By Anna Wootton
Purchasing property in the Cayman Islands is a very simple process, and with the right sales specialist alongside you to help you out, you can go from house hunting to moving in in no time.
We have put together a simple checklist to help you along the way, which you can download here. For more tips for every step of the process, keep reading.
Finding Your Dream Home
- The first step here is to decide what home you would like to find. Consider the type of property you would like to purchase – a condo, house, townhouse?
- Identify the location in which you would like to live. If you are flexible, even better, but if you have specific neighbourhoods in mind, make a list that you can provide to your agent.
- Establish a budget – what is the maximum you wish to spend, and what is your ideal budget? This is best discussed with your agent so they can advise on how realistic this is given your other property ownership goals, but it is good to have this in mind before you first meet with a Sales Specialist.
- Determine the size of property you are looking for: how many bedrooms, how many bathrooms? Is it important to you that you have a large garden, a garage, a swimming pool, a beachfront address? All of the above? Decide on any special features your ideal home would have.
Finding an Agent
- Find a real estate advisor with expert knowledge of the Cayman Islands market. Choose a Sales Specialist with proven market knowledge and excellent customer service skills. You can contact the qualified CIREBA Sales Specialists who work at Provenance Properties by clicking here.
- Discuss the preferences you have considered with your Sales Specialist – property type, size, location.
- Set your budget with your Sales Specialist so they can find properties that suit both your wishlist and budget, and so they can give you an idea of what to expect in the current market.
- Be prepared to provide your ID (passport or driver’s license), a recent utility bill showing your permanent address and a source of funds letter from a recognised financial institution to your agent, who is required to check this by law for anti-money laundering purposes.
- Set up an initial meeting with a loan officer to request pre-approval.
- Request a list of requirements from the bank you will need to fulfil to optimise the approval process, which can take up to six weeks.
- Discuss if the bank requires life insurance in the loan agreement.
- Ask the amount of the fee to be charged by the bank’s attorney.
Total Cost of Purchase
- Budget an additional 10% of the purchase price for closing costs, which include expenses such as:
- Stamp duty (currently set at 7.5% by the Cayman Islands Government)
- Stamp duty on the mortgage, which is 1-1.5% of the sum secured
- Legal fees of around 1%
- If you require bank financing, your Sales Specialist can help you find a property valuation provider. A valuation typically costs approximately $400.
Pitfalls to Avoid
- If you are buying a previously owned property, ensure the final water bill has been paid by the previous owner.
- Request that the seller has the property’s air-conditioning units serviced.
- Check if the owner has had the property sprayed for pests.
- Ask your Sales Specialist to request a home inspection and/or MEP report to be done on the property.
- If you are purchasing a condo, request a report from the strata’s property management team.
Offer and Closing
- Your Sales Specialist will help to write out your CIREBA Offer to Purchase document.
- Your Sales Specialist will present your mortgage lender with a copy of the Offer to Purchase.
- Ensure that you receive multiple copies of the Transfer of Land document, as this is required to enable transfer of utilities.
- If you have purchased a condo, your Sales Specialist will pass your contact details over to the seller’s attorney so they can inform the strata of the change in ownership.
About the author
Anna Wootton is the Digital Marketing & PR Manager for Dart’s real estate companies and assets, including Dart Real Estate, Provenance Properties, Camana Bay and The Residences at Seafire. Born in the Cayman Islands, with British heritage and a Canadian passport, Anna is multinational with a Caymankind heart. Anna has a background in journalism and a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from University of British Columbia. She has worked for Dart for the past five years.