Buying Real Estate in Cayman
Looking to buy?
Yes, you can buy real estate…yeah you!
If you can pay for it, you can buy it!
You don’t need to be Caymanian to own property in the Cayman Islands. You can own your property outright regardless of your nationality or residency. Unlike other islands, we make investing very easy!
Buying real estate in the Cayman Islands is a multi-step process if it’s to be done right. Before you begin, it’s always recommended to meet with your bank or financial advisor to find out your purchasing power. If you need a bank loan, this ‘pre-approval’ gives you the edge when making an offer and also keeps us on track with your budget when looking for property options.
Banks require life insurance on all borrowers to cover the mortgage as in Cayman there is no mortgage protection insurance. Meeting with and organizing life insurance (up to or beyond the amount of your loan) ahead of time will help to speed up the bank’s process and can shorten the closing date. This can potentially make your offer more attractive than another person’s offer.
Stamp Duty (Transfer Tax) is a one-time fee paid at closing by the purchaser to the Cayman Islands Government. This is all you will EVER pay to the Government for property ownership. When/if they sell, the buyer would then pay their Stamp Duty on their purchase price.
- Stamp Duty in Grand Cayman is 7.5% island-wide. Caymanians can apply for a Stamp Duty waiver if they are a first-time buyer. Feel free to ask us for more information on this aspect of your purchase.
- Stamp Duty is paid only on the real property. The value of the inventory included in the sale is deducted from the purchase price before duty is calculated. Duty is also calculated in CI$ so there are conversion rates involved to come up with the US$ figure if paying in US$.
Government guarantees the title so there is also no Title Insurance meanwhile land holdings are a matter of public record and ownership is clearly displayed on the Land Register for every property.
General closing costs include Stamp Duty, bank and legal fees, as well as an evaluation of the property being purchased. You can average 9% of the purchase price for this which is generally less but this figure will help you factor in all costs so you know what to expect at closing.
An Offer to Purchase is prepared by your agent and includes the price, as well as conditions to the offer, closing date, and the deposit amount. When the offer is accepted, the property’s status is changed to “pending/conditional” which means the buyer is locked in to buy it and must work on satisfying the conditions detailed in the said offer.
Properties can be sold furnished or unfurnished as this is at the seller’s discretion although most existing properties are sold furnished. Pre-construction properties tend to have a furniture package or a referral to a design team for furnishings and décor once the property is ready for occupancy.
Closings can be fast or up to 90 days out from when an offer is made. This is part of the negotiations of an offer and is largely dependent upon the situation. There is no ‘rule of thumb’ and it’s completely up to the parties to determine a date that works for the buyers and sellers.
We assist with transferring utilities, property services, and any other details needed at or after closing.
Buying in Cayman is fairly straightforward but based on English Law so it differs from North American practices. We provide complete guidance and assistance in every facet of buying. Please feel free to ask us about the process as it relates to your particular purchase.