Buying a house in The Gambia is a very exciting time and one that buyers should prepare for. Making a mistake when buying a house can lead to many future headaches. Of course, the buying process of a property in the Gambia has similarities with Europe or the USA. But local laws, restrictions, acquiring legal documentation, the approach of agents and middlemen or roaming agents can make the buying experience ‘stressful’ to say the least.
As a Real Estate Agent (or Sellers Agent) often wears to hats and juggles between seller and buyer, it is important you approach a fully independent, objective and transparent agent that will guide you through the buying process saving you time, money and stress.
Some useful points to keep in mind
Is the seller agent the original agent appointed by the property owner?
In some cases listed properties are ‘hijacked’ and being offered as if it is they are representing the seller. This could give problems with the original listing agent.
Check land ownership.
Who ‘owns’ the land a house is build on? Issues with land ownership can cause huge problems and it is not uncommon that land is sold several times to different buyers.
What type of land are you buying?
In Gambia there are three types of land ownership. (Note: All land belongs to the Government with the exception Freehold)
– Owner has full ownership and jurisdiction
Lease hold (99 yrs)
– Owner leases the land for a period of 99 years. (Gambians only) This lease is automatically renewed.
Lease hold (50 yrs)
– Owner leases the land for a period of 50 years. (Non Gambians) This lease is automatically renewed.
– Is considered as a lease but ownership from month to month Are there restrictions to the use of the land? In Gambia there is a TDA (Tourist Destination Area) restriction which means there can be no residential property be build or used as within this area.
Are all related taxes and duties paid?
It is important to check and verify if all taxes and or duties are paid by the current owner. If not you will be the one that has to pay these AFTER you bought the property.
Do I have to make down payments?
Normally you only make a downpayment to the property owner once a sales agreement is signed and the term and conditions are agreed on. Never make a downpayment to an agent.
Should I have a ‘technical’ inspection of the property?
Checking the overall state of a house is important as you don’t want to end up with unexpected costs once you moved in. Most important is checking of – leaks – woodworks regarding termites (ceilings, supporting structures) – electric wiring – water supply.
You probably will have many more question.
For independent Buyers Support and answers to all your questions call GamRealty +220 2696613 or 7949034. Or visit https://gamrealty.com