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Find Your Dream Home: Your purchasing journey starts here

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Big white house with patio and big garden

When most people start their home-buying journey, they usually start by listing common necessities: school district, commute time, and the type of neighbourhood they are looking for. However, what yardsticks you use to guide your search is important. Depending on how effectively you pick the yardsticks to use to guide your search, you may find the appropriate property or the wrong one.

Homebuyers should first start by considering the type of property they are looking for. This includes the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and whether they would prefer a house or condo. However, how can this be accomplished? Here is a simple guide to help you get started on your next search!

 

1. Start with a plan, don’t leave it to chance

It’s important to create a realistic plan before you even start thinking about purchasing or renting a home. Place possible price limits, decide on the area of town where you want to live, and evaluate how much you can afford. You should also weigh the pros and cons of buying vs renting. This will lead you to your likes and dislikes of owning property. Your budget will help determine what kinds of homes are available to you based on how much money you want to spend per month or year. How long you plan on staying in the home is also an important factor because some mortgages require a 20-25% down payment while others only require 3%.

 

2. Get prequalified for a mortgage before you start buying anything!

You should also think about mortgage options depending on your yearly income and the type of house you want. It’s very difficult to buy a home if you don’t have the financial resources to qualify for a mortgage. A prequalified mortgage means that your lender has looked at your finances and determined that you likely won’t be paying more than the total cost of the home in the near future. Lenders have different qualifications that they will want from you.

Many first-time homebuyers have to deal with the dilemma of saving enough money for a down payment on a house. Different lenders will require anything from 0.5% of the total purchase price to 30%. How much you are able to contribute can depend on many factors, including your job stability, income level, household size, credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and previous financial commitments.

 

3. What are some things to consider when searching for a home?

The first thing you should consider are factors that are important to you. You may want better schools for your children, more space, fewer neighbours, or be able to view the city lights. Before looking at homes do research about each neighbourhood. Once you narrow it down, the real estate agents will show you different listings in your price range. The most important considerations are the location, and how long you plan to stay in the home. Location is very important because it will determine commuting distance, commute time, and crime rates if applicable.

 

4. How do you find a realtor?

Whether you are house hunting, looking to sell your current property, or if you want to develop a rental strategy for your holdings, find a realtor that suits these needs and is flexible with price and locations. We all know how difficult the job market is. So, if you are in the process of putting your home on the market or are looking to buy a new one, it is wise to know how to find a real estate agent who can represent you. With so many qualified candidates out there, narrowing down who you want will take some time. However, this blog is here to help! We have answers about how you can speed up your search. Ask around with family and friends and see who has good feedback and knowledge. A personal touch, advice you can trust, and convenience are just some of the benefits when working with a realtor.

 

5. Where do you start your search?

There are plenty of real estate websites out there that offer a variety of options for you to browse through. Regardless of where you start your search, it is important to always use all the resources that are available for you. Using multiple resources increases your chances of arriving at the best deals out there!

 

6. Go ahead and tour the property… but watch out for these signs too!

  • It doesn’t smell good: If you smell mould, sewage or methane gas during your walk-through, it might not be a landlord or homeowner issue – it could be an indication of structural problems such as water intrusion and rotted framing.
  • It smells bad: Musty odours can also indicate future issues, mostly due to ineffective ventilation and/or water problems.
  • There are animals present: Animals can introduce allergens for people with pet allergies and there’s a chance that they’re in collusion with a vermin infestation in your new home!

 

Conclusion

By now, you’ve probably narrowed your choices to a few different homes and now it’s time to make your decision! Figure out what compromise is best for you. Given all of the features and benefits, can you make an even more informed decision?

The Impact of Covid-19 (Corona Virus) on the Real Estate Industry

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The world as of today is experiencing swift instability in economic growth due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) which originated from China. The rapid spread of the virus across the world has raised questions among nations, analysts and economists alike; the question, what are the effects of this pandemic globally in areas such as health, businesses, industries, governments, investments among others.

The continuous spread of the virus has called for shutdowns of all to major economic activities, factories in countries including China the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter. Disturbing as it is, the shutdowns that started with China affected several countries’ day-to-day activities because of intercontinental trades that tie these countries together. The measures taken to contain the spread has affected many industries, the real estate industry inclusive. However, the impact of the virus varies by segments of the market and the period of shutdowns. There is no telling how much impact the real estate industry will face due to uncertainty in lifting off shutdowns, quarantines, layoffs, and curfews.

