What you need to know about buying a home in Trinidad and Tobago

Gone are the days when people used to buy homes whose prices are below the one million dollars price tag. With current economic conditions, most houses listed on the Trinidad Real Estate market cost more than a million dollars. This has been caused by a drop in the purchasing power of the dollar and the ever increasing cement prices, and more recently the devaluation of the TT dollar. A million dollars is no longer a huge amount of money in the minds of Trinis. It’s a big challenge to find a house that costs less than a million dollars in Trinidad- we know this. The sad truth is that we need to spend more than a million to get a decent house.

If you live in North Trinidad, $500k can just barely get you a lot of land. Before, you could have bought a house with this amount. When you include the cost of constructing a small house on that piece of land, the total cost will definitely hit the one million dollar mark, or close to it. Don’t forget the fact that the price is the average. This means that you will come across so many homes that cost so much more than a million dollars.

Our parents had it easy when they were buying their houses in the 80s (more than 30 years ago). You have probably heard that houses were selling at one hundred and fifty thousand dollars during that time. Almost all of us have heard these stories. However, we have to leave the stories exactly where we found them. This is because things will never be the way they were in the past. You will never find a house in Trinidad with one hundred and fifty thousand dollars today. Just let the past be the past.

In general, young, single professionals are eligible in banks for loans to buy houses that cost below a million dollars. Unfortunately, what they are qualifying for is very hard to find. This means that what is offered by the banks may not be helpful to you.

Some of my clients are these professionals. If you are like many of them, you are probably holding on to the hope that there will be a drop in house prices in Trinidad. However, there is a very low chance that things will go your way. There is no indication that there is going to be a drop of prices in the Trinidad real estate market. The prices will only continue to rise with the rising rate of inflation and incomes.

There is also a high chance that a house that had a 1.2 million price tag that you turned down 3 years ago is worth 1.5 million dollars today. When you buy a house today, you can be sure that its value will increase significantly over the next few years. We have all the information that is needed to prove to you that this is actually what is happening in Trinidad’s real estate market.

Are there any alternatives for people who want to want to own a home but they can’t afford to buy houses that cost more than a million dollars? This is probably the question in your mind if you have just realized that the banks can’t lend you more than a million dollars. There are few options available. Today, lenders are encouraging people to take the journey of owning a home with their spouses. When you come together, the bank will be willing to lend you an amount that will allow you to afford a decent house in Trinidad. This is a good option when you are engaged or newly married.

You have probably noticed that the price of homes decreases as you move to away from urbanized areas. For example there has been great developments happening in the Chin Chin and Couva areas were the pice of land is usually less, cutting down your costs. This means the less urbanized areas have their own share of advantages over urban areas.

When you buy a house in these areas, you will enjoy fresh air. You will also feel a better sense of security. These are some of the common comments given by people who decided to venture into less urbanized areas. Local populations statistics and property development project trend suggest that more and more people are choosing to settle in more rural areas.

So, where are you willing to go, and what house are you willing to buy with your Million? 

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