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How to Purchase Land

by | Nov 20, 2017 | how to | 2 comments

Before you can even think about building a house in Ghana you first have to purchase land.

Sounds easy right?  Wrong!  There are many pitfalls along the way.  If you don’t get the process done correctly you could find yourself considerably out of pocket.

I will begin by saying there is no 100% sure fire way of knowing exactly how to purchase land without complications. There are lots of things that could go wrong along the way BUT if you get it done right it can be such a beautiful thing.  A house, a business, farm land or a school.

I say all of this not to put you off ever buying land (I promise I don’t want to buy it all for myself) but rather to give you proper insight into the process before you start so you know what to expect.

The process can be a little tricky to write all down but I’m going to do my best to put pen to paper and give you some guidelines.

purchase land

1. Purchase land through someone that you know or that knows someone else.  It’s good to have a trail back to the person. Accountability.

2. Make sure the person you are buying the land from is ACTUALLY THE OWNER!!!

3. Get the indenture documents from the person.  Go to lands commission and get them to verify that this is in fact the piece of land that you are buying.  They will look at the coordinates on the indenture and they can also tell you who the land owner is.

4.  Some people will want part of the money in payment for the land at this point.  This is normal.  Everything in Ghana is very much relationship based so trust is an important factor.

5.  I realise this next step can be difficult but it helps so so much.  Try to find out where the person lives.  This way the person cannot run away with your money.  Find subtle ways to get invited to their house.  Let’s face it no one wants shame brought to their doorstep, least of all an African.  If this is too difficult then try to get some ID.

6. Activate the land!!!! Very important!  What do I mean by this?  Go to the land and start digging – literally.  If the land belongs to someone else believe me they will come out of the woodwork.

7. Go to your local “AMA” office and apply for a permit to work on the land otherwise you will get a great big dirty sign in red saying “STOP WORK PRODUCE PERMIT”

8.  Speak to locals who know the area well.  They can tell you things that you would never have otherwise known. They may even be able to help you with who the true owner is.

8. Go for the yellow paper.  This comes from lands commission.  It’s just another step in the purchasing process.

9. Keep the ball rolling with lands commission until you eventually get the title documents.  This process can take anywhere from today until February 3022 so be patient.

10.  I have been told that it is also a good idea to put an ad in the local paper to say that you own the land. This will help your case, in case anything ever happens and you have to go to court.

purchase land

1.  Call up one of these road sign “land for sale” type banners.  Unless you like a LOT of hard work.

2. Give ALL the money up front unless you are 100% happy at this point that everything is genuine.

3. Don’t be lazy!  Yes I know it’s hot and you are tired but you have still got to work.

These are all things that we have had to do and are currently doing ourselves.  I’m sure there are probably a few more steps that could be inserted here.  Please as always make sure you do your own research as well.  If you have any more suggestions please let me know!


  1. Hey!
    I have a family of 5. We are from the U.S. and are trying to figure out a move to Ghana. We are trying to find info about how much we would need to make the transition. Buying land and building a home plus living expenses and time frame. Do you have any estimates on what would be realistic?

    • Hi Tara! It would be extremely difficult to say to be honest. A lot would depend on where you wanted to buy the land, some areas are much more expensive than others. The time it would take to build a home would depend on how readily available your cash was. Building materials go up all the time so storing materials would really help to keep costs down. If you would like more personalised help I do offer consultancy services around this subject. You can click on the “services” tab on the menu bar and choose your service. Look forward to hearing back from you 🙂


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