JAMAICA :MORTGAGES AND CHOOSING SUITABLE MORTGAGE PROVIDERS

A mortgage is a loan given to an individual by the bank or a mortgage lender which serves the purpose of aiding the individual in purchasing a home/ house. Therefore, the house you purchase simply acts as collateral in exchange for the money you are borrowing to finance the mortgage for your home. A mortgage is composed of four (4) major components: principal, interest, taxes and insurance. There also are different types of mortgages which include: fixed rate mortgage and adjustable rate mortgage.

A fixed rate mortgage has an interest rate that remains the same for the entire term of the loan. That means monthly payments will generally be the same as well. Fixed rate mortgages are great for anyone who plans to stay in their home for a long time, wants a reliable mortgage payment or has a strict budget to follow.

An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) has an interest rate that is fixed for the first few years, then changes after the introductory fixed period. ARMs follow a specific market or index that determines the adjustable rate. Though the intro rate is usually quite low, an ARM interest rate has the potential to either increase or decrease when it adjusts, and there is less predictability for the borrower in terms of payments.

The length of your loan will also impact how much you ultimately pay for your home. Generally, extending the length of your loan will also increase the rate slightly. It will also cause you to pay more in interest overall since the longer your loan, the more interest payments you make.

For individuals who desire to obtain a mortgage, you are required to go into a mortgage broker and discuss a potential mortgage plan. However, in choosing your mortgage provider, ensure that you explore all possible options and then decide which policy terms best suit you. In Jamaica, there is First Caribbean Building Society, Jamaica National Building Society, Scotia Building Society, Victoria Mutual Building Society, First Mortgage Brokers and the National Housing Trust.

Be sure to choose a mortgage deal that is right for you!

 

MONEY LAUNDERING AND REAL ESTATE in JAMAICA

Money Laundering as defined by Sec 3 (1) of the Money Laundering Act 1998 is where a person(a) engages in a transaction that involves property that is derived from the commission of a specified offence; or if that person(b) acquires, possesses, uses, conceals, disguises, disposes of or brings into Jamaica, any such property; or (c) converts or transfers that property or removes it from Jamaica, and the person knows, at the time he engages in the transaction referred to in paragraph (a) or at the time he does any act referred to in paragraph (b) or (c), that the property is derived or realized directly, or indirectly from the commission of a specified offence. “Property” as defined in section 2 of the said act includes money and all other property, real or personal, including things in action and other interpretation.

The need for the establishment of this act represents Jamaica taking a stand against money laundering which has affected varying industries, families and businesses. One such is the real estate market which has led the Real Estate Board in Jamaica to implement measures as to how to deal with it when it is found to exist in carrying out real estate transactions.

Jamaica‘s Anti Money Laundering regulations places the onus on dealers to report suspicious activity, with red flags, including clients who fail to provide satisfactory personal information; clients who are agents or intermediaries for mystery persons or entities; and those who have criminal records or are known to be under investigation. The Anti Money Laundering inspectorate will be responsible for monitoring the activities of real estate dealers and salesmen to deter money laundering and terrorism financing via the real estate industry.

Money laundering is an unlawful act that adversely affects the real estate sector in that it causes the real estate sector to reflect a somewhat bogus reality of what the actual market and economy is like and further depresses economic growth. It poses difficulty for economic policy makers in gaining a true understanding of the state of the economy and policy making.

Money laundering increases the level of crime and higher crime and corruption reduces economic growth in that a state rigged with crime is a huge deterrence for foreign investors which in turn generate foreign exchange. Thus, more money laundering increase the risk of macro on economic instability likes instability in exchange rate, monetary aggregates and general price levels.

Therefore, when criminals attempt to make dirty money clean through investing in various properties on the real estate market, it also severely affects the economy.

Therefore, if you suspect anyone of money laundering , you may report them to the Anti Money Laundering Unit.

Gardening and Landscaping in Jamaica

Gardening

The term gardening refers to the art or activity of tending and cultivating a piece of ground which becomes a garden. Usually, homeowners who practice gardening are blessed with soil that is very rich. Jamaican homeowners can atest to this.

