If you’re considering moving to Ghana or buying an apartment, there is a great way to get started. Buying an apartment can be smart if you want your own space and have access to most of the social amenities. But it’s always crucial for ex-pats considering buying property in Ghana to do their research first and ensure they know what they’re getting into before making any commitments. Here are some questions we get asked about the overseas property:
What are the advantages of owning an apartment in Ghana as a foreigner?
As a foreigner, you are allowed to buy property in Ghana. This has both advantages and disadvantages.
The apartments can be bought at lower prices than those in other countries. In addition, you can get financing for your apartment or rent it out as an investment property for extra income. If you are not planning on staying in Ghana permanently, then this option might make sense because it is easier to sell the apartment than the entire house.
Buying an apartment in Ghana is an excellent option for foreign investors. There are several benefits of owning an apartment as a foreigner in Ghana.
- You are allowed to purchase property as a non-Ghanaian citizen. This is not the case in most African countries and can be difficult even in countries where it is possible, such as South Africa or Namibia.
- Property prices are typically lower than those found elsewhere on the continent, so you can enjoy significant savings if you invest here rather than elsewhere.
- You have more flexibility with renting out as an investment property or getting a mortgage because there are no restrictions against non-citizens owning property within Ghanaian borders (although it’s still advisable to verify these details with lawyers).
Ghana is a popular tourist destination, so the demand for housing is high. Many expatriates and foreign investors choose to purchase apartments in Accra or other cities with large populations of foreigners. This can be advantageous if you’re looking for somewhere to live that’s close to schools or businesses run by your friends and family who also live in Ghana.
The country’s economy is growing rapidly, so there are plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors. Ghana has a stable government and a democratic history that dates back to the 1950s. In recent years, it has become one of the most stable countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
What are the laws for foreigners owning property in Ghana?
You may be surprised to learn that foreigners can own property in Ghana. However, there are certain restrictions on the interest of the property and how long the interest can be acquired.
Technically, in our country’s constitution, foreigners are allowed to own property in Ghana, but their extent of interest and duration is stipulated in the constitution. That is, when a foreigner purchases land, he is entitled to a 50 years lease of interest on the land. However, the country’s citizens are entitled to freehold that gives them the interest of 99 years.
Again, when a foreigner buys a house or apartment, he still has to pay for the land when the lease expires. There are different land types categorised under the law. These include:
- State land: They are owned and managed by the states. The government ensures the management of these lands.
- Private land: they are lands owned by individuals or private organisations
- Family land: these lands belong to families and are managed by family heads.
- Public land/vested land: These lands are held in partnership between the government and the customary authorities.
- Stool land: these lands are under the custody of the stool or chieftains. The stool reserves the power to lease out the lands.
It is imperative to know that hiring an attorney or a solicitor is best if you’re buying property or coming in as a real estate investor in Ghana. They will be able to guide you through the process of purchasing land and navigating the laws surrounding it.
What do I need to consider before buying an apartment in Ghana?
It would be best to consider a few things before buying an apartment in Ghana.
- Price/Condition of the property.
Location is one of the most important things to consider when buying an apartment in Ghana. The general rule of thumb is that the closer you are to everything, the more expensive your apartment will be. However, there are some exceptions to this rule – for example, if you’re looking for a place located on a beachfront property or within walking distance from shopping malls and restaurants. Many gated communities lack prime locations. Eden Heights is one of the luxury apartment buildings that is sitting in a perfect location in Accra. It is well-connected with good road infrastructure that easily connects you to the airport, malls, and beaches within the shortest possible time.
Before you buy a property, you need to consider the social amenities. It is vital to ensure that the area where you are considering buying your home has good roads and transportation facilities to take you in and out of town. The other thing is the amenities: what security systems are in place? What about schools, hospitals, and restaurants? How far are they from your apartment? The answer sits in Eden Heights because the luxurious gated apartment community has been able to find the sweet spots to live, play, and work.
The size is also significant because it won’t be comfortable if it’s too small or too big for your needs. Is there enough space for all your furniture and appliances? How many rooms do you need? Do they have views or balconies where you can relax after working hard all day?
The price should be within your budget, so it doesn’t strain your finances. Other costs are associated with owning property, like maintenance and insurance. You also shouldn’t buy an apartment before checking its condition because if something significant breaks down after moving into it, there could be legal issues like compensation, etc., which will be costly emotionally and financially!
Are there any amenities like swimming pools and gyms? If yes, how far away are they from your apartment? What security measures are in place? What about transportation facilities: has the owner installed a visitor car park, or is there a parking lot nearby? Is the building safe from natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, etcetera?
If you’re buying an apartment in an urban area, there are legal requirements to follow, like getting permission from local authorities and utility providers. If you’re buying one in a rural area, then there must be no land disputes ongoing because this could delay your possession date by months or years! You should also check if the building has any restrictions on who can purchase property there: if it doesn’t allow foreigners, then you won’t be able to buy one even if you have all the finances ready!
