Thursday, September 21, 2006

Home Ownership - The Jamaican Way

Ha! and u thought i wouldnt be back for a while.....

Well i was encouraged to write about the trials of home ownership in JA....I was asked to do an entire blog, i compromised and decided to dedicate an entire this blog.

I have started the ball rolling towards ownership of a largish (by jacan standards) one bedroom apartment in Kingston. I wasn't really seriously house hunting as i had plans to save some more first for the deposit etc, and then to really start looking early next year. My mom however was very adamant that i look now and that i get something now, as prices were just going to escalate even more and get even further out ot my reach. I promised her faithfully that i would look around, but unless i found something i REALLY liked, i wasnt going to stress myself....As luck would have it, i found something i REALLY liked on the first day of searching....the second apartment i saw....small but inviting kitchen (and those who know me, know that i really need the invitation), smallish living room, big dining area (the present tenant had a dining table, plus exercise equipment and still had space left over, large bedroom, large walk in closet and a tiny, newly renovated bathroom. I was in love (for the second time this year :))!!!

So i expressed my interest to the owner and suggested a slightly lower price than was advertised....i got the feeling they really liked me (i am a very likable person) and though i think i may have been able to get it at an even lower price, i decided one morning after chasing down ANOTHER lizard in my rented flat, that i just had to have it and called and told them i would take it. So then the process began.

The mortgage company will finance up to 95% of the purchase price, but u must have your 15% deposit up front, then there are closing costs of approximately 6% of the purchase price, then there are lawyer fees of 3% of the purchase price, then there is stamp duty of 5% of the purchse price (thankfully i only pay half), then u have to get the place valuated and seen by a land surveryor, then u have to pay half the cost of the agreement of sale........basically the purchase price is just the beginning and once you have the deposit, you also have to make sure that you have another 6% of the purchase price on hand to start the ball rolling.

I am now at the stage where i go into the mortgage company to get the loan approved. I have no doubt that it will be, but cross ur fingers for me and hopefully by Janauary i will be in my new home.

And, i am sure there will be further posts bemoaning the length of time that the process takes, mainly because of the government agencies that regulate the sale. But i will surely keep you all updated!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Owning a Piece of the Rock

Is it a blessing or a curse?

I swear I think i am superwoman, three jobs PLUS trying to purchase a small apartment...which is why i need the three jobs in the first place!! The initial stages of making a home purchase in Jamaica is STRESS!!!! Right now i am not sure just how to describe my feelings, i think i switch regulary between excited, worried, elated, stressed, scared........afterall this will be the biggest purchase i have made to date and i will also be putting myself in debt for up to twenty five years. Yes ladies and gentlemen, this is a big deal.

And don't forget the hidden costs of making this purchase. The actual price agreed on is just the start. Lawyer fees, government taxes, valuations, surveys, the bank's! Well the process has begun, i have not yet signed on the dotted line, but lets hope that everything goes smoothly.....if it does, i may be in my "own" home by December!