Thursday, May 12, 2016

How to Avoid Land Problems in Ghana

Land-Situation-and-Acquisition-in-Ghana.jpgLand Situation and Acquisition in Ghana

Since independence, several citizens of Ghana have encountered a puzzling land administration system. There have been long and expensive procedures entailing several land agencies, which have discouraged many citizens from legally registering their lands in the state institutions. Land concerns have been controlled in a double situation for a long time with traditional laws and regulations functioning alongside the state law.

Approximately 80% of the land is under customary holders while the rest is held by the state. During the colonial period, information on land ownership in Ghana was not comprehensively recorded. Numerous transactions were denied effective certification and land maps were demarcated by physical landmarks, for instance, hills instead of surveyed maps. Since the physical features were not an efficient way of bounding land, litigation over proprietorship and boundaries remained endless.

Land-Situation-and-Acquisition-in-Ghana

Through the Land Registry Act, all transactions were required to be administered through the deed registration system that was put in place from the onset of the 19th century. This involved a system based on documents proving persons’ right to transfer land or property. However, the system has faced a number of challenges as since registrars have not had the power to investigate and reject documents of dubious legitimacy.

Therefore, anyone with a title deed could claim land and sell it to another person. With no clear procedures, there was no vibrant way of determining the real owner of a land. Furthermore, through customary land tenures, individuals have been allocated land orally without proper documentation. This has led to the lands being allocated or sold to multiple owners.

Due to this failed systems, the government has sought to establish different institutions in overseeing the land acquisition and usage in Ghana. For instance, the Land Title Registry provided a compulsory registration of districts but it did not have many achievements.

ghana-land-problems-and-scams-to-avoid

The turning point of the Ghana’s land system was marked by the Lands, Forestry, and Mines Ministry Land Administration Program. The program lay the foundation for reforming land administration in Ghana. The administration was aimed at creating a sustainable and well-functioning land administration system.

The problem of purchasing land in Ghana is not over. Currently, before you purchase any piece of land in Ghana, you must consider several factors. These include carrying out due diligence over the land, involving a searching process with the Lands Commission about the lands ownership, getting a cadastral plan, drafting and signing the transfer agreement and registering the land with the Lands Commission.

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walled-and-gated-land-in-Ghana
What has been your land buying experience? Share your story in comment section below.

Monday, May 9, 2016

How to Solvie Ghana Poverty Problem Through Housing

The prerequisite to providing suitable, appropriate and equitable housing is a key primacy for every government. Because the problem of housing is intricate and unrelenting, no single nation across the world has been able to offer satisfactory housing of ample standards to all its citizens. 

In as much as housing is a basic need in life, close to half of the population in Ghana live in poor houses. Ghana housing shortage has exposed many individuals to circumstances, such as inaccessibility to adequate hygienic amenities and privation of water and warmth to meet their daily physical requisites. Ghana housing shortage has also decreased the life expectancy for the homeless. 

As a result of Ghana housing shortage, several populations have been exposed to serious health risks, thus, gravely impacting on their input in the economic development of the society, leading to high rates of poverty in Ghana. The housing shortage in Ghana has affected many populations living in urban areas to continue residing in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. Most of the limited houses lack significant facilities, such as toilets, kitchen, bathroom, and refuse facilities. 

ghana-housing-shortage
Source: Zillow


Adequate housing is one of the effective means of solving the problem of poverty in Ghana. This is because shelter entails a significant item for households. Sufficient housing is a requirement for enhanced health, thus, encouraging savings that are spent on treatment and medication. Adequate housing is also a source of income since many people use the houses to generate income through home base businesses or renting, especially in urban settings.

In addressing Ghana’s poverty situation, improved housing condition in Ghana will enhance the provision of good living conditions. This will provide an opportunity for the poor population to come up with their own income generating ventures and they can also receive credits from micro financing corporations.

ghana-housing-shortage-interior.
Source: Zillow


The end result of these initiatives will be a focus on building human capital. The stimulation of pro- poor growth in the nation will encourage the private sector to create jobs to supplement the government efforts. Through enhanced spending on anti-poverty measures, such as supporting the education system, infrastructure, and healthcare in Ghana, it is possible to launch a direct assault on poverty as a result of improved housing provisions.



