233-506-866-060

info@meqasa.com

Accra Housing Guide

As a recognised leader in the real estate classified industry in Ghana, meQasa has crafted this Housing Guide as a resource for all who seek to understand the ins and outs of looking for accommodation in Ghana, specifically in the capital of Accra. This guide serves as an invaluable reference material for home seekers; home owners; real estate agents; real estate investors; developers and other professionals in the business; policy makers, students and real estate enthusiasts worldwide.

The real estate landscape in Ghana has evolved into one that is vast and exciting over the last decade and though there is still a gaping deficit in housing as compared to the needs of the populace, Ghana’s capital city offers an impressive portfolio of property that run the gamut of styles and price. Housing is a big decision and can be daunting with so many questions to ask oneself as you begin to explore what would suit you best. You are not alone. We are here to serve as your trusted partner as you move along this journey and are happy to help, no matter your inquiry. Give us a shout.

meQasa Ltd.
23 Kofi Annan Avenue, North Legon
Accra, Ghana
Tel. +233 506 866 060
info@meqasa.com

OVERVIEW

Ghana currently has a social housing problem, with a deficit of 1.7 million units, and counting. Ideally, spreading it over a 10-year period, a minimum of 170,000 housing units would have to be built annually to solve the issue [Source: GhanaNewsAgency.org] This would require a public-private partnership to address, since the government alone cannot erase this deficit and, therefore, welcomes any initiative from private entities to complement their efforts.The Borteyman and Kpone Housing projects are two of six projects across the country the government is pursuing to provide just about 5,000 of affordable one and two bedroom houses for public sector workers. The other projects are in Tamale (Northern Region), Koforidua (Eastern Region), Asokore Mampong (Ashanti Region) and Wa (Upper West Region).This deficit, however, may not really be as severe as portrayed.

There are thousands of homes up for sale and rent that are uninhabited and which would greatly reduce the housing problem if they were occupied. The main reason they remain unoccupied is price and ease of finding them.There are a lot of beautiful habitable properties on the market whose price deters potential tenants. Some of such houses are justifiably expensive if you take into consideration the cost of materials used in their construction, but a majority of them are high priced simply because they are located in “prime locations” or the owners were told they stood to make more profit if they sold or rented at such a price. There is an amazing opportunity for private investors to provide affordable housing options.

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HOUSE HUNTING IN GHANA

The Players and Process

If you are in the market to purchase a home or are looking to rent, the search for a home in Ghana is a tasking yet thrilling process that requires a level of commitment from you if you are to find a place you are happy with. There are primarily four methods of going about searching for accommodation -- working directly with a selected estate agent and communicating your criteria so (s)he searches on your behalf; approaching a homeowner directly; speaking with a developer; or taking control of such a major decision with an online search using a real estate marketplace like meQasa.com. Before you get started you are going to need to settle on a budget range as well as a list of what you seek in a home. These questions should help you out.

The Players

Real Estate Agents

Many developers and homeowners rely heavily on real estate agents to assist them in renting out and selling their property a lot faster, in exchange for a commission. There are 3 tiers of agents -- more high-end, middle tier and low-end agents -- differentiated by the kind of property they manage, their level of education and professionalism, and the overall value of their customer service. There aren’t any mandatory national or regional real estate licensing programs in place to ensure that only registered individuals who have enrolled in industry courses and passed can open and operate formal real estate agencies in Ghana. Many real estate agents (mostly low-end) are simply people who have taken an interest in the industry. This group of low-end professionals is actually thinning as more of them are striving to be more professional and are upgrading. They can be very helpful, though using them as the first point in your search may lengthen the process as they report back to you on properties they think are appropriate and may not indeed suit your taste, requirements or budget, even when one is communicated ahead. There are also a number of real estate agents now in Ghana who were trained and received certification abroad. However, they are much fewer and hard to find.

