House Buying Guide For Gambia
| Property Tips & Advice Checklist:
2, 3 & 4 bedroom houses on sale in Gambia come in
all shapes & sizes. Some are described as
when in fact they are just bungalows, so it's important
to check out the photo & see what the building actually
looks like. Better still try & visit the site yourself.
• Legal Advice:-
Always use the services of a qualified Greater Banjul
based legal practitioner before entering or making any
real estate decisions. They can carry out the property
conveyancing process on your behalf such as searches
at the Registry of Deeds, acquiring title deeds, preparing
a draft contract for you, registration of title deeds,
stamp duty, leases and other formal types of documentation.
Tip: do check your lawyers fees & request references.
When looking to buy a home see whether it has a flat
roof. If it has, then make sure that it is lined with
a waterproofing product as these buildings are prone
to leaking. Also do take a look at the ceiling for any
signs of leaks.
If it has a corrugated or tiled roof then look out for
signs of damage on the top as well as the ceiling. Repair
costs could run into thousands of Dalasi so this could
be a negotiating item.
The cost of replacing defective windows can be costly.
If the property has sliding windows then do check that
all are sliding properly. Check to see that all the
insect screens are properly fitted.
The first thing you should check is whether the property
is connected to the main grid supply from the Gambia's
National Water and Electricity Company (Nawec). If not
then check to see if there are supply lines running
outside the property as you may be able to apply to
get connected to the mains, though this can take some
time, so do enquire how long this is likely to take
before deciding to buy.
Get a fully qualified electrician (preferably someone
who has graduated from the Gambia Technical Training
Institute - GTTI) to look over the quality of the wiring,
particularly in the ceiling area, as you cannot be certain
of the standard of work. To be really on the safe side
it might be advisable to rewire your new house completely
with British Standard wires by a fully qualified electrician
under the supervision of an electrical engineer. This
would include switches, sockets and distribution boxes.
The electrician should look at the fuse box for signs
of overfused circuits, improper wiring, burned
• Water Mains Supply:-
Check that the property is connected to the water mains.
In The Gambia water metres are usually located just
inside the compound near the front fence. If the building
does not have a water metre then look to see that your
immediate neighbours have supplies. If they do then
you would be able to apply after you have acquired the
• Sewage & Plumbing:-
Check all the taps to confirm that they all produce
running water. Get a fully qualified plumber to check
for signs of leaks, incompatible joints, damp on walls,
the manholes, etc.
Look at the outside of the house's wall near the ground
for any signs of termite tunnels or leads rising from
the ground. If you do see signs then this is a possible
indicator that the foundations did not receive proper
treatment with Dursban TC or other kind of anti-termite
infestation treatments. Should you see these signs then
it is advisable to reject the property.
Also look for termite leads inside the home at the bottom
of door frames, walls and other areas.
This will require the inspection of a pools engineer.
There are a number of companies that sell supplies and
construct swimming pools and may provide you with inspection
services for a fee. If this is not possible then get
a good plumber to check over the performance of the
pump in the pool house, and that water is actually being
emptied into the pool. If possible ask to see it when
it's empty of water to check the condition of the tiles.
If it has lights then these should also be checked.
• Structural Survey:-
And finally before deciding to purchase a home in Gambia
you are advised to seek out the services of a fully
qualified building structural surveyor to check over
the property for any defects and to give you an idea
of the cost of rectifying any problems. This will give
you more leverage over negotiating for a lower price
from the owner and possible big savings for you.
If destructive probing is necessary then this should
be with the seller's written approval and under the
advice of your lawyer, with a clear written agreement
as to which party will carry out proper and full repairs
after such an inspection.
A survey is intended to reduce the risk for the buyer,
but does not eliminate it.
As with any property you are bound to find some defects.
If you like a property then this should not necessarily
discourage you from buying as it all depends on the
final repair cost which you are most probably going
to have to bear. Just remember that by totalling these
repair costs could give you more leverage to reduce
the asking price when negotiating on the price of the
• Before Moving In:-
After purchasing your Gambian home you should consider
installing (if your new home does not have one) a 1,000
or 2,000 litre reserve water tank, a generator, a solar
hot water heater, and a borehole. If it has a large
garden the borehole will almost certainly save you money
on future water bills. Note that the tariff goes up
in bands the more water you consume.
|• Note: Please
read the disclaimer.
The owner of accessgambia.com does not accept any responsibility
for any damage, misunderstandings or losses of any kind
arising out of anyone following or not following any
of the information above. Get legal advice first before
inspecting any property or making any real estate decisions.
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