The housing units are basic and often with inadequate basic infrastructure and limited amenities.It can take between five and 15 years to complete building a house incrementally.
This approach relies on owners using small-scale contractors, craftsmen and tradesmen to help build their homes.
However, building incrementally hampers both the speed at which houses are built and delivered, as well as the quality of the houses built.
Building is financed with equity generated from personal loans or family savings. However, incremental building remains effective for providing convenient, affordable housing for most urban residents.
Buying has recently become the preferred mode of ownership because it avoids the litigation and hassles often associated with land security. It guarantees the owners well-planned environments with utilities and services already in place.
The main drawback for most people has been the cost of houses and the interest rates at which mortgages are contracted.
It is against this backdrop that Springboard last Sunday brought together two experienced building experts to argue the case for, to build or to buy.
An online Facebook poll before the highly anticipated show had 75 per cent of the 797 participants voting for building while 25 per cent voted for buying.
Build or buy
Arguing for building incrementally was a Project Management Consultant and a pastor at ICGC Christ Temple, Rev. Allan Okomeng-Mensah, while arguing for buying was the Chief Executive Officer of Buena Vista Homes, Mr Samuel Ewool.
Arguments for building
Speaking in favour of building, Rev. Okomeng-Mensah argued that about 95 per cent of Ghana’s housing is built by owners from Bolgatanga to Hamile to Elubo to Aflao and Accra.
“Building allows people from different economic brackets to participate. Building allows one to plan systematically and to go at it in phases.”
He said, “once you are at the age of 25, you must start building your own house. And even if you don’t have a parcel of land, you can start right from your bedroom by buying one lock or a component of the house at a time.”