Homeowners/Landlords

Some people exclaim in frustration at having to work with a real estate agent to secure accommodation and seek to approach a homeowner/landlord directly. That is a possibility, but most times, it is hard to get in touch with these homeowners who may not be readily available at the property to conduct showings and answer face-to-face questions on a daily basis. They find it more convenient for a real estate agent to serve as an intermediary and therefore task one or more of them to assist finding a tenant or buyer.

Developers

If you want to buy property and live in a planned and structured community, you might want to look to real estate developers. Developments tend to have the same home design across board however, meaning you have limited choice in the style of home. You can also work with a developer to build you a home to your specifications. The advantage of finding a house via a developer is that they are very organised and many work with banks to be able to offer you help with financing options like mortgages. Some developers also try to sell their properties online via real estate marketplaces like meQasa.com.

Online Property Search Portals

There are a few other web-based real estate marketplaces though we cannot vouch for their product or level of service. Our renowned online housing search platform - meQasa.com - makes your house-hunting the easiest possible. Offering a safe and secure network backed by strong offline customer support, there isn’t a better website on which to conduct your search. With a beautiful user interface that is simple, user-friendly and exhaustive in offerings, you can search for property anywhere in Accra and beyond. You can use our filter function to narrow down to exactly the kind of housing you seek, be it a studio rental in the heart of the city or a 4 bedroom house with a pool away from the hustle and bustle. Once you settle on certain properties that interest you, you can immediately reach out to the managing real estate agent or owner whose information is listed. You can also create a seeker account to save your favourite properties as you search. meQasa is not a real estate agency and we, currently do not have any agents/brokers under our employment. Our platform allows real estate agents, owners (landlords or landladies & their representatives) and developers to list a wide range of available properties so you can easily find amazing options online. We work with a network of trusted agents whom we assist with training programs to better help them help you find quality, secure and trouble-free housing.

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The Process

House hunting is an adventure. From the moment you decide to move, you are launched into a world of decisions, evaluations, excitement and even frustration at times. Whichever method you select to go about finding a home, none is perfect. Both agents and landlords/home sellers can be time-wasting.You may see a property you love online that, all of a sudden, is no longer available when you speak with the agent. You may get fed up with paying registration fees every time you go to view a property. If this is your first time looking for a home or buying property in Ghana, these tips will give you an idea of what to expect. As you narrow down your list of likely homes and go on showings, it is important to also use a house hunting checklist to help you know what to look for in your perfect home and decide if it is right for you.

A Note for Expatriates

For foreigners moving to or newly arriving in Ghana, definitely finding a great place to call home is one of the first and most important items on your to-do list. Where you select will affect your experience during your stay no matter how short or long. There is no doubt you will find that the real estate and housing industry in Ghana is quite different with some challenges presented by lack in regulation and minimum standards. This will be a great learning experience for you, so be ready to be flexible and utilise the pointers offered in this guide.

The growing expatriate population has translated into more high-end/luxury apartments, townhouses and homes that feature amenities that foreigners are used to. Such demand reflects in costs that may be rather shocking. You will find the majority of property listed in US dollars. In that vein, Accra’s residential rental costs almost mirror that of large cities in the US and Europe, with renters paying anywhere between $1,500 - $6,000 or more depending on if it is a stand-alone house or a located within a gated community offering security, or upscale apartment with a swimming pool and other great amenities. Read more in the HOUSING COSTS section.

Most expats are posted to Ghana for a few years on work assignment in which case renting would be the way to go. It is not unheard of though to consider purchasing property especially if you see yourself creating a life in Ghana or are married to a citizen. Some consider buying a home as an investment property with goals of renting it out or flipping it later for profit. Not sure which is best for you? Read this to help you decide.

