Five Things You Must Know Before Buying a Property in the Cayman Islands
Discover the allure of residing in the Cayman Islands — a haven for investors seeking tax neutrality and a world-class financial center. The Islands offer much more than year round sun sea and sand, boasting modern infrastructure, excellent airlifts, a tropical marine climate, breathtaking views, thrilling adventures, and low crime rates, providing an exceptional quality of life that makes it the perfect place to settle down.
Even tourists visiting for vacation can’t resist falling in love with this paradise and often find themselves seeking a realtor to explore properties for sale in the Cayman Islands. Buying property here may seem daunting, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the current real estate market.
To help travelers or foreign investors considering a property purchase in Cayman, here are five essential pointers to secure a justifiable deal on your investment:
1. No Restrictions on Foreign Ownership
One of the major advantages of acquiring property in Cayman is the absence of government restrictions on foreign ownership. Additionally, there is no income tax, capital gains tax, or property tax, making it an attractive financial hub for investors seeking luxurious properties.
2. Stamp Duty Registration and Calculation
Purchasing a home is a significant financial decision, and sealing the deal requires paying stamp duty for a legal transfer. This one-time tax, also known as a land transfer fee, is paid by the buyer to the Cayman government during registration. Stamp duty is usually 7.5% of the property’s market value or the purchase price, whichever is higher. However, first-time buyers from Cayman enjoy certain reliefs and exemptions, like not including the cost of furniture and fittings in the stamp duty calculation.
3. Obtaining a Clear Title Guarantee
Unlike some countries where special Title Insurance is required to ensure a property has no disputes or liens, the Caymanian government guarantees a clear title upon purchase. The Cayman Islands Land and Survey Department issues a “statutory guarantee,” which means the government will compensate the buyer in case of losses resulting from an unrectifiable error in the registered land.
4. Residency By Investment Program
For those planning to purchase property in Cayman, the Residency By Investment (RBI) Program is worth considering. The Cayman Islands offer four RBI programs, two based on commercial investments and two based on real estate investments.
Although you have to look at houses for sale in the Cayman Islands that fall under this program, it is recommended to contact a real estate agent or team, as they will navigate this process on your behalf.
5. Miscellaneous Costs
Apart from the buyer’s stamp duty, it’s essential to be aware that the seller typically pays a commission rate to the realtor, usually ranging from 4% to 6% depending on the property type and sale price. Additional costs, such as home inspections, legal conveyancing, loan processing fees, and mortgage stamp tax, should also be considered.
In conclusion, we hope this blog provides you with the necessary insights for purchasing property in the Cayman Islands. If you prefer not to undertake the property search yourself, it’s wise to consult with a reputable real estate broker in Cayman, offering expert knowledge and personalized service to help you find your dream home.