Monday, December 16, 2013

How to Decorate Your New Home in Ghana on a Low Budget



So let's say you have just made an investment in building your green-home in Ghana, because you're conscious of the environmental impact of housing and because you know that in the long run you will be saving money (plus your house will be worth so much more). Once the work is completed, there's nothing more exciting than to finally enter your new home. Of course at the beginning it feels like cold and unwelcoming, so you really want to turn it from “house” to “home”. The first thing you have to think of is how to decorate it. Indeed, to create a nice and welcoming environment is fundamental for a positive living. However, you don’t want to spend a fortune on it, so here are a few tips on how you can decorate your new house without spending too much without renouncing to quality and style.

First of all, walls! Whenever you get a new house, you always have to re-paint the walls, either to renew them or to give them the color you wish for your house. When it comes to choosing colors, some of the most popular ones are soft grey, muted pink and taupe, although you can find many other amazing colors that will blow your mind. One of the latest trends is painting the walls of two different colors, making the walls that face each other the same tone (two walls a lighter shade and the ones in front a darker shade). A good way to save money and, also, have fun, is to paint the walls yourself. You can ask someone to help you out, so it will also be a nice and different way to spend time together, especially if you plan to live in it with your significant other, friends or family. After the walls are ready, the house is ready to be filled in.

Hence, furniture! Unless you are taking them with you from your old house, if you're missing some furniture a good idea is to buy it second hand on a free-classifieds website. It's best to contact more than one seller since the items they offer could be already taken or not in perfect condition, so you can choose between all the ones you like when it comes to furniture and decoration. This is specially true when it comes to electronic devices such as kitchen appliances, washing machine, etc.; make sure they're in perfect condition and that you see them working!



When it comes to decoration, there are a few tricks you can use to make them cheaper and better. For example, if your house is very small, or you would like it bigger, use mirrors to make it look larger. It will also make it brighter, which is always cool, adds a positive vibe to the environment and can even help you save money on electricity bills since the light will bounce on them.



Another great way to save money is to have everything to serve a dual purpose. It’s particularly true when it comes to sofas and tables, especially when you are a very sociable person who always have a lot of friends over. Another huge saving thanks to DIY is that of sewing your own pillows. Not only it will save you a lot of money, but you can make them exactly of the size you want, stuffed as you want and you will surely have a lot more choice in therms of colors and textures.

How to Choose the Right Exterior Paint Colors for Your Ghana Home


Painting the exterior of your home not only protects it but also gives it a beautiful appeal. Advancement in technology has created several long-lasting and eco-friendly paints in various colours and variations. Most of these recent paints have been tailor-made to have properties suitable for the exterior of your building. For instance some paint colours can withstand adverse weather conditions whiles others ward off mosquitoes and other harmful insects like Ezzy® and Artilin® respectively.

When choosing the exterior paint colours for your home, these are a few hints you can consider to make your selection right!
  1. The stability and total performance of the paint colours. Ensure the paint colour you choose has endurance properties and can stay visible for a very long time. Examples are the paints with enamel, giving a shiny and smooth finish. You don’t want to choose a paint colour that will become lost with time, causing you to repaint every now and then.
  2. For the exterior parts of the house likely to encounter a lot of dampness especially during the rainy season, a paint that is resilient to moulds, mildew and fungi is the most appropriate which may usually come in dark colours. A better alternative is to use waterproof paints in these areas available from most paint companies in Ghana like Essy®, Azar®, Suvinil® and so on. If you have timber in certain sections of the exterior, be certain the colour chosen blends in well with the timber look and feel.
  3. The sun’s rays are very strong in Ghana, mostly during the afternoons of the dry hot seasons. For the exterior of your building, you want to choose a paint colour that would not easily fade having much contact with strong sun rays. Very light colours like variants of the creams and beiges have a greater possibility of fading away easily with time if not well protected. Check the paint colour you select has protection from ultra-violet radiation.
  4. Much as the sun is of concern, so are the rains. Look out for paint colours that would not easily wash off during the rainy seasons. Some paints colours wash off their colours onto other parts of the building making it unsightly. Choose washable paint colours, which normally come in acrylic type from paint manufacturers as Coral®, Essy® and many others. Do get some expert advice in deciding the various colours to apply for the different sections of the exterior of your building.
  5. Some paints and colour mixes such as for textured and glossy finishes and Epoxy paints are so complex that, wrong mix and application can mess up your entire building. If you do not have the opportunity to solicit for expert assistance, settle for paint colours and variations that are easy to mix and apply to obtain full access to its benefits. You can always ask the manufacturer or retailers for the best directions.
  6. Lately, going green is the hallmark of every activity; hence try to select paint colours that are environmentally friendly. The colours should not be so biting and sharp but can be such that it well integrates with the environment around it; such as the greys, greens and blues. Consider the natural environment around your home where your building is sitting and choose colours that integrate beautifully with the surroundings.
Exterior paint colours are very strong attractions to your home. The appropriate they look and stay, the more people get pleased with visiting your home, so think through carefully when selecting the exterior paint colours for your home in Ghana. Some paint manufacturers in Ghana offer paint colour selection consultancy services to help you make the right paint selection for your home.

Monday, December 2, 2013

How to Build a Picture-Perfect Wall Around Your Ghana House

Image source: AFTEC

In Ghana, one way of protecting your house and the people who leave in it is to build a wall around it. Walls also define the boundaries of the property or plot of land while serving as a design element. They are aimed at protecting the inhabitants and preventing unwanted or dangerous people from entering the house. Nevertheless, most of the time in Ghana, it ends up being too high or too dense, blocking views from outside and preventing you from appreciating what is around you.

Block walls are the most popular type of walls in Ghana mainly because concrete blocks are easy to make and find, and affordable as well. Concrete blocks, also called cement blocks or foundation blocks are usually made from cast concrete which is a mixture of sand and cement and sometimes fine gravel. Brick walls are not very common because bricks are quite limited in availability and not so popular with most Ghanaians, maybe due to the reason that it cannot be painted and decorated as much as block walls. Another reason may be that concrete blocks are easy and cheaper to dry after production in the sun which is very abundant most part of the year in Ghana, unlike bricks which are usually burnt in kilns.

Building a block wall does not take much time and can be completed in a couple of days. Block walls often range between eight to nine inches high, that is between about five to seven blocks stacked up and alternated with mortar infill to strengthen it. A reinforcement system of metal rebar is placed within the walls at well calculated distances to prevent it from collapsing and this creates the column (usually called pillars) you see between the walls. With much determination, focus and expertise guidance it is possible to build a picture-perfect wall that is clean, orderly and very pleasing around your house in Ghana.

Before starting to build the wall however, it is important you consult your house designer or Architect or more specifically, a Landscape Architect. Chances are that he or she may have already designed the wall with the main building design which makes things easier and faster for you. If there is no wall design, ask for some advice and contributions on how to build the wall to tie in with the house design perfectly. Some of the house design elements, materials and colours can be adapted in the wall design to bring about coordination and rhythm.

All walls need a good support to stand firm. This may be a foundation, footer or concrete slab. Whichever it is, it must be strong, clean and level so the mortar and blocks can sit stable and steady. The distance to dig the trench for the foundation will mostly depend on the soil profile and this is already calculated in the structural foundation drawings. You should be able to read or check the construction drawings to find the correct dimensions proposed by the designer or architect. Dimensions of the walls can be deduced from the floor plans and elevations of the external wall design layout. You can ask for assistance from your designer or Ghana Homes if you are struggling to understand the dimensions.