How to find the right property to buy
You can find the perfect property for you by doing a thorough investigation. The first thing to do is visit some real-estate agencies and consult with them on what they have in your price range. You can also ask friends and relatives, as they may know of properties not listed with realtors. Online search with Meqasa and Ghana Property Finder, but be mindful of fraudsters online with juicy offers.
Once you have found a few promising properties, it is essential to identify whether these properties are priced fairly. For this reason, it is vital to get the opinion of an independent expert, such as an architect, surveyor, real estate professional, or real estate agent, before making an offer on any property.
You should also ensure that all taxes due on the property have been paid before purchasing it so as not to incur fines after buying it from its owner.
Once you have decided on the property you wish to purchase, it is essential to ensure that the seller has a clear title deed. This means that there should be no outstanding taxes or debts on the property and that any legal issues concerning ownership have been resolved in your favour.
Once you have made an offer on a property, the seller may accept or reject it. If he accepts it, then you can proceed with completing the purchase. However, if he rejects your offer, you can either make another or leave the deal entirely.
What is the legal process for buying property in Ghana?
Once you’ve found the perfect property, the next step is to register it with the Lands Commission. You will also have to pay transfer duty, stamp duty, and a certificate of title.
Finally, once these procedures are completed, and you can move in, you need to register your home with local authorities and provide them with proof that you live in Ghana full-time (for example, by showing your passport).
When you register your property, the Lands Commission will issue you with a certificate of title. This legal document shows that you own your property and gives you certain rights. You can use this document to sell or mortgage your house.
The Lands Commission is a government body responsible for managing land in Ghana. It’s part of the Ministry of Land and Housing, created in 1997. The commission has a main office in Accra and another in Kumasi.
The Lands Commission manages Ghana’s land and issues title certificates. You’ll need to register with them to buy property in Ghana.
In all the processes, don’t forget to consult a professional or a legal person to help in the due diligence process.
What documentation do I need to show before purchasing an apartment?
You will need to show many documents before purchasing an apartment in Ghana. These include:
- a passport – to prove your identity and nationality;
- a visa – to prove that you are allowed to enter Ghana;
- your work permit – so that we can confirm your employment status, salary, and length of employment with us; and
- copies of documents showing proof of residence in Ghana (if applicable).
A letter from your employer confirming that they are willing to sponsor your application; and a letter of recommendation from your bank (if applicable).
If you are self-employed, you will need to provide a letter from your bank confirming the amount of money in your account and copies of tax returns.
These are usually done in the preliminary stages as part of the buying process. However, when you are using the mortgage option, your bank will expect the following:
- Proof of identification: Ghana card, passport, and Driving license.
- Letter of intent:
- Applicant Age (18-55); The prospective tenant must not be below 18 and must not exceed the retirement age of 60.
- Current bank statement
- Personal guarantee of the applicant.
- Property tenure ranges from 5-to 15 years
- Requirement for Life insurance for the property
Note that foreigners might be required to provide additional documents depending on the bank’s requirements.
After the preliminary stage, you move to the pre-approval stage. In this stage, the bank focuses more on the borrower’s creditworthiness. The documents at the pre-qualification stages are usually collected and reviewed. The borrower’s overall financial health is examined. At this stage, the borrower knows the required interest rate to be charged and the mortgage payment structure. Once you meet their requirement, the mortgage will be issued.
How do I pay for an apartment in Ghana? (Financing Options)
There are a variety of ways to pay for an apartment in Ghana. The first is in cash, as this is the most common method. Another way is paying in instalments over time, which can be done through your bank or a local financial institution. The final option is a mortgage loan from your bank or another financial institution.
A mortgage loan is the most common way to purchase an apartment in Ghana. It’s important to note that the banks will require you to have a stable job with a steady income before they give you a mortgage, so be prepared to provide them with proof of employment.
Note that you can purchase a mortgage in cedis or dollars. The interest rate charged on the Cedi or dollar mortgage is different. In 2020, the interest rate on a mortgage priced in Cedi from 23%-31 % per annum. Today, you would have to consult the bank due to the uncertainty regarding strengthening the Cedi. It was 11%-12.5% for the dollar mortgage interest rate.
Remember that a down payment will be required from you ranging from 15%-30%, and the lender will pay the difference.
In many cases, you will be asked by the bank to provide a letter of offer (that is, if you are buying from a real estate developer), land title certificate, indenture, site plan, valuation report, home insurance, and to mention a few.
For instance, if you are interested in purchasing an apartment of your choice from Eden Heights through a mortgage facility, the management will assist since they have some of the financial institutions they work with directly; this will alleviate the stress you need to go through.
So, if you have been looking to invest in Ghanaian property and are considering buying an apartment, we hope this article has helped answer some of your questions.