The section of the industry that has felt much of the shutdowns is hotels, lodges, conference centers, restaurants, casinos (particularly in tourist areas and travel checkpoints), then to retails, luxury and residential homes. While supplies for new developments to meet previous demand on housing are being interrupted as workers, businesses, supply companies stay home, demand for real estate in connection with tourism and travels (hotels, town halls, conference centers, etc.) are relatively low. Not only do developers feel the drawback on the supply of materials but also on-demand from homebuyers. These forces coupled with other factors from various industries will drive the global economy into a downturn.

What does this mean for Realtors and Buyers?

For the time being, realtors are becoming innovative about their businesses. Instead of moving about and showing homes on the market to buyers, they are launching digital home touring to keep the market active so to say. The pandemic will affect household income due to the shutdown of economic activities. Buyers’ decision to buy a home now will be influenced by a constant flow of income regardless. While this may be the case, there will be different groups of buyers, those with secured jobs and income may still want to buy while those whose income is affected by the spread of the virus may be unable to.

What do those looking to sell do?

It is important for sellers to understand the turbulence in the global economy and industries due to the pandemic, and how this could affect the price of their homes. Although some sellers will sell because of reasons known to them, others will not but wait, as profits may decline. This is not to say that conditions are the same and turnovers for sellers may decline in every region. No, there is a varying degree to the situation and it is only based on factors in each region that one can decide to sell or not to sell.

How will investors react to the situation?

There is no one way how things will turn out for investors from different regions and sectors of the market. For some sections of the market, it may be time for investors to buy if the price falls. However, one must understand that there is no certainty about how economic activities will turn out, as well as their investments as this is tremendously dependent on the length of time it takes to contain the virus and how quickly the economy stabilizes.

The mortgage institutions and their response to the contagion.

Following the impact of the virus on the financial market, the decline in interest rates has affected the mortgage institution as well. The outbreak of the virus will make it difficult for the mortgage institution to take action on evicting occupiers who defaulted on their mortgage. Meanwhile, the volatility in the market will cause new applications for a mortgage to slow down or be canceled to avoid risk.

By far, the 2020 economy will be hard due to the coronavirus outbreak. It is however clear that the economy is undergoing recession and to recover from it will depend on how the spread is contained, how quickly governments, financial institutions, companies, and industries work at stabilizing the economy.

Job Opening 2018: Administrative Assistant

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Administrative Assistant
We are recruiting!
Azunus Realty Consult is looking for a Personnel to work with.
Job Title: Administrative Assistant
Qualification:
• Higher National Diploma (HND)
• Completed National Service
• Female
Job Requirement:
• With 1-2 years’ experience
• Knowledgeable in basic accounting
• Computer literate
• Must be able to market houses for rent or sale
• Ability lobby for contracts
• Smart and have the ability to work without supervision
• Graphic Designing is an added advantage
Interested Persons should send their application and CV to Hr@azunusrealty.com
Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.
Deadline: Wednesday, 28th September 2018

Real Estate Investing Advice 2018

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Real estate can be the ultimate nest egg (pictured: Dana Bull). Courtesy of Dana Bull
  • Dana Bull is a realtor and real estate investor based in Massachusetts.
  • She became a landlord in her early 20s when she bought a condo and rented it out for extra income; she now owns more than a dozen rentals.
  • Investing in real estate is like building a business: It takes patience and hard work.

At 22 years old, I accidentally started a business when I persuaded my boyfriend that we should buy a condo together. Little did I know, the small purchase would jump-start an entire real-estate career.

Throughout our 20s, we went on to acquire a couple of dozen rentals in the Boston area. Along the way, we tied the knot, making our living arrangements and real-estate initiatives much less taboo — a major source of relief for our parents. But, that’s a story for another day.

Let’s not sugarcoat it. For me, it was really tough in the beginning (the housing stuff, not the marriage). I specifically remember spending not one but two Valentine’s days cleaning up after a sewer backup.

