In the USA I’d mortgaged four homes over the course of my life as a single woman. They were older homes mostly, built-in or around the 1950s. It had always been my dream to have a brand new home. So when I saw the ad for my current residence of new homes being built in Oyarifa, I jumped on it.
When I arrived on site I immediately liked the first house that I saw the one with an ‘A‘ framed roof or pitch roof as they’re called. It reminded me of California bungalows, and ‘A‘ framed roofs, country style homes, I grew up with. I asked the agent if it were available, and if I could see it.
It isn’t ready, he said and asked if I could please view the other one which was near completion. This one had a flat roof, which was unique, I didn’t love it, but the agent explained the U. K. design, and allowed me to look inside.
I LOVED the inside! The definition of the ceilings, it was small but it would only be me living in it and a medium-size dog with a big heart. It has three bedrooms and four baths approximately one thousand eight to one thousand ten square feet of living space. The doors and walls had not been painted yet and there were no wardrobes, so I had the opportunity to custom order them and to choose my wall colors. The Developer wanted to finish the doors in black, and I’m so glad I stopped them. I suggested keeping the natural finish placing a clear sealant, and the result was this beautiful door.
It seemed to take forever for them to finish and for me to finally move in. I went practically every day to supervise. The original intention of the Developer had been to just add fans throughout the house, but I went and bought air conditioners and asked them to install them which they did. Having no air conditioning in Africa wasn’t an option for me!
One day, I noticed moisture around the ceiling and upper walls which was pointed out to me by my cousin’s husband Brite. It was Brite who informed me that leakage often occurs with flat roofs, and then I researched it and sure enough, flat roofs aren’t recommended for areas with a lot of rain.
By then, I had already made the second and final installment, and the house was paid for. The entire process included getting a lawyer, and several trips to the Ghana Land Commission Office to get the property surveyed to ensure there were no prior encumbrances, that there were no other owners but the one listed on the deed who was The Developer himself, and that the land wasn’t sitting on Government land, which it wasn’t. I obtained the deed shortly after purchase. I have upgraded to a two year residency and will need a place to stay in that time.
I moved in, which took only a day to do, I had ample time to pack while I was waiting for the house to be completed. The first day after my movers left I slept through the night, worn out, but glad to be done. I still had a carpenter and plumber coming to install the water pump and build my wardrobes. The second night it rained. Oyarifa gets heavy rains. I was laying in bed when I felt water dripping on my head. My ceiling was leaking! Already, I thought!
My emotions stormed with the rains, I was furious! I had to remember Ghana is sixty-five and still developing. The new homes are not of the same quality as American homes. My previous home in America had a leaking water issue when I moved in too, but that home had been built in 1950. I had homeowners insurance there. I have no homeowners insurance here. The prior owner is a housing Developer and since the home is still under warranty he promised to send his workers to fix which he did, and I haven’t had that issue since but as of today he still hasn’t sent workers to finish. Shortly after… I began to have plumbing issues. Oh!…the plumber came three times to fix a leak in the wall and then one of the water heaters fell off the wall! All of which were repaired by this plumber who I lost all trust in, mind you.
The water tank needed filters and a new pump, and the water turns off when there are roaming black-outs. This can and will be resolved as soon as I am able to build a water tower to set the tank on high. The good thing is the water fills from a borehole and there is no water bill to pay. Still, even with all of these issues, I am very happy in my new home. It’s not my dream home by any stretch of the imagination but it’s still a dream come true, maybe one day I’ll realize all dreams don’t have A-shaped pitched roofs and deal accordingly.