Once you’ve made the decision to pursue a purchase of property in the Cayman Islands, you’ll still have some big questions to settle. For one thing, you’ll need to figure out what location is right for you, and not just which island, because there are many areas to choose from once you have even decided on one of them. You’ll also need to figure out what type of property is most valuable to you, or you and your family, before you can get serious about looking and buying.
For example, you don’t need to buy a house, although that option is certainly at your disposal. There are many opportunities in the Cayman Islands for prospective buyers and investors, and a house might not appeal to all of them. However, the Cayman Islands are friendly to investors including foreign buyers, and depending on the situation, a house, a condo or even land might be right for you.
If you are thinking about getting serious about looking for Cayman Islands houses for sale, but you just aren’t sure yet, ask yourself some of these questions. They’ll help point you in the right direction.
One of the first things you will want to square away before you begin a serious search is which island appeals most to you as a buyer. You’ll have your choice of Grand Cayman real estate as well as between Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
In general, Grand Cayman is much more developed than the other two islands, which are also much smaller and quieter. Grand Cayman is also home to a number of developments and luxury condos as well as Cayman’s famous Seven Mile Beach, around which are many wonderful neighborhoods and attractions.
There are plenty of homes for sale across Grand Cayman, but if you are looking for something quieter or more laid back, you might be more interested in what the other two islands can offer. They’re only about a half-hour away from Grand Cayman by plane, and Cayman Brac and Little Cayman both are astounding for their natural beauty.
The second question you will want to ask yourself when trying to determine if Cayman Islands houses for sale are right for you is a question regarding your intent.
Are you buying a home where you will live to which you will move and live full time? Are you buying a vacation home that you will visit periodically? Do you want to build a business? All of these questions will help you figure out what is best for you.
As a quick example, if you only want a vacation home that you can visit periodically, then you might not want the expense or time commitment of a house, and would instead prefer a condo. But that’s only one example - figure out why you’re buying, and then you can determine if a house is right for you.
Even if you decide that you want to be on Grand Cayman because of its many amenities, such as schools, hospitals, shops and restaurants, you might not want to be in the center of all the activity. For those who are interested in being right in the middle of the action, there are homes for sale, but at the same time, a condo can be a much more affordable option that is also easier to maintain.
Either way, this is a valid question that will impact the manner in which you should proceed. Due to the relatively small size of the islands, you will have options across the board, but you may find that price will become a factor.
Another valid question, but one you should take seriously. Remember, even if you only want to get serious about looking for a vacation home, a house might still be your best option, especially if you want to make a lot of personalized changes to the home or the grounds.
However, this is not the case for everyone. A house will need to be looked after and maintained while you are away, and not everyone wants to hire or work with a property manager. There are other options besides a house for those who just want to have a place away from home that they can visit at their leisure.
If you want to develop the land on your own property, that pretty much precludes the possibility of a condo, but it doesn’t necessarily cross a house off the list of possibilities. To be fair, there are some people that really enjoy the process of designing a home, and love architecture. Maybe you are one of them, and for you, land might be the right purchase so you can actually create the home of your dreams.
However, you can also buy a home and renovate it, but that choice remains yours to make. Either way, if building is in your future, a home or land that you actually own is probably your best bet for a purchase.
Another important question to ask before you look around to make a purchase in the Cayman Islands - or anywhere. Who will be living with you? This is one of the most important questions as relates to shopping for Cayman Islands houses for sale.
Are you moving by yourself, or will you be taking a family along with you? Some people who live alone would still like the flexibility of owning their own home, but that isn’t for everyone.
Then again, if you are bringing along a family, for example, small children and pets, you might actually need the freedom that a home will give you. You might want more space inside with several rooms for kids or even space outside for them to play, or for pets if you have any.
To the point above, you will also need to take some thought about the amount of space you will want or need. Families need a lot of room and space to grow, but extra members in the home are not the only reason you might want extra space or extra land (but we’ll get to land below).
You might want extra space for your own purposes, to expand the home or to entertain. Only extra space and the freedom of owning your own home can really give you that flexibility, so it’s something to take seriously.
Anyone who expects to do outdoor living or entertaining will need to consider a home if only for the reason that you will have some of your own grounds. Naturally, some homes come with more than others, but that is something for you to settle during your search.
Do you now, or will you at some point in the future want to create a space for outdoor entertainment? Will you want a home with a pool or will you want to put in a pool yourself? Will you want to sculpt the grounds with landscaping or other hardscaping features?
If you’re a person who likes that sort of thing, more than likely, a house is for you.
You might be able to escape the inconvenience of homeowner’s association fees if you buy a house, but there’s no way to get away from them if you buy a condo instead. Be aware that some homes come with them tacked on as well, but it’s not always the case.
They’re not all bad; they cover the cost of the amenities that come with shared communities. However, if you don’t want to deal with this additional cost, you might want to skirt opportunities involving HOA fees.
If you need a place that you can move right into, there are a few more things to think about. A home or a condo might work in this situation and a condo might even be a safer bet, simply because, for the most part, you can move right into them.
Depending on the urgency of your situation or your desires, a house might not be ideal for you if you want a place you can move right into, but that is not a blanket statement. There are many homes out there that are simply waiting for you, you just need to find them.
Generally speaking, a house is more expensive than a condo, both in the cost of the purchase and also in the cost of maintenance, so for price-sensitive buyers, a house might not be the right way to go.
Admittedly, you will have to cover the costs of HOA fees with a condo, but at the same time, they will go towards some of the cost of maintenance and other costs of living. Plus, most condos are smaller and more convenient, and just cost less overall.
The amount of freedom you want insomuch as it relates to making changes to your property will matter in this arena as well. For example, if you want to be able to make changes to the grounds or to the exterior of your home, for the most part, you will have that liberty with a house, so long as you own the property. The same can’t be said for some other living arrangements.
Therefore, if you want to hold the reins of designs, upgrades, and renovations, a home may be better for you.
Another important question to answer before getting serious about a purchase is how long you intend to own the property, whether or not you will actually live there. This is chiefly important because the length of time you plan to own the property will bring up the question of resale, both in terms of ease and of the value it can offer.
For a buyer who intends to be in it for the long haul, a house may be better if only for the fact that you will have control over the changes you make to it, as mentioned above. It’s really a matter of personal preference, though.
Anyone who is interested in buying solely for the purposes of investment should take some time to think about this question seriously. If your main intention is to move and make a new home for yourself, resale might not be on your radar, but condos are sometimes harder to sell and don’t always appreciate in league with homes.
By contrast, a house can be bought, modified and resold, or rented, potentially at profit to an investor. This is just one more question you should ask yourself while shopping.
This is not a comprehensive list, though - there are other questions you should ask yourself while shopping, and if you want to learn more, get in touch with us!
Work with Us to Make It Happen
At Crighton Properties, we have helped many customers achieve their goals of becoming a property owner in the Cayman Islands, and we have nearly fifty years of experience in Cayman Islands real estate helping customers and prospective customers connect the dots.
If you want to learn more about the Cayman Islands’ unique areas, history, and culture, or you’d like to see what our thoughts are on the matter at hand, give us a call at 345-949-5250. The questions in this article are only a starting point, and we might be able to help you determine what type of property is most suitable for you. Give us a call today to learn more and to get started pursuing your dream of owning a home or land in the Cayman Islands!