Buying A House In Ghana

What To Expect When Buying A House In Ghana

In the Ghana real estate market, buying a house can be an exciting, rewarding but intimidating journey. Whether you intend to live in it or rent it out, a house is a property that will never depreciate, that is, provided you find the right house. The hunt for the right house can be a very daunting task, especially for first-time buyers who lack any experience and guidance. Buying a house is not a one-day event, but a process. 

Buying a house in Ghana isn’t like shopping for clothes, where you get to pick the first one that catches your eye. It involves a series of tactical decisions and vital processes that you must go through to ensure that you legally own the house you end up buying. The process of buying a house in Ghana typically involves finding a property, negotiating the price and terms of the sale, obtaining a land title certificate, and registering the property with the Land Registry, etc.  It is important to be aware of the procedure involved and what to expect before diving in. Here is what to expect when buying a house in Ghana.  

There will be numerous properties to choose from, so take your time…

The first thing to expect when buying a house in Ghana is that there will be numerous properties to choose from. Depending on the type of house you want, the location and other personal factors, you may have over 50 available options. However, locating these options, especially the good ones, will not be an easy task. It will require that you intensively explore your preferred neighbourhood for houses that are on sale. This includes asking people in the community or researching the internet. There are many applications and websites where you can find properties on sale in Ghana. The best and most efficient way to find the best properties is by employing the services of a real estate agent or company. These companies or individuals have both physical and professional access to some of the best properties on the market.

Find out about land ownership

Once you have found the perfect house, the next thing to look up is the land ownership status. Before you buy a house in Ghana, you must find out who owns the land upon which the property is built. In Ghana, all the land is not owned by the government, rather, a large percentage of land is owned by families or clans and traditional leaders. This can make the process of acquiring land more difficult, as it may involve negotiating with multiple parties. There are four types of land in Ghana:

Government Land refers to land or properties built on land owned by the government of Ghana. 

Vested Land: this refers to land owned by family or traditional leaders but has been taken over by the government through legal means. This means the government can sell, rent out or manage the property.

Customary/Stool Land: refers to lands owned by stools, crowns or traditional leaders in Ghana. These leaders have the right to sell or manage the land, as they see fit.

 Family/Private Land: these are lands given to or owned by individuals or families.

To acquire Government Land or Vested Land, an application must be filed with the Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission or the Regional Lands Officer, depending on the location of the land.

To acquire customary Land, you would have to contact the traditional leaders of the particular area and give an offer for the land or request to buy the land.

To acquire family/private land, you would have to go directly to the owner of the land.

NOTE: It is very important to ensure that the land you are buying has a clear title and is not subject to any disputes or competing claims. 

To prevent technicalities or legal problems after payment, it is advisable for first-time buyers or anyone looking to buy a house in Ghana to employ the services of a real estate agent or company and a lawyer in acquiring property. A title search is very important to determine the ownership and kind of land you may be interested in. This will be provided by the agent or company and lawyer. Once all agreements have been finalized, a Deed of Conveyance, or an appropriate instrument of transfer (indenture), will be prepared by the lawyer. Upon signing, the title of the property is transferred to you after the necessary payments are made. The title is registered at the Lands Commission Secretariat. The entire property registration procedure takes approximately 48 days to complete.

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Buying A House In Ghana with lawyers

Hire a lawyer

If you want to buy a house in Ghana, then you must be prepared to hire the services of legal aid. There are many technicalities involved in buying a house. Therefore, you must begin this process under the guidance of a capable professional. A good lawyer will help you every step of the way, from verifying the property’s ownership to drafting and signing the necessary legal documents for the transaction including the Sale and Purchase Agreement. This agreement will contain all the details that outline the terms of the transaction, including details such as the purchase price, the payment plan (either in full or in instalments), and any conditions that must be met before the transaction is completed. They will also help you register the property with the Lands Commission or the Regional Lands Office to transfer the property’s ownership, and obtain a land title certificate from the Lands Commission or the Regional Lands Office, which will be evidence of your ownership of the property and assist you in obtaining a building permit for any modifications or alterations you may want to make to the building. The lawyer will ensure that the transaction complies with all the legal requirements and protects the interests.

Negotiate the terms of the transaction 

Negotiation is the currency for buying and selling in Ghana. Therefore, if you want to buy a house in Ghana, be prepared to negotiate your head off.  Sellers tend to inflate prices if they feel that you can afford to pay, so do not be afraid to negotiate on the price proposed. You can survey how much land or houses similar to the one you intend to buy cost in that vicinity. This will inform your negotiation tactics for getting the best deal. It’s important to be realistic about what the seller is willing to accept, while also being clear about the needs and preferences. Be prepared to negotiate the price and other terms of the sale, including the purchase price, the payment plan, and any conditions that must be met before the transaction is completed. Provided all legal requirements are met, you can make a down payment to show your commitment to the transaction.