Security is very important for your home but try not to allow it be the main focus of the wall. You should not build it too high or all sealed up to cover the entire building within it, with obvious security features such as huge barbed wires and metal spikes. The security features should blend and tie in aesthetically with the wall so people appreciate the design and beautiful aspects of the wall more. You can make use of honeycomb blocks normally called design blocks in Ghana for your front wall to appreciate the surroundings. Limit protrusions and windings and try to keep it simple as this may go beyond the specified land boundaries which can bring about conflicts with adjacent land owners.

The key to a picture-perfect wall is prior design and good planning. If you desire a picture-perfect wall for your house in Ghana, you have to ask for assistance and guidance from the building experts. Do not think it is so easy and can be done without any prior planing and knowledge. You may end up with an unbalanced, weak and unattractive wall which may cover up all the beauty of your building.

Monday, November 11, 2013

7 Best Ways to Give New Life to Your Old Home in Ghana

Image source: cmskey

After staying in your home for a long time, the place seems to get boring and monotonous. You get tired of seeing the same colours and furniture over and over again. Sometimes going through the same spaces time and time again can be dull and unexciting. What you need is a house face lift. You have to give your home a revamp so it obtains a fresh and new look which will bring about a delightful stay again. Renovating you home does not have to be expensive, here are simple and economical ways to give a new look to your old home.
  1. Your door handles, hinges and the knobs can be upgraded. This may have become weak and lost its beauty due to constant use. Simply get new sets with modern designs from a local shop and replace your door knobs and locks around the house.
  2. Ensure the light bulbs used in the various rooms are adequate. For reading and learning areas like the study or home office, LED or energy saving bulbs are appropriate for their bright light emissions. The recreational and relaxing areas such as living area, family room and dining areas can have soft lighting with a bit of colour to give a different feeling.
  3. Alter your window and door outlook by changing curtains and blinds! There are now very simple curtain styles you can opt for or go in for a different kind of window blind to rejuvenate the interior spaces.
  4. Adjust your furniture by rearranging in a different way from the usual. You can even reduce the amount of furniture to create simple but a cute look. You don’t have to buy new furniture if you cannot afford it. You can simply change the cover fabric or lay in decorative chair coverings.
  5. Bring new life to the walls and ceilings by repainting. Why not give modern wall papers a try? They are easy to install and change. You can play with the colours of your ceiling and walls. Giving them the same colour can feel repetitive so try a bold bright colour for the ceiling and a complementary neutral low tone colour for the walls or vice versa.
  6. Bring a shine to your kitchen and bathroom by changing the rugs, mats, carpets, and shower curtains. Rearrange your cabinet and fix more racks to hold the things you use frequently. Replace the bed sheets and pillow cases with a brighter patterned fabric or softer cushion to feel more relaxed during sleep.
  7. Remove all unnecessary clusters around the home. All items not in use must be given away or properly packed away! Take out unneeded furniture and elements in the hall and corridors to make it free and open. This gives a welcoming and an attractive look to the home. Place a new air freshener in these spaces and other communal spaces for the atmosphere in the home to feel pleasant and fresh.
Lighten up your old home with these new ideas! It will seem like a new house altogether.

Monday, November 4, 2013

7 Questions to Answer Before Building Your Dream Home in Ghana

 Get this house plan

Building your dream home can be very exciting but financially draining as well if proper measures are not considered. For a lot of people, you actually envisage your home in your dreams before physically starting the foundation. If you want to forever love, cherish and enjoy living in your dream home, take time to think through and answer these seven questions before starting any construction.
  1. Do I have a concept? This is your dream home and you should have an idea how you want it to look like. Do you prefer the old–traditional styles or you want a contemporary home. Having an impression makes it easier for the Architect to develop your desires further. With the thought of building your dream home, first take a good look around. Go through several home magazines, home related websites and other tangible homes especially new homes for great ideas. You get to know the latest trends and available styles to develop wonderful ideas so you can carve out your preferences.
  2. Do I have a Budget? A budget gives you an idea how much you want to spend on your new home. You have to find out how much money you can afford as against the probable cost of your dream home. If you become aware of this, you can adjust your House Plans to meet the proposed budget. However, if you still want to go ahead without enough money then is a good time to apply for a house loan or mortgage to aid in completing the house.
  3. Do I have a Land? Whatever you want to build must be on a piece of land so get a site in a preferred area of your choice. You can either buy land outright or by installment from numerous estate companies in Ghana. Ghana Homes can assist you to get dispute free lands. Various areas or communities come with class and social status so be sure to find out before purchasing any land. More importantly, you have to investigate the physical conditions of the site such as soil condition, soil profile, land terrain, drainage systems and micro climate. This informs on the design of the building. Again, discover the zoning and building codes and regulations for the specific area to avoid confrontation with the law and land authorities. Security levels and access to social amenities like parks, shopping centers, schools and hospitals are essential to also look out for.
  4. Do I have a Team? Putting together a dream can be a lot of work more especially the design and construction of a dream home. Specialized professionals in the built industry such as Architects, Engineers and Construction managers design and construct buildings with much competence and expertise so do not be hesitant to consult them. You can just hire an Architect who will get all the other team members or you can outsource your dream home in work packages step by step. Investigate to get the best consultants with good reputation and well known for quality work. Ghana Homes Group has a pool of expert professionals should you need any help.
  5. Do I have a Plan? A building plan or House Plan shows the spatial arrangement of the proposed building. It depicts how each room is accessed and their functional coordination. You can choose from a wide range of House Plans from Ghana Homes or you can ask for a customized one if you have special family needs. Whatever your choice, settle on a plan that will satisfy you and your family needs for a long period of time.
  6. Do I have the Time? Building a home in Ghana from scratch can take a while to complete. Before starting construction, the land must be well documented with the Lands Commission and a building permit issued from the Town and Country Planning Department. This is already time consuming not to mention halts and setbacks associated with construction. If you are not bounded by time then it will be a good idea to take your time and build to your taste, but if you have limited time buying an already existing home and renovating or upgrading may be better. Seek expert advice when caught in a fix of ‘building or buying’ to adequately explore all available alternatives before making a decision.
  7. Do I have the Basic Utilities? Electricity and water are the basic essentials for survival in any community. You have to ensure these are or would be provided during construction and after occupancy. If either of them is lacking, this is the time to arrange for an alternative source. You can get a backup generator to supplement electricity later on but water is very critical to begin construction. A water storage system must be developed or storage tanks erected on site.
Building a home is a massive investment. Do not rush or you will regret later in life. Be sure to resolve any issues arising before beginning your dream home construction. All the best!

