I live overseas and am thinking of buying a property on the island of Grand Cayman, which we can use as a vacation retreat. Are there any legal restrictions as to how many days a year we can spend on island?
As a visitor, you can stay in the Cayman Islands for up to six months, but you will have to show your return ticket to the authorities upon arrival.
Is it safe to buy a property in the Cayman Islands? Should I be looking at buying in a gated community?
The Cayman Islands prides itself on being one of the safest places anywhere in the world. While there are some beautiful gated communities in Cayman, you do not need to look specifically at gated communities when considering buying if safety is a top priority, as Cayman has very low crime rates.
Can we buy a property and live permanently in the Cayman Islands?
Persons of Independent Means can apply for a Certificate of Permanent Residence for Persons of Independent Means for themselves and their family to reside permanently in the Cayman Islands without the right to work. This Certificate can be amended to include the right to work if need be.
Apart from Seven Mile Beach, are there any other areas on Grand Cayman where we can find a high-end property to buy?
Absolutely! South Sound has some magnificent properties, as do some of the more remoter parts of the island, out east. Cayman Kai and Rum Point are home to unbelievably beautiful properties with incredible turquoise ocean-front locations.
As an overseas resident, is it easy to buy property in the Cayman Islands, or are there lots of legal hoops to go through?
It is a straightforward process that is made even easier if you choose the right real estate professional to help guide you through from start to finish.
Is it worth looking on Cayman Brac or Little Cayman for a home, and are they easy to get to?
Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are definitely Grand Cayman’s tranquil and peaceful little ‘sisters,’ so don’t expect the same level of sophisticated dining, shopping, and entertainment that you would find on Grand Cayman. But if it’s a perfectly peaceful paradise that you seek, then they are the right location for you. Cayman Airways offers daily flights to both islands.
If I need a mortgage to buy a property, can my real estate agent help me find one?
Yes! Real estate agents work closely with Cayman’s retail banks and have built up excellent relationships with mortgage providers over the years.
Do property owners have to pay any form of taxes?
There are no property, income, or capital gains taxes in the Cayman Islands; however, property buyers must pay a 7.5% stamp duty on their purchase.
Is there a good selection of property for sale on Grand Cayman at the high-end level?
Definitely! The Cayman Islands is home to some of the most sought-after luxury accommodation in the world. Cayman’s famous Seven Mile Beach is the most popular location for high-end property, and it is here you will find multi-million dollar properties dotted along its gorgeous coastline. Elsewhere, prestigious homes and communities are located along the Seven Mile Beach corridor (opposite Seven Mile Beach), in West Bay, South Sound, and up in Rum Point and Cayman Kai, where luxurious homes soak up some of the best views around.
Is it worth buying a property at the pre-construction stage? What are the risks and benefits?
Yes, for sure. The benefits include, more often than not, securing your property at a lower price than would be charged upon completion. Buying at the pre-construction stage also usually allows you to customise your property to suit your specific requirements, such as deciding on tiling, décor colours, and even the layout of rooms. However, buyers should be aware that their property may take a while to complete, so this might not be the best solution if an urgent move-in is required.
As a first-time buyer, how should I approach the property market? Do I need to wait until I have saved a sizable deposit? Or until my salary goes up and I can afford what I want?
Property prices have increased considerably in the last few years, so if you are contemplating buying a property, it is worthwhile to take the plunge sooner rather than later. An excellent real estate agent will guide you through the entire process. Banks generally require deposits, but some will take into consideration earning potential. It’s best to talk to your bank as they can advise what they will lend based upon current salary and any bonuses. They will also let you know what they need for a deposit and any government schemes to help buyers.
As a long-term investor, which property should I invest in to see the best returns?
You should consider property to serve a purpose as well as a long-term store of wealth, either as a home or rental property. It would be best to understand what makes your property desirable to others, such as ocean or canal views, its ability to earn a rental income on a large parcel of land that can be developed, proximity to the beach/town, etc.
If we register our interest in selling a property with Sotheby’s, what can we expect in terms of service?
Cayman Islands Sotheby’s International Realty offers a bespoke service tailored to our clients’ individual needs. We work closely with you to ensure your property gains maximum exposure to potential buyers via a wide range of advertising mediums.
How much do real estate agents charge for selling a property?
A Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association real estate agency charges the following:
- Price $494,999 or under – 7%
- Price $495,000 to $994,999 – 6%
- Price $995,000 to $9,994,999 – 5%
- Price $9,995,000 and over – 4%
How long will it take to sell my property?
It really depends on various factors. However, homeowners can speed up the process by ensuring their property is in a fully saleable state, i.e., it has attractive curb appeal, it is clean and welcoming, and the outside areas are kept neat and tidy. The price is a significant deciding factor, and sellers should price their properties accordingly.
I am moving back to my homeland, having lived in Cayman for many years. How quickly can you sell my home for me?
If the property is in a fully saleable state (see above), the market is currently fast-paced, so we anticipate a sale within a satisfactory period.
I want to rent on the water but cannot afford Seven Mile Beach prices. Can you give me some alternative suggestions?
There are many lovely waterfront properties on Grand Cayman located elsewhere from Seven Mile Beach but often nearby. The Seven Mile Beach corridor includes some magnificent properties in charming communities such as the Yacht Club and Crystal Harbour, often with breath-taking views out to the North Sound. Grand Harbour has some desirable properties currently being developed, either with North Sound or South Sound ocean views. At the same time, South Sound itself is home to beautiful homes and condos, all with enviable ocean views.
I want to rent out my condo on Seven Mile Beach. How do I go about maximising my returns?
If you need a regular income look at long-term rentals; if you are more speculative, you could consider AirBnB or similar.
What kind of legal protection do renters have on island?
It’s best to read the relevant legislation, which is the Registered Land Act and the Landlords and Tenants Act. Specifically, the Act says that the property should be habitable and that landlords must keep the “roof, main walls, and main drains and common passages” in good repair. Landlords must also advise renters when they are to visit the property. But it is generally accepted that the law is outdated and requires modernisation.
What kind of legal protection do landlords have on island?
As per the same legislation, tenants must pay their rent on time and keep furniture in good repair. But again, the law needs updating.
Are there agencies who can look after my property when we are not there?
Yes, there are a variety of companies that will oversee properties while owners are off-island.
Are there companies that can provide me with concierge service when I arrive in Cayman?
Yes, companies are available that will provide whatever concierge service you need, from collecting you from the airport to cleaning the property and stocking up the fridge.
Is it easy to get staff to help around the house?
Yes, there are a variety of agencies which can provide you with help, to whatever level you may require, from a few hours cleaning each day to a full day’s help.
What is the current market forecast for the Cayman real estate market?
Currently, Cayman is being viewed as a luxury bolthole by those seeking a quiet and secure location to live and work (particularly remotely, with Cayman’s excellent Global Citizen Certificate Programme). So property prices have increased considerably in the last year or two. We see this trend continuing, particularly in light of the variety of new luxury properties coming on to the market.