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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.

 

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

Don’t pay for anything until you have seen the Apartment

No matter how hasty you are, never pay for a property without seeing it. There is a possibility that the property has been misrepresented. If you are busy to check on your property yourself, do get an agent. Depending on an agent in the circumstances like this is worth a while.

 

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

If the landlord seems too eager to rent you the place, be careful.

Renting an apartment requires a lot of checks. Checks on the property and its ownership status. Don’t be caught in the web of dealing with wrong people or renting a substandard property.
As a renter, you are supposed to consider these two principles:

    • Nemo Dat Quod Non Habet:
      The basic principle that a person who does not own property, especially a thief, cannot confer it on another except with the true owner’s authority. Hence you need to ensure that the lessor has actual authority to release the property to you. Otherwise, you may have a none existent contract.
    • In addition, buyers (home renters) are advised to beware; Caveat emptor is a Latin term that means “let the buyer beware. You are supposed to perform your own checks on the property which includes the physical structure, checks on ownership and interest and even encumbrances that may exist over the property.

This may be quite technical for you as a first-time renter. Thus why you may need an agent to assist you in making the right decisions.

 

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

Gauge your Landlord.

Lets hear from you. What is your understanding of the Tip below?

 

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

Try to meet your potential neighbours.

Lets hear from you. What is your understanding of the Tip below?

 

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

Figure out where the common walls are.

Lets hear from you. What is your understanding of the Tip below?

 

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

Visit the neighbourhood on nights and weekends before signing anything.

Lets hear from you. What is your understanding of the Tip below?

 

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

Conder their Pet policy.

Lets hear from you. What is your understanding of the Tip below?

 

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

Consider your commute.

Lets hear from you. What is your understanding of the Tip below?

 

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

Go over exactly what utilities are covered.

Lets hear from you. What is your understanding of the Tip below?

 

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

Check all the faucets and flush all the toilets.

Lets hear from you. What is your understanding of the Tip below?

 

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

Make sure the air conditioning and heater work.

Lets hear from you. What is your understanding of the Tip below?

 

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

Open all the drawers, cabinets and doors.

Lets hear from you. What is your understanding of the Tip below?

 

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

Make a checklist and take photos.

Lets hear from you. What is your understanding of the Tip below?

 

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

Scope out your outlets.

Lets hear from you. What is your understanding of the Tip below?

Thank you for going through this fifteen-day tutorial on home renting with us. If you have any questions do contact us. we would love to share our knowledge on real estate and land management with you. Thank you for reading.

Ghana faces surplus housing, Despite deficit

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Housing in Ghana

In an ironic twist of facts, Ghana is currently experiencing a housing surplus, but many citizens cannot afford decent housing. Since 2010, Ghana has been tagged as experiencing a housing deficit of 1.7 million units, but industry players believe the deficit could be more as the country’s population has increased since then.

However, present trends show that the probable increase in deficit may not because of an increase in population but due to the inability of citizens to afford houses.

Although the constant cry of the lack of housing has attracted many investors to the housing sector, the construction of several flats, apartments, estates, detached and semi-detached buildings has not been matched with an equal rate of occupancy, the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) has stated.

“Currently, there is just 60 per cent occupancy of upper tenants,” the Executive Secretary of GREDA, Mr Samuel David Kofi Amegayibor, told the Daily Graphic recently.

Affirming that there was a surplus in housing, he said some people were buying housing properties because they saw them as worth investing in, but sales had slowed down because “you wouldn’t want to buy properties people don’t want to occupy due to their high cost.”

State Housing Company

His assertion was echoed by some staff of the State Housing Company (SHC), who exhibited at a Sanitation, Water and Construction conference and fair held in Accra. They said although the SHC had projects in all the 10 regions in the country, the rate of occupancy was just about 60 per cent, meaning that not all of its flats, detached and semi-detached dwellings were being occupied.

Currently, the company’s two-bedroom Rowi flats are going for GH¢253,000, while three-bedroom apartments on the same flats cost GH¢310,000.

The SHC, which was established in 1956 to develop affordable housing units for Ghana’s population, currently has a total of 94 housing estates, with about 32,000 dwelling houses across the nation and being managed by the company through an operational structure which groups Ghana’s 10 regions into five zones – Greater Accra, Ashanti, Northern, Western and Eastern.