Jamaica is a blessed island with a tropical climate all year round and very rich soil which allows us to cultivate a wide range of luscious green vegetables and sweet exotic fruits. There are hundreds of nutritious vegetables to choose: Callaloo , Cabbage, Corn, Okra, Tomato and Cucumber. We also grow a lot of juicy fresh fruits, these include: Mangoes, Guineps , Oranges, Pineapple, Plums, Star apples, Cherry and Lychee which is also popularly known as ‘chinese guineps, Calabash. These are just a few of the juicy fruity delights that Jamaicans tend to grow in our back yard gardens. Due to this, we often boast of being able to eat what we grow.

In Jamaica, growing a vegetable or fruit garden has been proven to be very fulfilling in that growing a vegetable or fruit garden can assist in feeding the family with fresh produce bursting with flavours, vitamins and minerals. This therefore aids in increasing the levels of participation of rural farm families in home food production which vividly depict our motto “Grow what we eat, eat what we grow”

There are also many benefits of seasoned gardening in Jamaica. Imagine having a bit of Mint, Rosemary, Thyme, Scotch bonnet Pepper, Garlic, Ginger, Nutmeg and Onions to add to the flavouring of your pot. Other herbs include: Fever grass, Cerassee, Guinea Hen and Tuna. Having your own herb garden not only allows you to cook with unprocessed and organic herbs but also serves as healing properties.

Our island Jamaica also produces beautiful species of flowers which allows you to spruce u the beauty and attractiveness of your property. If you are beginner, start off with two or three plants until you become accustomed. If you have very little space in an apartment or yard area you can plant in containers or car tyres.  Also, ensure to protect the area from animals using a fence to keep away animals. Using fertilizers is also a good choice for protecting your plants from plant diseases that will allow them to wither and stop growing.

This is Jamaica, This is how we live, This is how we grow!

 

Landscaping in Jamaica

Living in Jamaica means that at some times in the year, you embark on a grand project of house, garden and land cleaning. Landscape experts says a first impression goes a long way, so ensure to spruce up your property as you will increase the property value by doing so.

The first thing a person sees in your home is its curb appeal. No matter how beautiful the inside of your home is, the outside is what they will see first, and this is what gets the attention of the guests. Landscape is more than just a scenery, it’s interaction between people and place; the bedrock upon which our Society is built. Landscapes tend to offer tranquillity and a sense of belonging to an area with well-defined cultural identity.

Landscaping does not necessarily mean only planting flowers but you also have to make time to nurture your investment. Pavement or water features are also very fascinating. Over the years Jamaicans have come up with many creative ways to spruce up their properties. They cut trees in beautiful designs and even make designs out of stones to create a feature.

Jamaica’s beautiful landscape has a major impact on the Jamaican economy as it attracts many visitors from all over the world and also investment to an area.

Come! Invest in Jamaican Real Estate today and start your gardening and landscaping project. To get started, all you need to do is contact Meldam Realty in Ocho Rios, Jamaica at 974-2239 or email us at info@meldamrealty.com.

Tips when getting a Home Inspection in Jamaica

A home inspection refers to a non-invasive visual examination of a residential dwelling, performed for a fee, which is designed to identify observed material defects within specific components.

Getting your home inspected is an important step that all home owners are advised to take. However, many buyers fail to understand the importance of having their home inspected, while others rely on the real estate agent to carry out the process.

Firstly, when getting your home inspected in Jamaica it is advised that you ensure that the inspector is competent to carry out the job. Therefore, doing back ground research on the requirements and certification is important. Also, verify the inspectors experience and their expertise in this field. If you fail to do so, you may find yourself in a situation where a bad inspection has been done and it may cost you to find another inspector and carry out repairs.

When getting your home inspected, the inspector is supposed to examine the major home systems and defects in the home. These include: Electrical, Roofing, Heating, Foundation, Septic Systems and water damage. Home owners are usually encouraged to ask questions during the inspection process and also ask for the written report to be delivered as soon as possible.

Also, it is recommended that during the inspection process that the buyer makes a cost list separately from the inspector and estimate how much it might cost to repair and replace or even to improve the home. Doing an inspection is also important because once an inspection is done negotiations can be made between the seller and the buyer to purchase new items for repairs. The buyer can request to get repairs paid for by the seller or to ask for the price to be lowered, however, the seller may say no. As a result, all expenses would have to be cleared by the buyer.

Before you finalize your new home purchase, be sure to get it inspected and ensure that it is in a good condition. The best way to do this is by getting professional assistance.  A house is not just a shelter but it is also a huge investment and a place where most of your life long memories are made and family gatherings. Therefore, it is important to take the steps necessary to ensure you have a happy home and a happy you!

