Category Archives: Caribbean living

How To Sell Your Property In Jamaica

 

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Thinking About Moving? Want A Change Of Scenery? Have You Had Any Thoughts Of Selling?

Selling a property in Jamaica, can be a scary process, if you do not have the right Real Estate Professional by your side. Thank God, I am here to assist you!

When selling Real Estate, every owner wants the same thing – the Best Possible Price with the least amount of Hassle and Aggravation. Doing business in today’s real estate world requires experience and training in such fields as: Real Estate Marketing, Financing, Negotiation and Closing – all of which I possess.

HOW DOES THE SALES PROCESS WORK HERE IN JAMAICA?

All you need to do is pick up the phone and give me a call at 1-876-862-5848. I can also be contacted via whatsapp, text messaging, email at paulasellsjamaica@gmail.com My Facebook Business Page – Paula Sells Jamaica and my YouTube Channel is – Paula Sells Jamaica. After which, I will schedule an appointment with you, at your earliest convenience, to view your property and discuss our way forward.

After I have viewed your property, I will go back to my office and research your property and present you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA in the simplest of terms, is a valuation which a Professional Real Estate Agent does, which gives you a suggested price, at which to list your property for sale, by comparing your property with all the properties which have sold in recent time and which are currently on the market for sale in your area. Unfortunately, this cannot be used to submit to Banks or other Lending Institutions. After I present you with your CMA, I will also present you with my customized Marketing Plan for your Property. This is my guideline on how, I will get your property sold, for the most amount of money, in the shortest possible time.

Your Marketing Plan may include, but is not limited to: Newspaper Advertising, Magazine Advertising, Web-listing, Social Media Advertising (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.), Signage (For Sale sign posted at a designated spot), Open Houses, Networking with other Sales Associates/Brokers or Real Estate Companies and other appropriate marketing strategies.

We will agree on the best Listing Price, that will ensure that your property is Competitive with others for sale in your surrounding area. We will discuss the Listing Agreement and the length of the Agreement. Then we will sign to what we have agreed upon.

The house will need to be in “Show” condition before being placed on the market, so we will also discuss what will need to be done, if anything, before your property goes up on the Multiple Listing System (MLS), where it will be syndicated to thousands of websites across the world. Our goal is to make your home as attractive as possible to Prospective Purchasers, which will shorten the time it will be on the market and increase the chances of us getting “Top Dollar” for your property.

After your house is placed on the market and we have done numerous showings to prospective purchasers and obtained an Offer to Purchase from an interested buyer. I will explain the Offers details to you and help you to negotiate the best possible price we will be able to get for your property.

After we have agreed on a Sales Price with the Purchasers, I will turn over all documentation to your Attorney, who will prepare the “Sales Agreement” for both you and the buyer to sign. The buyer will be required to pay a minimum deposit of 10% of the purchase price upon signing this agreement.

Both Attorney’s then begin the process of transferring the title, this includes the payment of Stamp Duties and Transfer Taxes. The balance of the purchasing price is due upon the closing of the sale.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SELL A PROPERTY?

If the buyer’s purchase is financed by a Mortgage from a Jamaican Financial Institution, the average time to complete the sale is approximately 60-120 Days or 2-4 months from the signing of the Sales Agreement. However, please bear in mind, this is not always the case. This time frame may be extended because of situations beyond anyone’s control or it may also be shorter. It all depends on may variables.

The period of closing for a cash purchase is determined by the buyer and the seller. However, this can be as quickly as 30-45 days all being well.

WHAT ARE THE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH SELLING A PROPERTY?

Government Transfer Taxes & Registration Fees (5% and 0.5% respectively of the Selling Price). This may change on April 1, 2019.

Government Stamp Duty (4% of the purchase price), which is shared equally between Seller and Buyer.

Real Estate Agent Commission (approximately 5% – 6%).

Attorneys Fees (approximately 3% – 5% of purchase price, or as negotiated).

 

Source : Paula Sells Jamaica – Paula Roper Bacchas
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How to Sell Your Property in Jamaica?