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

How to Buy and Protect Your Land in Ghana

 Land for Sale

Land is a good investment and a valuable asset. It does not depreciate but rather appreciates with time. This means your land will be worth a double or triple or even quadruple of its current value in the next five to ten years. A lot can be done on the land to bring in income and satisfaction such as real estate, agriculture and recreational activities. Acquiring a land in Ghana can be cumbersome and time consuming so you need to protect it once you get hold of it. Here are 5 steps to get and protect a land in Ghana.
  1. Physically inspect the land and all related documents. Several people and companies constantly advertise land for sale in Ghana. Do not be deceived by the company size or marketing strategies. Always go to the site to inspect its existence, size, accessibility and the environment. Some lands may be below the standard size or be a part of the road. Others may be so close to a high tension cable or a flowing river. Be vigilant and ask for all documents which may be site plan or indenture or title certificate. Try to locate the land for sale on the documents given. If there is any discrepancy or in doubt you can cross check with the Lands Commission.
  2. Perform a land title search at the Lands Commission and contact the real owner. A land search involves applying to the Ghana Lands Commission to ask the validation and ownership of a particular land. You have to apply with the site plan or indenture to be used for checking. The real authentic owner of the land and in some cases their contact details are given to you after the search. They can also get you the history of owners of the land since its inception if you request for it. Mind you, it may take a while. Contact the owner to be certain of his/her approval of the land sale. It is only the owner,  his or her mandated representative who can sell the land. Be careful to look out for this! If you are dealing with the representative or agent, ask for a note of authorization to sell the land from the owner.
  3. Draft and sign a purchase and transfer agreement before paying. When you are satisfied with the inspection and land search, draft a purchase and transfer agreement to be signed by both you and the seller. You can get a lawyer to assist you or contact Ghana Homes for professional lawyers to help you with all legal documentations. The agreement should spell out the exact purchase price, installment arrangements, date and place of transactions. Ensure all concerned parties sign this document before releasing any money out. Pay directly to the owner, his or her legal representative approved bank account.
  4. Use a payment method supported with evidence such as Bank transfer. Payment must be documented in case of any conflicts or court actions so pay through the bank or a well-accepted money transfer method in Ghana. You can pay into the land owner’s or the sale company bank account. Try as much as possible to avoid direct cash payments as this brings about a lot of fraudulent manipulations. Do not pay a hundred per cent of the agreed sale price until all documents have been fully transferred into your name.
  5. Transfer and register documents with the Lands Commission in your name. Visit the Lands commission to inform them about the transaction and apply for a transfer and subsequent registration of the land. Check that your name is correctly spelt on the site plan or indenture when finally issued. You can request for a title certificate later which takes much more time. The site plan and title certificate proves your legal ownership and right to the land. However, to prevent encroachers and squatters from your land, construct a fence wall around the site and lock the gate with security locks. This also gives other unsuspecting buyers the hint the land is soon to be developed.
Ghana Homes  Group has heard a lot of scam practices and stories from prospective clients who have been scammed and even to a point where one scam artist (related to the victim) committed suicide. We are committed to assist all individuals with the desire of owning and protecting their land in Ghana. We have qualified real estate lawyers who can help you acquire land headache free! And you pay attorney fees. Contact us today for a memorable experience!

Monday, October 21, 2013

4 Things You Should Know about The Ghana Town & Country Planning



Features: Six independent agencies, three ministries*: * Five under the Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines; Ministry of Environment supervises Town and Country Planning at National/Policy level, Ministry of Local Government at Local/Implementation level. Image source: fig.net

What Do You Know About The Ghana Town & Country Planning?

Well planned communities not only beautifies an area but instills discipline and orderliness amongst the community members. It is amazing the extent to which countries go to plan and design their communities and cities in order to strengthen and boost their national architecture and encourage tourism.

 In Ghana, the body generally responsible for planning our communities is the Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD). It was set up in 1945 to plan and manage growth and the development of cities, towns and villages in Ghana now under the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology.

The department has to ensure order and progress in the development of lands and towns in both the rural and urban areas not forgetting to preserve and improve amenities in these areas. TCPD was formed with the objective of promoting developments of human settlements which are sustainable, guided by the principles of efficiency, orderliness, safety and healthy growth of communities.

Their responsibilities include:

  1. Prepare land use plan to guide development. The provision of these layout plans (planning schemes) fosters orderliness in the development of human settlements. Any conflicts that may arise as to the use of the land or its ownership or its developmental capabilities can be easily detected and solved from the planning schemes. These layout plans are also necessary for the Lands Commission to cross-check before issuing out a land title certificate during a land title registration.
  2. When new stool lands are acquired, the TCPD in collaboration with the survey department map out the layout and plan the various uses of the land such as civic, residential, educational, religious and commercial. The plans and proposals on how the land or community is to be developed are essential to direct an organized growth and development of urban and rural communities.
  3. Promote development through public education, research and special projects as well as formulating goals and standards for the use and development of every land in the country especially in fast growing urban areas.
  4. Manage, coordinate, monitor and regulate the development of the physical environment by creating an enabling environment and systems to ensure everyone complies with the approved planning schemes. A way of safeguarding this is offering planning services to public authorities like District Councils and private developers; carrying out periodic site inspections and vetting development applications.
For residential and developmental projects, vetting is conducted by the Ghana Town & Country Planning to examine the proposed developmental plan and give approval by issuing out a building permit.

First, a land search is conducted at the Lands Commission to be certain the land belongs to the said person. Afterwards, they evaluate if the proposed development ties in with the overall layout plan and land use plan of the area. The TCPD works hand in hand with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and The Ghana National Fire Service to approve and issue building permit for a development and building especially commercial facilities.

To get a building permit, you have to fill in a Building Permit Application Form and Town & Country Planning Development Application Form 1 giving details of your proposed development. Copies of your building plans or House Plans, and sometimes Structural Analysis Report and Geotechnical Report are added. All these are submitted to the TCPD and a processing fee is paid.

Subsequently, the site is physically inspected by officials of the TCPD and the application analyzed. When the application is approved you are notified to pay the building permit fees after which the permit is processed and the building permit certificate is issued.

The time frame is usually around two to three month period but sometimes can extend further. Getting a permit can take quite some time to go through all the regulatory processes and Ghana Homes has competent lawyers to help you out.

The building permit certificate attests the proposed project conforms to the building regulations and development control guidelines of the country and specific area thus no one can ever demolish or contend your building or development. The permit also protects your investment and makes your building legal in Ghana.

Without a building permit, you may obtain a fine or have your project halted or in some cases completely demolished. If you wouldn’t want to experience such a financial and emotional loss then contact the TCPD for all your physical developmental needs or better still contact Ghana Homes to guide you through the process.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Energy Problems in Ghana: Learn How to Buy the Right Backup Generator for Your Home

Backup-Generator-for-Your-Home-In-Ghana

Power outages have become a major challenge with most businesses and homes in Ghana. When the lights go off unexpectedly, you become stressed out having to live in darkness and work without electricity. Communication is distorted as cell phones go off and the kitchen gets unfriendly with food getting spoilt every now and then. This has prompted most people to look for a solution and the obvious power alternative is a backup generator.

Below are 5 Simple Steps to Consider before Buying a Generator for Your Home in Ghana:
  1. Plan a safe place to house and operate the generator. The most common generator for homes is the portable ones which run on petrol or diesel. This produces noise and harmful fumes such as carbon monoxide as it works, great care must be given to its operation area. It must be placed a distant from the main house about 10feet away with free flow of air around it so the emitted fumes are not concentrated at one place. Breathing in carbon monoxide can be dangerous and harmful to your health.
  2. Get a secure storage for the petrol or diesel. When the lights go off, most filling or petrol stations may not be operating so it is best to have fuel for your generator available at all times. Petrol and diesel are volatile and hazardous hence should be handled with much care. The least misuse can start a fire in your home thus it is advisable to store it outside the main house to prevent any hazards such as fire from spreading fast. Store in a well labelled gallon at a safe place. The fuel must be easily accessible during a blackout but must be out of the reach of children.
  3. Calculate the amount of power you’ll need. This is probably the most important action to know the size or capacity of generator to buy. Add up all the wattages of the electrical appliances you hope to power with the generator. This should give an average power consumption level. You can also tell by striking the average of about six months electricity bills. A fridge or refrigerator is about 600-700 watts while a light bulb may be between 50-70 watts. The wattage is found on the electrical data plate usually on or under the appliance. Calculate for the very necessary appliances to get by during lights out like a fridge, light bulbs, TV, sockets to power cell phones and a computer. Air conditioning takes up a lot of power and can be omitted during short periods of blackouts. For most middle sized families, generators with running watts of about 5000-6000 watts will be adequate. This can power about 6-7appliances together.
  4. Employ a safe electrical connection. To connect the generator with your home circuit or outlet, it is safe to use a power transfer switch. A power transfer switch has been designed to safely step down the power from the mains and transfer to the home. If this is unavailable, heavy-duty external extension cables must be used to directly plug in appliance to the generator. Avoid using homemade or normal extension cords as this can cause a fire or give an electrical shock due to the high voltage transfer.
  5. Test the generator before a blackout. The generator must be fixed and tested in the home to ensure everything is working before a blackout occurs. Do not wait till the lights are off before trying a new generator. You may get anxious and hurt yourself! Try it out immediately after purchase so you can ask for a change or refund if the machine is not satisfying your expectations. Engine oil and gasoline stabilizer must be periodically added to maintain and prolong the generator.
The energy authorities do not seem to have any immediate solutions to the power crisis in Ghana. To secure and protect your family and properties, get the right backup generator to ease all the stress of energy challenges! For help on selecting the right generator, contact Ghana Homes for help. Ghana Homes Group’s trained engineers will help you select the right generator for your home or business.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Time to Build Green Home in Ghana? Here are 7 New Trends for Building Your Dream Green Home.


building green home in Ghana
Image Source:greencitiesmedia.com
Ghana is one of the countries that easily adapt new trends and technologies to improve systems and aid development. One such occurrence is building a green home which has generated a lot of interests and concern in Ghana’s building industry.