Housing Costs

We get asked a lot what the average price of the homes on our website is. That’s an incredibly tough question. Homes in Accra - whether for rent or sale - span a vast range in cost with more modest property renting for as low under GHS 1,000 (even GHS 100 for single room accommodation) and others on the opposite end of the spectrum, for a couple thousands of dollars. On the sale side, you can find decent homes selling for about GHS 100,000 and more extravagant options with a price tag of a million dollars.

The costs boil down to factors such as size, location, type of property, whether it is furnished or not and amenities in and around the home and community in which it is located. If you go for a house further away from the city centre, that does not come with much, then of course it will cost you much less than renting/buying in Accra’s prime areas like Cantonments, Airport Residential, Labone, Ridge, Dzorwulu, Abelenkpe, Osu or East Legon. Many of the available housing options in these areas come complete with coveted amenities like laundry facilities, constant water and power supply, security personnel, manicured lawns and gardens, swimming pools and more, accounting for the cost. Most of the short-term and serviced housing which have higher rent costs are also in these areas.

There is opportunity for owners of vacant homes to make money, if they would consult experts like professional valuers or meQasa on setting realistic prices for property listings. In developed markets, it’s easy to search comp sales and rentals (Comps, or comparables, are regarded as the single-best tool in determining a home's value), and this helps control or set real estate prices as agents can refer to them in pricing listings. This is currently not the case in Ghana.

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This infographic offers a snapshot of some average rent costs in Accra to give you an idea per what you seek:

INFOGRAPHIC for Accra Average Rent Costs 2016

There are some rather nice yet not as expensive options in neighbourhoods like Spintex, Achimota, Ashaley Botwe, Adenta, Dansoman and Tema, to name just a few. Of course you can luck out and get very reasonably priced property in prime areas as well. As a serious home seeker, it’s smart to take advantage of tools like meQasa Property Alerts where you can receive custom notifications on properties matching your precise search preferences.

Other Expenses

If you decide on a single family house, though the rent may seem cheaper, you must take into account the possibility of being responsible for caring for your own yard/gardens, arranging weekly garbage collection and tank water replenishment, maybe even buying a generator. This is where the agreement with the landlord becomes very important because if all these are offered in a listing, then you can take joy in them being off your plate. Ensure that you review your lease very carefully and do not sign until you are sure of these. Gated communities have service charges to cover such services.

Of course, outside of the rent/house purchase cost, there are bills to be paid for utilities. Here are some pointers on keeping electricity bills at bay.

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TO RENT OR TO BUY? THAT IS THE QUESTION

Maybe you already know what’s right for you - renting or purchasing a place - or maybe you’re trying to figure out the best option. Either way, we seek to give you good information on both options so that you are better informed to decide.

Renting may be best if you:
  • Plan to move around or travel often and don't want to be tied to one location.
  • Don't have the funds for a downpayment and closing costs involved in acquiring a house.
  • Can't afford the potential maintenance costs that come with ownership (repairs, lawn care, etc.).
  • Are saving for the future.
  • There’s some other investment you feel your money would be better used for. Especially, if this investment is guaranteed to bring you very good returns quicker than investing in a house would.
  • For some reason, believe owning your house is too risky a venture for you, especially, in the event of a tragedy (fire, flood, earthquake). Generally, it is not, but there have been a few unlucky ones too.

Buying may be best if you:
  • Plan to stay in one location for a while.
  • Want to build equity over the long-term.
  • Have funds for a down payment and closing costs.
  • Want the potential of making money from renting it out. And also saving the money you’d otherwise have spent paying rent.
  • Can afford the maintenance costs that come with owning (repairs, lawn care, etc). Real estate almost always appreciating in value and is known as the only sure way to true wealth.

In the end, for most people, it comes down to budget: if there is enough money for purchasing the property then that makes the buying decision for them. The practise of taking out mortgages on property is still relatively new and will not be likely to occur to the average Ghanaian as one of their first options.