How to Sell Your Property in Jamaica?

Selling a property in Jamaica, can be a scary process, if you do not have the right Real Estate Professional by your side. Thank God, I am here to assist you!

When selling real estate, every owner wants the same thing – the best possible price with the least amount of hassle and aggravation. Doing business in today’s real estate world requires experience and training in such fields as: real estate marketing, financing, negotiation and closing – all of which I possess.

HOW DOES THE SALE PROCESS WORK?

  • All you need to do is pick up the phone and give me a call at 1-876-862-5848. I can also be contacted via whatsapp, text messaging, email atp.roper@century21jm.com My website at www.paulasellsjamaica My Facebook Business Page https://www.facebook.com/PaulaSellsRealEstate/ After which, I will schedule an appointment with you, at your earliest convenience, to view your property. After I have viewed your property, I will go back to my office and research your property and present you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA in the simplest of terms, is a valuation which a Professional Real Estate Agent does, which gives you a suggested price, at which to list your property for sale, by comparing your property with all the properties which have sold in recent time and which are currently on the market for sale in your area. After I present you with your CMA, I will also present you with my customized Marketing Plan for your property. This is my guideline on how, I will get your property sold, for the most amount of money, in the shortest possible time.
  • Your Marketing Plan may include, but is not limited to: newspaper advertising, magazine advertising, web-listing, social media advertising, signage, open houses, networking with other Sales Associates or real estate companies and other appropriate marketing strategies.
  • We will agree on a listing price, that will ensure that your property is competitive with others for sale in your surrounding area.
  • We will discuss the Listing Agreement and the length of the Agreement. Then we will sign to what we have agreed upon.
  • The house will need to be in “show” condition before being placed on the market, so we will also discuss what will need to be done, if anything, before your property goes up on the Multiple Listing System (MLS), where it will be syndicated to thousands of websites across the world. Our goal is to make your home as attractive as possible to prospective purchasers, which will shorten the time it will be on the market and increase the chances of us getting top dollar for your property.
  • After your house is placed on the market and we have done numerous showings to prospective purchasers and obtained an Offer to Purchase from an interested buyer. I will explain the Offers details to you and help you to negotiate the best possible price we will be able to get for your property.
  • After we have agreed on a Sales Price with the Purchasers, I will turn over all documentation to your Attorney, who will prepare a “Sales Agreement” for both you and the buyer to sign. The buyer will be required to pay a minimum deposit of 10% of the purchase price upon signing this agreement.
  • Both attorneys then begin the process of transferring the title, this includes the payment of stamp duties and transfer taxes
  • The balance of the purchasing price is due upon the closing of the sale

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SELL A PROPERTY?

  • If the buyer’s purchase is financed by a mortgage from a Jamaican financial institution, the average time to complete the sale is approximately 120 Days or 4 months from the signing of the Sales Agreement. However, please bear in mind, this is not always the case. This time frame may be extended because of situations beyond anyone’s control.
  • The period of closing for a cash purchase is determined by the buyer and the seller. However, this can be as quickly as 30-45 days depending.

WHAT ARE THE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH SELLING A PROPERTY?

  • Government transfer taxes & registration fees (5% and 0.5% respectively of the selling price)
  • Government stamp duty (4% of the purchase price), which is shared equally between seller and buyer
  • Real Estate Sales Commission (approximately 5% to 7%)
  • Attorneys fees (approximately 3% of purchase price, or as negotiated)

I hope you found this information useful/helpful. If you have any follow-up questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. I can be reached via the comments section below, LinkedIn direct message, email at p.roper@century21jm.com or whatsapp at 1-876-862-5848. Please feel free to send me a LinkedIn Invitation to connect & join my network.