When a home is green, it means the home design has considered protecting the environment and is able to be easily maintained for a long period. This involves every part of the building from the foundation to the roof and all the elements and systems running in between. It also implies water and energy is designed to be used efficiently in the home and materials used for building the home is natural and sustainable.

This trend is important for Ghana considering the regular shortages of water and rationing of electricity. Building green reduces utility costs and saves you a lot of money--you partake in the call for water and energy conservation thus contributing to environmental protection.

Below are 7 ways to make your dream home green in Ghana.

  1. Fix compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and Light-Emitting Diode (LEDs). These are usually referred to in Ghana as ‘energy saving bulbs’ and they reduce energy consumption as compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. The lighting is brighter and safe for working especially reading. They don’t give out much heat and is long-lasting than normal bulbs. Even though the price is higher the eventual savings in energy cost is prudential
  2. Install high-efficiency water conservation toilets. From research about 26% of water used in the home is for flushing the toilet. The amount of water used per flush can be reduced to conserve water. There are different types of toilets on the market classified according to the gallons of water per flush. Some use about 3.5 gallons per flush (gpf) which is quite high but other modern ones allow 1.6 gpf. You can even look out for as low as 1.28 gpf toilets. On the other hand, rain water can be stored and used for flushing to preserve tap water and have great savings on water bills.
  3. Use recycled sustainable building materials. Materials such as bamboo, granite, marbles, stones, recycled glass and treated timber can be employed for the flooring, wall partitioning, doors and windows. The kitchen worktop and cabinets must be of a renewable and durable material to keep your home green. Several options are available and Ghana Homes can assist you during the decision making process. Wall cladding or paintings must also be of environmentally friendly products with high sustainability features. Plan to ensure very low wastage during installations and construction.
  4. Build what you need not what you want. Many people dream of living in huge houses but fail to understand its running and maintenance is costly. It is important to analyze your family size, needs and cash flow before building or choosing a House Plan. Unnecessarily large homes tend to have a lot of wasted or dead spaces; one that is of no use. These unusable spaces not only increase construction cost needlessly, but also maintenance cost of the home. If you plan to increase your family or occupants in the future, design the home to be expandable later to save you money now. Ghana Homes is ever ready to discuss your needs and propose suitable House Plans.
  5. Have an effective roof design in place. The roof serves as a protection for the home hence much attention must be given to its design and construction. The roof type must suite tropical climate to create a comfortable indoor environment. Though flat roofs may retain water as compared to sloping roofs, an effective drainage system prevents this. The drainage system and insulation of the roof is critical for the buildings efficiency. The roof design must be eco-friendly and sustainable.
  6. Make the most of natural day lighting and ventilation. Your dream home must be able to support occupancy at all times for a really long period of time. Spatial planning and areas demarcated for openings such as windows and doors must allow adequate natural lighting during the day and free flow of natural air always. Rooms and interior spaces must be well lit during the day. This can reduce your electricity bills on lighting and cooling. Windows must be designed to have cross-ventilation with sizes well calculated to bring in the required natural lighting.
  7. Plant trees and have extensive landscaping. Having trees, plants, flowers and grass around your home freshens and cools the building regularly. You actually spend less in trying to cool the house every day. Indoor plants not only add to the interior beauty but contribute to improving indoor air quality through the release of oxygen. The trees provide shade and prevent contact with the sun’s direct infrared radiation. Landscaping also offers a relaxation and safe play area for kids. Marbles, pebbles, beach sand and water are some eco-friendly materials which can be used.
As you focus on making your home green, you are contributing to protecting the environment and making the world a better place to live in. Maybe it’s time you went green, too.

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  1. Select and finalize a House Plan here (we can customize as needed)
  2. Work with Ghana Homes to get a bill of quantity (pricing)
  3. Sign a contract to secure price
  4. Make the required down payment (or with a pay as you build plan)
  5. We begin construction
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Build Your Dream Home in Ghana! 10 Ideas That Really Work



Ghana is enjoying an economic boom as a result of the oil discovery and thus has currently become one of the best places in Africa to own a property. Coupled with the peaceful climate and welcoming friendly populace, this is the time to own a home and enjoy all the associated developing benefits. Here are 10 great ideas to help you fulfill the dream of building your own home in Ghana.
  1. Engage the services of building professionals such as Architects, Engineers (Structural, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers), Contractors and Quantity Surveyors. They have wide professional experience and knowledge about buildings from the design stage through to the construction and can give you the best advice to come out with exactly what you want or dream about. Do not be deceived that taking matters into your own hands would save you money. No! You may end up having to redo everything all over again which will cost you even more than if you had engaged a building professional.
  2. Access several House Plans and choose the one that best suite you and your family needs. The plan must be tropical allowing much natural ventilation and day lighting. There are a number of Ghana House Plans to choose from with customization services available. Ghana Homes can help you select the suitable House Plan.
  3. Be fully involved in the discussions and development of your House Plans. This is for you and it’s your cherished dream so approach it with all seriousness and make sure to understand every step along the way. Do not allow yourself to be dictated to because YOU will live in the house and not the building professional so it must be to your likes and desires. This may be the only house you build and live in most part of your life so take time to make it appropriate.
  4. Find out the location in Ghana you will like to settle. Do you like Accra with all its busy city life and traffic or Takoradi the oil city or you prefer the hinterlands which is quieter and cooler or on a hill such as Akwapim or McCarthy to enjoy beautiful scenery.
  5. Acquire a plot of land in your desired area according to the sizes of your chosen House Plan and get all the necessary documentation done from The Ghana Lands Commission to obtain a site plan or better still a land title certificate. The latter may take several months so a site plan or indenture is ok to start with. This will protect your land from resellers, encroachers or powerful chiefs.
  6. With the land documents and House Plan, obtain the building permit from the district assembly where the land is located. This gives the go ahead to begin construction on the site without any confrontation with the law. Refusing to get a building permit may attract fines or cause construction to be halted.
  7. Develop a budget for the construction of the building. A budget is important to regulate and monitor expenditure. It also guides you to make savings. The Bill of Quantity can aid this as it indicates the construction cost. There should be money allocated for unexpected occurrences and any price changes in the budget.
  8. Compare various contractor quotes and settle on one that is typical. Be careful of quotes that are so low to the average. These may have the tendency to use less quality materials which may eventually cost you. You can hire a contractor to build the entire house at a go or a section at a time.
  9. There are mortgage opportunities in Ghana from several Banks and other financial institutions with different options to choose from according to your situation. If you do not have all the money to build, taking a loan with a payment plan can help you achieve your dream of building your home in Ghana.
  10. Be involved in the construction of your home. Monitor the contractor to ensure adherence to the House Plan and budget. Request for images, videos and feedback periodically if you cannot be present physically and get a trusted person to crosscheck the information you receive.
You will be glad to see your dream home turn out just as you imagined. Ghana Homes can guide you through to realize this dream in Ghana. Take the first step now! Contact us for free consultation.

