Ghana has become a hotspot for many people far and near. Whether you live in Ghana or the diaspora, buying land in Ghana is an excellent investment.
We all know the “must ‘do’s” or inevitable things you must consider when looking to invest in land in general. To mention a few; location, community amenities, plot size and the like. Nonetheless, let’s not skip the bait on some crucial things you should/must be abreast of when buying land in Ghana. To help you do so, we have put together a quick guide to the stress-free land investment and purchase process!
To start with, always remember, Double Checks, and do Due Diligence and Research! We call it the DDR.
Land in Ghana is not always owned by individuals
Land in Ghana belongs to chieftainship, tribes or the government; depending on which region you find yourself in Ghana, the ethnicity or tribe varies and is unique.
To buy land in Ghana, you must double or triple-check who owns the land. No third person, no foreman, no land guards, just the actual owner. You do not want to pay for it the hard way by dealing with a “third person” claiming to represent the land’s true owner. Sometimes these “third persons” have been notorious for selling a single land to multiple people.
There are four types of land in Ghana
- Government land
- Vested land
- Customary/stool land
- Family/private land
NOTE: To buy government or vested land, you need to apply with the Executive Secretary of Lands Commission or the Regional Lands Officer, depending on the location of the land.
Stool land (customary land) belongs to tribal chiefs or other customary authorities. The 1992 constitution states there must be no free holding of this type of land. However, stool land given to families or individuals before 1992 is now considered private land.
Foreigners can own agricultural, commercial, residential and industrial land on a leasehold basis for up to 50 years, depending on the landowner. Ghanaians can lease land for up to 99 years.
Buying land from developers is a great option
Developers have a track record of delivering nothing but the best value. They have a brand to protect and have invested millions of cash in their business. They understand the business and have customer insight, making them know just how to cater to the varying needs of each client. Thus, it is a better bet to buy land from developers. Most lands developers sell are in great communities to access the perfect amenities. Also, developers are easily traced with clean registered businesses (you are assured of zero scams), and you are sure of safe transactions with the best customer service. Can you imagine that?
However, always check if the developer is registered with the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) to ensure their business and portfolio.
Have you heard about Locus Estates ? Locus Estate is a leading real estate and lifestyle developer in Accra that has a variety of lands for sale.
You may need to carry out a land title search
As stated earlier, you need to be aware of who owns the land and whether they own it outright or mortgaged. The appropriate government office can carry out a land title search, and you can also carry out a valuation. There is usually a fee for these services, which is paid for by the buyer; however, it is well worth the expense.
You must be highly involved in the purchase process
Whenever you conduct a property transaction, make sure you are involved in every step of the process and, if possible, employ the services of an independent property lawyer to check the paperwork.
Once the purchase agreement has been made, the lawyer draws a Deed of Conveyance.
Upon signing this document, the land title is passed to the client or buyer, who pays for the land simultaneously. The title is registered at the Lands Commission Secretariat. Property registration takes around 382 days to accomplish. ( please always check with the Lands Commission Secretariat for up-to-date numbers or modifications)
Every land needs to be registered
The document should be registered at the Deeds Registry at the Lands Commission, where three copies of the document are executed between the owner and the applicant to be submitted to the lands commission office.
Hire a good and trusted lawyer
A solicitor of the supreme court, i.e. a lawyer, must sign the back of each copy of the documents with his stamp duly affixed. You may at some point need a lawyer’s endorsement making It essential to know that a lawyer’s services are an important part of purchasing land.
PS: Please consider processing and registration fees if the need arises.
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