Source: Paula Roper Bacchas is a Realtor Associate at Century 21 Heave-Ho Properties. Located at 31 Upper Waterloo Road, Suite 10, Kingston 10, Jamaica West Indies . You can contact me at 1-876-862-5848, Send me an Invitation to Connect on LinkedIn, Like my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/PaulaSellsRealEstate/?ref=hl or visit my website at www.paulasellsjamaica.com or email at p.roper@century21jm.com

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How to Move to Barbados

how to move to barbados

Yes, it’s possible to move to the Caribbean, whether you want to add a second home or turn your Caribbean beach dream into a reality. Now, moving to the Caribbean means different things for different people and different price points — and that’s why we write our How to Move series, answering common questions about making the move. To help you think about it, we talked to Jason Applewhite, Operations Manager for Barbados’ One Caribbean Estates real estate brokerage to learn more.

Why should I move to Barbados?

Apart from the obvious appeal of the beautiful beaches, high average of 300+ days of sunshine a year and the natural appeal of the destination, Barbados enjoys a positive image in the global marketplace as a sound International Business Centre and has been effectively attracting Foreign Direct Investment for decades. Some of the main factors which have contributed to investors choosing this destination are:

¬ Attractive Fiscal environment/social stability
¬ Ease of access to housing market (no entry taxes and landholding license requirements)
¬ High Quality Construction
¬ Well developed and established amenities and amenitized world-class developments including Golf, Polo & Marina (Yachting/Sailing)
¬ Persons who invest in excess of US$2 Million automatically qualify to apply for a SERP (Special Entry and Residency Permit) towards obtaining residency status in Barbados

Companies looking to thrive in a highly competitive global marketplace invest in Barbados to capitalize on the business-friendly environment, strong human capital, high-quality infrastructure, tax advantages, investment protection, and overall good quality of life.

barbados 2

And can I live there? What are the residency laws, etc.?

As mentioned before, Barbados is a highly hospitable destination with strong human capital, high-quality infrastructure and an overall good quality of life. Persons who wish to take up permanent residence in Barbados must provide tangible evidence that they are not likely to become a charge on the nation. Applications should be made to the Immigration Department.

What are the advantages of living permanently vs. part time?

This is a rather broad question…and the specifics are varied. The United Nations Human Development Index ranks Barbados 57th and apart from the hospitality of the people the overall standard of living is high. To reiterate… the island has an excellent education system, a good healthcare system, affordable housing, sound telecommunications and all utilities available island-wide. So ultimately I’d have to say that there is less of an opportunity for one to benefit from these ‘perks’ if they are domiciled here rather than to miss out on them.

barbados wind

How much does the average home cost? 

This is a very broad question but across the different sectors of the real estate market the following are price ranges which outline/distinguish the distinctions between your ‘average home’ and a ‘luxury home’. The average home as we would perhaps define it falls into the Middle Income bracket as it relates to pricing. The pricing is set out according to the different sectors/sub-sectors:

Low – Middle Income (Modest Housing) US$75,000 – $275,000
Middle – High Income (Up-Market Housing) US$300,000 – $750,000
High-End – Luxury Market (Luxury Housing) US$800,000 – $1,000,000+

How much does a beachfront condo cost?

The ‘average’ cost is relative to the following factors or characteristics which include: configuration and size, and for the ‘typical’ beachfront condo this would be a 2-3 bedroom unit and relative to what the current available inventory on the market is and the size and price are as follows:

Size: 1,600 – 2,200 sq. ft.
No. of Bedrooms: 2-3
Price: US$850,000 – $1,600,000

How much does it cost to build a home?

Building cost for the ‘average’ home with basic finishes can be low as US$75 per sq. ft. going up to US$150. Anything above this price range ventures into the higher-end & luxury segment of the market.

barbados bay

What are the real estate taxes like?

Real Estate taxes are calculated on a tiered basis and this responsibility overseen by the Barbados Revenue Authority. The land tax year runs from April to March. Rates vary between nil and 0.75 percent of the value of the property, depending on the value, with a maximum land tax payable of BDS $60,000. The seller will have prepaid the land taxes before completion and a buyer will be responsible for the months between completion and March of the following year.