Do You Have an Uncompleted Building Project in Ghana?

Let Ghana homes complete it for you. Contact us to learn more.


Do You Need a Builder or a Contractor in Ghana?

Let Ghana Homes build your dreams home at a price you can afford: a custom home that fits your style, on your own land or ours with these three simple steps:
  1. Select and finalize a House Plan here (we can customize as needed)
  2. Work with Ghana Homes to get a bill of quantity (pricing)
  3. Sign a contract to secure price
  4. Make the required down payment (or with a pay as you build plan)
  5. We begin construction
Contact Ghana Homes today for a personal consultation.

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Monday, September 9, 2013

9 Best Places to Live in Accra, Ghana

Top 10 Best Places to Live in Ghana
Accra Central Business District. Image Source: wikipedia.org.

Ghana is a developing West African state with a population of 25 million and a typical warmer climate and a cooler raining season. Ghana is a democratic and politically peaceful country ranking 58th on the Global Peace Index. That said, the thought of relocating or deciding where to live in Accra, Ghana can be daunting when you have no idea how the housing, transportation, and social amenity conditions are. Fortunately for you, this article seeks to inform you about the top nine best places to live in Ghana.

1 - Airport Residential Area, Accra

Airport Residential Area is 5 minutes’ drive west of Kotoka International Airport and the finest place to live in Accra. It is quiet, clean and very secure. Prominent Ghanaians like the former President John Kuffour and foreign nationals reside here. There are many top hotels and serviced apartments to choose from. Public transportation is cheap but not as efficient so most residents travel in their cars. Shopping malls, banking halls and ATMs, schools, hospitals, pharmacies, restaurants, embassies, and airline offices are all located in this area. A section of high-rise buildings called “Airport City” offers this area a promising future. Acquiring property in the Airport Residential area is extremely pricey and the cost of living is expensive to the middle-income class.

2 - Cantonments, Accra

Cantonments is the second finest place to live in Accra. It is located 5km west of Kwame Nkrumah Circle and 15 minutes’ drive southwest of the airport. Same caliber of people above live here. There are many nicely built, 3-4 bedroom gated community estate houses to choose from. You might decide to live in Cantonments with your family because the Ghana International School (GIS) which is located here. You will have to travel 10-15 minutes to nearby Osu when you wish to visit the supermarket, ATM, etc. Be financially robust; the cost of living in Cantonments is not for everyone.

3) Osu, Accra

Osu is not a planned residential area but has service apartments for middle-income class and foreign nationals who enjoy nightlife. Built in the midst of century old buildings, the popular Oxford Street in Osu is noted for its many restaurants, caf├ęs and brisk 24/7 businesses. There is a joint for Chinese, Italian, Thai and Mexican food if you enjoy these. Like Airport Residential, you can find just about anything in Osu.

4) Labone, Accra

Labone is to the south of Cantonments with no clear border in between. It stretches to Labadi on the east and to the coast. Middle class nationals and Lebanese Ghanaians live here with their families. Apart from guesthouses, there are no serviced apartments or top hotels. Housing agents can help you find suitable 3-4 bedroom homes belonging to rich individuals for a minimum rent period of two years. Like Cantonments, you will have to travel 15-20 minutes to Osu to shop, eat, etc.

5) Roman Ridge, Accra

Roman Ridge is the fifth finest place to live in Accra, west of Airport Residential. It has several excellent hotels and serviced apartments for rent. It is a quiet area with few offices here and there. For everything else you will have to travel to neighboring areas.

6) East Legon, Accra

East Legon is approximately 14km northeast of the city center and is home to wealthy Ghanaians who have returned from abroad to live in their extravagant homes. Housing and real estate agents can help you find suitable accommodation in this area. There is a shopping mall that serves the area.

7) West Legon, Accra

West Legon is 13km north from the city center. This residential area is also home to wealthy Ghanaians who have returned from abroad. The serviced apartments and estate housing in this area are suitable for business owners and international students studying at the University of Ghana (Legon).

8) Dzorwulu, Accra

Dzorwulu Residential Area is 30 minutes’ drive southwest of the airport and 6.5km southeast of the city center. There are fewer serviced apartments and estate housing in Dzorwulu. Everything else about this area is similar to Labone.

9) Abelemkpe, Accra

Abelemkpe Residential Area follows Dzorwulu to the west and has fewer serviced homes for rent. Housing agents can be of help here.




Do You Have an Uncompleted Building Project in Ghana?

Let Ghana homes complete it for you. Contact us to learn more.


Do You Need a Builder or a Contractor in Ghana?

Let Ghana Homes build your dreams home at a price you can afford: a custom home that fits your style, on your own land or ours with these three simple steps:
  1. Select and finalize a House Plan here (we can customize as needed)
  2. Work with Ghana Homes to get a bill of quantity (pricing)
  3. Sign a contract to secure price
  4. Make the required down payment (or with a pay as you build plan)
  5. We begin construction
Contact Ghana Homes today for a personal consultation.

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Can We Really Trust The Ghana Lands Commission?


If you are looking into buying land to build your dream home or to set up a business in Ghana, you might be wondering what many land buyers like yourself do, and that is if you can really trust the Ghana Lands Commission to help you acquire litigation free land of your choice, as well as provide you with all the necessary documentation that transfers ownership of the land completely to you. This article does not provide you with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to the question. What this article does is to present to you the pros and cons of the Ghana Lands Commission and why you MUST use them during and after acquiring your land in Ghana.

The Ghana Lands Commission: Pros and Cons

The Ghana Lands Commission currently operating under the Lands Commission Act 2008, is mandated by Article 258 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana to manage all lands, be it public, stool, family or private lands in Ghana. It will interest you to know that 78% of all lands in Ghana are stool lands; meaning they belong to the chiefs and their communities and not the State. That said, as a land buyer you will be presented with the following pros and cons when dealing with the Commission.

Pros

  • You can obtain all genuine documentations to your land by dealing with the Commission for which reason they have offices in all ten regions of the country to make themselves accessible.
  • Documentation from the Commission protects your rights and defends you against powerful chiefs, encroachers and scammers who may try to reclaim or resell your land to inspecting buyers.
  • Transfer of ownership of lands is made easier when you have documentation from the Commission.

Cons

  • You invariably have to travel to six to eight other agencies e.g. Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands, Survey Department, etc. before you can obtain necessary documents from the Commission. This indeed is frustrating and resource consuming.
  • The division of tasks between the other agencies and the Commission has resulted in the fragmentation of responsibilities and lack of coordination in the work of the latter. Subsequently, it can take over a month to receive your land documents unless you offer tips to the staff who attend to you.
  • You can fall victim to losing your land without compensation ‘if’ the Commission under their mandate considers your land belonging to someone else or the State. This can occur if you do not deal with genuine staff in all the other agencies of the commission for example, the Land Title Registry before acquiring your land.
This last demerit is the more reason why you need to use the Lands Commission and its counterpart agencies when you intend to purchase any land in Ghana. They have shortcomings but can be trusted to protect your rights and defend you against powerful chiefs, encroachers and dubious people who may try to reclaim or resell your land in any event.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Looking To Build A Home In Ghana? Here Is How To Calculate The Cost



Building a home is perhaps the largest investment most Ghanaians will make in their lifetime. As with any major purchase, it is important to do your research to ensure that you are paying fair market value. If you begin the process without knowing what to expect financially, you could end up being overcharged for materials or labor and possibly even run out of funding before being able to complete the construction. Following is a quick guide to help you calculate the cost of building your own home.

