Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is CIREBA?
The Cayman Islands Real Estate Board Association oversees the 33 broker members that have over 185 Realtors. All the brokers and Realtors are a part of the MLS (Multiple Listing System). CIREBA keeps their members up to date with changing laws that pertain to real estate. That means you only need to work with one Realtor instead of calling multiple real estate agents to see many different properties.

Who pays the Realtor fees?
It is the responsibility of the seller. The seller pays the listing Broker and they split this with another company / agent if they bring the purchaser.

What is stamp duty?
Stamp duty is a one-time fee, paid to the government, of 7.5% of the purchase price and this applies across the islands. The stamp duty is paid by the purchaser on the sale of the property minus the value of the used chattels/ furniture.

Are properties sold furnished or unfinished?
A high percentage of all condos and homes are sold furnished. The 7.5% stamp duty is calculated on the price paid for the property minus the value of the furniture sold with the property. For example, if you buy a home for US$500,000 and the furniture is valued at US$25,000, you will then pay stamp duty on US$475,000.

When do I get to see the strata docs? Otherwise known as HOA or condos docs?
Also known here as Strata by-laws, and similar to HOA or condo docs, that are registered on the title for each condominium complex. You can request to see them as a condition of an Offer to Purchase along with the latest AGM minutes and financial records for the strata corporation.

What are strata fees and what do they cover?
They are like HOA fees. It is a fee charged based on per sq. ft. of the condo. These fees have been set by a budget and the cost is for insurance, building maintenance, landscaping and pool maintenance, strata management company, bulk cable TV packages and common area water and general power usage, etc.

What happens if a seller does not pay his/her condo fees?
Any outstanding strata fees not paid prior to closing should be deducted from the seller’s funds and paid to the strata corporation. Your attorney will request from the strata Ex-Co or the property management company what is called a “Section 6.4” and this will outline any fees not paid and also if there are any future assessments for the property.

Are there title insurance companies or escrow companies who facilitate the closing?
No, we do not need title insurance because government guarantees title. However, we highly recommend that you hire an experienced real estate attorney to research the title and advise you if there are any concerns with the title.

Is land freehold or leasehold?
The majority of land in the Cayman Islands is freehold, but there are some parcels of land that are leasehold.

Can anyone own property?
Yes, there are no restrictions on foreign ownership. You can own up to 3 properties in your own name. After that, you will need to have a license, for which legal advice should be considered.

Is there property tax in the Cayman Islands?
There is no property tax, no capital gains tax, no income tax, no annual boat dock tax, no inheritance tax. No tax, at all!

Can I get a mortgage at a Cayman bank?
Yes, you can. If you are a non-resident and / or a resident, providing you complete the process and qualify, you can obtain a mortgage to purchase. Interest rates fluctuate depending upon your down payment and collateral.

Can I get Cayman Islands residency if I buy property?
Yes. One such avenue is an investment of CI$1,000,000 in developed residential real estate. This is one of the qualifications needed for the application of a Person of Independent Means. There are several residency options to this complex question for which experienced legal counsel is advised.

Are there inspection and valuation companies in the Cayman Islands?
There is the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS Valuation Standards) and if you are obtaining a mortgage through a local bank they will assign an independent evaluation to value the home based on recent past sales. There are also home inspectors.
Can I buy land and build my own dream home?
Yes! You can find that perfect beachfront lot or a canal lot or an estate. We have many qualified architects, engineers and contractors.