Month: October 2018

To Build Or Not To Build

Things to consider before building a property here in Cayman.

1. A New Build or Built By You? 

Do you just want a house which is brand new (no one else has ever lived there but you) or do you want a custom-built house that will be fitted to who you are and how you live? This doesn’t necessarily mean luxury or expensive, it just means the difference between cookie cutter and tailored or somewhere in between, and both options are totally valid.

2. What’s it Worth to You? 

What kind of investment are you willing to place on the house and its design? Would you like a house that is designed to fit the specific conditions of the site? Can you afford to build the house that suits your every need or should that be a future plan?

3. Custom or Stock? 

Could you live with a house from a stock set of plans or a developer’s design? What if you can’t find what you want when considering such a large investment? At what point is “making a few changes” to a set of pre-construction plans not worth it because “few” is now too many and too costly. Developers make money from these changes so decide if the stock option is really for you.

4. Do you like it here? 

Will the area or neighborhood you choose to live allow for custom designs or do you have to conform to a certain style? What if you want something different? How does the price of your house align with the house prices of your new neighborhood and will this design suit your family needs?

 

5. Where? 

Can you find vacant land in an area you can see yourself living? Is it better to choose an existing good neighborhood with good amenities, good character and purchase an existing house there?

6. Using A Design Professional?

Are you interested or at least willing to hire an architect and invest up to 10%* of the construction cost to have a design that serves your evolving family needs for years to come? Do you see that as part of the overall investment?

7. Your Best Interest? 

If you choose a builder or project manager and follow their lead with a house design (i.e. no architect or designer), do they really understand good design or are they just selling what they offer? In other words, can they offer unbiased options or do they believe what they have to offer is the best for YOU? How do they react when different ideas are posed?

8. Cost Calibration? 

At present, Cayman construction costs can range from US$200 to US$400* per square foot (and up) for a custom home, fitted out. Does that surprise you? What is your budget? Cookie cutter houses that are mass-produced can be less, but you’ll get less choice and (sorry to say), likely get less quality.

9. Carrying Cost? 

Building a home with a mortgage requires construction financing. Thus meaning that you will have to pay your current mortgage/rent in addition to paying increasing installments on your construction loan.

10. Timing? 

Current build times can take a minimum of 8 months* and to play it safe you should expect unforeseen delays as build projects always overrun and we live on an island (a double whammy!). How much time do you have to wait and how much free time do you have to manage a build project (not to be overlooked!)

11. Done Enough Research? 

With everything, research pays off. This is where we can really add value. Do you know whether there will be any changes to the neighbourhood you’re considering? A new road? A new school? The Dart effect? Get in touch to ensure you make an informed decision.

 

How To Sell Your Home In The Cayman Islands

Here are our go-to tips and advice when it comes to making the most of your property when selling.

 

1. Act Like A Buyer, Look With Fresh Eyes

Walk around your property with a critical eye and note what needs repairing, replacing or even just cleaning. Fix any chips in woodwork, cracks in plaster, broken tiles, squeaky fan, dripping taps, buff tiles, steam mildewed grout or re-seal edges in the bathroom.

2. First Impressions Matter

Your entrance-way is the first impression so make sure it counts. Consider painting the front door, trim and shutters to upgrade the look of your home. Better yet, add a new porch light fixture and a cheery new welcome mat.

3. Depersonalize Your Home

Simply put, a cluttered home deters buyers! Take yourself out of the picture so it’s easier for buyers to imagine themselves, (and their possessions), in your space.

4. Make It Memorable For All The Right Reasons

Nothing beats the smell and sight of a clean home. All surfaces and floors, both sides of windows, window ledges, shutters, ceilings, bathrooms, kitchens, patios and decks must be clean. Consider adding fresh, neutral linens, laying the table for dinner, subtle accent cushions, matching bathroom sets, floor mats, shower curtains and matching towels.

 

5. Store It Off Site

Excess and outdated furniture, books and toys should be donated, sold or stored off site. Do not use the loft, garage or garden to store bulky items. Viewers will want to see all areas and you’ll need these to be clutter free!

6. Closets And Cabinets 

Storage space is a huge selling point. Viewers may open closet and cabinet doors so make sure these are mostly empty or as tidy as possible to show a prospective buyer how easily they could utilize this potential home space.

7. Give Each Room A Purpose

Each room should have one obvious and natural use of space. It’s a good idea to take the treadmill out of the bedroom or the desk out of the bedroom.

8. Less Colour More Neutral

A neutral home appears larger and has less chance of ruining a sale. Neutralize strong colors for the broadest appeal.

9. Natural Light, Always

Open-up blinds and curtains to make the most of natural light throughout the home. Bright, natural light is a strong selling point in any home.

10. Garden Goals

Ensure your garden is neat and tidy to showcase the space in its best light. Better yet, give your walkway and larger trees an edge with solar light fixtures which are affordable and a cinch to install.

 

2018 Third Quarter Review

The entire Cayman Islands Property Market Statistics – Q3 2018.

A quick, snap-shot-picture of Cayman’s real estate activity and trends so far in 2018.

Providing you with the most up to date information to help you make the most educated property decisions is what we aim to do. If you have any specific inquiries about any of these numbers, please feel free to reach out to a team member and talk numbers!

950 CURRENT – (properties currently available):

  • 319 condos (US$87,000 → $15.5M)
  • 216 homes (US$180,000 → $39.95M)
  • 386 land (US$55,000 → $50M)
  • 29 commercial (US$244,000 → $11.5M)

That’s ONLY 950 total available options country wide and it’s declining rapidly, creating a deeper sellers market in most sectors. Watch it drop!

164 PENDING/CONDITIONAL – (accepted offers awaiting conditions to be satisfied):

  • 71 condos (US$349,000 → $15.5M)
  • 38 homes (US$207,000 → $3.5M)
  • 53 land (US$48,000 → $1.9M)
  • 2 commercial (US$2.7M → $6.5M)

That’s 164 contracts going through the all important due diligence! Seldom do they come back to market. This number will start to increase into NOV & DEC.

71 PENDING – (offers accepted with no conditions):

  • 40 condos (US$107,000 → $56.5M)
  • 13 homes (US$340,000 → $3.5M)
  • 17 land (US$119,000 → $2M)
  • 1 commercial (US$423,000)

That’s 71 at the brink of closing. If you’re not one of them have you asked yourself why not? Want to know how you can get on the list?

600 SOLD – (completed transactions so far in 2018):

  • 268 condos (US$51,000 → $5.7M)
  • 124 homes (US$95,000 → $2.2M)
  • 191 land (US$91,000  → $1.55M)
  • 17 commercial (US$31,700 → $6.3M)

That’s an AVG of 2.19 sales per day so far this year! It’s continuing to increase. These buyers & sellers are benefiting tremendously from the market movements.

306 SEVEN MILE BEACH CORRIDOR:

  • 211 condos (US$278,000 → $15.5M)
  • 39 homes (US$546,000 → $19M)
  • 48 land (US$462,000 → $50M)
  • 8 commercial (US$337,000 → $6.5M)

That’s 306 limited opportunities along the exclusive GEM of the Cayman Islands! There’s something for every investor and remember, LOCATION MATTERS!

Source: CIREBA – Disclaimer: these are approximate figures designed to provide a snap shot image of the Cayman Islands Property market only and are subject to further discussion. If you have a desire to see specifics as it relates to your property journey please let us know.