Research prices.

Take some time to look at existing homes to see what you like and what you don’t like. Once you have basic idea of the type of floor plan you like and how much space you need, you can research the construction cost of similar homes. Even if you are planning to build the home yourself, getting an estimate from a couple of contractors is a good place to start. Shop around and be sure to get line by line estimates so that you can compare them accurately. You might even find that hiring a contractor to build the home for you is more economical than building it yourself. The Ghanaian government recently offered incentive packages to real estate developers to make housing more affordable for those in the low to middle income bracket.

Choose a house plan.

Once you have researched prices and determined how much house you can afford, you will want to choose a house plan. Generally speaking, the simpler the shape the less expensive the cost of construction will be.  A house plan that has a good basic structure typically offers the most flexibility as your needs change. You can always add additional features in the future as needed.

Get a professional bill of quantity.

When sourcing materials yourself, a bill of quantity can be very helpful (Most people skip this part and regret later). This is essentially a list of all of the building materials, hardware and other components you will need to build your home per the house plan you chose. A bill of quantity is invaluable when it comes to forecasting the costs of materials and budgeting accordingly. Ghana Homes Group provides a professional bill of quantity for a nominal fee. Once again, you may find that it is less expensive to hire a reputable contractor such as Ghana homes to build your home after sourcing materials yourself. Contractors often have established relationships with suppliers and are eligible for bulk discounts. The government incentive also offers exemption on the import duties of equipment and other supplies necessary for building affordable housing.



Do you have an uncompleted home project in Ghana?

Let Ghana homes complete it for you. Contact us to learn more.

Do You Need a Builder or a Contractor in Ghana?

Let Ghana Homes build your dreams home at a price you can afford: a custom home that fits your style, on your own land or ours with these three simple steps:
  1. Select and finalize a House Plan here (we can customize as needed)
  2. Work with Ghana Homes to get a bill of quantity (pricing)
  3. Sign a contract to secure price
  4. Make the required down payment (or with a pay as you build plan)
  5. We begin construction
Contact Ghana Homes today for a personal consultation.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

How To build Your Dream Home In Ghana While Living Abroad

building a home in Ghana - Map

Two of the most stressful things in life are finances and family. When you combine the two—the results can be disastrous. Yet, that is what many Ghanaians who live abroad do when building a home. They send money to family members intending for it to be used to build their home. Sometimes this works out, but more often than not the money is used by the family members for other expenses. The dream of building a home in Ghana turns into a nightmare and relationships are ruined in the process. Following is some advice for building a home in Ghana while living abroad.

Think with your head, not your heart.

It is often to separate the two when building a home—this is a very emotional process. Many people think that by dealing with family members and building the home themselves they can save a substantial amount of money. Instead, it usually ends up costing more. The average person is not familiar with local building codes and efficient means of construction. Inferior craftsmanship will not pass a building inspection and will ultimately have to be repaired or replaced. Hiring an experienced contractor to do the work will ensure that the building is structurally sound. Explaining to family members that even though you trust them with your money, you don’t want to compromise on the quality or safety of your home is perhaps the most tactful way to handle the situation.

Choose the right contractor.

There are many other benefits of hiring a contractor rather than family members. Contractors are better equipped to:
  • Offer professional insight to improve your floor plan.
  • Build a home quickly and more efficiently.
  • Negotiate with suppliers and subcontractors to obtain lower prices on building materials, etc.
  • Resolve disputes when necessary.
That being said, it is important to choose the right contractor. Otherwise, you could still find yourself paying more for an inferior product. As with any profession, there are a few dishonest contractors who overcharge for labor and/or use cheap or stolen materials. Take the time to research a few different companies to see what their experience level is and make sure that you trust them. Ultimately, your decision to hire a contractor rather than relying on family should be based on their reputation, reliability and your own comfort level.


Do You Need a Builder or a Contractor in Ghana?

Let Ghana Homes build your dreams home at a price you can afford: a custom home that fits your style, on your own land or ours with these three simple steps:
  1. Select and finalize a House Plan here (we can customize as needed)
  2. Work with Ghana Homes to get a bill of quantity (pricing)
  3. Sign a contract to secure price
  4. Make the required down payment (or with a pay as you build plan)
  5. We begin construction
Contact Ghana Homes today for a personal consultation.

Use any of the social icons below to share this article.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Looking to Invest in Ghana? 3 Things Your Trusted Partner Won't Tell You

Looking to Invest in Ghana? 3 Things Your Trusted Partner Won't Tell You

There are many sound financial reasons to invest in Ghana real estate. The country is experiencing tremendous economic growth and the real estate market is booming. Investing in Ghana real estate is a great way to diversify your investment portfolio in the event that there is another world economic meltdown or financial crisis. As with any major purchase, acquiring real estate in Ghana should be carefully researched. Even if you have been approached by a seemingly reputable business partner that you trust, there are still things that person may not disclose.

1. Don’t purchase any real estate sight unseen.

Many real estate companies advertise luxury properties on their websites, complete with photos and 360 degree virtual tours. While you may be pressured to quickly purchase a hot property before someone else does, this usually isn’t a good idea. The photos may not be truly representative of the property. Real estate is still a local market, even internationally. The experts at Forbes Magazine recommend that you take the time to visit the country or city that you are considering investing in and stay for a few weeks in a rental home nearby rather than a hotel to truly get a feel for the area.

2. There are potential currency risks when purchasing a home in Ghana.

The international exchange rate can affect the prices of Ghana homes for investors—most of the real estate for sale in Ghana is quoted in American dollars rather than Ghanaian cedi to hedge against depreciation. If you plan on using the property for rental income, there are tax laws to consider as well. Non-residents are charged a flat income tax of 10 percent according to the Global Property Guide, and a 15 percent capital gains tax when you sell real property in Ghana. Since income and capital gains taxes in the other countries vary based on different factors, the tax rate in Ghana may or may not be better for your financial situation—verify tax rates and code with your Ghana real estate lawyer.

3. Some properties may not legally be saleable.

Unfortunately, some companies or people will try to sell you properties that are part of a communal trust, belongs to someone else or do not have a clear property deed and land title. Before signing any documents, be sure that the company you are dealing with has a reliable reputation. Ghana Homes Group employs full-time real estate lawyers that can help you research the land titles and deeds as required by law.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Warning: Be Aware of These 7 Ghana Real Estate Laws

Nii Ayitey Ghana House Plan

Ghana is a wonderful place to live. It is rich in culture, boasts beautiful beaches, and the people are unbelievable friendly. Not to mention the booming real estate opportunities. Before building a home in Ghana, however, it is important to be aware of the local real estate laws; some are similar to other countries, others are vastly different. The purpose of the laws is to create economically and structurally safe developments throughout the country.

1. Clear Land Title

The first real estate law you should be aware of involves obtaining a clear land title. This can be a difficult and lengthy process. Failure to get a land title, however, can result in forfeiture of the property without monetary compensation. A land lawyer can help you research the land and prove that it is not part of a communal trust or sold to someone else.

2. Financing Requirements

In addition to a clear land title, most financial institutions require that applicants carry a valid life insurance policy to obtain a mortgage or construction loan--thus if you require a loan to build the house.

3. Building Permit

According to a survey from the Physical Planning Department of the Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolis, approximately 36 percent of the buildings in the area were built without permits, despite the legal requirements. The consequences of building without a permit can range from a monetary fine to complete demolition of the home by the government.

4. Emergency Precautions

By law, the home design must include emergency exits in the case of fire or flood. The builder is also required to include structural means in the plans to prevent fires.

5. Excavation Requirements

Environmental factors such as the depth of water tables and sub-soil drainage must be accounted for legally before excavation can begin.

