High Rise Buildings, The Beauty Spots of Our City!

High Rise Buildings, The Beauty Spots of Our City!

Growing up in the village was about a good start to life for myself and a couple of friends who sat through the Social Studies class of Mr. Koku. By the time I got to Form 2, I was much convinced that Social Studies was my favourite subject. I remember reading about interesting places in Accra like the Osu Castle which was then, the seat of government, the parliament house, the Supreme Court, among others. Sadly, we only saw these in our textbooks. I specifically remember how Mr. Koku would stand in front of the class to tell us stories about his life in the beautiful city of Accra. I kept having dreams of living in Accra till the year 2013, when my dreams finally materialized. I gained admission to study Political Science and Geography in the University of Ghana.

Villaggio-Vista_Accra1-1Source: Google

My First Day in Accra

Accra looked even more beautiful than what I saw in the textbooks. I had the opportunity of riding through areas like the Airport precinct, Cantonments and East Legon. All I could see was Beauty in different shapes! As I looked at these High Rise buildings in different styles and designs, what more could I say? They were definitely the city’s beauty spots. Some of these buildings were actually people’s residences known as apartments. This had ever since, increased my curiosity about apartments.

circle interchangeSource: Google

No matter how bad you think Ghana looks, high rise buildings are still creating a number of beauty spots in the city.

High Rise Buildings, The Beauty Spots of Our City!

Why Are We Seeing So Many High Rise Buildings Around, Especially in Accra These Days

The population of Accra is rapidly increasing due to rural –urban migration. Most people in Accra are in search of “greener pastures”. It is popularly said that Accra provides a lot of employment opportunities and it is the land of prosperity. Accra is termed as the hub of commercial activities because most businesses, workplaces and shops are located in the capital city. In view of this, many employees, employers, tourists, expatriates would want to live closer to where everything is happening like their workplaces , areas to do business transactions, tourist attractions and good recreational centres just to eat and have fun. All these factors have led to an increase in demand of land in Accra. The increase in demand for land has also led to an increase in the population of high rise buildings. High rise buildings have become specifically predominant in prime areas, where the demand for land far outweighs the supply of land. In response to the ever increasing demand for land in such areas, prudent real estate developers venture into development of high rise buildings to serve as measure to increase the supply of land or ensure that the highest and best use of land is attained. It is therefore not surprising to see so many high rise buildings these days in Ghana, especially in the city of Accra.Accra-night-lifeSource: Google

With an increase in high rise buildings, condominiums, which are also known as luxury apartments have become very popular. A good number of these luxury apartments such as the Villaggio Apartments, PLS Apartments, Hallmark residences, Jaria Apartments, among others have become very popular household names in Accra.

But why do people opt to live in luxury apartments?

Stay Connected as Saasepedia brings you reasons why people prefer to live in condos.

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Get Her the Right Way and You’ll Cherish Her Forever (Steps to Land Acquisition in Ghana)

Get Her the Right Way and You’ll Cherish Her Forever (Steps to Land Acquisition in Ghana)

thSource: Google

Someone once said that the University is like a market. It has good stuff and bad stuff. Pick the good stuff! But most importantly, get them the right way and you’d be glad you did! In today’s post, we’re delving into a topic that has been a bother to most people who have always had the desire to be land owners.
Today’s Blog Post is Dedicated to All Our Cherished Saasewise Readers Who Have Always Wondered What the right Steps to Land Acquisition in Ghana are. This is specially dedicated to Mr. Edward Otoo, Miss. Gifty Mintah and Mr. Gabriel Kobina Baidoo.

Land is a very important asset. It requires colossal sums of money and also possesses a unique attribute of appreciating in value with time. It is also a very good investment. In view of all these characteristics, individuals must take prudent steps in acquiring land to avoid litigation. Below are certain parameters that need to be verified regarding the acquisition of land.

1. Obtain a site plan
To begin with, the buyer must request for the site plan of the land from the land owner. A site plan is a readable map or a residential diagram depicting the plot of land on which the house sits, along with landscape topography and any exterior features. A site plan is described as a unique fingerprint of the land. This site plan must conform to the location on the ground and this can be validated by a licensed surveyor. The Survey and Mapping Division of the Lands Commission provides the services of licensed surveyors.