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A CLEAR VIEW OF PROPERTY TAXES

Property tax is a levy on property that the owner is required to pay. In Ghana, property tax is collected annually by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the amount collected is determined by the Domestic Tax Revenue Service. The amount to be paid by homeowners depends on the value of the property and is also affected by the neighbourhood the property is located in. Upper class residential areas (Class 1s) attract heftier property tax burdens than those on the lower class end of the spectrum (Class 3s). In Accra, rates are on the higher side in comparison to the other regions, and only go as low as 0.5%. The below zone classification system provided by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly provides guidance on how to calculate property tax rates.

Property’s ratable value x Rate impost (property type and classification zone)
Property type and classification zone

The designated rating zones are as follows:
Residential Class 1A: Achimota Forest Residential, Roman Ridge, Airport West, East Legon, Ambassadorial Enclave, Ridge.

Residential Class 1B: Abelenkpe, Dworwulu, North Dworwulu, East Legon Extention, West Legon, Ringway Estates, Nyaniba, Tesano-1, Zoti

Residential Class 2A: South Odorkor, Dansoman, SSNIT, Addogon, New Dansoman Estates, Latebiokorshie, Candle Factory, Mamprobi, Kanda Estates, Dansoman Estates, Nima, AkuffoAddo, Asylum Down, Naaflajo, GREDA Estates, New Achimota.

Residential Class 2B: Kwashieman North, Sakaman-Busia, Abofu New Dansoman, Mataheko, Osofo Dadzie, West Abbosey Okai, Dansoman Sahara, North Alajo, Adabraka, Tesano-2, Kaneshie, Borabora Estates, Awudome Estates, North Kaneshie, Abeka, Fadama, Apenkwa, North Kaneshie Estates–CFC, Akweteman.

Residential Class 3A: Kwashibu, Kwashiman, North Odorkor, Odorkor Old Town, Kwashieman Old Town, Odorkor, Stanley Owusu, Banana Inn, KorleGonno, MamprobiSempey, Maamobi, Old Dansoman, Kotobabi Police Station, Kpehe, Alajo, Kotobabi, James Town, Manhean, Alogboshie, AbekaLapaz, Bubiashie/New Fadama, Kisseman/Christian Village.

Residential Class 3B: AbosseyOkai, Sukura, Russia, Sabon Zongo, Town Council Line, Mamponse, Tunga, Nima, Accra New-Town, Shiashie Village, Darkuman, Bawleshie Mempeasem, Anumle, North Abeka, Old Bubiashie, NiiBoyeman/Achimota.

Residential Class 3C: Chorkor, Mpoase, Gbegbeise, Shiabu, Luga, Osu Amanfo/Alata.

Commercial Class 1: CBD and Extended CBD

Commercial Class 2: Extended Central Business District including Tudu, Osu Amantra, Osu Anorho, CDC, Kuku Hill, Airport West, Switch Back Road, Roman Ridge, Airport By-Pass, Police Quarters, and DVLA.

Data Source: http://ghanahouseplans.com/gh/property-taxes-in-the-greater-accra-area.html

In addition, money made on rental of properties are also taxed. The Government of Ghana has authorised payment by property owners of 8% on the gross income received during any given year.

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PAYING FOR YOUR HOME

Accommodation in Accra is a huge investment, whether you are just renting the home or actually buying it. With regards to rent, though the law stipulates that upfront rent payments should not exceed a six-month lump sum, many landlords who rent out their homes take advantage of a legal loophole to avoid paying any heed to this and the law is not enforced. It is almost accepted as standard to pay 12 to 24 months of rent before one is allowed to move in. Very few homeowners offer month-to-month payment of rent but you may find such payment arrangements for the more expensive, high end apartments and homes with high rent tags. Unless you have a huge chunk saved up or have a benefactor, you might have to consider taking out a home loan.

Paying for housing in the capital is not cheap. Some people already have the full sum of money available to cover the asking price for the house. Some others have rich associates and family on whom they can rely on for financial help in acquiring the house and for the rest, financial institutions have home loans and mortgages.

