Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Land Title Registration in 30 Days? The New Minister Demands



Registering your land helps you avoid or reduce litigation. It allows for easy transfer of interest especially after the land is sold out. It also helps the landowner use it as a surety to secure a loan. It removes the opportunity for fraud on innocent purchasers. Thus, a buyer, as well as the landowner, is protected against any unforeseen lawsuits in the future.

Unfortunately, getting your land registered can be a herculean task for many Ghanaians. As much as owning a property is a significant investment and comes at a high cost depending on where the land is situated, it is even more expensive trying to get your land registered. The length of time it takes a person to go through this process is stressful and discouraging. It can take you between one to three years to have your land registered.

 It is as a result of this that the current Minister for Lands and Resources is pushing for a reduction in the duration of land registration. He is requesting that the land title registration period be reduced to 30 days. This decision forms part of the new government’s effort to delivering on a campaign promise made to Ghanaians during the run up to the 2016 elections. According to the New Patriotic Party (NPP), it will "commit to ensuring that turnaround time for land registration is reduced to 30 working days." Therefore the government has charged the Lands Commission to sensitize its staff to work together so that they can achieve this target.
  ghana-land-ocean-view-property

Consequently, reducing the duration of land title registration will impact positively on the economy of Ghana. It is expected that this action will help improve the property management services and eventually encourage both local and international investors to invest in the Ghanaian economy. The country will gain more revenue through investor’s contribution to the economy for the development of the country. Ultimately, acquiring a land in Ghana will be made very easy and eliminate the famous land litigations in Ghana.

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 Should the Ghana Land Commission facilitate or be in charge of land sales? Meaning every land deal should go through the agency?

What else would like us to write about? Please leave your comments below.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Financial Prospects For Housing - Expectations from The New Ghana Government on Housing - Part III



To wrap up on the series about housing in Ghana and the new government’s promises, finance is crucial to this discussion. The cost of housing forms a greater percentage of most households’ expenditure. And since housing is a necessity, it is very dear to most Ghanaians.

The source of funding a home has, in the past in Ghana, generally been limited to borrowing from friends and family and savings, until home financing institutions and banks started providing mortgage services to prospective house owners. Though this has brought relief in the housing sector, the Majority of homeowners in Ghana over the years contend with the growing cost of interest charged by banks on home loans. This is said to be one of the reasons accounting for the huge deficit in housing in Ghana.



To show commitment to the real estate industry in helping financial institutions provide financial assistance to ordinary Ghanaians, the current government outlined some interventions in its 2016 manifesto.

Accordingly, the new government seeks to facilitate the development of an active mortgage market to expand the mortgage loans to Ghanaians. Also, they will fully implement section 103 of the National Pensions Act 2008 (766) which stipulates pension benefits for housing of workers that, “A scheme may allow a member to use that member’s benefit to secure a mortgage for the acquisition of a primary residence.” This means that a person living on pension income can use that benefit to qualify for or obtain a mortgage.

ghana-housing-scheme

New Ghana Government also added that they will work with identifiable groups like the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Ghana National Association of Teachers, Farmer’s Groups, etc. to facilitate the construction of homes for their members through the provision of the appropriate financing guarantees. These approaches will form part of the means to achieving the aim of developing funding schemes to assist home buyers in acquiring units and ultimately solve the rising fear of high cost of building or purchasing a home by the average Ghanaian.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Expectations from The New Ghana Government on The 1.7 Million Housing Deficit

Expectations From The New Ghana Government: Affordable Housing For All?

If the promise of the current government of Ghana, in its 2016 manifesto, is anything to go by, then it can be projected that this year and the subsequent years will be good for the real estate industry; specifically, for the private individuals in the real estate development and prospective homeowners when the government starts to implement its policies. The new government of Ghana seeks to work with the public and private investment entities to provide quality and affordable housing for all Ghanaians.
  Affordable-Housing-For-All-in-Ghana

Their vision is to blend public policy with private investment “to deliver quality affordable social housing and private housing solutions that meet the needs and financial capacity of the ordinary Ghanaian.” In effect, they identified some challenges in this sector including a housing deficit of about 1, 700,000 units, undersupply of annual requirements of housing units and the high cost of buying or renting a home. These constraints in the housing sector in Ghana are not new to most Ghanaians. It has been estimated that about 50% of the Ghanaian population live in substandard houses, slums, uncompleted buildings, shops or kiosks and in extreme cases on the streets.
  Ghana-Government-Affordable-Housing

To help realize the dreams of the ordinary Ghanaian to acquire a decent building for rent or on purchase, the NPP government promised to adopt “a novel way to the construction of homes and institute creative financing schemes”. They hope to use these means to first improve the general affordability and access to decent homes for all working Ghanaians and their families, develop housing units targeted at the vulnerable and marginalised in society, develop financing schemes to assist home buyers to acquire units, improve the quality of infrastructure in existing communities and use public policy to develop the entire housing value chain.
 