2. Conduct a Preliminary Search
The investigation of title is done by conducting a preliminary search from the relevant institutions. It is advisable to conduct preliminary searches before making any financial commitment. Below are the things to look out for when conducting a preliminary search:
• Existing tenancies and how far they are protected under the Rent Act
• the Land Use and Spatial Planning matters affecting the property – Whether the area is zoned for the use envisaged, whether there are any notices of compulsory acquisition, etc.
• Easement eg. Right of way, right to light being enjoyed as of right or by permission; if use is by permission, whether there is the likelihood of the permission being withdrawn
• Exclusive services being enjoyed by the property
• Shared services enjoyed by the property and the proportion of such services payable by the vendor
• Responsibility for roads and sewers in the area and whether there is an access road to the nearest highway
• Local searches at the Lands Commission, the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority (Previously known as the Town and Country Planning Department) and the Local Authority offices
• Local property rates, utility services charged and taxes outstanding against the vendor and whether there or not he intends to pay them off before completion of the sale
The Lands Commission is designed to be the largest repository of land information in Ghana so it is highly advised that the buyer does his or her search there. With regards to the search, the buyer should provide two copies of the site plan to the Lands Commission. However, the search process could take a long period of time but in order to expedite the process, it is advisable that the buyer consistently follows up on the documents. This will help one to obtain the results in time in order to take a decision on the intended purchase.
The search doesn’t end here, one must also do his background checks by visiting neighbours around the property and even the chief of the vicinity to make enquiries on the ownership of the land. The people mentioned above may have some knowledge about any pending court litigations which the Lands Commission search had not revealed.

3. Draft a contract or agreement with the seller
Prospective buyers need to take note of the fact that lands are currently given out as leaseholds and not freeholds. The contract agreement should therefore include payment arrangements, the number of years the purchase lasts, renewal options and general agreement terms. You need to be very circumspect about the unexpired term of the lease otherwise you may end up buying something that is non-existent. Prior to payment, draft a contract of purchase and transfer of the said property endorsed by the buyer and seller. This should be done with the help of a lawyer.

 4. Further Searches
After the execution and exchange of contract for the sale of land, further inquiries and searches may have to be carried out by the purchaser. Further searches are necessary because a vendor is only obliged to disclose latent defects (i.e. defects which cannot be discovered by reasonable careful inspection) of which he is aware in the contract. The purchaser must either personally or through his lawyer, first of all find out whether the property falls within an area which has been declared a compulsory registration district under PNDCL 152. In this case, the purchaser must find out if the seller has done his first registration. If not, find out if he has at least submitted an application at the Land Registry Division of the Lands Commission, whether or not a caveat has been at the Registry against the first registration and whether or not the interest has not been registered in the names of other people.
Where the land is not in an area declared as a compulsory registration district, search should be done in the Deeds Registry.

As at now, the Greater Accra Region and some parts of the Ashanti region are the only compulsory registration districts.
In conclusion, we advise all prospective buyers to register their lands because it authenticates the purchase and secures them from any form of disputes in the near future.
Land is a valuable asset. Get her the right way, and you will smile in years to come!

I Thought She Was Mine Forever

Sad ManSource: Google

When you drive through places like the Ministries, Cantonments, 37, Independence Avenue and see people in African prints, you may not need a soothsayer to tell you it’s a Friday in the city of Accra.

“Fri……………………ayy!!”, I screamed. I totally forgot it was a Friday. Apparently, I woke up very late and had to quickly prepare for work. I just couldn’t figure out what was exciting me but some way, some how, I found myself being the happiest at work.

Hi! My name is Kuuku, a 30 year old chemist.

I entered the office, asking my colleagues all sorts of questions.

This was so unusual of me. I noticed the surprise in their eyes. But I just couldn’t be bothered. I went about my usual duties at work with so much happiness.