Let's explore the benefits of paying for the house up front versus taking a loan from a financial institution:

Paying Cash
  1. Removes the hassle of getting a loan/mortgage. Most financial institutions have a whole list of requirements they expect loan/mortgage applicants to meet before they decide if the applicant is worthy of a loan. Because of this, they are likely to request lots of documentation even from applicants with stable earnings and other positive traits. While this may be a wise step on the part of the bank or other financial institution, it can mean more time and frustration for loan or mortgage applicants. In the meantime, other interested buyers may buy the property while the background and eligibility checks are going on.
  2. Gives you eligibility for a better deal. Paying cash makes you a more appealing buyer and puts you in a better position to strike a bargain. The sooner the seller receives their money, the sooner they can make use of it and move on.
  3. Removes worries about loan repayments. Mortgages/housing loans represent the largest single bill most people have to pay on a monthly basis. This could quickly become the biggest burden if incomes drop due to unfortunate events. Not only is the average person today unlikely to remain in the same place for 15-20 years (roughly the period it takes for most mortgage repayments), but some people often refinance their mortgages when interest rates fall, which can extend their loan obligations further into the future. In Ghana, home loans come with hefty interest rates as compared to in developed markets. Inflation is also likely to affect the value owed to the bank. If peace of mind is important to you, paying cash for your home can be a smart move. If you are approaching retirement, you wouldn't want to leave huge debts for your dependants.
  4. The loan acquisition process can be time-consuming, and uncertain too. In case an applicant is turned down, the deal will fall through and the sellers will have to start the whole process of finding a qualified buyer all over again. Being ready to pay cash not only gives the seller more confidence in you, making them eager to close the deal, but you are also a more competitive buyer if you are ready to pay immediately. In the case where the seller has multiple bids, having cash upfront means you can be first to close.

  5. NB: Make sure if you have an arrangement to pay a property seller cash, you keep a paper trail of receipts for your records.


Taking Out a Loan/Mortgage
  1. Potential profit gain. Buying a house with borrowed money, puts you in a position to get higher returns. If for instance, you took out a loan to buy a house for GH¢250,000, and during the period of your repayment, the house increases in value and is now worth GH¢400,000, you can imagine the percentage of profit you would have made in securing the house with borrowed money. On the other hand, if the house depreciates (which rarely happens), you may lose a percentage of your investment, which would not have been so bad had you paid cash.
  2. You’ll be freeing up chunks of your money. In most cases, the money needed to buy a home outright represents most of your savings, and going through with it directly flouts one of the basic rules of personal finance: diversification. Putting your cash in other investments that offer regular returns on investment than residential real estate, may be a better idea. With this knowledge, it is best to think of your home as a place to live in lieu of an investment.
  3. You decline the chance to back out quickly. Liquidity refers to how quickly you can get your cash out of an investment if you ever need to. In the case where you pay cash for the house, you would need months at least to get your money back if you decided to sell. Some financial institutions may be willing to let you off your financial obligations to them and repossess the house, making its sale or disposal their responsibility while you are free to move on to other things.


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INSURING YOUR HOME

Real estate is costly and undoubtedly one of the largest income investments anyone could make. Once one moves into a residential rental property or purchases a home, it is advisable to get domestic insurance (homeowner or renter’s) to cover the property and all the belongings within it, in the event of anything unfortunate. These are what the 3 main classes of insurance cover:

  • Fire & Allied Perils -- the building & it's fixtures & fittings eg. Roofing sheets, bath tubs, sinks. Inclusive of natural & artificial disasters such as floods or falling objects from the sky, lightning and explosion. Additional perils that are also covered include impact, aircraft, wind storm, flood, bursting pipes, earthquakes, riots and strikes.
  • Burglary -- the contents eg. clothes, appliances
  • Combined (consists of both fire with allied perils & burglary)

In Ghana, there are a number of insurance companies that offer homeowner’s and renter’s insurance. Homeowner’s insurance covers the building(s) that are in the property owner’s name as well as all of its contents. Renter’s insurance covers the renter’s items (clothing, furniture, gadgets, etc) as declared, but not the property.