In those early years, I had to keep my eyes on the prize to stay motivated. Investing in real estate is a worthwhile endeavor if you play your cards right. Here’s why:

  • Cash flow: Rental properties are highly desirable for their ability to generate positive cash flow. This means after your mortgage and other housing-related expenses are paid off, you have extra profit. Lots of people are even turning their primary residence into an income-producing asset by renting out a bedroom or extra space.
  • Appreciation: While not always, generally speaking housing values tend to appreciate over time. That means the longer you own a property, the more it should be worth. This is why many people refer to a home or a piece of real estate as the ultimate nest egg.
  • Leverage: A lesser-known advantage of owning real estate is using the property as leverage. By consistently paying down the mortgage you have the opportunity to tap the equity you have built up. Talk about the ultimate rainy-day fund! If you own multiple buildings or buildings with several units under one roof, you have the option to cash out at any time.
  • Tax advantages: Landlords have a few tax advantages over regular homeowners. They get to deduct items such as interest, insurance, maintenance, and even depreciation over time as business write-offs. Plus, when an investor sells a property and exercises a 1031 exchange to reinvest the proceeds into a new property, the person can defer all capital-gains taxes.

What I love about real estate is that you can build your own strategy. My bread and butter has been purchasing small multifamilies with two to four units per building. This is a great entry-level strategy, especially for those looking to live in one apartment while renting out the rest to offset a mortgage. I’ve mentored countless buyers on this approach, as it’s a logical avenue when getting started.

There are many ways to build your portfolio, however, from buying vacation homes, to commercial space, or land. Other possibilities include teaming up with partners and going in together on a big complex. If you are looking for something more passive, Real Estate Investing Trusts tend to produce similar returns to stocks in the long term.

The lure of owning real estate is pretty compelling. The goal for most is to achieve passive income from rentals. Of course, the Holy Grail is reaching financial freedom — meaning you can maintain your desired lifestyle through that income alone.

So, why isn’t everyone investing in real estate?
As I alluded to earlier, investing in real estate is building a business. Ask anyone you know who has ever tried to launch a company, open a restaurant or even start an Etsy shop … it’s not easy! What is easy is underestimating what’s involved.

The honest truth is that anyone can do it. But, you have to be willing to accept these three facts:

1. Getting started is really hard

To be an investor in real estate you need time or money, ideally both. I’m sorry, but there’s no two ways around that — it’s just common sense. If you don’t have time, then you will have to outsource many of the tasks, which will chew into your profits. If you don’t have money, then you will sink a lot of time into putting together deals with someone else’s financial backing.

Time and money are hot commodities. You can’t just snap your fingers and own a home, never mind an entire building. You have to research, analyze, and go through the process to make the acquisition. This is the stage where most people give up. They realize it takes up too many resources in their day-to-day life to make it happen.

2. Scaling is even harder

It doesn’t get easier once you actually own the property. As with any business, you will face challenges, namely, How can you grow given your constraints? These limitations almost always boil down to, you guessed it, time and money. Do you have time to handle maintenance requests? Do you have the money to hire a property manager? There is no easy answer.

As you scale, there are countless situations to work through. The highs can be very high and the lows very low. One month all your tenants pay on time, and the next you’re at eviction court. The lows are stressful and can make any business owner second-guess whether it’s worth it.

3. Waiting is the hardest

Remember that story the tortoise and the hare? Slow and steady wins the race. It can take a while to reach your end goal, and getting there may not be a straight line. You could have big, short-term wins (or losses!). While not the norm, some of my clients have cleared $100,000-plus through savvy buying and selling in a short time frame.

Part of this is luck and part of this is strategy. Realistically, building a reliable and repeatable business model that will support you for the long haul is not created overnight and requires you to hang on to your real estate.

Is it all worth it? I think so! Building anything worthwhile requires hard work. If you are interested in real estate, and willing and able to commit, it could be the right business for you.

How to Acquire and Register a Land in Ghana

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How to Acquire and Register a Land in Ghana

Acquiring lands in Ghana is something that involves a lot. Without experience, therefore, one is likely to get into several problems. Many people who have bought lands without any experience have either lost it or have had to fight for it in court.  Since we would always need lands for agricultural or building or leasing purposes, it is necessary to find out the right way of acquiring and registering lands in Ghana.

Before we delve into the process and procedures for purchasing land in Ghana, let us update ourselves with the various forms of interest that exist over land and persons they are vested in.

