All Public Holidays in Ghana 2021
- 18 January, 2021
- Tips and Advice
We have all enjoyed the fireworks, countdowns, and some used this holiday season to observe religious traditions and crossover services….
Is it better to buy a fully built, ready-to-move-in home, or to buy a building structure or uncompleted house with great need for completion or renovation? This is a question you’re likely to be faced with if you’ve interacted with other people who have bought their own homes before or are contemplating it like you.
You may have found a suitable enough house in your search for a house to buy, but on closer inspection, you find there are some essentials missing. You may want a swimming pool, or an extra room for a gym or one less room in the house, etc.
Faced with the option of buying a house as is or buying it incomplete so you can renovate or make personalised changes. Here are a few points to help you make the decision:
Since the property is incomplete, it is evident you will pay lower than the market value for the building. You should, however, compare the cost of completing the house against the savings you will make paying for it at its current lower cost but in its unfinished state.
You have a say in the design of the house and are not paying for someone else’s creativity in building the house. If you are getting the property at a lower price (which you should be), then you are adding the value to the property and making it worth more. Hopefully, more than you spent on the completion and renovations.
You can either select your own contractors or build it yourself. You also get to approve materials. So when the project is finished, the quality of the workmanship is a direct result of your decisions.
However the final product looks, with so much control over the construction, you should not be getting anything short of your dream home. You get to pick your finishings, fixtures, colours, style of doors and décor, and everything else. Your home will be to your tastes and standards and not somebody else’s.
If the new house is not at a point where you can move in and you took out a mortgage to buy it, you would end up having to pay rent (if you can’t find a place to live for free) for your current accommodation while you pay off the mortgage on the house you bought as well. And all this does not include the cost of completion or renovation.
It can cost a lot of money. For the inexperienced buyer, renovations could come with many unforeseen expenses that might make the whole venture seem less attractive. Costs like those incurred in land surveys, engineering reports, building permits, disposal fees, architectural drawings and more. If you don’t have the money on hand, you may be able to secure a loan or take out a mortgage that includes money to put toward the renovations you want.
Finding and hiring a reputable and recommended team of builders and designers could take time and money. Some of the best in the industry are often booked for months in advance. In such a situation, will you be able to stay in your incomplete house as it is till they are available?
In a situation where you do not have alternate accommodations, would you be able to handle the stress of living in a building where you have to wait for some essential rooms to be completed? For instance, the kitchen may not be done yet when the bedroom where you live is. Living without a functional bathroom or kitchen, for example, can be terribly stressful. Your best option might be to live somewhere else until the house is finished. But living without some of the rooms you are accustomed to, though stressful, is guaranteed to be quite a story to tell in the future.
Some localities and types of land do not support certain structures and materials. Be certain to check with the local authorities of the area if your style of building or the materials you intend to use are permitted. If you start and go very far along before the authorities catch up to you, you might get out of it by negotiating with them, but this is not always an option. If you want to make structural changes, you may need to consult a structural engineer to find out the feasibility and costs.
What starts out as a small renovation project can (and will) very quickly become something much bigger. This is usually as a result of your adding more features to your original plan. It can also happen for reasons beyond your control, like increases in the price of essential materials, the City planning authority may require your building to meet certain standards and you will have to redo the whole work if you neglected it originally. These things can easily raise your renovation cost up much higher than your worst case scenario budget depending on the scope of the work.
If you are the do-it-yourself kind of person, then you might save on some expenses like fixing the wiring or furniture, etc. However, if you are not handy with tools, that is not bad either. It is just a guarantee you will have more expenses hiring labour to handle that.
Bottomline, when deciding which type of house to buy, it is great to follow your emotions and feelings about the house, but don’t forget to follow your head and make practical decisions.