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

5 Easy Ways To Read Architectural Floor Plans



You may not read blueprints very often in the course of your life, but you can use architectural floor plans when you are building your dream home, you add on to your home or business is expanding. You need not have an architectural degree to read the blueprints, and this article explores simple ways to read floor plans. You will not understand every little part of the plan, but you can interpret the blueprints to learn what the space will look like when it is completed.

  #1: Which Floor Are You On?

 You cannot read the floor plan or blueprint without knowing which floor you are looking at. Check which floor you are reading, and check on the layout of the floor as it relates to its purpose. Read a floor plan with a clear understanding of which floor you see, and imagine what the floor will look like when it is completed. Reading the blueprint without any sort of reference leaves you wondering what you just saw.

#2: How Large Are The Rooms?

 Each room and door is measured on the blueprint. Blueprints are drawn to scale, and each wall has a measurement you can check for yourself. You can see how large a certain room is, and you can compare the size of each door in the building. Small doors are suitable for closets, but exterior doors and office doors must be larger. You may catch problems in the layout if the doors are too small. You can make recommendations to the architect for the size of each room, and you will know what you are doing when you talk with the architect about the project.

  Easy Ways To Read Architectural Floor Plans 

  #3: Which Way Does The Building Face?

The blueprints you see have cardinal directions printed on the faces of the building. You must have a clear understanding of which direction every wall faces, and you must understand where sunlight will come into the building. The direction that light hits the building could dramatically impact your operations, and you may choose to add solar panels based on the direction the building faces. You get all this information from the blueprint on the first reading, and you may request changes before the project is too far along.

#4: How Are Plumbing And Electrical Fittings Completed?

Plumbing and electrical fittings are noted in the blueprint, and you can see where you will have access to water or electricity in your building. The blueprint shows you how many outlets are to be in every room, where the plumbing fixtures will be located and where the plumbing will enter the building.

  Learn How To Read Architectural Floor Plans

You may request more fixtures in certain rooms, and you may subtract fixtures or fittings from other rooms in the building. You will be more pleased with the building or home you commission when you know that it will be more functional. Access to electricity helps you use modern technology, and extra plumbing fixtures make the building more appealing.

#5: Ask Questions

All the fine details on a blueprint may seem unintelligible to you, and you must ask your architect to explain confusing parts of the blueprint. You will learn more about the specific design of the building, and you will not go into construction with questions about the project. Your architect is more than happy to answer your questions. Ask your architect to see the blueprint for your next project, and read carefully. There are many items you can glean from the blueprints on your own, and you may collaborate with your architect. Any extra questions can be answered before construction on the building begins.

Monday, August 10, 2015

So You Want to Build a Custom Home? 7 Steps to Create Your Dream Home

If you are looking to build your first dream home, there is no need to worry. Building a custom home from scratch may seem scary at first but there is a process that works (99.9% of the time) and many people just like you have done it. The following are a few steps that you should follow with your architect for creating your dream home.
 
1) Location and Feasibility Study

A feasibility study involves making site considerations and determining the design requirements of your dream home and considering your home's configuration. Work with your architect to perform a feasibility study to make sure he or she creates a home plan that meets your needs and your local government requirements.

2) Preliminary Design

An architect will craft a design that fits your needs as well as your site plan. The architect will provide you with a variety of ideas to assist you personalize your home and ensure your living quarters are just like you wanted. If you need a detailed scale model, your architect will create one that incorporates your home design in 3D. The there are several home plans here that you can get ideas from.

yaa-naa-ghana-house-plans-Ground-Floor

3) Budget and Contract

First, decide how much you want to spend to build your new home and have your architect design a home plan according to your budget. After you have decided what plan works for you, a detailed SOW will be made reflecting what you have specified.

