I’m building a house in Accra, and documenting everything online
It shouldn’t be this hard to find information on the internet about how to build a house in Ghana
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I’m building a house in Accra, Ghana.
I have no idea what I’m doing 🙃
Why’re you building a house?
When I was young, a difficult situation forced my mother, my two little brothers, and I to move from our home to a communal family house.
I grew up in the garage of that house.
Over many months, my incredible mother turned the garage and backyard into a home for her kids. A bathroom, plywood divisions to create a living room and bedrooms, a kitchen.
While my family worked hard to create good memories there, I never loved it. The overwhelming desire to be away from it has been an important driving force in my life. The problem is, my mom still lives there.
The lack of our own home has been a source of intense anxiety my entire life. Without a place of our own, everything always feels fragile. Last year, the gas canister in the kitchen exploded and nearly burnt down the place.
Getting us our own place was one of the reasons why I returned to Ghana 3 years ago, and I feel like I’m only now in a position to begin to do something about it. Mawusi (that’s mom) is in her late 50s, and not getting any younger. She deserves the dignity of her own home while she can still enjoy it.
I’m building a house because my family deserves more.
Why’re you documenting everything about building a house in Accra?
The first reason is that I’m a big believer working and learning in public. This is going to be a pretty involved project where I’ll learn a lot about lots of new things, so it seems like a good project to take that principle to its limit.
The other reason is that I find it pretty offensive that in 2017, someone can’t Google “How to build a house in Ghana,” and get a detailed overview of the process. Thousands of people do this everyday, and yet it appears no-one has sat down to share a simple how-to guide.
Finally, I hope putting this out there will help keep me accountable.
As a complete newbie to the house-building process, I have a lot of questions, and I’m finding almost no useful resources online. So I’m going to write the guide I wish I had right now.
And when I’m done, I’m going to turn the whole thing into a book called How to Build a House in Ghana.
How long will this take? And what’s going to happen to The Flint?
The Flint is a passion project that I will probably run for the rest of my life — it’s not going anywhere. Think of this house liveblogging project as a side plot in the rambling adventure that is The Flint, with cameos by a cast of developers, agents, and contractors.
Updates will come erratically as and when I learn new things. One week I might learn about how mortgages work in Ghana. A few months later I might visit a new housing development. The next update might come a year later when I decide to buy instead of build.
I have no idea how long this thing will take. Probably a few years 🙂 We’ll see, together.
Do you have any advice?
Yo it’s almost hilarious the extent to which I’m completely at sea here 😂
If you have any words of advice about how to think about property in Ghana, please don’t hesitate to let me know. My email is email@example.com. I read every message and attempt to respond to every one, even if a few weeks later.
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I would like to say thank you to my friend Opemipo the Great, who taught me the power of sharing your story, even the parts that aren’t pretty. Thank you for giving me, and others, permission to be brave. ❤️