident permit or visa in the country he or she is resident and should have either a valid Zimbabwean passport or a Zimbabwean ID.
“Buying property is obviously considered a very important investment anywhere in the world. Most diasporans have that as their top priority when they first go outside the country. However, houses do not come cheap.
“Most diasporans want to come back to Zimbabwe someday and this is where they would rather build and plant roots. Some of them left unfinished houses and they just can’t lump funds together to complete these projects.
“These are the reasons we think the loan facility is a good product. It allows Zimbabweans around the world the opportunity to fulfil their dreams.
“Zimbabweans are crazy about having their own place and we provide them that opportunity through this loan facility,” said Dr Mambondiani.
He said for an average Zimbabwean getting to own a property in their country of residence is nothing but a pipe dream and properties are super expensive in places like the UK.
The loan is repaid at an interest rate of 9 percent per year and this is the lowest in Zimbabwe.
The tenure is up to a maximum of 20 years and is based on how close you are to your retirement age.
He went on to say: “You can apply for any amount between $10 000 and $200 000. Repayment instalments must not exceed 45 percent of the gross monthly income.
“The establishment fee is 2 percent of loan and a non-refundable application fee of $100 is required on submitting the application.
“If your application is successful then you must pay the commitment or deposit of 10 percent.
“This is your share of the cost of buying or building your home. Repayments are to be made monthly and in hard currency.”
The loan is for buying a serviced stand, construction of a new house, renovating or upgrading an already existing property or purchasing a new house.
In all cases the property must have title deeds.
Meanwhile, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) subsidiary Homelink plans to build over 3 000 housing units and commercial buildings near Lake Chivero in a bid to provide decent and affordable houses for Zimbabweans especially the Diaspora community.
Homelink has been a significant player in housing provision since 2004 when it established the Homelink Housing Development Scheme (HHDS).
To date, Homelink has provided houses for at least 1 500 families.