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?
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.
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.
From property valuations to financing, and purchase offers, buying a home can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Island living, it’s literally what we do for a living.