Monday, May 11, 2015

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

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

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

Building Permit Increases Property Value

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

Building Permit Makes Selling Property Easier

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

Building Permit Improves safety

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

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

Friday, May 8, 2015

Are You Looking for a Home Construction Loan in Ghana? 6 Simple Steps to Follow

Owning a property is probably the greatest investment that you can make in life. Besides the fact that the real estate increase in value with time, it is also a very safe way to invest your money as you can always and easily track the value of your property in the market. Now, if you are looking to build a property, update or renovate it, or you just want to add some eco-friendly features to your home, there are high odds that you will not have all the cash that you need for the project upfront. And since home construction can be expensive, a construction loan is a great way to get the money you need for the project. So, what are the steps to getting a home construction loan in Ghana? Find out below!

Step 1: Figure out how much money you need

The amount of money that you need for the project will be determined by whether you are constructing a new home, remodeling the existing one or you just want to add some green features to your property. Regardless of the type of the project you want to undertake, you will need to get a cost estimate from your contractor.

As a prospective borrower in Ghana, knowing the amount of money you will need for the project will help you in deciding the type of loan that is best for your situation.

Step 2: Choosing the proper lender for your construction loan

You now know the amount of money you need for your project. The next step is to choose the bank or company that will handle your loan. Currently, lending rates in Ghana are extremely high, but there are banking institutions that offer better rates, such as HFC Bank Ghana, eco-bank transnational and eco-bank Ghana.

Step 3: Collect the required documents

Some of the important documents that you may require when applying for home construction loan include:
  • Two proof-of-address forms
  • Two forms of personal identification
  • Credit reports
  • Proof of income
  • Recent banking statements among others
Step 4: Signing the agreement

Before signing a loan agreement, make sure that you are familiar with the terms and conditions as provided in the contract. You should be aware of each and every item included in the agreement, such as the payment dates, loan amount, and transaction fees among others.

Step 5: Sending in your application
You can submit your application through an online platform, or you elect to take them in person to your lender.

Step 6: Waiting for disbursement of money

The approval for your loan could come in faster or take few days, depending on your lender.

Following the above steps will greatly ease the process of getting a home construction loan in Ghana.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Electricity Outages In Ghana: Causes, Effects & Solutions

Image Source: wikipedia

Ghana has for several years been experiencing massive power blackouts popularly nicknamed 'dumsor,' which means on & off in one of the local dialects. Although intermittent power is common in most developing African countries, the energy situation in Ghana is already spiraling out of control. Some areas lack electricity for hours on end; others receive multiple power cuts (about five) each day. Sometimes, the blackouts last for extended periods, some lasting longer than 24 hours.

If the current trend is anything to go by, soon Ghana will be wallowing in pitch darkness.

Causes of power outages in Ghana

According to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), most of the power outages should be blamed on inadequate supply of gas from Nigeria. The government has maintained that the current supply is unstable and they can only supply what they get.

On the national front, the government maintains they are doing everything they can and that various projects currently underway will ease the situation by the end of the year. For most Ghanaians though, these are just empty promises that they have heard too many times before.

Peering closer into the energy situation in Ghana, it's clear to see that the sector is marred by lack of direction, mismanagement of resources and a narrow conservative mindset that does not auger well with the energy needs of the 21st Century.

Effects of the power cuts

In the last few weeks, thousands of Ghanaians have taken to demonstrating in the streets to show their displeasure at the power outages. Some of these protests have been violent.

In the deeper context of the matter, the consequences of the power outages are vast. Business owners are no longer attaining the production levels they desire, their profits have dwindled and thousands of people have lost their jobs.

The industrial sector, with its massive energy needs, has been the worst hit. Manufacturers are cutting losses and investors are withdrawing. The economy is ailing and the weakening national currency is portraying that all too well.

Way Forward

1) The country should stop over reliance on Nigeria for its gas supplies. At the minimum, it should store enough gas reserves for contingencies.

2) The country should exploit alternative energy solutions such as wind energy and solar energy.

3) Ghana should privatize the energy sector. This will de-monopolize the industry and allow competition from private companies. Doing so will increase energy supplies, improve on quality and reduce costs in the long run.

Most importantly, president Mahama's government should wake up to the realization that the energy sector is the lifeline of any economy, especially that of an emerging nation.

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