Any interested person can apply for homeowner or renter’s insurance -- an annual premium paid that does not carry over from year to year but is renewable annually. They can select which perils the insurance will cover, whether just fire, flood, burglary, third party liability, or have a comprehensive plan that insures all property regardless of the cause of loss. When one has insurance they can have their property and items reinstated (i.e. receive a lump sum on the value of the lost property at the time of the incident, taking into account the fact that property appreciates) or they may be replaced (i.e. receive a lump sum on the exact value of the lost property at the time of application). Reinstatement of course, attracts high premiums. The application process is rather simple and fast. Insurance is based on utmost good faith. This simply means, the insured (owner) is honest in the stated values of the property and its contents to the insurer (company). Some people under insure their property by stating lower values to escape higher premiums.

Do you have the phone number for Ghana Fire Service handy? See our list of handy emergency phone numbers every home should have. We suggest you print it and put it on your fridge.

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DEALING WITH A LANDLORD OR TENANT

Renting a property requires some level of interaction with the owner of the property, who becomes your landlord/landlady once the tenancy agreement is signed. Very good tenancy agreements spell out exactly what the terms of the relationship are, detailing who is responsible for what. It's advisable to read your rent agreement thoroughly. Here are some of the rights and responsibilities of the landlord/landlady-tenant relationship:

A Note to Landlords

If you have property you are renting out, it is in your interest to maintain very good relationships with your tenants once the lease agreement is signed. However, you should not be so eager to rent out your property that you neglect to do your homework on the prospective tenant. Inasmuch as a thorough background check is a great challenge in Ghana (you can’t credibly check things like credit score, etc.), here are a few things you should try to find out before taking on a tenant:

Employment:
  1. Are they gainfully employed? Is it permanent or temporary? (In case you’re considering renewing their tenancy)
  2. Is it a legally recognised and accepted profession you are comfortable being associated with?

As a landlord, you have the final say in who gets to be your tenant, so you can be open about your expectations which normally would be included in the tenancy agreement. Let the prospective tenant be aware of the things you would not like in your home, like loud noise at odd hours, religious practices that may inconvenience neighbours and not being prompt on bill payments. Once you’re certain they meet all your criteria, or at least are people you would feel comfortable having occupy your property, you can go ahead and enter into a lease agreement with them.

Be sure to allow the tenant to use or enjoy the property in peace with as little disturbance as possible. Promptly repair all damage to the property resulting from wear and tear or from natural causes. The tenant only pays for this if the damage is due to their own actions or neglect. Give prior notice to the tenant and agree on a convenient time when you or workers on your behalf will enter the premises, where need be.

A Note to Tenants

As a tenant, you are expected to maintain the property as the actual owner of the property would. Though some duties are yours exclusively, there are also some situations where you need to defer to the landlord or have them handle the situation altogether. Landlords may need access to the property to inspect it and conduct repairs from time to time, but they are required to do this at a time you have both agreed on (usually noted in your tenancy agreement ) prior to their coming. Otherwise, they are obligated to by law to let you live in your home without unnecessary interference. You, on the other hand must keep the peace in the neighbourhood and not disturb other tenants or neighbours with unsavoury behaviour.

Repairs:

Landlords are responsible for most repairs to permanent parts of the structure of the property, like the roof, walls, gutters and drains. She/he is also responsible for keeping the water tank (if included) in good enough condition to serve its proper purpose. You, as the tenant also have a responsibility to repair the non-permanent parts of the house, like replacing burnt out light bulbs, filling your gas cylinder, fixing interior decor and maintaining the garden or yard, without expecting to be reimbursed by the landlord.

