Renting an apartment in Ghana can stir up every kind of emotion in you. It is like the feeling of excitement with which you walk into your dream 5-star hotel’s restaurant to have lunch, which eventually quickly fades after waiting longer than you expected or were assured of, then the waiter shows up with your meal and your mouth begins to water (you know that feeling right?), only to open the food to realize there has been a mix-up.
For a small country with a total area of about 238,535 sq. km and a population of barely 30 million, one would think housing in Ghana would be easily accessible and affordable for all if they did the math. However, it is not so. The reality is the exact opposite.
Accra is the second most inhabited city in Ghana. If you found an apartment within budget, right in the center of Accra, there is the highest chance that it could be looking old and dilapidated, hence requiring you to refurbish it at an extra cost. You may be thinking: “that should be the landlord’s duty right?” Sure, it is! But again, chances are that the phase lift given wouldn’t be as you want it.
Looking to rent an apartment in Accra, especially can be quite an arduous task for a low to middle-income earner. This is because, most moderately priced apartments in the heart of the city are quite old buildings that often do not appear decent enough, coupled with the norm of landlords requesting a lump sum payment of up to two years of the monthly rent charge. Hence, when looking to rent an apartment in Ghana, especially in the heart of Accra, one must have raised enough to cover up to two years of their rent charges to be on the safe side. Lest you find an apart which suits your taste in every sense only for it to be gone in a couple of days if you an unable to quickly pay up. Renting an apartment in Accra is that hard.
Renting or buying an apartment in Accra, is ridiculously characterized by exorbitant pricing. Moderately or even fairly priced apartments are located at the outskirts of the city, usually not state-of-the-art enough and lacking amenities in some cases. This is the consequence of Ghana’s complex land acquisition processes. It causes Real Companies to invest more than envisaged such that, they are compelled to price apartments quite highly to make a profit, otherwise, they may only break even.
Of course, there are real estate companies and real estate agents who take advantage of the situation to cash in ridiculously. Not to mention these real estate agents charging hefty commissions after helping you secure your desired apartment with every key feature checked.
You are better off embarking on your search for an apartment yourself if you cannot afford to pay up to 10% of two years rent advance as commission to a real estate agent. Adding salt to injury are landlords who won’t give old apartments a phase lift yet quote outrageous rent charges and are often looking to only accept tenants willing to pay up to two years of rent in advance. This is actually the norm surrounding renting an apartment in Ghana.
Despite the idiosyncrasies associated with apartments for sale in Accra, it is still a much better option to buy an apartment than to rent it. Landed property is the most priced property one could own in Ghana due to the increasing rate of appreciation resulting from pricing property in U.S. dollars most of the time. E.g. Five years from today, property currently slated at $100,000 could fetch twice the amount or more. This implies that buying an apartment now, could save you from doing so at double the current price in five years.
If you are in the position to make an outright purchase, all the better. Otherwise, securing a home loan or mortgage in Ghana Cedis is advisable and less risky since the exchange rate in Ghana increases pretty fast. It is better to be indebted in Cedis than in foreign currency, particularly in U.S. Dollars, Pounds Sterling, or Euros.
Banks known to offer top-notch mortgage services in Ghana include Republic Bank, Ghana Home Loans Bank, Ecobank Ghana, FNB Bank, Stanbic Bank Ghana, and Absa Ghana, to mention but a few. The aforementioned banks are known to provide mortgages to suit the needs and income levels of their clients.
It is important, however, to be sure to have a stable source of income with which the mortgage can be serviced throughout the period of payment. The average payback period for buying an apartment on a mortgage in Ghana is 5 years. Some financial institutions spread mortgage payments as widely as spanning over a period of 11 to 15 years.
The second important factor to consider when securing a mortgage ensuring to have the apartment insured the moment it is secured. Life and its events are inevitable, hence in the case of a fire outbreak or natural disaster such as flooding, you will be sure to receive compensation for the damages. Banks that offer mortgages often provide insurance services with their clients by Liaising with top insurance companies. Be sure to speak with your bank’s relationship manager about the process of insuring your newly acquired apartment.
The location also has a significant influence on the price of an apartment for sale in Accra, Ghana. Top neighborhoods in Accra known to be serene, tidy, safe, easily accessible, close to town enough or even situated at the heart of Accra, in addition to the availability of amenities include Cantonments, Trasaaco Valley Estates, Dzorwulu, Airport Residential Area, Airport Hills, Roman Ridge, East-Legon and West-Legon. Apartments in these areas are high-end, ranging from $85,000 – $600,000.
For as low as $50,000 one can easily secure an apartment at the outskirts of the city in vicinities such as Oyibi, Oyarifa, Abokobi, Adenta, and Kasoa. However, you are likely to find apartments with not-so-luxurious architecture with the availability of amenities not being guaranteed or regular.
Consider a mortgage as paying rent to own the apartment after a number of years. Take the first step to buying an apartment today. A decade from now, you would be glad you did.