The Greater Accra and Western zones boast 27 estates each – the largest, followed by Eastern with 14 estates in Koforidua and Ho, while the Northern zone made up of Tamale, Bolgatanga and Wa, as well as Ashanti made up of Kumasi and Sunyani, have a total of 13 estates apiece.

The reason for the low to moderate rate of occupancy is the high rent and cost of most of the buildings put up by both the SHC and private estate developers, investigations by the Daily Graphic have unearthed.

Cost of apartments

While it does not require a trained eye to notice the springing up of new estates, flats and beautifully designed buildings in Accra and other major cities in the country, it is their prices that have scared prospective house owners.

Current prices of apartments, mostly quoted in dollars in view of the unstable exchange rate, are between $30,000 and $600,000 for a single bedroom apartment to a five-bedroom fully furnished house.

According to Mr Amegayibor, developers belonging to GREDA were putting up two-bedroom semi-detached houses occupying about 60 to 80 square metres that cost $30,000 (about GH¢150,000) as the lowest priced, but which brought out the question of how many people could afford it.

He, however, said “the reality on the ground is that that is the best the developers can do.”

He added that prices could go as high as $200,000 for the same house size for the upper market in prime areas, while a single bedroom house could cost $120,000.
They could cost about $85,000 in places on the outskirts of the city which are now being developed, he said.

The Managing Director of pioneering estate developer in Ghana, Regimanuel Grey Limited, Mr Ibrahim Bah, told the Daily Graphic that a two-bedroom semi-detached apartment with kitchen, garage, and veranda ranged from $65,000 and could go right up to $600,000.

The company also puts up four-bedroom apartments, bungalows, flats, two-storey buildings. He showed a master plan of 17,000 homes being built at Katamanso near Accra on which is a combination of bungalows, one-storey buildings and apartments, which start from $65,000 and scale up to $250,000.

There are also high-end apartments selling for between $500,000 and $600,000 with high aesthetics and fully furnished with all home appliances at Sakumono (Community 13).

At one of its new developments, Balloon Gate Estate at Kwabenya in Accra, two-bedroom flats sell for US$90,000.

Reason for the Surplus

Building high-end dwellings is not a misplaced priority, Mr Amegayibor surmises but believes “it is a bit unfortunate or disturbing to note that while there is a huge demand for housing and the developers have also tried to put some houses on the market they are unable to sell. That tells you that there is a bit of mismatch as to what is required and what is supplied.”

He says the reason for the mismatch is the challenge faced by developers.

“It is the challenge that the developer is facing that makes it so because he is producing something and he is producing at a cost and the prospective home owner’s budget or affordability is a complete mismatch, meaning the developers are not able to match the kind of housing they are looking for and that is why there is this big disparity.”

He urged that “as a nation we have to look at the issues that are bringing this up and look for solutions to them; if not we will continue to suffer, especially affordable housing – we will only talk about it but on the ground it is almost difficult to achieve it.”

Low patronage

Mr Amegayibor said GREDA’s members, especially those putting up houses for the upper market, were complaining of the lack of patronage.

“There used to be good market for it some time back but today you see that a lot more development is ongoing; several houses are coming up in the prime areas and you realise that one small land that originally was occupied by one family has been demolished and converted into several floors of apartments. It means several units have been created there and so that has been on the market but sale is not going as it used to be.

“In the past a lot of people were keen to own them and they were not as expensive as now. Most people, mostly Ghanaians, bought them for investment purposes, not for them to live there themselves but to rent them out to expatriates and foreign business people who are in town. Now there are so many of them coming up and it looks like it is getting a bit saturated and so for several of the new ones that are coming up, the sales are not going as they used to go and if you look at the trend it is also as if it is almost the same buyers who are re-buying.

“Because they put them in investments, maybe they made so much from rentals and those who used mortgage to buy were able to pay back but now the trend is changing a bit. Most of the houses that people bought some time back, they claim they have not been rented for sometimes a year or so – they have bought those houses and they are still empty and so the investment option is also becoming difficult,” he added.

He said if the buyer used a loan facility to buy the apartment it meant he or she would be paying interest while the house or apartment remained empty.

