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A Housing Scheme that Targets Expatriates Who Want to Build Back Home

Jobomax Global Ltd. is a Philadelphia company that promises to build homes in Ghana, Guinea, and Sierra Leone in less than six months. Jobomax creates planned communities with names such as Perle de la Guinée and the Springs at Newton, where it offers about a half-dozen floor plans named after places in the US and Europe with large African populations. There’s the Richmond, a two-bed, one-bath model that starts at $13,000 in Sierra Leone. In Guinea, a larger two-bedroom offering called the Columbus goes for $40,000. And the Washington, with four bedrooms and three baths, starts around $134,000 in Guinea. The company’s target market is expatriates who earn enough to afford a full spec home, at prices that would be considered a bargain in developed countries. Buyers are typically familiar with US real estate norms—mortgage underwriting, title insurance, and so forth—lacking in their homelands. “A majority of our clients are not yet homeowners,” says Jonathan Halloran, Jobomax’s chief executive officer. “But they’re yearning for the same security and service that comes with buying a home in the US: a clean title, a level of quality of construction they can rely on, and a process of financing.” Jobomax retains title to any parcel it develops until all payments have been made, so if a customer doesn’t pay up, a new buyer can take over.