6. Completion Time

The law also requires that builders meet certain timelines. For instance, the foundation and walls typically must be completed within 2 years from the date of land purchase. Timelines prevent incremental building, structural degradation and questions of rightful land ownership.

7. Building Materials

Certain materials can and cannot be used according to building laws in Ghana. This prevents harmful or toxic materials from being used, enhancing the quality of life for Ghanaians. It also ensures long-term structural soundness. A reputable builder such as Ghana Homes can help you select the best materials for your needs.

Do You Need a Builder or a Contractor in Ghana?

Let Ghana Homes build your dreams home at a price you can afford: a custom home that fits your style, on your own land or ours with these three simple steps:

  1. Select and finalize a House Plan here (we can customize as needed)
  2. Work with Ghana Homes to get a bill of quantity (pricing)
  3. Sign a contract to secure price
  4. Make the require down payment (or with a pay as you build plan)
  5. We begin construction
Contact Ghana Homes today for a personal consultation.

Use any of the social icons below to share this article.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

7 Ideas To Build The Best Kitchen For Your Home In Ghana

7 Ideas To Build The Best Kitchen For Your Home In Ghana

There is no exact formula for building a fitted kitchen—it is as much an art as it is a science. The key making it the kitchen of your dreams is to find a balance between form and function to create an inviting space where you want to spend your time. Here are seven ideas to help you do just that.

1. Think about your cooking habits.

There are many different shapes and styles of kitchens. You will want to consider your cooking habits and decide which will best fit your needs. How you intend to use your new kitchen will also determine where to put things such as outlets and light switches.

2. Include plenty of storage space.

Rarely does anyone complain that their kitchen has too much storage space. When designing your kitchen, make sure that there is plenty of built-in storage space in varying sizes, to accommodate everything from coffee cups to bulk-sized bags of rice.

3. And plenty of counter space.

Experts recommend at least 24 inches of counter space on one side of the sink and at least 15 inches of counter space on the side of the refrigerator with the handle. This will make everyday tasks such as washing dishes and putting away groceries much easier and more efficient.

4. Pick appliances before construction begins.

While most appliances come in standard sizes, it is much easier to design the cabinetry around the appliance than to retro-fit it.

5. Keep things in scale.

Oversized appliances will work in a larger kitchen, but a small kitchen demands small appliances. The same holds true for building materials such as floor tiles, countertops and backsplashes.

6. Don’t forget the cabinet hardware.

Wood cabinets are especially susceptible to damage from oil that is found on skin. Installing handles or pulls on cabinets and drawers will keep them looking new and prolong the life. Kitchen hardware also adds dimension and visual interest to the space.

7. Hire a professional to design your kitchen.

Most people are on a tight budget when building a home. If you have a limited amount of money, it is better to spend it to design a functional space with a solid foundation. You can always upgrade the countertop or appliances in the future when you have more money to spend.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The 10 Commandments of Building a Home in Ghana


While these rules for building a new home are not carved in stone, they should be taken just as seriously. Following them will make the building process more efficient, less stressful and overall more divine.

1) Obtain building permits.

The purpose of building permits in not to make it harder or more expensive to build a new home in Ghana; rather, it is to ensure the strength and safety of the structure.

2) Allow plenty of time.

Clearing the land title and obtaining a building permit can take as long as 3 months—sometimes longer. Start the process early so you are not rushed.

3) Honor your contract.

Read your contract thoroughly and asking questions to make sure you understand it.

4) Remember your budget and be faithful to it.

It can be all too easy to go over budget during the building process by changing materials and adding features. Changes will not only cost you money, but also valuable time.

5) Put changes in writing.

If you do make any changes during the construction process, be sure that the specifics are put in writing, including the cost.

6) Do Not Compare with Your neighbor’s house.

You should build a home to fit your own lifestyle and needs, not to outdo your neighbor. Overbuilding in a neighborhood can also have a negative impact on your property value.

7) Hire professionals.

Building a new home in Ghana requires expertise of the area, the government and its building laws. Professionals such as Ghana Homes Group can help you every step of the way—from choosing the location, house plans, to clearing the legalities to creating the floor plan.

8) Remember to check references.

Just because a builder claims to be a professional doesn’t necessarily mean that they are. Ask for customer references.

9) Consider security.

Your home should include safety features such as a tall wall, a gate and a security system to protect members of your household.

10) Perform an inspection.

It is always a good idea to walk through the home prior to closing—or better yet, hire a professional home inspector. Take your contract to make sure everything is completed as agreed. If not, you should postpone the closing until the home meets your expectations.

Do You Need a Builder or a Contractor in Ghana?

Let Ghana Homes build your dreams home at a price you can afford: a custom home that fits your style, on your own land or ours with these three simple steps:
  1. Select and finalize a House Plan here (we can customize as needed)
  2. Work with Ghana Homes to get a bill of quantity (pricing)
  3. Sign a contract to secure price
  4. Make the require down payment (or with a pay as you build plan)
  5. We begin construction
Contact Ghana Homes today for a personal consultation.

Use any of the scoial icons below to share this article.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Pros and Cons of Building Your Own Home in Ghana


One of the first of many decisions you will be faced with when building a new home in Ghana is whether to do it yourself or hire a general contractor. There are advantages—as well as disadvantages—of doing either. Here are some things that you will want to consider.

Acting As Your Own General Contractor

Pros
  • Potential to save a substantial amount of money.
  • Ability to customize your home exactly how you want it, making changes as you go.
  • Working at your own pace, without being at the mercy of a contractor’s schedule.
Cons
  • Time and labor intensive.
  • No warranty on workmanship.
  • Taking too much time or building incrementally can sacrifice the quality of building materials, making the home unsafe even before it is completed.
  • Can actually be more expensive if you don’t already have the necessary tools or you make costly mistakes.

Hiring A Professional Contractor

Pros
  • Familiar with the latest changes to building codes.
  • Take care of tedious tasks such as clearing the land title and obtaining permits.
  • Have the latest tools and technologies at their disposal.
  • May have insight to improve your floor plan or the building process.
  • Resolve disputes between suppliers, subcontractors, etc.
Cons
  • High cost of labor.
  • Can be harder to make changes during the construction process.
  • Not all contractors are honest; some might overcharge for materials, or use stolen materials, etc.

Final Decision

Ultimately, your decision will be based on your budget as well as your comfort and experience level with the construction process. Most people find that it is worth it to spend the extra money and hire a general contractor. When you hire a professional you are paying for a lot more than just a house: the ability to anticipate and resolve problems, years of experience and competency.

The quality of the finished product will typically surpass anything that you can do by yourself. Best of all, the responsibility for the entire job lies on the contractor’s shoulders—not yours. If the home doesn’t meet your specifications, you can withhold the final payment until it does. If a problem arises after the completion of the project, the contractor will be responsible during the warranty phase and the Ghana contractor will repair such problems.

Do You Need a Builder or a Contractor in Ghana?


Let Ghana Homes build your dreams home at a price you can afford: a custom home that fits your style, on your own land or ours with these three simple steps:
  1. Select and finalize a House Plan here (we can customize as needed)
  2. Work with Ghana Homes to get a bill of quantity (pricing)
  3. Sign a contract to secure price
  4. Make the require down payment (or with a pay as you build plan)
  5. We begin construction
Contact Ghana Homes today for a personal consultation.

Use any of the scoial icons below to share this article.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Legalities Involved in Buying Land or a Home in Ghana

The Legalities Involved in Buying Land or a Home in Ghana

For many people, owning their own home is a dream come true. If you aren’t careful when buying land, building a home or buying an existing home, however, that dream can quickly turn into a nightmare. There are a number of important legal issues that must be addressed in order to protect yourself and your investment. Before you sign any documents or any money changes hands, you would be well advised to seek professional help from lawyers and real estate professionals such as those employed by Ghana Homes Group. Here’s why.