Deficit

The building of apartments, since the 1.7 million units deficit was declared in 2010, has contributed very little to reduce the shortage of housing in Ghana. According to Mr Amegayibor, a unit spans between one and three-bedroom apartments and the 1.7 million deficit from 2010 is just the average which was supposed to house a population of about 5.4 million if the survey conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service around the same year is factored in.

“When the 1.7 million was reached, it was also established that we needed around 130 to 140 units a year over the next 10 years to try and lower it.

“If we add on you realise that we should be hitting around two million housing deficit,” he stated.

What You Need To Know About Real Estate Investment

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Real estate investment

Real estate investment involves the purchase, ownership, management, rental and/or sale of real estate for profit.

Forms of Real Estate Investment

Real Estate Investment takes different forms. Let’s look at them.

Buying and Renting: Buying and renting a property is where a person purchases a property and rents it out and uses money from rentals to maintain the property.

Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT): A real estate investment trust (REIT) is created when a corporation (or trust) uses investors’ money to purchase and operate income properties. It is a form of collective investment scheme regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). REITs are bought and sold on the major exchanges, just like any other stock.

The Investment scheme pools capital from investors and uses it in the acquisition of income generating real estate, mortgage loans, or a combination of both.  Investors hold an indirect interest in real estate.

Real Estate Investment Groups: Real estate investment groups are sort of like small mutual funds for rental properties. If you want to own a rental property, but do not want the hassle of being a property owner, a real estate investment group may be the solution for you.

A company will buy or build a set of apartment blocks and then allow investors to buy them through the company, thus joining the group. A single investor can own one or multiple units of self-contained living space, but the company operating the investment group collectively manages all the units, taking care of maintenance, advertising vacant units and interviewing tenants. In exchange for this management, the company takes a percentage of the monthly rent. The quality of an investment group depends entirely on the company offering it.

Real Estate Trading: Real estate traders buy properties with the intention of holding them for a short period of time, then sell them later for profit. This is also called flipping properties and it’s based on buying properties that are either significantly undervalued or are in a very high market.

Leverages: With the exception of REITs, investing in real estate gives an investor one tool that is not available to stock market investors: leverage. If you want to buy a stock, you have to pay the full value of the stock at the time you place the order. Even if you are buying on margin, the amount you can borrow is still much less than with real estate.

Most “conventional” mortgages require 25% down payment, however, depending on where you live, there are many types of mortgages that require as little as 5%. This means that you can control the whole property and the equity it holds by only paying a fraction of the total value. Of course, your mortgage will eventually pay the total value of the house at the time you purchased it, but you control it the minute the papers are signed.

This is what emboldens real estate flippers and landlords alike. They can take out a second mortgage on their homes and put down payments on two or three other properties. Whether they rent these out so that tenants pay the mortgage or they wait for an opportunity to sell for a profit, they control these assets, despite having only paid for a small part of the total value.

Real Estate Market Analysis: To know the best form of investment to invest in requires a market analysis. A real estate market analysis is the process of analyzing a certain real estate market, based on historical and current data in order to identify the best potential investment properties to purchase in the market.

Real Estate market analysis involves identifying a location, the kind of property to invest in, finding a data source, property price, comparing other properties and deciding on the best investment property.

 

Importance of a Real Estate Market Analysis

Helps to make informed decisions: It helps investors make informed investment decisions to ensure the highest return on investment. Knowing the kind of market you are investing in, helps you avoid mistakes that lead to losses.

A real estate market analysis would prevent an investor from making mistakes. For instance, it would prevent an investor from building hostels for rent to students, only to sell them out as homes due to lack of patronage by students. This is the case in the Upper East Region of Ghana, where investors have invested in building hostels only to begin selling them out as homes because the patronage of hostels is low. A good Real Estate market analysis would prevent this.

Price Setting: Real estate market analysis helps you to know the value of your property. Knowing the value of your Property helps you set the selling or renting price.

The price you set for your home for rent or sale is determined by the value of the house. Through Real Estate market analysis, you are equipped to set a price that would be favourable to you and potential buyers.

Helps you in future investments: Knowing the market for your property helps you make informed future investment to get the highest return. It also helps you avoid mistakes that lead to losses.