It is evident from the above that the Ghanaian is the focus of this vision. Therefore, whether your aspiration is to own or rent a house, the government wishes to help you realize these aspirations in order for you to make a decent living. Consequently, it is expected that there will be an increase in demand for housing, all things being equal, with respect to the vision of this administration.

As a prospective homeowner, start your journey with us. Check out our House Plans here and take the first step toward building your dream home.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Real Estate Developers Expectations from The New Ghana Government


A new government is in place in Ghana and already stakeholders in the real estate industry are agitating for the fulfillment of some promises made before the general elections in 2016.

One of such promises was the abolishment of the 5% VAT which affected commercial and residential properties developed by real estate developers.

 In January 2015, the previous government introduced a 17.5 percent tax on real estate. The industry players were not happy about the tax and after deliberations and negotiations between the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) and the government, the 17.5 percent was replaced with a flat rate of 5%. In October 2015, a statement from the Ghana Revenue Authority was issued to inform the general public, and in particular mortgage providers and operators in the Real Estate and Construction sector, that The Value Added Tax (amendment) Act, 2015 (Act 890) obliges real estate developers to charge and account for VAT on taxable supplies of immovable property at a flat rate of 5% on the value of each taxable supply; and that estate developers engaged in the sale or supply of immovable property are required to charge and account for VAT.
  Coat of arms of Ghana

Though there was a reduction, many real estate developers were not happy and requested that it be scrapped. They reasoned that the imposition of this tax meant that many low-income earners will not be able to access mortgages since there will be high mortgage rates and eventually purchase a house. Also, prospective house owners may be scared away looking at the striking increase in prices of houses since the 5% will finally be borne by the new home owner.

Following the above explanations, operators in the real estate and construction sector are eagerly anticipating for the total scrapping of the 5% tax introduced in 2015. Accordingly, many prospective house owners and industry players expect the new administration to live up to expectation by ensuring that they fulfill their promise to bring relief to developers and consumers. This will encourage spending; thus, there will be an increase in sales. It will reduce the burden on estate developers resulting in an appreciable growth rate in the economy and allow more people to access or qualify for mortgages.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Home Maintenance Culture in Ghana


Time is a valuable resource that tests the quality of things as they age. And as things get older, they become weaker. This is why every building needs maintenance. Often, people wait until something is broken before they get it fixed rather than maintaining the home. But developing a preservation culture is an effective measure to ensure that your property is safe and in good condition. Adopting a maintenance culture can benefit the homeowner or the tenant. The following are the advantages of keeping a home maintenance culture:

First, adopting home maintenance practices helps you detect problems early and quickly. Conducting routine checks helps you familiarize yourself with your home, the various housing systems like electrical, plumbing and drainage systems and features like the door, roof, etc. Thus, any defect in or improper functioning of any appliance or feature in your house is easily identified for immediate action.
  Home Maintenance Culture in GhanaSource: Zillow

Also, home maintenance allows you save money. Waiting until something is completely damaged can cost you more money to fix. Early detection of a problem allows for early action to be taken to address the problem. Small problems are solved quickly, and the cost for repair works is reduced. Consequently, conducting regular maintenance checks on your building will go a long way to keeping you from making unexpected expenses.

 Furthermore, regular maintenance checks allow you to increase the life span of the housing systems and its features which will help enhance the value of your house. It helps you preserve your home. It is a fact that a good home maintenance practice is a better way of improving upon the value of your home. Home maintenance will enable you to make a profitable sale if you decide to sell it.
  the-ultimate-guide-to-developing-a-home-maintenance-culture-insideSource: Zillow

Finally, performing regular maintenance checks is a security measure which ensures the safety of your home and family. You can avoid any form of accidents if you take extra care and pay attention to the condition of your home. You can protect your family from burns, shocks, falls and even death by taking the responsibility of ensuring that your house is in a good state.
  kicthenSource: Zillow

Home maintenance should not be limited to only occasional weeding and repainting. It should be characterized by regular inspection and testing of electrical appliances as well as cleaning. These are good practices which will ensure that you detect problems early, save money or reduce cost, increase the lifespan of your home and guarantee the safety of your family and home.