About an hour to the close of work, I called a couple of friends and arranged a get together for the Friday night.

After the close of work, we met at our usual meeting place. As we laughed, jeered and had fun, a brochure of houses for sale was given to us and I was particularly impressed by one of them. I had lived in a rented apartment, all my life and thought it was about time, I moved into my own apartment. The opportunity came just at the right time. I made enquiries about the price and the payment arrangements. I must say, I was very much impressed after I had the chance to inspect the property. I quickly withdrew money from my investment accounts, made my first down payment and made the remaining payments over a period of 2 years. After the second year, I was the owner of that 4 bedroom ultramodern apartment. As the apartment was my newest baby, I named her Yaa. At age 27, I felt Yaa was just the greatest accomplishment and a lifetime acquisition for myself and generations yet unborn. I just couldn’t wait to let my parents know how proud I was to have Yaa. I had real big plans for her.

A few years later, I had some people coming to inspect the property, claiming ownership of my Yaa. After five years of litigation, I lost Yaa to Mr. Keltiwin.


It was then that a friend introduced me to the saasepedia.

What does Saasepedia say about this?

  • You Cannot Own Land/Landed Property in Ghana Forever

I know this sounds harsh but it is the hard truth. Let’s take a walk through a path of enlightenment on the types of Land ownership in Ghana and why freehold interests (perpetual ownership) have become defunct Ghana’s Land administration system. You may be wondering what Freehold and Leasehold interests are. They are the main types of interests in land. When a person has a freehold interest, it simply means that the owner has no time limit in his or her period of ownership whilst Leasehold interest (leases) is where the tenant is given a specific time period of ownership.

 For non-Ghanaians, the highest residential lease stipulated by the 1992 Constitution of Ghana is 50 years (Article 266). About 80% of Ghanaian lands are customary lands. The remaining are vested lands and state lands. State lands are owned by the state, whereas vested lands are owned by communities or individuals but managed by the state. Customary lands are owned by traditional groups such as ethnic groups, tribes, kingdoms, clans and families. Article 267 (3) and (4) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana makes it mandatory for  approvals to be taken from the Lands Commission for customary transfers to take approvals. Before Lands Commission grants such approvals in the form of concurrence to leases, certain terms of such transfers are first reviewed. The statutory limitations on lease terms in Ghana are as follows:

For residential leases, 99 years

For industrial leases, 50 years

For fuel retail outlets, 21 years

For Agricultural leases, 50 years

For Poultry farm leases, 21 years

This simply means that, freehold interest, which is perpetual ownership of land in customary lands are no longer granted to individuals. There are however some leases  taken by Ghanaians that exceed the 99 year stipulated period. A classic example is the Tema Development Corporation (TDC) lease, which was taken years before the coming into being of the 1992 Constitution.

  • Buyer Beware!

This principle is usually expressed as “Caveat Emptor”, which simply means “Buyer Beware”. Real Estate/ Landed Property is an investment which involves colossal sums of money. Like every other investment, it is prudent that the investor minimizes his risk and ensures that the investment is one that yields good returns. You don’t want to lose so much money when you could have taken measures to prevent such losses. That is why it is very important that a buyer makes the relevant investigations before investing any amount into Real Estate or landed property. Even though one may not know every encumbrance on land, it is very important that a buyer takes the relevant measures to ensure that whatever property he or she is buying is free from encumbrances. Encumbrances come in the form of conflicting interests (i.e. other people who may have paid for the same land).  Some of these measures include an official search at the Lands Commission to ensure that no one else has registered or owns the same parcel of land. Official searches may not be enough, to ensure that there are no encumbrances on the parcel of land. It would also be prudent on the part of the buyer to make few enquiries within the neighbourhood where land is situated.

In Kuuku’s scenario, Yaa would not have been purchased if the necessary steps were taken to ensure that Yaa was free from encumbrances. He would have known that it is almost impossible to own Yaa forever.

This is among the few mistakes we make when it comes to Real Estate decision-making.

It is always important to stay informed.

Stay Informed…. Stay Saasewise

Read the Saasepedia!