 

Where to Get Quality Consultancy on Real Estate Investment

As seen from all the above, Real Estate Investment involves so much that every investor needs quality consultancy to avoid losses and make the highest return.

Azunus Realty consult provides quality consultancy on Real Estate Investment. Our team of expert researchers are well able to conduct a Real Estate market analysis that you need to make a good investment. We understand that investing and making the highest return is important for every investor. As a result, we guide our clients from the very beginning to the end of the process.

Our trustworthy researchers helps clients through all phases of acquisition to selling of the property. They guide you through  the type of investment to make, the kind of property to invest in, the location of the property, finding factual and historical data source and comparison of investment properties. Finally, we help clients to identify and select solid, cash-producing properties. Again, we help them sell the property when they’re ready.

We are open to work with beginners and clients who are already into investing in Real Estate property. We provide clients with expert knowledge in the field of Real Estate Investment for better returns.

Why Must I Use an Architect in Designing all my Building Plans

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Building Plans

Building Plans and Designs

Architectural plans/ building plans are designs and plans for buildings and contain architectural drawings, specifications of the design, calculations, time planning of the building process, and other documentation. All building projects require the services of a building designer, typically a licensed architect or structural engineer.

Process Involved In Designing Building Plans

Many processes are involved in designing a plan. They include the following;

  1. Preliminary research: This is where you examine your current home, lifestyle, and your budget. Here, you also seek advice from designers and decide on how you want your house or building to be like.
  2. Choose your designer: Choosing the right designer for your project is the most important step on the path to your new home. Engage a designer based on their experience, qualifications and demonstrated the capacity to deliver the type and style of the home described in your brief and for your climate zone. Seek references from previous clients and, where possible, visit homes that the designer has completed.
  3. Site analysis: Visit the site with your designer to do a ‘SWOT’ analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). This is your first opportunity to work with your designer to see if your objectives align. It can take the form of a paid consultation or can be part of the design contract outlined in the next step.
  4. Concept designs: Designers often prepare several concept designs to communicate their thinking and allow you to assess them against your brief. They can range from a simple bubble diagram sketch on the back of an envelope, through to hand-drawn concepts of form and spatial arrangements.
  5. Final design: Make your final design.

Importance of Using Professional Architects in Designing Building Plans

  1. Great understanding of your needs: Professional architects listen to you to get your designed concept and translate their vision into an architectural expression that complies with building codes.
  2. Better building designs: Professional architects are well equipped to tie your lifestyle with your home or preference with your building. They can deliver more interesting and creative spaces that work with the natural elements of the site and surroundings, all while factoring in budgets, schedules, building codes and zoning requirements.
  3. Avoiding design errors: Professional architects are able to avoid errors. Specifically, those included in plan books or with lack of experience. Planning and having well-detailed ideas on paper saves in the end. Through continued education and experience, professional architects are trained to know the most up-to-date best practices and superior designs.
  4. Creating solutions: Professional architects are experienced at creating big spaces with small budgets by finding creative solutions to complex questions. It is common for unexpected and unknown issues to arise during any project. A professional architect minimises and navigates the unknown through careful planning, research and understanding of the space throughout the entire design process.
  5. They help you choose the right materials and finishes: Their knowledge of a wide range of materials enables them to recommend the materials for your project, based on budget requirements, proportions, and functionality of the space.
  6. Negotiation with contractors: Processional architects can handle the tough aspects of contract negotiations on your behalf, while checking for accuracy in the implementation of design throughout the construction process, maintaining a clear understanding between all involved.

 

Where to Find Professional Architects for all your Building Plans

Azunus Realty Consult offers huge collections of building plans and architectural designs. We design dream home plans and plans for commercial structures as well as architectural designs for our clients.

We use a team of professional architectural drafters with many combined years of experience to produce modern sustainable structures with reduced construction costs. Our team of experienced architectural drafters with all patience and integrity, listen to you to grasp your ideals for your dream building and produce a suitable plan for you.

Your residential or commercial buildings such as market/office complexes, malls, hostels, hotels, homes etc. begin with Azunus Realty Consult. We will help you with ideation, planning, designing and personalisation of your dream home or commercial property. Also, if you are seeking inspiration for creating your dream building, we will provide many options to help you get inspired!

We establish a trustworthy relationship with our client helping them to get their preferred building plan and designs for all their building projects.