 

Fees and Length of Transactions with Attorneys

In the typical home purchase the seller enters a brokerage contract with a real estate agent, usually in writing. After the real estate agent finds a potential buyer, an informal agreement is then made between the seller and the buyer. This then leads to negotiations that are held between a broker and the real estate agent. An agreement for a sale is then signed by both the seller and the buyer.

An agreement for a sale usually states the length of a transaction which can take up to 45 days to 120 days. These days are counted after an agreement is signed by both the vendor and the buyer. The length of the transactions depends on the decision of both the buyer and the seller which is made through each party’s lawyer based on the funding agreement, e.g, whether it’s through a mortgage or if they’re paying in cash. The length of the transaction through a mortgage usually takes up to 120 days and if they are paying in cash it usually takes 45 days.

Once an offer is signed it is out of the agents hands. A letter is then sent to the lawyer and 10% is paid to the lawyer as a commitment fee to hold the property. The lawyer conducts all business regarding the monetary transactions and the agent often keeps contact to find out the status of the sale. Sales instructions letters are sent to the lawyer who then gets back to the agent informing them when their commission will be ready. An invoice is then sent to the vendor’s lawyer from the agent, this states the agent’s commission which is 5% and G.C.T which is set at 0.88%. After an invoice is sent to the lawyer a cheque is then prepared and sent to the agent.

The stamp duty fee (4%) is shared equally between both the buyer and the seller; each party pays 2% each. The transfer tax is 5% and this is paid by the vendor. Both the vendor and the buyer pay a registration fee of 0.25%. The attorney’s fee ranges from 1.50% to 3% and the G.C.T on the attorney’s fees is 0.58%, this is also variable. The cost of agreement for sale is paid for equally by both the vendor and purchaser, this is 0.20% and the G.C.T on the charge for agreement for sale is 0.04% which is also paid by both the buyer and the vendor. This percentage, however, is variable which means it is subject to change. Both the vendor and the purchaser pays registration fee which is 0.25% each.  If a purchaser requires a mortgage they would be required to pay a 6% .

As for surveyors, their fees may be in the region of J$45,000.00

For more information, you may contact Meldam Realty at 974-2239 or email us at info@meldamrealty.com

 

FINDING THE RIGHT NEIGHBOURHOOD FOR YOU

Moving into a new home can prove to be an experience filled with excitement and significance, as you turn the page on one chapter of your life and move forward into new beginnings. Though filled with excitement, new home owners must consider certain factors in choosing the perfect neighborhood to purchase their new home. These factors must come into consideration especially when purchasing homes in Jamaica because Jamaica is a country filled with much diversity and differing neighborhoods.

Safety is the first factor that one must take into account when trying to find a neighborhood that’s right for you. It often matters not how popular or sought after this neighborhood may be as living in danger is not worth the risk. Select a place that allows you the freedom to take strolls and carry out exercise activities. Also, it is important to ensure that it is especially safe for the children whether it be riding their bikes or crossing the roads. The peace of mind that your children are playing in a safe environment is priceless. You may also speak to local police officers and the community associations to gather information regarding the safety of the neighborhood.

Additionally, you don’t want to purchase a home that is in a neighborhood that isn’t in close proximity to various amenities. Ensure that the neighborhood is close to shopping centers, schools, grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies and banks. Also, you want to ensure that possible parks or recreation areas are within close proximity so you have somewhere to relax, exercise or simply stroll.

Another thing you may do is to visit the neighbourhood at different times of the day to ascertain what the area is like at different times.  What it is in the morning to afternoon may not be the same at night.  Also, you may on your visits speak to neighbors for possible first hand experiences.

However, you may reside abroad and is unable to do a physical check of the area; you may go online to see the reviews. A trend that has taken its place within today’s society is getting reviews online. As such, it is also advised that you search the net for websites that may have info on the neighbourhood and slowly browse the reviews and comments just to see what others have experienced living in the neighbourhood and also what their thoughts are.

BUYING FORECLOSED PROPERTIES (FORECLOSURES) in Jamaica

The term foreclosure speaks to the process by which a homeowner’s rights to a property are forfeited because of failure to pay the mortgage. If the owner of a property meets difficulty and is unable to pay the debt owed on the mortgage, the lending institution (usually a bank) usually hosts an auction or lists it with a real estate agent to sell the property. However, if the property goes unsold, it becomes the possession of the lending institution.