What are income taxes like?
Income Tax is levied on: The profits of a trade or business earned by an individual in a fiscal year; and the income earned by any other individual in a calendar year. Income Tax is levied on the income of persons resident or non-resident in Barbados. There is no tax on capital. The system of taxation is based on self-assessment

Liability for Income Tax

Resident
A Resident is a corporation managed and controlled in Barbados; or a non-national individual who is present in Barbados for more than 182 days in a calendar year. A resident corporation is subject to tax on its world income. A resident and domicile individual is subject to tax on his world income. The resident but not domiciled individual is subject to tax on his income derived in Barbados and on his income from foreign sources remitted to Barbados, or from which a benefit is derived in Barbados.
Non-resident
A Non-resident is a corporation whose place of management and control is outside Barbados; or a non-national individual who is present in Barbados for less than 183 days in a calendar year. A non-resident is subject to tax only on income derived in Barbados.

calimbo, barbados

Can I work in Barbados?

All non-nationals desirous of working in Barbados are required to register with immigration prior to commencing employment. The employer or ‘sponsor’ has the responsibility to make the application on behalf of the employee. The application fee is $300.00 BDS but the final fee will vary dependent on the category of work and the length of time requested and in accordance with the international standard code fee regulations.

What’s health care like?

Compared to most developing and developed countries around the world and particularly in the Caribbean, it is good.

Can I bring my car? What’s the duty?

Yes you can, the costs vary depending on where you are coming from and the value of the vehicle.

Source: CaribbeanJournal.com – February 19th, 2016 | 11:09 am 

For more information on moving to Barbados or any other Caribbean island, contact the Ray C. McMillan Mortgage Team or visit www.RayMcMillan.com

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Robert De Niro’s Barbuda Hotel Project “Very Much on Track”

Robert De Niro’s major planned resort on the island of Barbuda is “very much on track,” according to Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Minister Asot Michael.

The project, which was announced at the end of 2014, is the brainchild of developers De Niro and James Packer, both of whom are frequent travelers to Antigua and Barbuda (De Niro is a frequent guest at the Jumby Bay private island resort).

The $250 million resort project is at the site of the former K-Club resort, and will be branded as the Paradise Found Hotel.

deniro

“Since these developers have announced their project in Barbuda, it has generated huge amount of free publicity for our destination,” Michael said. “It has also attracted other high net-worth investors such as former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg who recently visited Antigua and Barbuda and later had his own private seaplane join him here in exploring both our islands.”

When the project was first announced, De Niro was named a special economic envoy for the country, and has helped pitch investment for the country in the United States.

It’s not the first hotel project for the Hollywood legend, who has developed several hotels under the Nobu brand with restaurateur Nobu Matsuhisa.

“Both developers Robert DeNiro and James Packer stayed here for Christmas in a demonstration of their love for our country and their wholehearted committed to this project,” Michael said.

Indeed, Packer stayed in Antigua recently with his fiancee, Mariah Carey.

“In spite of the delays and roadblocks, presented by the naysayers, the project continues,” Michael said.

Source: Caribbean Journal

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Grenada’s Real Estate Market Is Booming

The small real estate market in Grenada is booming, according to a new report from Century 21 Grenada Grenadines.

The country’s real estate sector saw a 71 percent increase in sales volume last year compared to 2014.

Overall real estate sales in Grenada totaled $40.753 million last year, up from $23.8 million in 2014, with the average transaction value in 2015 at $84,772 — itself an increase of 64 percent over 2014. The company cautioned, however, that individual large sales can skew the average, meaning the transaction value increase wass “not due to an increase in the values of the individual properties.”

That came from an average of about 40 real estate sales every month.

That was driven in large part by buyers from the United Kingdom, who represented 81 percentage of the total value of foreign-buyer-purchased real estate last year.

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Grenada also saw strong growth in Grenada’s commercial sector.

Indeed, there was a concomitant 46 percent increase in approvals for new construction of commercial units and increased occupancy in a number of commercial complexes.

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Both residential and commercial have been buoyed by Grenada’s citizenship by investment program, which has generated “increased recognition of Grenada as a luxury destination,” the company said.

“We are projecting continued year-over-year increases of sales volumes in 2016,” the company said.