4) Construction Drawings

Your architect will create the final draft of your home according to your requirements and that of the local government building permit requirements. In this phase, your architect will conduct a vegetation survey; provide a salvage report that includes grading, national open space requirements, drainage etc.

5) Owner's Selection

During this time of constructing your dream home, you will be required to decide on building materials: flooring, lighting, appliances, colors and other building material details of your home.

6) Construction

After all the phases have been completed, a home contractor will build your home like you imagined it. Your home should be constructed on time and within your budget. Demand constant communication between you and the contractors to ensure that your home is built according to plan. Always have a third party inspect the construction phases to make sure the contractor(s) is doing what they suppose to do such as quality of work.

ghana-homes-design-1
 Image source: Houzz
7) Completion

When your home is complete, the next thing is for you to move in but before that, do an inspection first! Hire a professional home inspector to do a final inspection before accepting the final product. After you have moved in to your new home, your contractor should work with you to assist you benefit from the features of your home such as how to use the new features in your new home: lighting, air controls, main water, etc., and to also advice you on how to preserve and maintain the beauty of your home.

Next steps


ghana-homes-design-3
 Image source: Houzz

What Color Should You Paint Your Current or Future House?


The most popular colors for homes in tropical environments include vivid reds, muted blues, gray-toned greens, and bright yellows. Painting with green paints that are lower in gas emissions are also trending because they are helpful to the environment. 

Experts offer several suggestions about the best way to choose the right color for new and existing homes. Depending on whether you are trying to blend in with the neighbors should be one of the things that drive the color selection.

Community fit

People who live near other homes or those who are planning to build in a close-knit community might want to consider colors that are muted to help integrate their home in a seamless manner. Choosing colors that are bright or those that do not work well with the surrounding home colors will make the home stand out in an unattractive way.

It can also cause problems with homeowners associations (if any) and the atmosphere of the community because it makes the owners seem like they are not team players. Bold colors can always be toned down with grays and whites to give the color choice the owner wants while still fitting into the neighborhood.

colours for Houses in ghana

Heat reduction
Keeping the heat from the sun from raising the temperature on the inside of a home is vital in warm, humid climates like those in tropical areas. You can easily find companies in your local market that offer customers a variety of colors in environmentally-friendly paints.

There are many benefits of using this type of paint for a home including reducing allergens if used indoors. Many of the green paint options come in lighter colors like ecru, coastal blue, and pineapple yellow that help reflect sunlight to keep the interior of homes cooler in warm temperatures.

heat reducing colours for Houses in ghana

Newest color trends

Shades of greens and blues are timeless choices that will fit in for years to come. Guacamole, mint green, moss, robin's egg blue, cobalt, and periwinkle are favorite exterior paint choices. For those wanting something a little bolder, reds in watermelon, passion fruit, geranium, and berry are attractive selections. Yellows in goldenrod, daffodil, and sunflower work well for interiors and exteriors.

colour styles for Houses

Any of the colors mentioned above is easily lightened to give homeowners the right shade for their home. Experts suggest that people who are not planning to paint for several years and those who are trying to fit into the neighborhood should consider shades of white, tan, blue, and green because these colors often fit into several color palettes. These colors are often chosen because they fit into any style or season.

Choosing the right color should reflect the needs of the family including environmentally safe options and heat-reducing tones. Bright pops of color on the trim, shutters, doors, and outdoor furniture can give homeowners the bold statements they prefer without raising the electric bill because the air conditioner is running on maximum all summer long.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Buying a House in Ghana? 5 Legal Processes You Should Know


Owning a home is one of the greatest achievements in life, and it is a dream comes true for many people. If you are planning to own a property in Ghana, take the necessary precautions to avoid finding yourself in a string of never-ending disputes and possible court battles. To help you, follow these simple 5 legal processes whenever you want to acquire a home or any other real estate property in Ghana.

