If you think moving to the Cayman Islands might be in your future, now’s a great time to start planning out your real estate strategy. Whether you want to build small or want to fully make use of the island’s generous parcel sizes, there are a lot of potential options young couples and families can consider. Financial analyst Albert Voaden has lived in the Caymans for over eighteen years, and has cultivated a practical perspective on getting the most out of your plot of land. In this article, he goes over the tips and advice he’d offer to anyone looking to make a new life on one of the world’s most beautiful islands.
Albert Voaden’s advice on building in the Caymans
Known for its gorgeous beaches, a thriving local arts scene, and rich cultural traditions dating back to the island chain’s first settlers, the Caymans have long been a hot destination for both tourists and expats. When Albert Voaden first moved to the islands from a big Canadian city in 2004, he was surprised at how “generous” the parcel sizes were. As he explained, “Coming from a big city, it seemed like there were football fields of space between houses.”
If you’re fortunate enough to be able to grab a plot of land in Cayman for yourself, Voaden notes that the best course of action may be to start small. His advice for first time builders is to start by building to just one side of the plot.
He notes rising costs as a factor in his advice, explaining, “With construction costs on the rise, building your own home has become more expensive than ever. Many young couples have been priced out of the market. However, if you are willing to start small, and plan to expand in the future, this may work in your favor.” What’s more, if the amount of mortgage you qualify for is limited by your household income or insufficient savings,starting with a small two-story home may be the best way to start construction.
Over time, you will build equity in your property, and it’s more than likely your household income will rise as well. If you’ve always dreamed of a larger house, waiting a few years after your initial build to add onto your property can help ensure your finances remain intact. And don’t feel like you have to be limited in your initial build options. When Voaden first moved to the islands, “it appeared homes were mostly one story houses instead of two. Seventeen years later, building two stories to one side has worked out very well.”
Alternatively, if you’re happy with a smaller house but still want to maximize your property, he recommends converting to a duplex, using one of your units as a rental to generate extra income. But be cautious about expanding further. He explains, “Building a Triplex or Fourplex involves navigating far more planning regulations, and may also be limited by property size, and many other constraints.”
At the end of the day, starting small can help pay off dividends for your future. And in a time where people are living in some of the largest accommodations in human history, taking your time can be the right way to help you create the property of your dreams.
Albert’s life on Grand Cayman
Along with helping new residents make the most out of their land, Albert Voaden has taken an active role in the Grand Cayman community over the past two decades. As a financial analyst at the Center for Business Development, he had been successful in monitoring financial trends, and helped business owners adapt to today’s changing economic environment. With a mission of supporting local businesses on the islands, the Center has played an integral part in bolstering the Cayman economy during the pandemic. In 2021, Voaden began his role, offering financial and strategic assistance to businesses affected by border closings.
For local owners of tourism-based businesses like boat charters and tour bus operators, Voaden’s help was much appreciated. One business in particular even received a $3,600 dollar donation from Voaden to ensure they had the funding they needed to move forward.
His support for local organizations doesn’t stop at financial guidance. Last July he also joined the cast of the Sunrise Adult Training Center’s stage production of The Wizard of Oz, making his big debut as the tornado.