If you are renting now, buying a home could be a better financial decision. Of course, that depends on several factors such as; where you live, how much you pay now as rent, an available fit-for-purpose house you can afford, current mortgage interest rates and your aspirations.
Taking your first steps towards home ownership – and getting a foot on the property ladder – can be an exciting journey. Kojo Addo-Kufuor, Executive Head of Home Loans at First National Bank Ghana explained that apart from the financial aspect, it is also important that you’re armed with information – and the right information at that –
before you start your journey to homeownership.
“While it is important to do your research during the home-buying process, you must not believe everything you hear.”, he says. You could do with all the help to make an outright purchase, or get a loan to buy that land, build that house or buy out that cozy property in that estate you’ve been eying for some time.
Contrary to what you may have heard, getting a mortgage does not require perfect credit or a large down payment. It is however safe to say you should get your finances in order before you start house hunting or talking to lenders.
Kojo Addo-Kufuor, in this piece, helps you split the assumptions, untruths, and the gaps in the public knowledge on acquiring a home loan.
Mortgages are the preserve of the elderly and fulfilled
Many people in their 20s and 30s think of home ownership as a distant prospect; this is not exactly the case. Shared concerns and experience have shown that young people see the deposit as the biggest obstacle to getting on the ladder. It is not that terrible a prospect. You can now get a home loan offer of up to 100% property’s value if you are resident in Ghana and up to 70% if you are non-resident. This means it is possible to buy a house without making any down payment at all.
First National Bank’s innovative First Time Buyer home loan product is best suited for young professionals or executives who have just graduated into their first jobs, and/or supplemented by other revenue lines.
Such young professionals or executives could easily get to translate their monthly rent into monthly mortgage repayments towards the purchase of their own property. In fact, over 60% of the home loan client base are below age 45. It’s also important to consider that with your mortgage repayments, you’re adding to the equity you own in the property with each installment paid, whereas this is not the case when you pay rent as a tenant.
You can only get a mortgage from your bank
The truth is lots of people believe that their existing bank is the one and only place to go when it’s time to think about a mortgage.
That is probably because your bank will regularly send advertising material on what they can offer relatively along with preferential rates. It however makes sense to look around some more. The banking industry in Ghana is quite diversified, and banks are adding on to their portfolio with the right partnerships. First National Bank after merging with the erstwhile GHL Bank, has enhanced its home loan portfolio to serve many more Ghanaians with products which hitherto wasn’t accessible. If you are a salaried worker, you can access the broad suite of regular home loans. If you are a business owner or have multiple revenue streams, the innovative Save-To-Own home loan is best suited; just by demonstrating your ability to repay with a monthly deposit into an account for a year or two and then you have a home loan.
You need to have a perfect credit rating to get a mortgage
It’s obvious that you’ll struggle to get a mortgage with a bad credit history. The assessment of your application goes beyond that. Your credit history and your current ability to settle such gaps could be considered in the process. Speak to a mortgage advisor at First National Bank Ghana. These people help you make the right choices for a home loan based on your responses to some background questions and then guide you appropriately through the process.
The best mortgage deal is one with the lowest interest rate
It’s certainly right to think of the interest rate as how much your mortgage actually ‘costs’, as this is what you pay to have your loan, on top of the equity you’re accruing in your property. But that’s not to say you should assume that the lowest interest rate means the cheapest mortgage.
Only full time salaried workers get mortgages in Ghana
This is a common misconception that lenders see anyone, not in a full-time formal job as a risk. With the rise in freelancing, entrepreneurs, small business owners, side hustle enthusiasts, flexible and contract work in Ghana, banks like First National Bank Ghana take a much more individualistic approach when it comes to assessing people’s credit and underwriting situations. There’s every chance you can qualify for your home loan application provided your income is stable and sufficient for a comfortable repayment plan. While there are plenty of mortgage misconceptions floating around these days, from how hard it may be to qualify to how much you should put down, it’s important to learn the facts and how they apply to you. The truth is, getting a mortgage is much easier than you may think. If you need financing to buy a home, talk to First National Bank Ghana’s. Not doing so could delay homeownership, and the benefits you could gain by years.
Written By: Mr. Kojo Addo-Kuffour (Executive Head, Home Loans, First National Bank)
For more information contact:
First National Bank Corporate Affairs