Ghanaians who are thinking about building their own home have been urged to design the floor plan so that the property can be reused and rented out once their children have moved away.
According to Dr. Frank Gyamfi-Yeboah, Senior Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology’s (KNUST) Real Estate Faculty, this can prevent loneliness.
He explained to 3news.com that on several occasions, he came across homes scattered throughout the country, particularly in the major cities, some of which are four bedroom, five bedroom, or even three bedroom apartments, but nobody lives in them because the children of the owners of those properties have left home after university either as a racial or ethnic minority or as an independent adult.
Due to the nature of their residences, which prevents them from being repurposed and rented out, this isolation for the elderly parents living in those apartments results.
Dr Gyamfi-Yeboah said “That is a big problem and I have encountered that for over two decades now. We tend to build without thinking about this case of our lives where the kids will be gone.
“It doesn’t take too long for the kids to leave the house, they get to high school, boarding house pretty much earlier and after university they are gone. So that time isn’t that far from the time we build but we don’t think about it.
“The kids are gone and you have two couples living in a big house and they get lost in the house because it is big, it is very difficult to maintain, they can’t bring in tenants too because of the way it is built and so to that extent, it becomes a huge albatross on their neck.
“The change that has to happen is that, we should build with flexibility, you have five kids, you need to accommodate them at the time they are young but can you build with that flexibility such that when they are gone the house can be repurposed?
“So, you can keep the small portion that you want to keep and rent out the remaining to others or sell them out. That can be done if you have an architect that understands that need.”
Participants in the program, which ran from Wednesday, April 26 to Friday, April 28, came from a variety of backgrounds in order to gain knowledge about the real estate industry.
The program covered a variety of subjects, including real estate investment management and finance in Ghana’s economic transformation, Ghanaian real estate agency law, and the world economy in transition.
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