Ive been fretting over something and want to get it off my chest. Its giving me some anxiety and I thought about sharing it directly into a status of the group I’m in on Facebook but you never know if you may offend an Administrator and get reprimanded. So, I thought what better place to share this than my own blog.
First, if you’ve been following my blog you will know I am an American expat in Ghana. I love Ghana. I am a coastal dweller, born in Los Angeles California right off the Pacific coast. Large bodies of water is what I gravitate to, always have been. I have fallen in love with the Atlantic ocean, the people, and the food. I also love humidity and what it does for my skin. Anyway, let me tell you what I don’t love.
Discrimination, on the basis of anything is not acceptable. In America discrimination is based on skin color, gender, age, sexual preference even religion. In Ghana, discrimination exist as well, but on a different level. Ghanaians discriminate on an economic level against anyone she considers a foreigner. Foreigners are charged differently than Ghanaians, no matter if they are residents, and regardless of their economic ability to pay.
If you’ve been following me then you’d know I’m house hunting and my residency here ends in June. Purchasing or renting a home is different in Ghana than it is in the US, pricing a homes value is not based on the last house sold in the area, or the mean income level of the neighborhood. In Ghana the pricing of a house is based on the owners discretion, which if he discerns that you are American the price raises.
There are many nice homes in Ghana, but Ghanaian housing is by no means comparable to American housing in terms of amenities. In America, we have reliable water, gas, and power companies that efficiently provide those basic services, with only a few occassional minor outages monthly. Here in Ghana outages occur frequently. Generators for electricity are necessitities. Water is filtered in through large tanks in Ghana, that must be constantly refilled. In the U.S. we use reservoirs. Also the streets are not paved and therefore roads are not level, potholes and ditches obstruct direct travel. Since Ghanaian housing isn’t yet on an American level why do they try to sell them at US dollar prices?
Recently, an agent showed me a home for sell in Adenta the house may have been two thousand square feet, but it needed a lot of work, including a new kitchen, new roof, ceiling repair, and electrical rewiring, and other work. The owner only wanted to sell it as fast as possible the older Lady the mom, wanted to sell for 100,000₵ where the daughter was hoping to sell for 140,000₵ when we returned to the agent he said the house will be negotiated starting at 184,000$ dollars! It was not worth it. I laughed as I walked out of the door!
Ghanaians quote the US price but do not consider the value of the object they are selling and whether its comparable to the negotiating price of a similar place in the US. I have heard Ghanaians quote in the billions for a commercial property that would only sell in the hundred thousands in the US. I will be writing more about these indifferences in upcoming articles. Please continue to follow and share.