Buying an Apartment Home in Ghana
BUYING A CONDO; THE PERKS AND THE PEBBLES
Condominiums are changing the skylines in Ghana recently and its good progress in a tradition where single family homes fly high. Many arguments against apartment buildings remain vis-a-vis the cultural setting that require a kind of seclusion that we think condominiums may not adequately offer. But condos are a good consideration for modern home ownership in Ghana. So should you buy a condo or maintain tradition with single family home?
Generally, a condo should be less expensive because of the ‘economy of scale’ in land use. However in Ghana, most condos advantageously cluster in the city center where cost of land is higher than the countryside and hence the land cost element becomes even weightier. Condo developers also tend towards up market buyers with more expensive finishes. Additionally, the cost structure of high rise buildings change with height with sometimes sharp rise in cost at certain heights. These dynamics greatly determine its cost aside the communal facilities on offer.
There are lots of work you will not be doing yourself to keep your home; mowing the lawn, driveway maintenance, trash, concierge, services, security and communal amenities including recreation, fitness and health. A good choice it is for you if you are busy with no time for maintaining a single family home. But for these perks, all the work you will not be doing and all the privileges you will be paying for; whether or not you use them. It is therefore important to know the monthly cost for keeping your home. It is also important to know that these fees may go up, typically when some major changes occur or vacancy in your block is increasing.
Proximity to the city center saves many headaches, and condos usually are. In Ghana, you may not easily find single family homes in certain suburbs of the city, and if you do, it costs a fortune. Apartments are however strategically suited for easy access to major amenities; a huge relief from heavy traffic, fuel and harm. Security in Condos is highly controlled and residents can live with little worry over robberies.
Condos offer great features unavailable with single family homes. You may buy a 10th floor apartment and have unobstructed scenic views of the city skyline and pray the elevator never breaks down. You may also enjoy some contemporary designs largely unavailable with single family homes. These selling parts include oversized floor to ceiling windows, full glass façade, certain room heights and atriums which may be impracticable with single family homes. You also have a swimming pool, gymnasium, clubhouse, full security and call services at shared cost at your disposal. These communal facilities are however becoming available with some ‘Gated’ single family communities lately in Ghana.
Another subtle merit when opting for a condo is the ease to mortgage financing. In Ghana, verification of land title, which your lender would like to satisfy itself with prior to disbursement, can delay due to private land disputes. Most private developers of single family homes do not fully secure title at the time of development; verification of which becomes burdensome. Apartment developers do more due diligence in this regard, reducing processing time of lenders.
When you buy a condo, you do not own the land but only have control over your apartment. You cannot knock down a wall or change the land use as with single family home. It explains why it is easier to sell a single family home than a condo. Also, private gardens, bulldogs, or hen coops may not be welcomed. You should be ready to go by the sometimes annoying residency rules. But you will have an immediate community of neighbours who are a lobby or wall away without fences and notice of dogs. This promotes improved relationships, duty of care and security of one another.
Condos are a good home ownership option; only count the cost well!