Prove Ownership

Over the past few years, there have been numerous instances of unauthorized owners selling or leasing property that they don’t have the rights to. In other instances, the property is sold to more than one buyer. Before you purchase any type of property, you need to have the title reviewed by lawyers and cleared by the land registry office. The complex process can take months to complete; longer if you fail to file all of the necessary paperwork.

Transfer Title Correctly

It is also important that upon the purchase of any property the title is transferred correctly to your name. Otherwise, you will not be able to sell the property in the future. It will instead be considered a dead asset.

Obtain Permits

The permit process can be complex as well, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the local laws and regulations. Working with professionals such as the Ghana Homes Group can make the entire building process easier. They will make sure that you have all of the required permits and obtain proof of compliance from inspections. If you cannot prove that you followed the letter of the law, the consequences can be financially devastating. You may be subjected to an expensive fine or, worse yet, the government can demolish your home.

Meet Development Timelines

If you are building a new home, the government also requires that you meet certain timelines. For instance, you will likely need to have the foundation and walls completed within 2 years from the date of land purchase. Real estate professionals will work with the local government offices to make sure that any other infrastructure building timelines are met to protect your investment. The purpose of establishing timelines is to prevent incremental building and questions of rightful land ownership.

If you are planning or in the process of buying a property in Ghana, contact Ghana Homes today and let our lawyers represent you in your Ghana property purchase.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The 6 Deadly Mistakes of Home Buyers in Ghana

The 6 Deadly Mistakes of Home Buyers in Ghana

Your home should be a fortress of solitude—a place where you and your family are safe and secure. Yet, sometimes people become so focused on realizing the dream of owning their own home that they will do whatever it takes to build a home for the least possible amount of time and money, not realizing what the actual cost of doing so is: the loss of human life. Nothing is worth that. Here are six deadly mistakes that home buyers in Ghana make.

1 - Building Incrementally

With high interest rates and strict lending standards, many Ghanaians build a house incrementally over a long period of time. Not only is the incremental building process more expensive, but it also wastes resources. Often, the property becomes functionally unstable during the building process and is deemed obsolete or unsafe upon completion.

2 - Failing To Obtain Permits

The collapse of a shopping mall in Accra in 2011 brought quite a bit of attention to scarcity of building permits in Ghana. An investigation determined that the mall collapsed because the building’s foundation was not strong enough. The deadly disaster could have been avoided if only the developer had obtained the necessary permits.

3 - Bribing Inspectors

Even those who do obtain permits sometimes try to bribe corrupt building inspectors to pass something off that they know is unsafe. Cutting corners and bribing inspectors is never a good idea.

4 - Not Using The Right Lawyers

One of the most challenging aspects of building or purchasing a home is proving ownership of the land title. Failing to use the right lawyers to secure the land title can result in the government demolishing your home.

5 - Foregoing A Home Inspection

Many buyers forego a home inspection in an effort to save money on an already expensive process. If you are purchasing an existing home, a thorough home inspection is extremely important. This will alert you to any potential problems with the structural components, exterior faults, roofing, plumbing and wiring.

6 - Hiring The Cheapest Contractor

Another mistake that people make is hiring an unskilled contractor simply because of a low price instead of paying a knowledgeable craftsman a fair wage. This often results in sloppy work that, even though it meets the minimum building code requirements, will not hold up well over time and can even become deadly.

Let Ghana Homes build your dreams home at a price you can afford: a custom home that fits your style, on your own land with these three simple steps:
  1. Select and finalize a House Plan here (we can customize as needed)
  2. Work with Ghana Homes to get a bill of quantity (pricing)
  3. Sign a contract to secure price
  4. Make the require down payment (or with a pay as you build plan)
  5. We begin construction
Contact Ghana Homes today for a personal consultation.

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Ghana: High Interest Rates Curbing Mortgage Growth


High interest rates and the lack of affordable housing to purchase are two main factors curbing the growth of mortgages in Ghana, Asare Akuffo, Managing Director of HFC Bank, has said. The most crucial challenge, however, is the high interest rates since the problem of inadequate affordable housing can be solved if the rates come down to between 10 and 15 percent, he said.

“I think it is the high interest rates that are most crucial, because if really there is demand and people can afford the houses, we will get developers that will deliver them," he said. He said there is a need to produce large units of housing or create townships of about 1,000 or more units before house prices can be brought to around GH¢50,000 and below for most Ghanaians.

“This can be done because other countries like Mexico and Malaysia have been able to solve the problem. All that is needed is for interest rates to come down,” Mr. Akuffo said. “If interest rates remain above 20 percent, then it becomes a major challenge. We currently have a dollar mortgage portfolio that is growing because we can borrow the dollar at seven percent and then lend at 10 to 11 percent, showing our commitment to the mortgage business.

“But we do not want to do only dollar loans but cedi loans as well, so that Ghanaians can borrow up to GH¢30,000 to buy homes.” The Government of Ghana (GOG) in its 2007 budget mandated HFC Bank to provide an affordable home-ownership scheme for public sector employees. The scheme - HFC Public Sector Home Scheme - has its interest rate capped at 15 percent and the volume of loans has been growing very slowly.

Source: ghanaweb

Monday, May 6, 2013

Alert: Today's Home Loan Rates in Ghana & How It Affects Your Ghana Home Purchase


The real estate market in Ghana is thriving and prices are at all time high. According to most estimates, approximately 85,000 new and existing homes are sold each year. Yet, this is still a far cry number of new homes that need to be sold in order to keep up with increasing population growth rate each year. So why aren’t more Ghanaians buying houses? Fluctuating prices, high interest rates and strict lending standards are primarily to blame.

Home Prices

Many of the homes for sale in Ghana are quoted in foreign currencies such as American dollars rather than Ghanaian cedi. This practice is used to hedge against depreciation and protect real estate developers. It can actually hurt locals who are trying to purchase a house, however, because the cedi equivalent of the purchase price can increase substantially based on the daily exchange rate. This excludes a large portion of the population from qualifying for mortgages on homes built by real estate developers.

Interest Rates

The mortgage interest rates in Ghana is extremely high—especially when compared to other parts of the world—making it even harder for lower or middle income Ghanaians to afford to purchase a home. Over the past few years, interest rates have ranged anywhere from 13 percent to 37 percent for a 15 - 20 year adjustable rate mortgage, which is the only type of mortgage currently offered in Ghana. The United States, on the other hand, is experiencing historic lows on both 30 year adjustable and fixed rate mortgages with rates below 4 percent. In Japan, rates have remained below 3 percent since 2010.

Lending Requirements

Financial institutions in Ghana typically require borrowers to make a down payment between 20 and 30 percent. Despite the country’s recent economic growth, it can take up to 20 years for the average person to save this much money.

Possible Solutions

Despite obstacles such as these, it is still possible for low and middle income Ghanaians to realize the dream of owning their own home. Here’s how:
  • Work with a real estate developer that has established relationships with foreign investors to finance a home purchase.
  • Shop around to find the bank with the lowest down payment requirement.
    Inquire about the possibility of a lease-purchase deal or a rent-to-own agreement when looking for potential properties.
Ghana Homes Group can help you find the property of your dreams at a price you can afford or build you a custom home that fits your style on your own land with these simple steps:
  1. Select and finalize a House Plan here (we can customize as needed)
  2. Work with Ghana Homes to get a bill of quantity (pricing)
  3. Sign a contract to secure price
  4. Make the require down payment (with a pay as you build plan)
  5. We begin construction
Contact Ghana Homes today for a personal consultation.

Use any of the scoial icons below to share this article.
 

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