Learn these tips to get the best deal when looking and buying real estate in the Caribbean to have your dream getaway destination.
Since the hurricanes in 2017, the Caribbean’s economies have continued to grow. In fact, the tourism-dependent economies have grown faster in the past three years. GDP growth rates averaged 1.7% in service-oriented economies.
As the economy continues to grow, new opportunities are popping up. The real estate in the Caribbean offers gorgeous views; perfect for a tropical escape.
If you’re looking to make an investment, the Caribbean’s economic potential and growth opportunities are a great place to start.
Don’t make a real estate purchase without thinking it through, though. Keep reading to discover the seven tips you need to take for purchasing a property in the Caribbean.
1. Start Researching
Start your research by taking a look at the different islands. You might want to choose an island based on real estate opportunities or low tourism rates. For example, Grenada attracted 79,371 visitors in a single year.
Meanwhile, Antigua attracted more than 148,000 visitors. If you want to avoid heavy tourist crowds, consider real estate in the Caribbean islands that attract fewer tourists.
Take the time to plan a five-day vacation to the Caribbean. Explore each of the different islands yourself. Then, choose a favorite.
If you’re buying for investment or planning to rent a home, you’ll want a property close to amenities and facilities. For example, if you plan on spending a lot of time at the beach, explore properties there. If you’re looking for a retirement property, on the other hand, make sure there are plenty of health and support services available.
Finding a Caribbean island real estate property is more than choosing a picturesque location.
Instead, you need to consider how developed the area’s infrastructure is, including:
Consider safety and emergency response times, too.
The more you know about the area, the more peace of mind you’ll have about your choice.
2. Reach Out
Once you’ve started narrowing down your options, there are a few people you should consider contacting.
First, consider securing a lender early on in the process. You’ll want to know how to finance the purchase before you start searching. Try to receive pre-approval from your lender if you plan on securing a mortgage.
Some islands even require you to have the funds ready before purchasing. In other locations, you can get a mortgage instead.
Securing a mortgage from a lender will vary a little if you choose one from your home country. Either way, you’ll need to show documentary evidence that you’re able to repay the loan.
Getting this process done ahead of time will save you time, effort, and stress in the future.
Next, consider hiring a real estate agent.
Real estate agents in the Caribbean will understand the property laws and regulations. These laws differ on each island. They can help you find your dream property and, at the same time, help you bypass frustrating red tape.
A talented real estate agent will have in-depth knowledge of the island. They’ll help you narrow down your options based on your unique preferences.
Lastly, you should consider hiring an attorney. Ask an overseas resident, there are certain laws that will surround the purchase of the property. An attorney can help you understand these laws.
When choosing an attorney to help you navigate the real estate market, make sure they’re experienced. Ask for referrals from a friend or family member who has gone through the process if possible.
You can always send us an email if you have any questions!
3. Make Sure You’re Eligible
You’ll also need to make sure you’re eligible to purchase real estate in the Caribbean.
Some countries, like St. Lucia, require you to visit the island to sign the conveyance documents for purchasing. In Jamaica, on the other hand, you’ll need a unique taxpayer registration number. This number is issued by the Tax Administration Department.
Other islands have different mandatory requirements for overseas property buyers.
Make sure to speak with your real estate agent to review all of the requirements you’ll need before making a purchase.
4. Get a Surveyor’s Report
Once you’re done registering for your tax obligations, you’ll need to generate a valuation and survey report.
The valuation will provide information about the property. It will also determine the property’s true marketing value.
A survey report, on the other hand, will help determine the legal boundaries of your new property. It will also help note whether or not there are any encroachments you’ll need to consider.
Do you need a real estate attorney? Click here to find one!
5. Prepare for the True Cost
It’s important to note that buying a property involves more than solely the cost of the land. You’ll also need to consider:
– Attorney’s fees
– Real estate commission fees
– The cost of valuation and survey
– Land transfer taxes
Other fees might pop up as well. For example, some countries require you to apply for a residency permit. You might also have to pay non-national fees before you can purchase land in the area.
Before you decide to purchase real estate, make sure you can afford it.
Make sure to learn about the foreign exchange rate, too. Exchange rates sometimes vary depending on the island. You might need to find properties priced in US dollars or British pounds.
Research the exchange rate that you’ll need to pay in order to keep track of your finances.
6. Remain Patient
Cultural differences and government bureaucracy can make this feel like a long, tedious process. To buy propertyon any island, you’ll need to remind yourself to remain patient. Everything will work out in time.
Make sure to keep in contact with your attorney or real estate agent to make sure the process is on track.
7. Protect Your Asset
Once the process is done and your property purchase is complete, don’t forget to include it in your will. If you don’t have a will yet, consider getting one.
You might also want to schedule regular maintenance for your property. If it’s a vacation home, who will look after it while you’re not there?
After all your hard work to secure your new property, you’ll want to make sure to protect it!
Ready to find your little slice of heaven in a tropical paradise? With these seven tips, buying real estate in the Caribbean will feel a lot easier than expected.
Eager to start your search? Explore our properties today!