Land Ownership in Ghana

    1. STOOL/ SKIN LANDS: These are lands under the custodianship of various chiefs
    2. INDIVIDUAL/PRIVATE LANDS: These are lands owned by individuals and private entities.
    3. FAMILY LANDS: These are lands managed by Heads of families assisted by principal members of the families.
    4. STATE AND STOOL VESTED LANDS: These are lands managed by the Lands Commission

Types of Interest in Land

A Legal interest in a land refers to the legally enforceable right to possess or use property.  When acquiring a land, it is necessary to find out the period within which you can use it to avoid future problems. These are some types of land interests:

The Allodial Title

The allodial title is the highest title in land recognized by law. Only traditional leaders, families or the Ghanaian government can hold such a title. It has an absolute interest meaning it does not expire.

Freehold Title

There are two forms of freehold title interest:

  • Customary freehold: This is an interest that individuals or groups hold in a land, which is owned by a larger traditional community – the allodial owner –  of which the interest holders are members or subjects. It is an interest that is transferrable to successors of the individual or subgroups until there are no successors.
  • Common law freehold – Common law freehold is similar to the customary freehold. The difference, however, is that this interest can be acquired by both strangers and members of the community that owns the land. A stranger in this regard refers to a Ghanaian who is not a member of the land-owning community. It is important to note that the 1992 Constitution by article 267 (5) forbids the creation of freehold interests in stool land in Ghana.

Leasehold

A leasehold/lease is an interest in land that has a specified start and end for a period, subject to payment of annual ground rents and covenants. It usually expires from 50 to 99 years.

Tenancy

They are created under contractual, share-cropping or other customary tenancy arrangements. Two very common tenancies in the Akan areas are “Abunu” where the land is acquired from the owner and “Abusa” or “do ma yenkye”, where farm proceeds are divided into two- thirds between the farmer and the landowner. Other areas have different names for these arrangements in the local dialects.

Licensing

Someone may acquire a land but not acquire it absolutely. A licence to operate is usually given to him/her temporally. These include lands near highways etc. Since we know there would be future developments in such areas, those lands are not sold absolutely, a license is given out for temporal use. This means that one does not have to put up a well-structured building on it. They usually last for three or five years.

Acquisition of Land

To acquire the land, it would be necessary to determine what you are going to use the land for be it for residential or commercial properties or agricultural purposes or recreational purposes. This would help determine the kind of land to acquire. You can acquire land through the following:

CHIEFS: This is predominant in the Ashanti Region. You acquire the land from the chief and he gives you an acquisition note and the site plan (Plan of the land you are acquiring.)

INDIVIDUALS: Here, you acquire the land from a private individual who may have acquired the land from someone else or from a chief. One must be very careful when purchasing from individuals. It would be necessary to research on the land to see if it really belongs to the person. Also, you need to know if it has not been sold to anyone else or if the land has not been taped for future national projects. Again, let the seller provide certified site plan demarcating the precise location of the land including its coordinates. It is necessary not to exchange money until you are assured of the land and have negotiated sales term.

FAMILY HEADS: Here, you acquire the land from a family head.

COURT: Here, you acquire the land from the court through auctions.

 

Registration of Land (How to Register a Land in Ghana)

STOOL/ SKIN LANDS-Registration procedures

  1. Applicant/developer negotiates with the chief concerned for the land.
  2. Three copies of the document executed between the chief and the applicant to be submitted to Lands commission
  3. A solicitor of the supreme court (i.e. a practising lawyer) must sign the back of each copy with his stamp duly affixed.
  4. Each copy of the document must have a site plan attached. Two extra site plans, making five (5) in all must accompany the documents.
  5. The back of the site plans are to be endorsed by both the chief (lessor)/seller and the applicant (lessee)/buyer.
  6. Each site plan is to be certified by the stamps of a licensed surveyor and the Regional surveyor and duly dated.
  7. At least two principal Elders of the stool (with status) must sign as witnesses.
  8. The witnesses of the applicant (lessee)/buyer must write full names, provide addresses and signature.
  9. Documents must be submitted to lands commission.
  10. Processing and registration fees should be paid.
  11. Chairman of Lands commission grants concurrence.
  12. Documents are released for stamping at land valuation Board.
  13. Applicant obtains a Tax Clearance Certificate at Internal Revenue Service.
  14. The document is registered at Deeds Registry at Lands commission.
  15. The applicant pays first year’s ground rent
  16. Original copy of the document is released to the applicant.