There however is always an opportunity for interested persons to purchase foreclosed homes from the lending institution or any agent listing the property for the lending institution. As such, it only is necessary that any potential home owner wishing to purchase a foreclosed home be made aware of tips and strategies that may be helpful.

For those looking to score a deal on a home, foreclosed properties can offer a great opportunity. Lender Institutions are often looking for a quick sale and will offer deep discounts to get this done.

When searching for a foreclosed home to purchase, it is advised that you engage in a wide search for properties and when you are satisfied that you have seen a wide array you may narrow down your search to the choices you prefer. You may also experiment with different searches to become exposed to varying areas, price ranges or square footage.

When you think you narrowed down your list of real estate foreclosure properties, start doing research on the properties to determine whether it would be a good investment for you. Also, in conducting your research, try to acquire information about the circumstances that have contributed to the condition in which the property currently stands.

Also, you may visit recorders offices, title companies and your agent to obtain the property history, title status and other data that might affect the value of the property. After which you may take your list of properties to a real estate agent. The agents will further advise you on the necessary steps to be taken in viewing properties and conducting the sale of the property.

If you are looking to purchase a foreclosed home, be sure to follow the processes spoken of in the guide above. Happy home hunting! For further information, you may contact Meldam Realty in Ocho Rios, Jamaica at 974- 2239 or email at info@meldamrealty.com

STOP! DROP! AND ROLL! Home Fire Safety in Jamaica

The concept of fire safety speaks to implementing measures and putting plans in place to prevent fires and taking steps in ensuring that the destruction caused by fires is reduced .The Jamaica Fire Brigade has for past decades been working assiduously to ensure that Jamaicans are knowledgeable of fire safety tips and also that they are equipped yearly with fire safety drills.

However  , for numerous decades , Jamaicans have fallen victims to house fires that have unfortunately destroyed homes, claimed many lives and left many individuals homeless. As a result, it is only fittingly appropriate that you are reminded of various fire safety tips established by the Jamaica Fire Brigade and other recognized fire safety and prevention organizations.

Thus, every home owner needs to be equipped with the fire safety knowledge necessary in the case that a fire occurs. Below, you will find fire safety tips adapted from The Jamaica Fire Brigade that you need to know:

In the Case of a Fire

When there’s a fire, don’t stop for anything. Do not try to rescue possessions or pets. Go directly to your meeting place and then call the Fire Brigade from a neighbour’s phone or an alarm box. Every member of your household should know how to call the Brigade.

Test Doors before Opening Them

While kneeling or crouching at the door ,  reach up as high as you can and touch the door, the knob , the space between the door and its frame with the back of your hand. If the door is hot, use another escape route. If the door is cool, open it with caution.

If you’re trapped

If you are trapped in an area, close all doors between you and the fire, stuff the cracks around the doors to keep out smoke, wait at a window and signal for help with a light-coloured cloth or a flashlight. If there’s a phone in the room call the Fire Brigade or 110, and tell them exactly where you are.

Crawl Low under Smoke

Smoke contains deadly gases, and heat rises. During a fire, cleaner air will be near the floor. If you encounter smoke when using your primary exit, use your alternate escape plan. If you must exit through smoke, crawl on your hands and knees, keeping your head 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 cm) above the floor.

Play it Safe

Smoke Detectors

More than half of all home fires happen at night while people are asleep. Smoke detectors sound an alarm when a fire starts, alerting people before they are trapped or overcome by smoke. With smoke detectors, your risk of dying in a home fire is cut nearly in half.

Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems

Sprinklers attack a fire in its early stages by spraying water only on the area where the fire is detected. Consider including sprinkler systems in plans for new construction and installing them in existing homes.

Electrical Appliance

Electrical appliances should be switched off and unplugged when you are not using them. Never leave them on overnight. However, some electrical appliances have been designed to be left on all the time – for example, videos. Never remove a plug by pulling the flex. Always use the plug. Remember: one socket, one plug. You could overheat a socket and start a fire by putting several adaptors into one socket. Always make sure your plugs and adaptors have the right fuse for the appliance you are using.

