Many people dream of purchasing or investing in property in the Cayman Islands. Why not! After all, the Cayman Islands are the stuff that many dreams are made up of. Besides, the picture postcard perfect islands are home to several stunning natural views and scenic tourist attractions that would make every visitor long to come back again. Many visitors often end up buying Cayman Properties such as their own vacation and retirement homes in the Cayman Islands as they find the place extremely scenic, serene, and tranquil compared to the hectic and frantic life they had been living on the mainland.
Foreigners are welcome to own land in the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands government does not subject Cayman residential property to direct taxes such as annual property taxes, capital gains tax, or income tax. This makes the proposition of investing in Cayman Islands property very attractive. However, before you invest in or purchase in Cayman real estate or residential property, you need to make sure that you avoid certain pitfalls. While you can always liaise with Cayman real estate agents, let us examine some of the common pitfalls that could hamper your decision to purchase or invest in Cayman property.
- Have all the strata fees been paid?
Be sure that the previous owner has paid all the strata fees. These unpaid fees can be easily caught by a conveyancing lawyer during title checks. Ensure that the previous owner of the property has paid the final water bill. Technically, although you cannot be held responsible for an outstanding balance, this situation can still cause problems.
- Are all electrical appliances well serviced?
Check for servicing issues with the electrical appliances such as air conditioning units. Did the previous owner service the air conditioning units regularly? Since air conditioners are a necessity in Cayman’s tropical climate, it is essential that air conditioners are serviced at regular intervals. A lack of servicing or irregular servicing can greatly reduce the life expectancy of these systems and a new system can be prohibitive. Make sure that you include air conditioner servicing as part of the conditions of sale. Expect a report on their condition as well.
- Is the building free of pests?
Has the property been regularly sprayed for roaches and other pests? Make sure that the house has been sprayed at regular intervals previously so that you avoid an infestation problem. In case the property you are interested in is a wooden house, then you also need to check if it is free of termites before you sign the deal.
- Make sure there are no concealed costs
Make sure that there are no hidden costs involved especially concerning the running of the property. Since Cayman is a tropical location, your house might require considerable air conditioning during summer months. Also, make sure that your home is built according to hurricane standards since Cayman lies in a hurricane prone region. Especially after Hurricane Ivan, most Cayman Real Estate Properties are built according to category 5 hurricane standards.
- Obtain a home inspection report
It is also essential that you obtain an MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing) report besides getting a home inspection done. Also, if you are considering the purchase of raw land, then it is advisable to get a Conditions Site Survey Report as well. There is plenty of Cayman land for sale; nevertheless some locations need to be inspected in order to determine whether the new house needs to be built on pilings. If this is the case, it will hugely increase the cost of the building.
There can be more pitfalls you could come across while trying to invest or buy property in the Cayman Islands. The best way forward is to be diligent while you invest and careful before you sign anything. Good Luck with your investment plans!