The prospect of buying real estate, even in one’s home country, can be a very daunting task. When you’re not familiar with the process, it can be intimidating, to say the least. The laws that regulate the passage and interchange of property vary significantly between jurisdictions, complicating the process. Never mind the fact that for most buyers, property is a serious, significant, long-term investment.
Complicating it even further is the fact that some buyers buy outside of their home market. It’s nearly impossible to maintain a comprehensive knowledge of the working laws and customs of the international housing market. This is where the value of specialization comes into play, in the form of an experienced local real estate agent.
Additionally, there are a lot of choices that every buyer faces. You might have the knee-jerk response that the only viable option for those interested in real estate would be a house, but that is a very limited approach.
When you’re looking, for example, in our market, in the Caymans, you’ll be faced with plenty of opportunities, which include houses, but also includes condos and even land for sale in the Cayman Islands. So which is right for you?
Houses for Sale - Advantages
To many people, the prospect of buying Cayman real estate is encapsulated by the purchase of a home. After all, people live in homes, so it should be natural to assume the purchase will be conducted in this manner.
However, that doesn’t represent the real estate market fully. Houses are only one type of real estate asset that can be purchased, along with other structures like condos and commercial buildings. Land is also another highly valuable real estate asset with great potential.
For those interested in the purchase of a Cayman Islands house, there are a number of distinct benefits that a house will bring along with it.
For one thing, a house, if it has been well maintained, will be ready to move into. You don’t need to do any extra planning or building. Once you close on the sale, you can start living there.
Homes also give you more freedom than some other investments like condos, as you are not generally beholden to communal owners. You can make adjustments to the structure or the landscaping, generally, as you please.
A house is also a great asset with a lot of potential to appreciate in value provided it has been well cared for. Additionally, some homeowners convert their homes into revenue streams by renting them out.
Houses for Sale - Disadvantages
While the apparent advantages of buying a house are evident enough, the proposal is not all positive. The purchase of a house is likely to entail a large down payment, for one thing, and additionally, there are some other reasons that a house might not be ideal for you.
For one thing, when you buy a house, the property you purchase is coming along with the structures and other tangible assets. If you want to remove any of these, it’s going to incur a cost, and generally, a high one. It would be more reasonable to buy a parcel of land and build on it, for example, than to buy a piece of land with a house and then knock down the house and start over.
Additionally, some buyers, especially those who are interested in community living, might get bored living in a house. This makes an arrangement like a condo much more agreeable because it has community living, shared amenities, and neighbors built right into the deal.
You can also purchase a piece of land or a condo at a much more affordable price than most houses. Of course, the nature of the transaction will vary according to numerous specifics, but this is generally the case.
There is also the potential that a house will come with “too much,” and that you would be happier or better suited to living in a condo. With that in mind, one of your alternatives as a prospective buyer is a condo. These come with a suite of features all their own.
Condos for Sale - Advantages
As a general rule, condos are smaller than houses and come with less space. This sounds like a drawback, and in some scenarios, it might be considered so, but for some buyers, this is a distinct advantage.
If you need a place to live or a home away from home, and you don’t want to have to take care of a house or the grounds of a property, then you’ll have a hard time finding a more agreeable prospect than the potential purchase of a condo.
Condos, being smaller, also usually cost less than houses. There’s also less to take care of, and if you are absent a lot or only use the condo as vacation quarters, care and maintenance will be streamlined and more affordable.
Condos also come with shared amenities and your neighbors will be close by, which is something that a lot of buyers appreciate. All in all, there’s not much more convenient than a condo. Easy to care for, small, and close by to neighbors and sites of interest, condos attract a lot of buyers.
Condos for Sale - Disadvantages
However attractive condos might be to some buyers, they’re not for everyone. If you’re a creative spirit who likes to make changes to your home or property on a whim, then you might find the community agreements, restrictions, or bylaws associated with condos to be more of a burden than you wish.
Also, condos don’t really come with any grounds to speak of. Yes, there are shared amenities, but those grounds are not yours to treat as you please. If you like outdoor entertaining or making extensive changes to your home, a condo will be more of a hassle than a joy.