Leasehold vs. Freehold Lands in Ghana


As a homeowner or landowner, has it ever crossed your mind that your property may one day be taken away from you because your contract has expired? A lot of land or home owners are unaware of the various forms of ownership that exist in Ghana. They did not know (and still, may not know) that buying a property could make them outright owners or tenants whether it is purchased from an estate company or an individual.

 Lands in Ghana are usually owned by the government, stool, or families or clans. Lands belonging to the government are either vested or state lands. The government controls these properties and managed by the Lands Commission. Stool lands are under the custodian of chiefs or traditional rulers while a family owns family lands and administered by the family head. Thus, these represent the types of land that exist in Ghana.

 In Ghana, you can own a land either through buying or inheritance. The most popular approach to owning a land in Ghana especially in the urban areas is through buying. With the expansion of the real estate industry and high demand for accommodation, many people are rushing to invest in lands and houses. However, what some prospective property owners and even individual landowners are not aware of is the fact that, in Ghana, purchasing a land does not make you the outright owner of that property.
  Freehold-Land-in-Ghana

Lands in Ghana are sold as leaseholds as opposed to freeholds. Leasehold interest is a temporary right to occupy a land or property, while freehold interest is the outright ownership of a land or property for an unlimited period. The lease is for a fixed term, but with freehold, the landowner is the custodian of the land till eternity. A lease is a legal document based on property and contractual law which spells out the rights and obligations of both the Landlord (Lessor) and Tenant (Lessee).

 The period for most leases in Ghana is 99 years or more for locals and 50 years for foreigners. After the 99 years has expired, the land must be returned to the lessor unless the contract is renewed. People who are aware of this practice usually think that 99 years is too long a time for anybody to worry about returning a property or renewing a contract. Others too have not thought about what will happen after the 99years contract is over.
  colour styles for Houses

Thus, as a potential property owner, you need to know that it is almost impossible to buy a land or a house as a freehold in Ghana. Therefore, you need to find out about the number of years left on a lease before you commit to buying a property. This is important because it can affect getting a mortgage or the resale value of the property. On the other hand, if you are a house owner already who purchased a leasehold property, you need to prepare for the future just to prevent any long legal battle between your successor(s) and that of the person who sold the land to you.

5 Effective Ways To Get More Out Of Your Vacant Land in Ghana


Do you own a vacant land? Do you know that your bare land can be economically beneficial to you rather than leaving it empty and undeveloped? Here are some financially viable activities you can engage in to make your vacant land productive and even earn money on it.

Lease your vacant land to an investor

You can enter into an agreement with an investor for a fixed period with a start and an end date. Leasing your land means that you the owner can repossess your property after the period has expired. It can be a short contract or an extended lease. Leasing your land can provide you with a steady income. Thus, you can receive a lump sum of money or arrange for periodic payments.

Use your land for Farming Activities

Farming in Ghanatcktcktck.org

Farming in Ghana is a productive activity to undertake. In most urban areas, due to a high demand for residential and commercial buildings, agricultural activities are almost non-existent. However, you can earn money from your vacant land by cultivating crops. You can grow vegetables, tubers or cereals. These crops are always in demand on the market. If farming your land yourself is a daunting task, then engage the service of a farmer and come to an agreement on how the produce will be shared.

Rent your land for special events like weddings and parties

outdoor-party-in-ghana.
You can turn your vacant land into a rental space for gatherings, meetings, wedding receptions, parties, funerals, etc. People are always looking for a venue or space for an event. Your vacant land can serve that purpose. This means that you can make money by renting out your land and charging extra for maintenance.

Grow flowers on your land to sell

grow-flowers-in-ghana
Growing flowers can be fun and rewarding. It is an eco-friendly activity. It is a perfect home business where your children and spouse can be involved. Thus, growing flowers to sell can be a profitable endeavor for you.

Use your land as a Parking Space or Recreational Centre

If your land is located in a vibrant business center, you can turn it into a parking lot or a recreational center. Most of these business centers have little space for people to park their cars or engage in pleasure related activities for relaxation. The list is inexhaustible. So instead of leaving your land vacant, come up with your own creative means of making your bare land is productive and beneficial to you.
 

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