All non-nationals are required to obtain an Aliens Landholding License, in order to purchase property in Saint Lucia.
Be an informed buyer! Make sure that the property you want to purchase meets your needs. Locating the perfect home is not always an easy task. Let me help you with every step of the way. I familiarize myself with all current homes for sale in St Lucia and the market prices. I am confident that I can help you determine which properties are in good condition and fairly-priced before you start you searching.
Once you know the budget that you want to stay in, I can help you determine which properties fit your needs.
Your first Steps in Buying Property in St Lucia:
You first have to decide why you want to buy a home ie whether is to start building equity or you want to stop paying rent or you just want to have your own place.
2. You need determine what type of home best suites your lifestyle. How do you feel about outdoor maintenance? Privacy? Shared common areas? Do you want neighborhood amenities?
3. What is the right size home that you would feel comfortable in and not going over your budget. Think ahead to the next 5-7 years and assess your needs carefully. Allow yourself room to grow but don’t go overboard.
4. Location, Location, Location. The location of a home can be just important as the home itself. Do you want to be close to work or religion? Do you want to live in a busy area like Castries & Rodney Bay or more quiet area?
As a buyer who is buying a home in St Lucia you need to:
1. Obtain a Letter of Offer from the vendor or the person wishing to sell the property
2. Obtain a latest copy of the land register from the Land Registry to ensure:
• That the vendor has absolute title to the land.
• That the amount of land and or existing buildings, which is being offered, corresponds with the official records.
• That no claims exist on the property.
• Obtain NIC clearance letters
• Obtain both Income and Property Tax clearance letters from Inland Revenue Department (IRD)
• Obtain an APPRAISAL. An appraisal is a valuation of the property.
Mortgage in St Lucia:
If you are taking of a Loan/mortgage you need to bring in the information to the loans officer at a bank to support an application for a loan.
Bank Loan Process:
If/when the loan is granted, the bank writes a letter to the purchaser’s lawyer indicating the terms and conditions which must be fulfilled before the loan is disbursed. The bank will write the cheque to the lawyer for the amount of the loan.
Lawyers Process :
. Checks all registries to ensure that there are no outstanding claims against the property or the vendor.
. Prepares the Deed of Sale.
. Prepares the Hypothecary Obligation (if the property is to be used as security for the loan).
. Ensures that there are no outstanding taxes, dues and unregistered liens which could nullify the sale.
. Pays all required duties and charges on the sale of land to the Inland Revenue Department.
. Coordinates the sale transaction – ensuring that the vendor, on receipt of the money, signs the Deed of Sale.
.Submits the Hypothecary Obligation to the Bank for signature (if the property is to be used as security for the loan).
.Registers the signed Deed of Sale and (if necessary), the Hypothecary Obligation (signed).
.Delivers copies of the registered Deed of Sale to the purchaser and the Hypothecary Obligation to the Bank.
General – Over the years the market has identified environmental conditions that buyers should know may exist. Environmental hazards include, but are not limited to, conditions such as swamp lands or endangered species on the property may restrict the use of the property. Lands that are in the Piton Management Area (PMA) zone.
Noise. I will inform you of properties around the property you may wish to buy that are used for a variety of purposes. Some of the uses cause noise (for example, Hewanorra International Airport in Vieux Fort and George F.L. Charles airport in Castries GFL, highways, restaurants, bars, schools, construction). You are encouraged to drive to review the area around the property in which you are interested at various times and days.
POSSESSION. Most contracts provide that the seller will deliver possession of the property to the buyer at the time the sale closes and funds or according to a temporary residential lease. There may be a short delay between closing and actual funding; especially if the buyer is obtaining funds from a lender. You may need to verify with the lender if the loan will fund on the day of closing. You should also take this potential delay into account when planning your move into the property. Any possession by the buyer before the sale closes and funds (or by the seller after the sale closes and funds) must be authorized by a written lease.
SEPTIC TANKS AND ON-SITE SEWER FACILITIES. Many properties have septic tanks or other on-site sewer facilities. There are several types of such systems. Special maintenance requirements may apply to certain systems.
SURVEY. A survey identifies the location of boundaries, major improvements, fence lines, drives, encroachments, easements, and other items on the property. You should obtain a survey early enough in the transaction to help you identify any encroachments, encumbrances to title, or restrictions.
TAX PRORATIONS. Typically, a buyer and seller agree to prorate a property’s taxes through the closing date. Property taxes are due and payable at the end of each calendar year. The escrow agent will estimate, at closing, the taxes for the current year. If the seller is qualified for tax exemptions (for example, homestead, agricultural, or over-65 exemption), such exemptions may or may not apply after closing.
UTILITIES. You should evaluate what utilities you will require and check to be sure that the utilities available in the area suit your needs. Some structures may or may not have utilities and electrical facilities to support many modern appliances or equipment
MANDATORY OWNERS’ ASSOCIATIONS. The property you buy may require you to be a member in one or more owners’ associations. You may obtain subdivision information (the restrictions applying to the subdivision, the bylaws and rules of the owners’ association, and a resale certificate). You may be required to pay for the subdivision information unless you negotiate otherwise in the contract. If membership in an owners’ association is required, you will probably be obligated to pay periodic dues or assessments. Failure to pay such dues could result in a lien on and foreclosure of the property.
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