Is it your dream to own a little piece of heaven in the Caribbean? If so, you are not alone! Many people want to find a vacation spot, but unfortunately, only a small percentage find their dream home. Buying a home in the Caribbean is an entirely different experience than you are used to at home, but with this article, you may be able to protect yourself from making the same mistakes. At JC Legal solutions, we are your experts in real estate and helping international buyers make the right decision to invest in a Caribbean property. Read on to learn the five most common mistakes when shopping for a perfect vacation or forever home in the Caribbean.

  1. Trusting the “Professional”

If you thought that real estate agents at home were trying to trick you out of money and pay more than necessary, you have never dealt with a realtor in the Caribbean. The idea of “fake it till you make it” was invented here. In the past decade, the real estate market has seen exponential growth from foreign buyers, and realtors are using this to their advantage. Many rich people are looking for a property on an island, and because of that, real estate agents are popping up everywhere. Be careful when looking for a realtor, because in many cases, they will be inexperienced and try to convince you to make a decision that isn’t in your best interest. The best way to mitigate this would be to do a background check on your real estate agent before making that decision and aligning yourself with fierce legal representation.

  1. Don’t Believe What You See Online

Sellers will try to make their property look appealing to the online buyer. The pictures that they post about the listing will be the best that they can create. It could just be a fantastic rendering of the property to show what it will look like in the future, so do your research. The best advice would be to visit the property yourself. If you are investing in this property, you want to make sure that the investment is worth it, and you don’t want to trust pictures to do that. Our firm provides concierge service, including taking the first look to confirm that the property is portrayed in the same way as it is online. 

  1. Don’t Underestimate the Weather

The Caribbean has vastly different weather conditions than you might not be used to, so there are some essential things to consider when buying your home. The weather is usually scorching, so unless you want to be jumping into the water or taking a cold shower multiple times a day, you want to make sure your house has adequate air conditioning. When looking for a home, you also want to make sure that it is built to handle the extreme weather conditions that the islands incur. In many cases, these islands will have floods and hurricanes, so weatherproofing the house is extremely important if you want to return to a standing home after a storm.

  1. Not all Islands are the Same

If you are looking for a place to invest, you have to realize that all of these islands have different governments and function very differently. If you want to find a place that you can be at for an extended period, you want to make sure the island’s infrastructure has the proper services you would need during your time there. Before deciding to invest in a property, take a few vacations there and spend the time exploring the island. It would be horrible if you were to buy a place and then realize that there are no local healthcare systems or anywhere close by to get groceries.

  1. Avoid the HGTV Effect

What realtors in the Caribbean won’t tell you is that flipping a house is not very economical. While at home flipping houses is a reality, you can make good money; it isn’t the same in the Caribbean. The market is quite a bit slower, and in the long run, you won’t end up making the amount of money you would back home. If you are buying a place, you want to be there for a while because otherwise, you could take a significant financial hit.

Now that you are aware of the biggest mistakes when looking for your dream vacation home in the Caribbean, it should take away some of the stress of house hunting in paradise. Good luck, and keep our tips in mind! If you are looking for a real estate law firm that cares, look no further than JC Legal Solutions. Book a free consultation today!