Land for Sale in the Cayman Islands - Why Buy Land?
There’s more to this picture. If your heart is set on owning an asset in real estate in the Cayman Islands, you don’t need to purchase a home or a condo. You can purchase land, and there are some buyers for whom land for sale in the Cayman Islands will be the perfect solution.
Land is a very different asset from homes, condos, and other buildings. In fact, it is in a class of its own, and land is, for some buyers, the ultimate investment.
The Draw of Land
So you’re looking for land for sale in the Cayman Islands, or you want to learn more about what attracts people to land when it seems like there’s not as much value there as there is in ready-built properties.
Here are some of the reasons that land attracts buyers, reliably, in all different market conditions. You’ll find that these features of land are not unique to the Cayman Islands, but they’re just as relevant here as elsewhere.
When you purchase land as opposed to a home or a condo there are, comparatively, far fewer expenses associated with maintenance or ownership. For example, owners of land usually face less liability than owners of structures and land is generally cheaper to maintain and own.
Homes are expensive to maintain and incur a lot of liability. Also, if you don’t pay for their upkeep, their value will depreciate, which can destroy your investment value. Depending on where you live, not maintaining a home properly can incur penalties or fines. There’s not much you can do to maintain land, most of the time. It generally takes care of itself.
As for condos, they have maintenance fees built right into them that homes lack. On the whole, the purchase of land will free you from many expenses associated with other real estate. That is, at least, until you are ready to pay them.
Unlike properties such as homes, condos, and other structures, land will not need a property manager. There’s just really nothing to maintain. The most you could realistically incur on yourself is the need to keep the grass at the proper length, and even that is not always the case.
The lack of needing to work with a property manager will save you money and time and makes the process of owning land as an investment much more ‘hands-off’ than owning and managing homes or other properties.
Houses and condos are subject to depreciation, especially without steadfast maintenance and care. However, with land, there is no “facade” to maintain and nothing to replace. Land is land, and there’s nothing you need to take care of. There’s nothing that can go wrong, break or wear down.
It’s possible for land to depreciate, but only as a result of market forces, not as a result of wear and tear. This fact alone makes land one of the most lucrative forms of real estate investments that anyone can make. That being said, it is important to keep sight of the fact that land is an investment in a location. It is possible for land to depreciate if owners of adjacent properties do not build structures that increase the value of the neighborhood.
Land is also a great investment for buyers who want to build their own home from the ground up. When you buy a house, if you’re not happy with it and want to make extensive changes, that will incur significant investment costs, and even more if you ultimately tear the house down.
Land is also great for buyers who aren’t ready to build yet, and just want it for an investment. You can buy land today and sit on it. The worst thing that can reasonably happen is that the land will go up in value.
Land is usually, but not always, more affordable than homes and condos. Not all land is created equal, and beach front, water front and canal front properties are typically more expensive than inland properties. Also, land near the Seven Mile Beach and the capital of George Town, tend to be more expensive than properties farther out of town. If you are looking for more affordable properties, then consider looking at properties in the interior of the island away from town.
Land can be a strategic long-term investment for some buyers as it will usually appreciate in value.
In real estate, there is a saying that the three most important attributes of a plot of real estate, whether it be land, a house, or a condo, are location, along with location, and location.
Well, houses can be built and rebuilt, sometimes in exactly the same manner as they have been built before. The same goes for condos and other structures. This makes land the most valuable aspect of any purchase. Where it is and what is near it are worth more than whatever is on it. That can be replaced.
Land is a finite resource. No one can make more of it. That means the purchase of land, today, has the potential to be an extremely valuable asset.
Don’t Go It Alone!
Whether you decide that land for sale in the Cayman Islands is right for you or you need to learn more about what’s available before you can make any hard decisions, we’re here to help you.
For almost 50 years we’ve been putting potential buyers in touch with the properties of their dreams. We know the Cayman Islands inside and out, and we’d love to pass some of that insight along to you.
Whether you’re looking for a development site on Cayman Brac or a place of your own along Seven Mile Beach, in George Town, or elsewhere on Grand Cayman, we can help. It all starts with a call, so get in touch with us at 345-949-5250.