There is Ghanaian adage that says ‘when a man dies, people ask of his house not his money’. Culturally, every breadwinner is expected to leave behind a legacy of a house, without which one is considered a failure

in society. Driven by this cultural norm, many urban dwellers are compelled to combine renting and building a house for several years until they are able to complete their house. Building a house in urban Ghana costs a

fortune. Landlords expect tenants to pay a rent advance of at least 2 years. Individuals may also have personal responsibilities. The objective of this study is to understand how urban dwellers in Ghana combine renting and building a house amidst other personal responsibilities. The study also examines the effect of this combination on their everyday life. Using a case of Accra, this study employs structured questionnaire to gather data from 120 low and middle income earners who are either renting and building a house simultaneously or have completed their house. Many respondents said that the combination of renting and building a house puts a huge financial burden on them. Some have had to rent a relatively substandard accommodation in order to invest more in building their house. Many engage in multiple income generating activities in order to raise money to continue building their house and to pay their rent. The practical reality of this study is that every individual who is combining or has combined both renting and building a house has a story to tell. However, urban scholars in Ghana have not paid attention to this phenomenon. The originality in this study is an understanding of the struggles and sacrifices of the ordinary Ghanaian in the quest to meet the cultural expectations of society.