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« on: February 09, 2018, 04:25:58 pm »

By Leonard Gildarie Last year, after more than 30 articles, I thought I was completed with writing on the problems facing new homeowners. Those articles are up on our website, thank goodness, but we have still been receiving numerous emails and even calls for advice. My fellow journalists have been pestering me, asking for help. I keep telling them the writings were of my own experiences and a little research…that I am no expert… but to no avail.Two of the “turn-key” $4.5M homes at Providence, East Bank Demerara.The problems range from dealing with the NDCs, to approaching the banks, to dealing with errant contractors. I submit.We will attempt to examine some of these critical issues once again because of their importance – but from different perspectives.The housing sector continues to spin Guyana’s economy. From the commercial banks and NBS to lawyers, transportation, hardware outlets,Air Max 97 2018, block makers, shipping, contractors, the housing drive has been creating employment and for some, tremendous profits.There are numerous opportunities available for new homeowners with more choices now too.While making the major decision almost four years ago to find a piece of land at all costs and start building or face the prospects of paying rent for the rest of my life, I had not much choice. I was allocated a plot at La Parfaite Harmonie, a quiet housing scheme north of Canal Number One, West Bank Demerara. It was a tall order to get a mortgage, find a contractor,Cheap Jerseys From China, finish the paperwork and get the building permits. You had to think of the designs and make that budget work. That was probably the toughest. It was a grand, satisfying feeling afterwards.Fast-forward to today, I see things differently…the gutters need cleaning and you get the little water frog problem on the walls and the neighbour who is building is irritating you with his sand in the middle of the road.I decided to do a little digging on what has changed in housing in Guyana.Three or maybe four years ago, it was a tight task to build a home on a $5M budget. You had to sacrifice something, whether it was space or doing without the fence or a particular tile,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, you were forced to give up something.$4.6M homesNow,Wholesale Adidas Hockey Jerseys, according to the Ministry, it has a special programme in which a two-bedroom home can be acquired for around $4.6M. Over 300 of them have been completed in the Providence/Herstelling area and another 200 more will be finished this year.These flat homes have been heavily subsidized by government and are targeting families who earn between $60,000 and $120,000 monthly.Describing these as the “revolving homes”, under a special government programme, Director of Operations of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), Denise Tudor-King, said that over 500 families have applied for what is become a ‘hot sell’ for the Housing Ministry. Because of the special arrangements and number of homes built, the costs have been lowered and passed on to the new homeowners.“We see more and more persons now don’t want to take the headache of building from scratch.”Housing Minister Irfaan Ali, questioned on these “revolving homes”, said that the response has been tremendous.“What we are seeing is that young families don’t want the burden of just a land. They want the home too. All completed. The Ministry has worked out special arrangements with the New Building Society to fast-track the mortgages for these homes. So in reality a home-owner is getting a $7M home with land and completed structure and bathroom and living space for $4.5-$4.6M.”The Ministry is now planning to build several more of these turn-key homes across the country but is now focusing on the East Bank of Demerara.This, for me, is an interesting development. The cost of building now has risen tremendously from four years ago with contractors in high demand from the other countless homes being built.To appreciate how tough things are now, a look at the figures will tell the harsh truth.On the East Bank Demerara alone,NFL Jerseys China, 30,000 houselots have been targeted over a five-year period. Already,Cheap NFL Jerseys Supply, seven thousand have been allocated with another 6,000 to be distributed this year, the two officials revealed. Small wonder why finding a good, trustworthy contractor is so difficult.A stealIt is against this background, I think, that it is a steal to acquire one of the revolving homes if you are strapped for cash and don’t have the time to build a home. You can always make adjustments to the building later on. The monthly repayment for the $4.5M home could start at an acceptable $20,000 monthly. I wish my mortgage was that low.The Ministry is also looking at more options for the low income earners. We will examine these possibilities in next week’s article. Also being targeted are the young professionals and high income earners for similar programmes.Now, one of my biggest pieces of advice to new homeowners is always look at location. I like Parfaite. It is quiet and it suits me. But a poor family may not want the daunting challenge of dealing with the traffic over the Demerara Harbour Bridge.  The East Bank Demerara might be for the ideal place for those that like action and maybe don’t have a car. And action it will be, as government has planned a few things.According to the Housing Minister, there is a major development plan for the East Bank of Demerara.  The development includes three industrial sites, including the existing one at Eccles. The new ones will be at Diamond and somewhere in between.Another plan that government is working on is the linking of the East Coast Demerara highway to the East Bank via a new road through Eccles.A remigrant scheme in the Providence area, coupled with shopping malls and the extension of the four-lane highway to Diamond and eventually to Timehri will make the East Bank a hot spot.  I remembered Diamond when no one wanted to live there. A houselot there now is in the millions and people are buying.Ali says his government has now moved away from merely allocating houselots because of a drastic change in demand.“We now have partnerships with the professional groups; partnerships with private contractors; public/private partnerships; and even plans for the clerical and service workers. These have benefits, because when you are building a large number of homes at one time, the economy of scale kicks in and you can sell those homes much cheaper.”Obviously, as we examine over the coming weeks the different programmes and government’s capacity to deal with the demands and the challenges, we will also be looking at the problems in the housing schemes.For instance, I have problem with cows in the area and building materials left for prolonged periods on the roadway.In the new housing schemes, there are also issues of poor roads, water problems, crime and a lot of wrongdoing by new homeowners.Like before, I invite you to send your comments and suggestions for possible future topics to [email protected] Enjoy the holiday weekend.
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