Real Estate

How Difficult is it to Buy Property in the Cayman Islands?

March 26, 2021
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Whether it’s a statement beachfront home or a modest investment condo, buying a property in the Cayman Islands is a simple process, with a little local help from a professional realtor.

Grand Cayman real estate listings

Internet searches have reinvented property buying. So, too, have remote viewings and digital processing of paperwork, which suddenly boomed during the 2020’s global pandemic lockdowns. It is now completely possible, in theory, for just about anyone to find, explore, negotiate and close a property deal halfway across the world without leaving the comfort of their easy chair. 

But the reality for most people is still basically an analog process involving lots of legwork and juggling the minutiae of on-the-ground research, appointments, viewings, negotiations, follow-ups, and chasing paperwork that becomes a drain on time, energy, and resources. Perhaps this is why buying a Cayman Islands property might seem too difficult, too risky, or not a very attractive proposition. 

But whether you’re planning to buy beachfront property for sale in the Grand Cayman, or a lavish villa at Cayman Brac for a weekend getaway, the process is quite easy, and the rewards are plain to see.

Firstly, there are the incentives: There’s no restriction on foreign ownership of property, whether by a company or an individual; there are no residency requirements; there are no property taxes or capital gains taxes to worry about, ever. And it’s also a tropical paradise with a desirable lifestyle, the most stable government and economy, and the highest standard of living in the entire Caribbean

Then there is the simplicity of the process: There are more than 200 real estate agents working in around 35 agencies that are members of the Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association (CIREBA), the non-profit professional body that oversees the industry for the benefit of buyers, sellers and realtors alike. CIREBA members use the MLS – Multiple Listings System familiar to North Americans, where each agent has access to all listings and can buy or sell any property on behalf of their clients. Commissions are shared between the buying and selling agents, ensuring a degree of cooperation beneficial to everyone, not least the clients. 

As a buyer, you pay no agency commission. That’s the seller’s responsibility, as is common in MLS markets elsewhere. As a buyer, your only financial responsibility beyond the actual purchase price is the 7.5% government stamp duty on all property purchases, as well as any legal and professional fees accumulated along the way, usually adding another 1.5-2% to the purchase cost. 

And then there is your real estate agent. Your Cayman Islands realtor is your expert on the ground: They have years of experience and know the market intimately. They know the best districts to suit your budget and lifestyle, they know which Grand Cayman condos for sale in which developments are the most sought-after and offer the best ROI; they know lawyers, bankers, contractors, even trusted handymen, and they handle all the running around and the paperwork. 

If you like the idea of buying that gorgeous beachfront property for sale in the Cayman Islands, your local realtor will be able to advise you on the pros and cons involved, what unique features and challenges the property presents. They have the experience and know-how to give accurate and fair information on everything from monthly energy bills and insurance costs to whether the local school or morning commute meets your requirements. They will also organize and acquire a thorough property inspector’s report on your behalf. 

Basically, your CIREBA agent is your personal valet, dedicated to one thing – making your life and property purchase easier and happier. And, remember, they work for you, the buyer, for free. 

Whatever your motivation for buying a property in the Cayman Islands, whether it’s a holiday home, an investment property, or you just want to relocate and live in it permanently, it’s a straightforward process, and with your realtor’s guidance, it is a solid investment to be proud of. Now, how difficult is that?