Source: Caribbean Journal – February 3rd, 2016 | 11:14 am

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The Best Small Islands to Retire To

bonaire

Everyone dreams of retiring in the Caribbean. And the ultimate dream is retiring to a small, far-off island away from the hustle and bustle of the world. Retirement in the Caribbean certainly has its share of sacrifices and challenges, and that’s particularly true on a small island. But what you get in return is total independence, umatched relaxation, island charm and a completely different rhythm to your days. Another unheralded benefit is you really become part of a community, something that isn’t necessarily true in many larger “retirement” destinations. These are the small islands we think are the best starting points to make a decision like this — they’re small, they’re beautiful and they’re not really like anywhere else.

redfrog

Bocas del Toro, Panama

Panama has become one of the world’s hottest destinations for retirees, especially from the US. That’s in large part due two factors: the country’s pensionadoprogramme, which offers retirees a series of discounts on everything from medical exams to entertainment, and a cost of living that’s among the lowest of any destination in the region. And Bocas del Toro is full of tiny islands to choose from, from the “main” island of Isla Colon to the popular Red Frog Beach development on the island of Isla Bastimentos. (Above: a villa at Red Frog Beach)

treasure

Treasure Cay, Bahamas

This island in the Abaco chain of the Bahamas has it all: some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, a surfeit of real estate for sale, both in condominiums and lots, easy access both through nearby Marsh Harbour (an international airport) and its own small strip. There’s also a great marina if you want access to the Bahamas’ spectacular waters. (Above: the Bahamas Beach Club)

oil

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

There’s a great real estate product here in developments like Oil Nut Bay and Nail Bay. This is definitely a place for a luxury retirement, with great access to the boating and sailing lifestyle, easy access to many of the other Virgin Islands and the feeling of a high standard of living. (There’s an airstrip, too, just in case you need it). Above: Oil Nut Bay

bequia

Bequia, St Vincent and the Grenadines

This is the coolest island in the Grenadines, an amalgam of cultures and generations; in part due its whaling history, there’s a bit of a vibration here of New England, which makes for a rare ambience that’s tough to find in the Caribbean. This is an artsy, funky place with a small town feel but also with a way of reinvigorating its residents and visitors.

bonaire

Bonaire

One of the Caribbean’s best retirement destinations of any size, this Dutch Caribbean island has a close-knit feel, with a significant expat community that makes new arrivals feel welcome almost upon touching down on the plane. And it’s a place to learn new things, whether you’re diving, windsurfing or speaking a new language. It’s also a great jumping off point if you want to spend your retirement on excursions to nearby South America.

retirement

St Barth

Almost certainly the most expensive retirement in the Caribbean, but there’s a reason: you get what you pay for: some of the Caribbean’s best food, spectacular villas to choose from, very few cruise passengers to deal with, great shopping and a thriving French-Caribbean culture. There’s ferry and air access to St Martin, which provides a great weekend destination in its own right. Above: the Villa Pajoma listed with Sibarth Realty.

haut

Terre de Haut, Guadeloupe Islands

This is a bit of an affordable, mini-version of St Barth. This tiny island is dominated by a small fishing village, but has a surplus of quiet beaches, superb views and, because it’s France, high-quality supermarkets and restaurants. There is a small airport, but the regular ferry service is the best way to back and forth.

stjohn

St John, US Virgin Islands 

It’s not that small geographically, but this is definitely a small island. About 60 percent is covered by parkland, and the rest is covered by artists, divers, expats continentals and those in search of the archetype of island life. It’s very close to St Thomas with regular ferry service, meaning you can find all of the large-island amenities in 15 minutes.

villa

Marie-Galante, Guadeloupe

One of the under-the-radar destinations in the Guadeloupe archipelago, this is a flat, agricultural island that has more rum distilleries per capita than anywhere else on earth. It also has lots of land for development and a host of small villas to choose from, along with quiet, mostly empty beaches. The town of Grand Bourg is small but charming, and it’s an easy ferry ride to the “main” islands of Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre. (Above: a villa on the market in Marie-Galante)

Source: CaribbeanJournal.com June 23, 2015

Canadian Red Cross admits that ‘permanent’ homes in Haiti only have 15-year lifespan

Natasha Dumolas and her three children, aged five, seven and 11, at their home in Haiti, which was built by the Canadian Red Cross.