1. Inspect the property

Conducting an inspection helps to determine whether the property is suitable for the purpose that you intend to purchase it for or not. For instance, a home is a residential property that can be occupied by the owner, sold, or rented to other occupants for revenue generation.

2. Prove ownership of property

In Ghana, it is common to find unauthorized persons--who have no rights to ownership--selling properties. Other times, a property is sold to several buyers, something that can run you into legal problems, especially if you are the owner. Having your property checked and cleared by the land registry office in Ghana, therefore, saves you from unnecessary disputes.
A real estate lawyer should review the title and have it cleared. This process may take longer if you have not presented all the necessary documents required for the search. A buyer may also need to conduct a property search at Traditional Council and law court to find out if there might be disputes pending over the land or property.

3. Transfer of title

The piece of land, where your prospective home sits on, should have a title of ownership. Transfer of title can be a complex process that needs someone who understands the basis of title transfers, and only a rightful owner of a home and its land can authorize the transfer of the property. Your name has to be captured properly as the buyer so that it does not raise issues in the future. Conflicting names indicated in the title transfer could create problems, and you may not be able to sell the property if you so wish.

4. Obtain the necessary permits

Acquiring permits in Ghana can be a complicated process, especially for the first-time home-buyers. This is because, there are laid down regulations and laws governing the obtaining of permits in any home buying deal. Nevertheless, obtaining permits protects you from fines and possibly demolition of your property. Such problems can occur if, for instance, you later discovered that you did not follow due process in obtaining all the necessary permits including inspections. A proof of compliance is needed, and inspectors will ask for permits when they visit your premises.

5. Registration of the title

Land properties should have titles registered at the Ghana Lands Commission Secretariat. The registration may take some time; however, if you have all the necessary documents, it helps prevent further delays. To register a property shows that you have complied with the property transfer guidelines and regulations. This is one way to protect your investment.
Unless a registration has been done, the property's search at the Deeds Registry or Lands Commission continues indicating that the vendor is still the rightful owner. To read otherwise, you will have to pay fees to cater for all property acquisition process.

There may be no restrictions on buying and owning land in Ghana; however, there are different categories of land, some of which may not be privately owned. A number of legal processes exist to help address the issues involved in property ownership and protect both the seller and buyer. Therefore, before you sign any home buying document or pay for a home, you may want to seek the help of a real estate property lawyer to help get every detail correct and handle the process within the law.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Discover Why it's So Important to Get a Building Permit


There are many reasons why you should obtain a building permit and required inspection for your construction project.

Obtaining building permits in Ghana is not easy. However, building permits are very important. Undertaking construction without a permit can result in fines to the property owner. In addition to fines, building inspectors will want to ensure that proper procedures were followed when constructing the building. The inspectors will inspect the building and order changes if necessary. Fixing permit violations in addition to the fines can be very expensive.

Building Permit Increases Property Value

One of the main reasons for obtaining permits before construction is for insurance and real estate value. Building that does not have a permit is non-existent in the eyes of insurance firms and banks.
If you construct a building without a permit, insurance firms will not cover the building. In addition, you will not be able to sell the house for as much as you would be able to had you obtained the permit. Property insurers will not cover work or damages caused by construction projects that lack proper permits.

Building Permit Makes Selling Property Easier

When selling property in Ghana through multiple listing associations, the owner is required to provide details about the property including improvements and repairs made and whether building permits and inspections were obtained.
Banks and other financial institutions will not finance a building purchase that lacks proper permits. If you decide to buy a building in Ghana that lacks proper permits, you may be required to obtain new permits, which may be quite expensive.

Building Permit Improves safety

Building permits allow building inspectors and construction project managers to reduce the risk of unsafe construction to provide for safety, public health and welfare. By obtaining building permits, your completed project will meet required standards for the safety of your family, friends and any other occupant. Building permits complement the contractor’s experience and act as a system of checks and balances that helps create safer projects.

It is financially sound to obtain a building permit as required by law. Your home or business building is your investment. If your construction project does not have a permit, the value of your investment is reduced significantly.
 

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