A Practical Guide to Buying Property in Trinidad and Tobago

Buying property is probably everyone’s dream but before plunging yourself into the real estate market, you should consider this useful guide:

Budget – This is the most important factor to consider before buying any kind of property. Take the time to consider how you will afford to pay monthly bearing in mind the fact that most banks generally require 35% of your monthly income. If for example, you earn a total of $ 13000 per month the bank will require you to pay $4500 every month for your mortgage. Eventually, you will need to pay about $ 720, 000 including the down payment. In such a scenario it would only be wise to look for property that doesn’t cost more than $70,000.

Credit score – Determining your credit score is a major step in the Trinidad real estate buying process. Banks demand this before making any mortgage products available for customers as it indicates their repayment behavior. Financial institutions and private lenders have to know that you have a history of raping your debts before they can trust you with a mortgage.

Real estate agent – There is a lot of legal, business and financial jargon to deal with when making property deals that only a trained expert would understand. You stand a better chance when working with agents registered in Trinidad as they are always professional. Trinidad and Tobago registered real estate agents also have unlimited access to viable properties that could suit you hence saving time that could have been looking for available property.

Select property – It is obviously time to take your pick of available property but not before considering the following:

  • Distance of property from work and school

  • Price range

  • Is it in a safe neighborhood for children

  • Who are the main residents in the area?

  • Are utilities available?

Offer – Before making an offer on any property, ask your real estate agent whether the property has approval for mortgages from banks. It is ideal to contact your mortgage provider beforehand to ensure that they cover the property you want. Once issues are straightened out you get to sign some legal papers and make the initial down payment.

At this point in time it is wise to:

  • Have your lawyer checkout the papers before putting your signature on them

  • Ensure that there is enough time to close the deal and obtain your mortgage. This should ideally be one month before the bank closes the mortgage.

  • Make sure that your real estate agent is in a position to provide all documents needed by your lender before making any deposit.

  • Carry out a property inspection to ensure that the property you intend to buy is in perfect shape.

  • Sign the papers and make the deposit before moving in to your new home or office building.

Before your mortgage institution can process your mortgage, you will need to present two important documents:

  • Value appraisal – The bank needs to see the value of the property as determined by a recognized valuator in Trinidad. This prevents incidences where a property is bought for a higher value that what it is appraised for.

  • Title – The mortgage institution demands a title search on all property before approving them to ensure that they are not entangled in lawsuits or engaged in another deal that would compromise the mortgage. This is the main reason why you must ask your preferred real estate agent for a clear mortgage deal.

  • Planning and building documents – This is not always the case but most lenders often demand to see these documents as a way of telling whether they should offer you a loan.

If all these things are in order, your mortgage institution will finalize the deal by issuing a check to the real estate agent or person selling the property. You might be asked to pay extra stamp and legal fees as well as payment to your agent for helping you out. It is for this reason that you must inquire about such payments to avoid inconveniences before the deal is finalized.

This content doesn’t cover every detail about the process of buying real estate in Trinidad and Tobago but is certainly covers all that you need to make your first experience a breeze. Use this roadmap and you will surely become the happy owner of property that was once a mirage.

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