Inspect the property you intend to buy

Before you buy any property, be sure to conduct a thorough inspection of the property, in this case, the house. Inspecting the property before buying will help to identify any potential issues or defects. Inspection parameters can include checking for structural damage, leaks, or other problems that may affect the value or safety of the property. Inspect how the house is affected by natural conditions such as heavy rains, winds etc. it is advisable to employ the services of a professional to conduct a more thorough inspection as their experience will afford them the knowledge of the specific issues or problems to look out for, problems that you may have overlooked such as electrical wiring, the structural integrity of not only the building but also the land on which it sits. It is important to see what utilities and amenities are available on the property, such as water, electricity, and the internet as sometimes, access to these services may be limited or may require additional fees. Conducting a professional home inspection before closing on a home will help you identify any issues or defects with the property, and can help you make an informed decision about whether to move forward with the purchase.


As a first-time buyer, be prepared to obtain financing to purchase your home. This may involve applying for a mortgage loan from a bank.  Financing options for buying a house in Ghana are limited and they usually have high-interest rates. Nonetheless, it is important to explore all available financing options and compare rates and terms to ensure you are receiving the best deal. Some banks allow you to buy a house in Ghana and pay monthly. Some may also accept yearly payments or payments in certain time intervals. It’s important to research the various types of loans available and to shop around for the best interest rates and terms. It is also important that you be realistic about what you can afford. Before you settle for a property, consider not just the cost of the home, but also other expenses such as property taxes, maintenance costs, homeowner’s insurance and closing costs, which can include fees for title searches, appraisals, and other services. It is important to budget these costs in addition to the purchase price of the home.

Property taxes and fees

If you want to own a house in Ghana, then you must be prepared to pay additional taxes and fees, such as property tax and stamp duty ( a tax levied on the property transaction, based on the purchase price of the property), and registration fees. It is important that in budgeting for your purchase, you factor in these costs.

Being approached by fraudsters

Many people in Ghana swindle homeowners out of their hard-earned cash. They may present themselves as agents, owners or representatives of traditional elders. They can sometimes be very professional and lure you into a state of trust, after which they will bolt away with your hard-earned money. To avoid this, be very vigilant about who you do business with. It is important to have a lawyer review all contracts and legal documents related to the purchase of the home. This can help your interests and ensure that all legal requirements are met. Working with professional real estate agents in Ghana can also save you a lot of trouble.

Emotional considerations

Buying a home can be an emotional journey. As a first-time buyer, expect to experience a range of emotions, including, excitement, stress, and anxiety. Regardless, it is vital to stay focused on the technical aspects of the purchase and to work with professionals who can provide guidance and support throughout the process.

Maintenance of property 

Unless you are buying a brand new house, you must be prepared to pay for the maintenance of the property you buy. This may range from small changes like the painting or fixing of doors and sinks to large changes like renovation or remodelling of some of the rooms, rewiring of the entire electrical system or changing the entire plumbing system. This will ensure the house will be in the perfect state and adhere to health and safety standards. This should be included in your budget for the house.

Price fluctuations and competitive pricing rates

The value of Ghana’s real estate market is slowly rising due to the influx of investors and developers. If you want to buy a house in Ghana, then be prepared to experience elevated price rates and competitive pricing. If the house is located in a good neighbourhood or a fast-rising neighbourhood then know that you may be competing against other potential buyers, which may cause the cost of the property to rise.  That is one of the reasons why we always recommend that you work with an agent. Agents have the leeway to negotiate on your behalf and try to beat the price down to a reasonable amount. Agents can also let you know if the seller is being unreasonable and direct you to a similar property.

Cultural considerations

If you are looking to buy a house in Ghana, then you must be prepared to respect, if not participate, in the cultural norms of the locality. It is important to be mindful of cultural considerations and norms. This can include issues such as the proximity of the property to a cemetery or the direction the property faces.

Buying a house in Ghana can be a complex process, but with careful planning and the right support, it can also be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. To avoid most of the stress involved, I would recommend that you work with a reputable, trustworthy and capable real estate agent or company to help guide you through the process. The real estate agent or company will lessen the burden of having to undertake tedious tasks like searching for the property, visiting the Lands Commission or the Regional Lands Office to verify the authenticity of the property’s ownership to ensure that the property is not subject to any disputes, conflicts, encumbrances, or litigation, encroachments or discrepancies that may affect the transaction’s legality. 

Overall, buying a house in Ghana can be a complex and challenging process, but with careful planning and the right support, it can also be a rewarding and fulfilling experience that will end up in finding the perfect home for you and your family.

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