Tips and Traps
As a St Lucian who recently returned from the UK, I am very familiar and sensitive to the requirements of returning residents and offer sound advice whenever possible to avoid some of the pitfalls one to often hears about. If you are serious about returning to your beautiful Island and live in your dream home, I would recommend early personal consultation before committing any money to property purchase. Below is a general guideline of tips and traps:
- Do get an independent survey done. Do not purchase on the strength of the survey report of the vendor or his goodwill.
- Do some research and choose carefully the solicitor for the conveyancing. Do not share the same solicitor as the vendor, without question.
- Do some research on your chosen location, e.g. the area could be prone to severe flooding, which may only occur every few years.
- The normal deposit is 10% and the balance payable on completion, at which time keys are handed over. Ensure that this agreement is enforced and avoid succumbing to the request for early stage payments. The deposit forms a forfeit bond to prevent gazumping. If the buyer pulls out they will lose their deposit, if the vendor pulls out then double the deposit amount is refunded to the buyer.
- Do not do business on trust, whether it involves family or friends; this is the biggest area of disappointment and often leads to shattered dreams.
- Do employ reputable companies to handle your business. It may cost you up 25% more in fees, but will save you a fortune in avoiding costly repairs due to poor workmanship or paying inflated prices. Using reputable companies will also save you on a great deal of stress. You can do your own research or get an agent like myself to assist you.