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Consider five things that renters do not have to pay!

Thursday, August 9th, 2018 at 3:43am Shell Admin Cayman Islands

Are you thinking about buying property in The Caymans? Consider these five things that renters do not have to pay!

Homeownership may be a goal for many, and as a Real Estate Agent in the Cayman Islands, I would love to sell you a property, that is how I earn a living. However, sometimes it is not the right time or the right decision for you to buy. Here are some helpful tips about homeownership vs renting to help you make an informed decision.

Did you know that renters make up about 37 percent of households in America, and that has increased since 2005. More than half of the millennials and Gen Z renters have thought about buying but only 18 percent do. In the Cayman Islands, it is much the same.

1. Property taxes
In the Cayman Islands, there is no property tax ever. However, there is a one-time stamp duty when a homeowner buys any property, and that is 7.5 percent. It is a big hit at the start of ownership.

2. Homeowners insurance
Insurance, we live in a hurricane area so flood, wind, fire are all required by the mortgage lender. This can be an extra cost you don't pay as a renter. Our property insurance in Cayman has always been very reasonable until 2018 when we saw the effects of the hurricanes that affect Florida and the Caribbean. You can also buy contents insurance to cover your things, being a renter or a homeowner. The cost of that is about $500 for around $30k of coverage of your personal items in the house or condo.

3. Maintenance and repairs

This cost can proliferate. Do you call your landlord now, to fix a leaking toilet? Lightbulbs at the property out? Air conditioning needs servicing or worse replaced, that is a considerable cost. Water heaters don't last a long time in Cayman, so you have to replace those every 3-4 years. Roofs, windows, landscaping cost, the list adds up, especially if you don't do regular maintenance. All of these things will fall on your shoulders to pay if you own a home in the Cayman Islands.

4. Strata or HOA fees

These cost the same thing. Strata and Home Owners Association fees, are an expense you pay to take care of common property such as shared power, water, landscaping costs, management costs, pool and landscaping maintenance and a small cash fund to pay for maintenance issues that come up. The fee can be as low as $100 up to $1000 per month or more depending on the condo sq ft and the amenities it offers and location as well. These costs will be paid monthly along with your mortgage payment.

5. Flexibility
When you rent, you are only tied down to one property for a year or less. If you don't like your neighbors, parking issues or the barking dog next door, you can move, if you own, too bad, you will have to get along with your neighbors.

Heidi Kiss, Broker, License Partner and Advisor

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