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.

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

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

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

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.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Buying a New Home in Ghana? Here is What You Should Do First

Many Ghanaian house buyers assume that buying a new house and especially from a well-known source is a guarantee to being free from building defects that old houses are likely to suffer from. Consequently, there is an increase in the purchasing of newly built houses. However, such assumptions, if not backed with facts, can be misleading and detrimental to your investment. As a prospective house owner, buying a freshly built house or apartment is an investment you want to handle with all serious care and attention. So what should you do when you want to purchase a new house?

First, whether you are buying from a famous home seller or an estate developer, ensure that you do a proper research on the person or company. You can carry out a background check by visiting older construction works by the person or company and interviewing those who live there about their experiences when they first moved in. Also, inquire about the proper and effective functioning of the features that attracted you to the house and its environs. If you are buying from an individual, investigate to be certain that he or she is the proper owner of the house and not just a mere caretaker who is out to swindle you.
  How to buy a new home Ghana

Second, perform a house inspection. You can perform this task on your own or hire the services of a house inspector. Take nothing for granted when carrying out this exercise and be rather critical in evaluating the house or apartment. Check for rot, decay or rust, plumbing leaks, cracked tiles or walls, etc. Ensure that all security features in the house or apartment are intact. Refusing to carry out this task can cost you a great deal of money in the future when you are overwhelmed with unexpected repairs or heavy cracks in the wall.

Additionally, find out how long the building has been left unoccupied since it was completed. Vacant houses can suffer a number of defects including broken pipes, molds and insect infestation due to neglect or the difficulty in finding an interested buyer. Buying such a house means that you will have to shoulder the cost of repair works or put your health at risk.
   How to buy a new home Ghana

Then, make sure to go with your must-have list during the house inspection. Remember that most of these buildings were built not to your specifications. Thus, your must-have list should include features you need in your dream house. You must pay close attention to space, factor in changes you can make to meet your unique preference and also the cost involved in making those changes.

Lastly, inquire about any community codes or regulations which apply to the house or vicinity you want to live in. This will help you know whether to go ahead with the purchase or discontinue any further negotiations.

Buying a house or an apartment is a big and long term investment. So, be diligent in your search for a house and be sure to carry out the necessary investigations on your desired house when you find one. 

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How to Finance Your Uncompleted Building in Ghana

Have you wondered why in Ghana most developing suburbs are dotted with uncompleted buildings, while others are scattered around many residential areas? Many reasons account for the rise in the number of uncompleted buildings. However, a financial constraint is the greatest challenge to completing a building. Landowner’s inability to raise the necessary funds needed for the completion of their houses delays the construction process for years. Many home builders rely on their savings, loans from friends and families and monthly salaries or salary advance from their employers to complete their dream homes. These means of sourcing funds can prove to be unreliable and frustrating. Nonetheless, there are more reliable ways of accessing resources to complete your building.

 One of such means is the emergence of financial institutions which provide loans for home completion. Over the years, these financial institutions have provided assistance to relieve builders of the difficulty associated with accessing credit facilities to either purchase a house or complete a building. With a wide variety of products, these financial institutions have assisted many builders who struggled to finance their building projects to complete them. In Ghana, HFC Bank, Ghana Home Loans, Fidelity Bank, Cal Bank, Stanbic Bank, etc., are among the few banks that provide credit facilities to complete your building. If you wish to apply for a loan to complete your building construction, there are few requirements to meet.

Mnatse house plan

First, you should be a customer of the financial institution in Ghana you want to borrow from. Also, you must be a salaried employee or self-employed. If you are a salaried worker, you need the following documents to make your application complete: proof of identity (passport, license, etc.); three months’ most recent pay slips or proof of other sources of income; three or six months’ most recent bank statements; proof of residence (utility bills/tenancy agreements, etc.) and credit report (only for non-resident applicants); bill of quantities, building permit, planning permission and picture of the uncompleted property. If you are self-employed, then the following are the application requirements: certificate of incorporation and certificate to commence business; three years’ audited financial statements; company code indicating whether it is a limited liability company or a sole proprietor; three years’ company bank statement and one year’s personal bank statement(only if applicable). The loan can be repaid over a maximum period of between 15 and 20 years.
  Home construction in Ghana

However, if consulting a financial institution for a loan does not appeal to you, the other option to source funds to complete your building is to lease it out. You can find an investor(s) to complete your unfinished building under a contract suitable for you. The number of years the investor can use your building after its completion depends mainly on the amount of money the investor put into completing the building as well as the type, location and purpose of the building. After the expiry of the contract, the building will be returned to you.

Lastly, you can put up your uncompleted building for sale. Interested buyers will purchase your building, and you can invest the money realized in any venture of your choice.

Abandoning your unfinished building is not the solution to financial constraints. You can choose to request a loan from any financial institution, find an investor or sell your uncompleted building to willing buyers.

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