Both you and your landlord must follow the provisions of the tenancy agreement and not violate any of them. (S)he must also follow the provisions of the agreement in the event you are in breach of it and intends to evict you. However, the provisions must not be in breach of the nation’s laws regarding tenancy.Your rent can be increased, but discussions concerning such increase should be had ideally at least two months before your lease is up.

Outside of the agreements, rights and responsibilities, maintaining very cordial relations with your landlord is always a great thing. It reduces the chances of friction between you and makes both your lives easier.

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LAND: ACQUISITION, REGISTRATION AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN

Land is a highly coveted property in Ghana with several people seeking to purchase a parcel, be it to develop residential or commercial buildings. This high demand for land is not just from locals, even some expatriates seek to be land owners in Ghana and to own one of the only assets that appreciates with time. In Ghana, lands are attained as leasehold property, meaning ownership is for a limited timeframe (50 years for expatriates and 99 years for citizens). The process of trying to acquire private land from an individual is a rather tricky one, seeing as there is no set standard admitted by the Ghana Lands Commission. People must take precautions to implement their own checks and balances to make sure a seller indeed owns the land, in order to avoid future land dispute ordeals. Woes of a landowner having sold the same area of land to multiple people is one that is heard far too often.

There are four types of land in Ghana:

  • Government land
  • Vested land
  • Customary/stool land
  • Family/private land

If you approach a private land seller who is interested in selling off his/her land to you, find out all you can about this seller and his business. Be sure to check with the Lands Commission to validate from their records if this person truly owns the piece of land you are interested in buying. It’s also advisable to check with government land overseers to ensure the land has not been taped for future national development projects. It is not unheard of for people to post a notice of inquiry in the newspapers to ask if there is anyone who has that particular land piece registered to their name. At the same time, request that the seller provides you a certified site plan demarcating the precise location of the land including its coordinates. He/She should have had a professional surveyor to do this and you are advised to also work with one to double-check everything. No money should have exchanged hands yet for the purchase of the land up to this juncture.

If you feel quite assured at this point, then you can negotiate on sales terms with the seller and when you comfortably reach an agreement, then work with your lawyer to draft a purchase and ownership transfer contract/Deed of Conveyance which both you and the seller will sign. Once that is done and you make payment, you are now the legal owner of the land. You need to make multiple copies of the indenture (your ownership agreements, lease details detailing parties to the transaction, witnesses, price paid and ground rent) and have them endorsed by a land lawyer who also professionally stamps them. Each copy should have a land surveyor certified site plan attached.

To complete the process, you need to register the land and deed with the Lands Commission and attain the title certificate to prove ownership. Land registration is the recording of rights and interest in land as evidenced by documentation so that your right to ownership is established and protected. Registering your land reduces litigation issues and renders your documents admissible in court. You should also obtain a tax clearance certificate at Internal Revenue Service.

You may contact the Ghana Lands Commission:

Address: Second Circular Rd, Cantonments Accra (adjacent Cantonments Post Office)
Tel.: 024 032 0119 / 020 876 0311

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SELLING & LETTING PROPERTY

As a property owner, at some point, you might want to cash in on your possession by selling or renting out your real estate. Before you do this, it’s a good idea to hire a professional building surveyor to make sure the construction and condition of your house does not present any hidden problems that will be worrisome to would-be buyers and renters.

meQasa helps with tips on how to price your property to sell quickly and still be profitable. You can also implement tips on how to increase the value of your home before selling or renting it out. Once you have the basics covered and are certain which way to go, you need to make your intention known to potential clients. This can be done in different ways (majority of home owners defer to the services of professional real estate agents):

  1. Word of mouth: This is the oldest means of marketing. It starts out slow, by informing family and friends and encouraging them to tell others about your available property for sale or rent, in hopes that the news eventually reaches interested buyers or renters. Unless your family is connected to a network that is great at spreading the word or your asking price is significantly lower than the standard market price, you’re very likely in for a long wait.