The Canadian Red Cross is easing off previous claims that it helped build 7,500 “permanent homes” in Haiti following the devastating 2010 earthquake, acknowledging now that the homes likely have a life span of “approximately 15 years.”

The relief agency can’t say for certain how many of the homes are still standing or inhabited as it doesn’t plan to do a comprehensive assessment until 2017, officials said.

Scrutiny of how charities allocated money in the quake-ravaged Caribbean nation has intensified in recent weeks following a damning investigative report that found the American Red Cross — which raised a half-billion dollars — failed to follow through on key promises. One of the most startling revelations in the report by Pro Publica and NPR: While the relief agency claims to have provided housing to more than 130,000 people, it actually built only six permanent homes.

The report has sparked calls for a congressional hearing into the charity’s finances.

Earlier this month, the Canadian Red Cross told reporters it raised $222 million in donations for Haiti and that $65 million went toward the construction of 7,500 “permanent homes” in the coastal areas of Jacmel and Leogane.

That drew immediate skepticism from the Canada Haiti Action Network, a watchdog group. “I frankly doubt the Canadian Red Cross claims to have constructed 7,500 houses in Haiti,” spokesman Roger Annis said in an email. “I suspect that … it is speaking of semi-permanent structures.”

A review of the Canadian Red Cross’ own publications shows that the agency has previously described the 18-square-metre homes as “transitional shelters.”

Asked for clarification, Canadian Red Cross spokesman Nathan Huculak said the wooden shelter design evolved in 2010-2011 and the homes were constructed with “more robust specifications than considered at the outset of the project.”

The homes were built to withstand hurricane-strength winds and constructed using rot-resistant treated lumber and insulated metal roofing.

“As a consequence and subject to individual circumstances, the structures should remain in good condition for many years,” he said. “CRC projects the lifespan to be approximately 15 years.

Huculak was unable to connect the National Post with someone on the ground in Haiti to discuss the current status of the homes. Previous surveys conducted in 2011 and 2012 showed the homes had 90-per-cent occupancy, Huculak said. An analysis of the physical condition of the homes and another occupancy survey are scheduled for 2017.

Architect Tom Carnegie, who oversaw the design and implementation of the housing project, said in an interview that the homes were built with sustainability in mind and the Canadian Red Cross was “generally known to be providing one of the most durable structures” — ones that could be modified or expanded down the road.

Rather than building the shelters “stick by stick” on the spot, officials decided it would be more efficient to assemble parts of the homes in Canada and use local crews in Haiti to erect them. Quebec-based company Maisons Laprise was contracted to do the prefabrication.

Paralegals worked to get permission from landowners to build the new homes on their properties. The Canadian Red Cross ensured families — roughly 80 per cent of whom rented before the earthquake — were provided with titles of ownership allowing them to move with the homes in the event that relationships with landowners soured.

The new homes were designed so they could be easily disassembled and unbolted if they needed to be moved, Huculak said. “It’s as permanent as those people will ever know.”

The wisdom of building transitional shelters after a major disaster has been the subject of much debate, according to a 2013 research paper published by Oxford Brookes University in England.

Critics say transitional shelters may suit the budgets, time frames and marketing needs of NGOs but fail to meet long-term needs and may remove political incentives for governments to assist in reconstruction. A lack of planning can cause transitional shelters to turn into poor-quality permanent housing, the paper said.

But, in the case of Leogane, Haiti, which saw 80 to 90 per cent of its buildings destroyed, the transitional shelter approach may have provided “the best possible solution for the worst possible situation,” author Avery Doninger wrote.

“The approach may have been stop-gap, but it is difficult to imagine that any other strategy would have provided the same kind of protection.”

Source: National Post Douglas Quan | June 12, 2015