80 Degrees Today

5 steps to building your island home

Creating a home that is customised to suit you, your family, and your art collection is the ultimate in luxury. It is made much easier by choosing the perfect lot of land. The right piece of land in the right part of the Cayman Islands (or anywhere in the world!) will allow accommodation of all of your current needs, have room to grow your home and your collectibles. Design a space now that will be treasured for generations to come.

1. Set your goals for the future

What does your art collection of the future look like?

When looking at land lots, consider if it is possible to realise your goals on the site. We don’t advocate thinking only of your current art collection! Rather, think broadly. What does your future home look like? Is the lot within a subdivision or gated community? How many balconies could you include? Will you have room for a second building? At this stage, start with Plan A but keep Plan B in the back of your mind.


Caribbean Sea views, outdoor bbq & bar area are well utilized features of this home: Casa Coyaba, South Sound.

2. Creating your wish list

Defining your must-have features and your bottom-line is tremendously helpful. Talk about it as a family where appropriate and write it all down, leaving nothing out, no matter how remote it may seem. In the heat of the moment, emotions will kick in, forcing you to make tough decisions about what to leave in or take out based on your budget. Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Where do I want to be?
  • How do I want to live? What am I looking for?
  • What do you and your family like to do at home?
  • Are you outdoor people?
  • Do you have lots of guests stay?
  • Do you enjoy quiet evenings on the balcony?
  • What lifestyle do I seek?


3. Set your budget – include the lot cost and the cost of a house that fits with your plans for the future:

The style of your home is an important element, not only do you want it to be a place you love, it should fit with the lot you’ve chosen and take advantage of all the land has to offer. Property: Malindia, at the Peninsula.

Define your budget comfort zone by asking at what dollar amount would you simply walk away and stay put. Some people base it on a detailed monthly budget, some on an overall number, and others start by figuring out when they want to be debt free and work backwards from there.

Firstly you must define the home of your dreams by creating a plan. If you design or choose a plan, you have no way of knowing whether the plan will fit your budget. Without talking to a lender, you don’t know how much you are qualified to borrow.

Is there a home you’ve seen that you love? Inspiration is a kep element when planning to build your very own home.

The thing to remember is, your builder is the one person dealing with all these details every day. He knows building costs intimately and can guide newbies and experts alike through the process of selecting and customising a house plan. The right builder will steer you towards getting the best plan while helping you to avoid hidden costs associated with design elements that don’t add value. The earlier you get to know the builder, the better the relationship, and the more likely your true dream home will become an amazing reality.


4. Assemble your dream team

Your architect and builder act as guides to take you from lot owner to dream-home devotee. Choose professionals who have experience working on custom-home builds. Don’t be afraid to be picky, but ensure you choose an architect and a builder that you get on with – you’ll have to like them to have faith in them. Don’t be wowed by somebody else’s recommendation; trust your gut and apply the same criteria you would to any relationship. When these relationships are moving along, you’ll find that their recommendations and the chance encounters with the plumbers, electricians, craftsmen and tradespeople will fall into place. The Cayman Islands has all the right people when you know who to ask, so feel free to discuss your needs with us ahead of your search.

Bella Vista, Cayman Islands, clean lines and a contemporary design.

5. Plan, plan and then start planning in earnest

Dream big and sketch grand plans for your home. Moving walls on paper is easier and cheaper than moving walls after they’re built. Your home project needs every detail plotted out before starting to build. Don’t bypass this step. An artfully designed home starts on a blank canvas.

We’re happy to provide you with the latest land lots coming to market or drop us a line with your wish list today.


DIVE DEEPER: Cayman Resident provides a meaty section of information on building in the Cayman Islands.


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