Whether you are a foreigner or a local, buying a Cayman property is never an easy task.
You need to have a thorough understanding of the local real estate market and a robust plan in place to ensure success.
Approximately 418 residential properties were sold in 2020 at a total value of US$503.3 million or US$1.21 million per residential property. Cayman’s luxury property market registered a sale of 69 condominiums and 57 residences, each property priced at US$1m and above.
In a total land area of 102 square meters, there are so many residential properties for sale. It speaks volumes about the high demand for Cayman properties. Hence, you always have to be on top of things because the slightest hesitation or delay could mean a lost opportunity.
Taking the help of a real estate agent can streamline the process and help you get better results, but even then, there is a possibility of things going wrong. This blog will discuss the mistakes you should avoid while shopping for real estate in the Cayman Islands.
Top 5 Mistakes To Avoid While Buying a Home in the Cayman Islands
- Choosing a poor location
Like any other place in the world, location makes a huge difference. The Cayman Islands are no exception to this rule. Have you checked out the neighbourhood before agreeing to the deal? Do you know if there are hospitals, grocery stores, supermarkets, schools, etc., in the vicinity? What is the crime rate? Are your neighbours nosy, and do make a din over the weekends? Is public transport accessible from where this property is located? Ask yourself these questions before you make your decision.
Visit the locality first, inspect the surroundings and get a feel of things. Before making a property purchase, consider renting for a few months in your area of choice and when you are confident about living there for a few years — go ahead and take the plunge.
- Not having a solid financial plan
While buying a residential property, it is crucial to be financially prepared. Banks in the Cayman Islands offering home loans demand a 10% deposit if you are a local citizen and 30% if you are an expatriate or a foreigner. You don’t have to worry about taxes in the Cayman Islands, but there is a one-time stamp duty of 7.5%, payable on purchase, along with lawyer’s fees, insurance costs that you need to bear in mind.
- Skipping a Detailed Inspection
Don’t skip the home inspection. Have a qualified engineer conduct a comprehensive examination of the house, fittings, roof, amenities, foundation, etc. In short, every corner of the home must be thoroughly inspected because you don’t want any nasty surprises after moving in.
The harsh elements of the Cayman Islands will take a toll on the property. Heavy storms, hurricanes, salt spray, and high humidity can ruin a property in no time, especially without maintenance. A detailed home inspection will highlight damage in hard-to-see areas, nooks, and corners, ceilings, leaky drainage, smelly lofts, unprofessional wiring, damaged HVAC system, or pest infestation. Often, we tend to overlook things at the time of the first visit. This is precisely why a detailed inspection is a must.
- Rash Spending Without Thought is a Huge Mistake
Just because you have money does not mean you should spend it without thinking about the consequences. Buying the most expensive house with plush interiors is unwise. Think about whether you want to live there short-term for 5, 10, or more years. Are you planning to rent it out later? If you plan to sell it after a few years, would you get the desired asking price? Keep these factors in mind before jumping into the purchase decision.
When the time comes to sell the property, you may face a lot of challenges. Buyers will ask you tons of questions, and you will have to justify every single penny that you demand to the point that you will lose interest in selling your property. The best strategy is to buy a reasonably priced residential property in a safe, well-to-do neighbourhood and then make improvements to build its equity over time.
- Hurried decisions
As the age-old proverb goes — When a man is in a hurry, the devil is happy. This saying is quite appropriate when people rush their real estate purchase/selling decisions. First of all, take a look at the property and involve your family members in decision-making. Conduct thorough research about properties, different neighbourhoods, listen to expert advice and pay attention to the minutest of details.
Carry a notebook with you wherever you go, take notes, click photos and keep them with you. When you go back home after visits, think about what is best for you. Refer to the notes and photographs because your memory can only serve to a certain extent. Slow and steady is the way to go in a real estate purchase. However, you need to understand that the demand for properties far exceeds the supply. Time management is also a key factor.
Buying a home in the Cayman Islands is an arduous task but is not rocket science either. Many people think it is as easy as typing — Cayman Islands real estate for sale and prime Cayman properties will appear in front of you. Sorry to burst your bubble, but things are not that easy.
Keep a cool head, follow the five points above and keep an eye out for new residential properties in areas you prefer. Do your share of research, hire a real estate agent, and don’t rush. When done right, you will find your dream property without burning a hole in your pocket. Happy house hunting.