  2. Traditional & Digital Marketing: Posters/billboards involve quite a bit of money, since printing does not come cheap. You may also need to pay people to place your designed ads in various vantage areas where they are likely to get maximum visibility. Additionally, you could advertise online and take advantage of the most far-reaching and one of the cheapest methods of reaching potential clients. Real estate search portals like meQasa.com offer you the chance to market your property, making it easy to get your property before interested buyers and thus, quickly close a deal. You get access to a dashboard from where you can manage your properties and leads and easily communicate with them till it is time to close the deal. It is currently free to list on our website and does not require much effort on your part once your listing is live. You do need to periodically return to see the interest your ad has generated and call back the leads the site has collected for you to quickly close your sale.

  3. Using a real estate agent/agency: This is usually the way to go if you want to focus on other things while the advertising of your property is going on. Hiring a professional agent takes some of the headache that come with representing your own property. You no longer need to worry about receiving calls at odd hours from interested buyers; handling long questions from people who may eventually not buy; having to avail yourself to show the property to potential tenants/buyers; interviewing and rejecting potential tenants who do not match your ideal tenant criteria, etc. All of these will be handled by the agent for a fee of typically 5% of the total value of the sale or 10% of rent lump sum, or as otherwise agreed between you. Hiring an agent/agency comes with the following benefits:

    • All marketing costs are borne by the agent/agency. This covers billboards, posters, social media advertisements, real estate marketplace advertising and monitoring.They will handle all interactions with prospective clients both online and offline and only bring you in when they have found a satisfactory client who is prepared to make a move.
    • The agent/agency ideally has a professional edge and knowledge of the industry and is therefore in a better position to communicate the best features of your house and neighbourhood to get a client interested in owning or renting it.
    • Customer-handling and negotiation skills are an added bonus when you use the services of a professional real estate agent. Their experience handling multiple types of clients in their past transactions makes them more capable of handling objections and quickly identifying serious leads that have a stronger likelihood of buying or renting the property.


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18 QUESTIONS TO ANSWER BEFORE YOU START YOUR HOME SEARCH

Finding your next home - one that you will love - requires some groundwork from you. It’s necessary to be honest with yourself about certain things and make some decisions even before you log into meQasa.com. Once you have gone through these questions, which will help paint the picture of what you seek in a home, you’ll be ready to take off and are more likely to pick effectively, having set your criteria.

  1. How much can you afford?
  2. How long are you seeking accommodation for? (a few months or years)
  3. Is renting or buying a place the best decision for you?
  4. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
  5. Do you need a fully furnished, unfurnished or semi-furnished place?
  6. How much square footage do you need?
  7. Is living in the city centre important? Or do you prefer to be in a more suburban and quiet area?
  8. What neighbourhoods would you prefer to live in?
  9. Which neighbourhoods would you absolutely not consider living in?
  10. Do you have a car for daily commute? (this affects whether living close to main streets matter)
  11. Do the neighbourhoods you like offer great amenities that are important to you? (e.g. supermarkets and other shops closeby, good transportation links, well-lit streets, etc)
  12. If looking to purchase from a developer, are they registered members of the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association?
  13. Will you need a roommate to help split expenses?
  14. What are your must-haves in a place versus your desired amenities but ones that you can do without?
  15. Do you prefer an apartment or a self-compound detached house?
  16. Do you have a pet/pets?
  17. Do you have needs that require you to be on the ground floor? (e.g. hip or leg problems)
  18. Do you foresee having a live-in househelp? (if so, you would need a room for him/her)

With regards to neighbourhoods, you may refer to our LIVING IN: Accra neighbourhood profiles for insight into various areas in the capital and what they have to offer.


Still have a few questions about finding accommodation or living in Accra? We’re here to help make your residential experience as smooth as can be so give us a call or send us an email and let’s get you on your way to happy home life!
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