Do you dream of owning a little slice of a tropical paradise? So many people do, especially the ones who visit the region, as they end up falling in love with it even more. There is a reason why the Caribbean is the most sought after region for buying retirement homes and for vacations. Now, all this is good until you decide to go on with the investment. This is the point where you start turning your dream into reality. The thing is though, most people don’t know where to start, and they often start to wonder how they can get the best deal. Of course, no one would want to lose money on an investment such as this, which is why we are here. In this article, we will take a look at everything that you need to do in order to end up with the best property deal in this magical ‘universe.’
Do your research well – maybe you just spent a five-day vacation and felt like a little piece of heaven to you. Now, right after that trip, you really felt a super-strong urge to buy property in the region. Well, hold on. The truth is, that’s not enough time to tell you everything that you need to know about the Caribbean. You really need to ensure that the property you are about to invest in is the right one, and it’s close to amenities and other facilities such as the shops or the beach. If it is a retirement home you are looking for, ensure that there are adequate health and support services nearby. Look beyond the experience you just had and focus on the infrastructure – water, roads, grocery store, electricity, phone, and the internet – in that specific area. When investing in any property, there are so many things at stake that should all be put under consideration, which is why you will need to do your research well, to be sure that you will be making the best investment decision.
Secure a lender early enough – for your investment to be successful, you really need to figure out how the purchase will be financed. You need to be ready with the finances before you even go property hunting. If you are planning to take a mortgage, seek approval from your lender first. In the Caribbean, it’s almost imperative that you have the funds available for the transactions.
Hire a real estate agent – if you are looking to find the best property in the Caribbean, then you will be better off having a Caribbean real estate expert help you in the search. This could be an estate agent that is well-versed with the Caribbean property market, laws and regulations. The expert will be able to help you find your dream property and will guide you through every step along the way, thereby bypassing the red tape that frustrates the process. If you find the right real estate experts in the region, they can have an in-depth knowledge of the island and have many connections, which they are able to refer you to, if needed, in order to ensure that you get what it is you are looking for.
Be patient – ever heard of the saying that good things take time? Well, guess what? It is true and it applies as well in the property hunting in the Caribbean. Now, if you are looking for the best property and the one that meets your standards, you have to be patient. The thing is, at times, government bureaucracy as well as cultural differences can turn your search for your dream property in the Caribbean into a lengthy and drawn-out process. So, you need to be patient, keeping constant contact with your estate agent as well as your attorney, if you have one. They will be the ones to inform you if everything is proceeding according to the plan. Don’t be in a hurry! Remember, patience pays!
Mistakes to avoid
As more and more people are looking to buy property in the Caribbean, the majority of these people tend to end up with a property they didn’t need or not what they would have wanted. This is mostly attributed to a number of mistakes they make in their property hunting; mistakes that you should avoid at all costs. Here are a few examples:
Believing the pictures and descriptions of properties that you find online – what you need to remember is that the pictures you see online are meant to appeal to everyone who sees them, and what the seller is trying to do is to sell you a dream, which can as well turn into your biggest nightmare. In most cases, there is a gap between what you see in the picture and what’s real on the ground. So, always make sure to schedule a viewing and visit the property yourself before you decide on buying it. Investigate the property thoroughly to see if there is any hidden flaws or if it is really what you want. If possible, bring along a friend who is familiar with the process with you.
Assuming that all the islands in the Caribbean are the same – Caribbean islands are very diverse and each one is unique. The only thing that’s common in all of them is the fact that they are surrounded by a beautiful ocean, and the temperature is amazing. So, don’t make the mistake of assuming all of them are the same. Before you put in money, do some research first; maybe even rent for a few months to determine if that’s the kind of environment you would like to live in the long-term. You might find that you like living on one island more than the other.
Spending more than you can afford – imagine, a realtor shows you three houses:
House #1 – it’s below your budget but it needs some work to be done on it.
House #2 – this one is right on the budget but it doesn’t blow your mind away.
House #3 – an extraordinary villa that’s way above your budget.
Which one would you choose? Perhaps most of us cannot resist our dream house, and so, will go for House #3, despite the fact that we cannot afford it! And guess what, the realtor already knows that. Don’t do this, don’t fall for it! See, the essence of having a budget in the first place is for you to be able to maintain the expenses long after the purchase. Don’t go above and beyond to buy something that you won’t be able to maintain. That’s a bad investment, and the property will stop being dreamy and start becoming a burden. Is that what you would really want? So, stick to your budget, and make sure that you find out about all the additional costs that come with the purchase. Find a property that’s within your budget and renovate it to make it your dream house.
To sum it up, the Caribbean is like a little heaven, there is no doubt about that. But for you to find the best property for you and your family, you really need to pay attention to every detail and be patient, and most importantly, do your research. Do all these, and you will for sure end up with an investment that you will not regret.