As published in the Caymanian Compass – WEDNESDAY JUNE 4, 2014
Seven Mile Beach is always a draw for home buyers, but there are plenty of other properties further afield.
Executive homes under US$1 million
Over the past four or five decades, the Cayman Islands has built its economy on the tourism and financial services industries, the latter in particular attracting individuals looking for comfort, space and elegance in their homes, for themselves and their families.
With the development of new projects such as Cayman Enterprise City, a special economic zone that offers substantial discounts for businesses to establish a presence in the Cayman Islands, demand for such properties has increased in recent times as more executives take up residence here.
In the Cayman Islands, comfortable homes for executives and their family under US$1 million are in short supply, and the best will be snapped up in a heartbeat, but there are some good opportunities if you are prepared to look a little further than the popular Seven Mile Beach corridor.
That said, I will begin with what is available in this highly sought-after area of Grand Cayman. In the Seven Mile Beach corridor area, which includes residential areas such as Parkway, Snug Harbour, Highlands, there are only 10 residential houses currently listed under US$ 1million. While of a good standard, spacious and ideally suited to executives and their families proportion-wise, these properties may be in need of some investment to meet today’s exacting standards.
In the central George Town area, another highly sought-after area due to its proximity to the financial services hub, there are again only about 10 homes listed between the US$450,000 to $1 million price point, and most of which require additional investment.
Cayman’s hidden treasures
However, venture just a short distance east of George Town and prospective buyers will find that their choice grows instantly. There are some wonderful locations full of character just outside the capital that offer stunning views, tranquility and privacy, and while those of us in Cayman grumble at a journey that takes more than 20 minutes, executives moving to Cayman from North America or the U.K. will find such a journey into work a breeze compared with the commute they will have been used to, often lasting an hour or more.
There are around 30 homes in the Red Bay to Savannah area between the US$450,000-$1 million price point. Most are family homes with three or more bedrooms and many are comfortably spacious for families, often enjoying large yards, their own pools and a secluded location. Properties in areas such as Coralstone Way in Spotts are close to the ocean and even have their own private beach as an added bonus. The idyllic views from these locations are breathtaking. So you certainly don’t have to be a multimillionaire to enjoy the wonderful lifestyle that we all enjoy in the Cayman Islands.
Strong relationship equals heightened service
Finding such a property is not easy, however, and that’s where a strong relationship with your real estate agent is absolutely essential.
When looking to purchase or sell a property, it is imperative that you find a real estate agent with whom you can enjoy a long and productive relationship. Finding the right professional for the job and remaining with that agent means you will always have a professional with your needs, desires and wants at the top of his or her agenda.
A good real estate agent will be able to give customers looking to purchase all the information they need with regard to property available on island and likewise will ensure that sellers gets great exposure to their property.
On the other hand, a great real estate agent will go the extra mile and inform the customer beyond the generally available information, updating customers as to new developments in the pipeline within the real estate industry and within the island as a whole. A great agent will bring value to the relationship that will ensure the client/customer gets the best possible service. It is therefore worthwhile to stick with one agent rather than moving from agent to agent. A great agent is essential in this particularly harsh economic climate, where even greater efforts are needed to guide customers/clients in the buying and selling of property.
A great agent therefore will also need the flexibility demanded by our unique market where cultures from all over the world, and with different needs and requirements, are looking to find their perfect home.