Even though one of the joys of life is being able to afford a house, buying a house in Ghana can sometimes be strenuous. A lot of it is unstructured and demands a lot of experience if you are to get the best for your money. One needs to have a certain level of understanding of the Ghanaian housing and real estate market before jumping in to make any form of purchase. This is important to shield you against committing some of the common mistakes new home buyers make.
Our guide is centered around exposing you to the preparations you need to make and how to buy a house in Ghana. We begin by looking at some things to keep at the back of your mind before jumping in.
Things to Know Before Buying a House in Ghana
1. You don’t have to buy a House
One of the most important things to keep in mind when thinking about buying a house in Ghana is that you do not necessarily need to buy a house. You may want to, but not need to. This is because the primary reason for having a house is for shelter. All other reasons are secondary.
In line with this thinking, you dont need to see buying a house as a must to satisfy your need for shelter. Renting a place is equally helpful in meeting that need.
Taking this into consideration will enable you to approach it with the idea that it isn’t a must. You can take your time to find what suits your needs. A house is a long-term decision which should be carefully planned.
2. Think About Your Debt Situation
Debt is something you should think about. You need to consider your current debt situation. And if you are considering a mortgage or other ways of financing your house, then you need to consider it even harder. This is because without doing a proper analysis of the situation, understanding the implications of the debt instrument to your future, you may end up having to sell your house again to defray your debts or lose your house to the financing bank or company.
3. Look Beyond the Purchase Price
When buying a house, features, and facilities aside, most people consider the price. As much as that isn’t a bad thing, most people fixate on it almost to a fault.
For instance, you could buy a house for cheap but it comes at a high repair and maintenance cost which beats the purpose of focusing on price in the first place.
4. Buy a House for Your Future
A house is a long-term investment that may be passed down to your family. Therefore, you need to look into the future when you are considering buying a house.
For the present, you may look at features, prices even how trendy it is. However, this doesn’t directly influence if the house will serve its purpose in the future.
The best way to prepare for the future when buying a house is to have a good idea of how you want your future house to look like. Take into account your family size, facilities, space, etc.
5. Buy a House You Can Afford
As much as a house is often said to be an investment, that may be true or not. Truth is, for most people, a house is a liability. Real estate usually goes up in value as years go by. However, while you are waiting for that day, you will make repairs and incur maintenance costs to the tune of lots of Ghana cedis.
Buying a house you cannot afford is generally a bad idea especially when you are already in debt and you seek to finance the house with another debt such as a mortgage. The options may seem to be in your favor until you can no longer pay your debt and default. In such a case, the mortgage provider can take ownership of the house leaving you with nothing.
If you hope to use some sort of financing, be sure to commit to it in order not to risk losing your house.
6. Be Particular About What You Are Buying
When you see a property you like, make sure excitement doesn’t blind you. Changes such as painting and aesthetics are not as capital intensive as having to reconstruct sections of the house or repair a leaking roof.
Unless it is a newly built house, always make sure to thoroughly inspect the house. Visit the house more than once before you make your purchase. This will expose you to different aspects of your new neighborhood and house.
7. Work with a Contract
Purchasing a house is a legal affair and must be ratified with a legally recognized contract. It should come with terms of payment and details of the transaction.
Also, the legal ownership of the property must be transferred to you before you can be said to legally own the house. Without such activities, you may move in but not own it. It’s like renting, you live there but you dont own it. One day, you will be asked to leave.
Always make sure you work with a contract when buying a house and other assets that are legally recognized such as a car.
8. Work with a Real Estate Agency (Agent)/Realtor
Working with someone who knows the market is a great advantage especially if you are an expatriate. They know the best locations, can negotiate the pricing, and take care of the legalities for you.
What to Look for When Buying a House in Ghana
Facilities are important to your home. Is electricity working? How about water? Are there good schools to enroll your kids in? Places of worship? Think about your specific needs and make sure to confirm if they are available. The last thing you want is to move into your new house and start regretting it because certain amenities aren’t easily accessible.
If you are a large family, in terms of space requirements, getting a place that fits your needs is what you should do. You wouldn’t want to rent a place only to have an overcrowded home space after a few months or years. You also dont want to overspend one space that you never use or have no need for.
We are in the age of connectivity and interconnectedness. The internet is now more of a need than a want. It is at the back of the internet that many of the biggest companies in the world were built. That said, you need to ensure your new location is a good spot for your connectivity and internet needs.
4. Parking and Storage
It is quite easy to forget you might need some extra storage space and a sizeable parking lot for both your vehicles depending on how many you own. This is a gentle reminder.
5. Do You Need/Want a Yard
A yard is a good idea if you have kids or do outdoor activities. You can also have small gardening as a hobby.
6. How Many Rooms?
Another good consideration is definitely the number of rooms? If you are starting out in life and have no kids, can you afford a place where you can have your kids without moving to a bigger house? If yes, how many extra rooms? Should you have a place for a maid? How about a guest’s room?
7. Are There Cooling and Heating Systems in Place?
Making sure the house is equipped with cooling and proper heating systems is worth considering. You may be able to do something about it later on after you have bought it. But the best is to get a house that has already got such provisions.
8. Is There a Garage
If you think you need a garage to park your car, keep that in mind as you visit houses you have an interest in buying.
What To Consider When Buying a House in Ghana
1. Your Budget
Budgeting is very critical to acquiring a house. Taking that a house is a very capital-intensive purchase, you need to have your finances in check first. You also need to make up your mind on the amount you are willing to spend. Set a maximum price so that you do not spend more than you can currently afford.
If you are using a financing option like a mortgage, you need to properly examine your finances before negotiating.
Experts advise that you spend not more than 25% of your monthly income on mortgage payments.
Your new environment shouldn’t be left out of the equation. You may have to explore the neighborhood before making a final decision.
Security is important to living in peace. Make sure you do your checks to understand the security situation in your new neighborhood.
How to Buy a House in Ghana
Visit Tonaton.com and Sign Up
Tonaton is Ghana’s largest marketplace housing thousand of sellers including property agents, real estate companies and developers, and individual sellers. The signup process is simple and you can use your social media and Google account to sign up in just a few clicks.
Browse Properties in Ghana
Tonaton has lots of property listings ranging from houses, apartments, studio apartments, executive houses for sale and rent.
Choose 3 Houses and Contact the Sellers
It is advisable to work with at least 3 sellers. Get to know the houses, get their final prices, and more importantly, compare the facilities, locations, and prices.
Visit the House
Visit the houses to confirm how the house looks, check every nook and cranny and make sure it is as you want. If you have family who will be staying with you, it is ideal you do a visit with them to the house as well. Let them appreciate and make comments.
Agree, Pay and Move-in
The last thing is to make payment. But before that make sure you have the contact work and legal arrangements for the transfer of the property to you.
Buying a house in Ghana is not easy, that is why you have Tonaton. With our platform, you can filter through the noise and choose only the houses you are truly interested in. You do also waste your time seeing houses that aren’t to your tastes and preferences.