 

INDIVIDUAL / PRIVATE LANDS-Registration procedures

  1. Applicant/developer negotiates with the actual owner concerned for the land.
  2. Three copies of the document executed between the actual owner and the applicant to be submitted to Lands commission
  3. A solicitor of the supreme court (i.e. a practising lawyer) must sign the back of each copy with his stamp duly affixed.
  4. Each copy of the document must have a site plan attached. Two extra site plans, making five (5) in all must accompany the documents.
  5. The back of the site plans are to be endorsed by both the actual owner (lessor) /seller and the applicant (lessee)/buyer.
  6. Each site plan is to be certified by the stamps of a licensed surveyor and the Regional surveyor and duly dated.
  7. At least two principal Elders of the stool (with status) must sign as witnesses.
  8. The witnesses of the applicant (lessee)/buyer must write full names, provide addresses and signature.
  9. Documents must be submitted to lands commission.
  10. Processing and registration fees paid.
  11. Documents processed at Lands commission.
  12. Documents released for stamping at land valuation Board.
  13. Applicant obtains Tax Clearance Certificate at Internal Revenue Service.
  14. Document registered at Deeds Registry at Lands commission.
  15. Original copy released to Applicant.

FAMILY LANDS-Registration procedures

  1. Applicant/developer negotiates with the family Head and principal members of the family concerned for the land.
  2. Three copies of the document executed between the family Head and principal members of the family and the applicant to be submitted to Lands commission
  3. A solicitor of the supreme court (i.e. a practicing lawyer) must sign the back of each copy with his stamp duly affixed.
  4. Each copy of the document must have a site plan attached. Two extra site plans, making five (5) in all must accompany the documents.
  5. The back of the site plans are to be endorsed by both the actual owner (lessor) /seller and the applicant (lessee)/buyer.
  6. Each site plan is to be certified by the stamps of a licensed surveyor and the Regional surveyor and duly dated.
  7. At least two principal Elders of the stool (with status) must sign as witnesses.
  8. The witnesses of the applicant (lessee)/buyer must write full names, provide addresses and signature.
  9. Documents submitted to lands commission.
  10. Processing and registration fees paid.
  11. Documents processed at Lands commission.
  12. Documents released for stamping at land valuation Board.
  13. Applicant obtains Tax Clearance Certificate at Internal Revenue Service.
  14. Document registered at Deeds Registry at Lands commission.
  15. Original copy released to Applicant.

LET’S HELP YOU REGISTER A LAND IN GHANA

As seen above, the process involved in successfully acquiring and registering a land is quite strenuous. Are you wondering how you can acquire and register a land without going through all the stress? Azunus Realty consult is at your service. We serve as an agent in acquiring and registering lands on your behalf.

In acquiring a land, it is necessary to get someone who is experienced and knowledgeable in the field to lead you. This is to avoid problems, loss of land after acquisition, court issues etc. Azunus Realty Consult brings on board many years of experience and expertise in acquiring and registering lands in Ghana.

You, therefore, need not go through the hustle of securing a land all by yourself only to lose it later. We do all the necessary work to make sure the land you desire is registered and available to you for your use without any hindrances.

Our online portal also helps you locate lands to acquire. You search for available lands at various locations and choose from among them. After making your choice, we take it from there. We give you the necessary information you need to know concerning acquiring and registering it. After your approval, we represent you, acquire the land and register it on your behalf.

Acquiring and registering lands in Ghana is made easy with Azunus Realty Consult. Contact us now!

15 Things To Consider Before Renting Your First Apartment

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In the next 15 days, Azunus Realty Consult (https://www.azunusrealty.com) would be taking you through “15 Things To Consider Before Renting Your First Apartment.”
Or your second, or third, or…
We have noticed cases where first time home seekers make mistakes that cost them a lot of bucks (GHS). We believe that this education would bridge the gap that home seekers need to make informed decisions when renting.

Day One of 15 Things To Consider Before Renting Your First Apartment

Make Sure You Can Afford It

The question is not only whether you can afford it. It goes beyond just the cost of renting the home to running it. A critical assessment must be made on the running cost and cost of letting. What percentage these amounts form from your salary is an excellent way to know whether you can continue to afford such property or not. Have a checklist to rate a property against. Does it meet your standard and cost demands? If yes, then go for it.