Making an investment in purchasing a house is undoubtedly one of the biggest decisions anyone can ever make. In Ghana, developers specifically build properties targeting expats. This means there is a large market in Ghana for expats. What are some of the steps that need to be considered when buying a house as an expat?
ANSWER: For an expat or a foreigner who wishes to buy properties or invest in the real estate sector, it is important to register with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC). “It would be in the favour of expatriates who wish to invest in the sector to register with GIPC. This will even be helpful for them especially when they are leaving the country. Some funds can readily be made available for you. That guarantees you security in the business that you are doing here,” says Senior Property Consultant, Natalie Omenye.
When the property is being bought for personal use, there is no need to register with the GIPC but rather, it is necessary to do the checks. There are specific features that most house hunters look out and according to property consultant; the most important one is their safety. “Expats are really concerned about their safety. They would want to leave their homes and return without worrying about people breaking into their homes and stealing or committing any crime,” says Omenye. Perhaps this dictates the location and the kind of properties they buy.
Other factors that are of concern to expats when they are searching for properties are: proximity to the airport, availability of schools in their neighbourhood so the children do not sit long in traffic, shopping malls. These factors tend to run through what they look out for. There are other factors that expatriates may look out for. “This depends on the personal choice of the expat; some would want swimming pools in their yards, others would prefer gardens. Some may not even want a house but would rather prefer apartments,” says Omenye.
Expatriates may have a tall list of must-haves for their dream property but the key word to purchasing a property in Ghana is getting them from a trusted developer. There are so many developers in the country and to determine the trusted ones, a thorough search must be conducted. Neighbourhoods to consider for properties as an expat include Labone, Cantonments, Osu, Airport, Dzorwulu, Roman Ridge and East Legon.