 

 

Land Conflicts; Causes and Solutions

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Land Conflicts
Image Source: Hikingartist

Conflict seems to be an integral part of life, most especially, in recent times. According to Margenthan 1973, “At every point in human life, conflict seems to pervade relationships.”
Land as a natural and fixed asset makes it vulnerable in terms of proportionate distribution of it to the public as a whole. It is with no doubt that certain forms of displeasure in interests between and among communities, clans, families and individuals prevail.

Causes of Land Conflicts in Ghana

The causes of land conflict can be appropriately discussed under the following headings; administrative, legal or juridical and customary.

On a first note, the weak Ghanaian land markets are to blame for some of the land disputes in the country. The land markets are not well equipped to provide easy and quick access to information regarding land related variables such as, land availability, plot prices, parcel externalities and conditions, among others. In other words, the lack of land information systems has been an influencing factor to land conflicts in Ghana. The lack of land information systems results in multiple sales of parcels and encroachments which are the nation’s threatening factors.

Again, practices such as land speculation, land grabbing and other forms of land hoarding techniques in the land market tend to cause a short supply of land to the numerous demands in the market. These practices threaten the security of tenure hence subsequent conflicts arise.

Administratively, there has been an insufficient implementation of regulations by land sector institutions. Regulations which are meant to monitor and regulate the actions of land users are left idle. Users, therefore, take advantage of this and transact deals within their own whims and caprices which may sometimes trample upon the interest of other users hence causing land conflicts.

The lack of communication, cooperation and coordination among land sector institutions is yet another course for land conflicts to arise. These institutions are supposed to work hand in hand for a common good. However, other institutions work without the knowledge of colleague institutions which results in technical errors. These errors tend to render transactions inaccurate and misleading which obviously are prone to causing land disputes. Lack of responsibility and insufficient control of state lands are some other administrative causes of land conflict.

On a legal basis, we can talk of legislative loopholes and the legal pluralisms regulating land markets. There are a myriad of laws in place to control land transactions but these are, however, sometimes contradictory. Due to this, different judgements are passed depending on which particular law was used. This has the effect of causing land disputes.

In addition to the above, the poor or disadvantaged in society usually have a limited or no access to law enforcement. On the other hand, some of these formal laws are not disseminated appropriately to reach all groups of people.

The Ghanaian customary practices cannot also be overlooked. Some of these practices are technically inaccurate and contemporarily outmoded. The use of stones and waterways and other landmarks to determine the boundaries of land parcels is obviously one of our recent odds. These landmarks may at some periods disappear due to one reason or another and are possible grounds to spark up confusion as to where one boundary ends and begins.
Most customary land laws are in the oral form. This makes the laws very flexible for individuals to alter the language and interpretation of such laws to their advantage which can create a serious conflict between and among people.

Proposed Solutions to Land Conflicts in Ghana

Having identified the causes of land conflicts, it is pertinent to find mitigating solutions so as to curtail or avoid the future occurrence of conflicts.

Firstly, it requires every individual to be on the lookout for any suspicion of a possible land conflict. This is a necessary solution in that, it is able to detect the early stage of the conflict which is always devoid of evil feelings. It is easy to have a quick negotiation between the parties involved in an amicable solution.

Again, communities, families and individuals need thorough sensitization on land-related issues so as to avoid land conflicts. Land policies must be explained and interpreted plainly and if the need be, in the local dialect to ensure a deep understanding of every bit of the policies. That is, processes involved in land sales, purchase, or ownership should be well explained to the understanding of every individual.

The establishment of land information systems is another possible solution to land conflicts. With land information systems in place, multiple sales of lands and encroachments will be addressed which are the main causes of land disputes recently.

Some of the numerous legislations should be repealed and the few left re-examined and strengthened for more rigidity and clearer interpretation. Laws, especially, contradicting ones should be harmonised to gear towards a common goal for fair judicial judgements.

There must be proper land surveying practices for boundary accuracy. The use of GPS and other modern instruments, for instance, should come to play for better surveying and boundary demarcations.

Institutional irresponsibility should not be tolerated. There must be proper supervision to ensure that everyone is at task and also on the right course. Institutions are called to work collaboratively for a common good.

By Adombire Samson
0544778035

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