Ghanaians who are contemplating building their own house have been advised to design the building plan in such a way that when their children are no more with them, the houses can be repurposed and rented out.
This can avoid loneliness, a Senior Lecturer at the Real Estate Faculty of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr Frank Gyamfi-Yeboah said.
Speaking on the sidelines of a real estate and management training workshop organized by the Laweh University College in Accra, he noted that on several occasions, he encountered a situation where several homes dotted across the country, especially in the major cities, some of them are four bedroom and five bedroom or even three bedroom apartments and nobody lives in them because the children of the owners of those properties have left home after university either as a result of marriage or work.
This leaves only the ageing parents in those apartments thereby causing loneliness because the design of their homes is such that they cannot be repurposed and be rented out.
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.”
The workshop, which took place from Wednesday, April 26 to Friday April 28, brought together together participants from various fields to be equipped with knowledge in the real estate sector.
Topics including Real Estate Investment Management and Finance in Ghana’s Economic Transformation, the law of Real Estate Agency in Ghana and Global Economic Transformation, were discussed at the workshop.