Smoking

A lit cigarette or pipe can be deadly. Never leave a lit cigarette or pipe unattended. If you have left a cigarette or pipe burning on the brim of an ashtray, they may fall onto an armchair, or the carpet, particularly if the ashtray is already full. Falling asleep with a lit pipe or cigarette can also be fatal, especially in bed where the bed linen will quickly catch fire. Make sure you stub out the cigarette before going to bed and never smoke in a chair if you think you will doze off in it.

Frying Pans

Frying pans are common causes of fire in the home. Never fill a pan more than one-third full. Never leave the pan unattended when the heat is switched on. If the pan does catch fire do not move it and never throw water on it. Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so and cover the pan with a damp cloth or a damp tea towel and leave it to cool for at least 30 minutes.

Open Fires

Always put a fire guard around an open fire. You should never rest clothes to dry or put newspapers on the guard as they will catch fire or get too hot to handle and could cause burns.

Wiring

Look out for warning signs of dangerous wiring: hot plugs and sockets, fuses that blow for no obvious reason, lights flickering, brown scorch marks on sockets and plugs.

If you happen to be on fire, ensure that you follow the procedure recognised worldwide: Stop! drop!and Roll!

Take care in ensuring that you are aware of the various precautions to take if and when a fire occurs. Take steps to reduce the cause of house fires as best as you can and practice precautionary measures yearly.

 

Meldam Realty (974-2239) or Email : (info@meldamrealty.com)

Best Places to find home décor and nutritious food in Jamaica

Purchasing home décor in Jamaica is never an easy task because there are a variety of options to choose from. You should therefore be knowledgeable of the best places to find home décor in Jamaica. Below you will find a details of such places in Kingston and Ocho Rios:

Kingston

1.Tile City & Home Centre

Tile City & Home Centre Ltd offers Jamaica first world products and services at prices that compete with our international competitors. They are a full-service store that sells everything needed for home renovations and décor. Their products vary and include paint, kitchen fixtures, cupboards, garden decor and outdoor furniture. (Adapted from company website).A price match policy has been instituted to ensure that customers always receive the best value for their money.

2. Home & Things Ltd

Home & Things Ltd desires to provide their customers with products of the highest possible quality at the lowest possible prices. They have a variety of tiles, bathroom fixtures and all types of construction finishes. They also are the self -proclaimed most competitive distributor of American Standard Products, wide selection and quality.

3. Active Home Centre

Active Home Centre also known as Active Traders Limited is Jamaica’s self -proclaimed #1 home enhancement retailer. They aim to provide customers with the widest selection of tiles, roofing systems, bathroom fixtures, ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets, indoor and outdoor furniture and indoor and outdoor lighting all in one place and at affordable prices! They carry brands including: Delta, Decra, Roofing Systems, Emerson, Hunter, Monte Carlo and Bali. (Adapted from company website).

4. Exotic Stone Creations

Exotic Stone Creations is your one-stop shop for a variety of tiles and exotic cabinets. Upon visitation, you will notice that the store houses granite, marble, limestone, sandstone and slate products, specifically including tiles, slabs, countertops, vanity sinks, paving stones, mosaics, stones, staircases, tables and benches.

5. Rapid True Value
The store after being renamed has emerged to become a leading entity in the home décor industry. The store now supplies the widest range of lumber, paint, hardware, plumbing, lawn and garden supplies, electrical supplies, lighting and kitchen fixtures, windows, doors, sanitary ware, stationery, housewares and appliances all under one roof.

Ocho Rios

1. Quality Contractors Depot Ltd

Quality Contractors Depot Ltd aim to achieve complete customer satisfaction through innovative and contemporary designs and by ensuring that the products we offer are of our high quality. (Adapted from company website) They are manufacturers of UPVC Windows and Doors, available in both Standard as well as Custom Sizes.

2. Precision Home Innovation Ltd

Precision Home Innovation Ltd is set on ensuring that they take care of the customer by providing them with precision and variety in the products they offer. Some products include: kitchen cupboards, stainless steel sinks, Jacuzzis, windows, tiles, mosaic, faucets, doors, bathroom fixtures and much more.

3. Rapid True Value

The store after being renamed has emerged to become a leading entity in the home décor industry. The store now supplies the widest range of lumber, paint, hardware, plumbing, lawn and garden supplies, electrical supplies, lighting and kitchen fixtures, windows, doors, sanitary ware, stationery, housewares and appliances all under one roof.

4. Singer Jamaica

With stores in almost every parish in Jamaica, Singer boasts serving Jamaica and Jamaicans for over 100 years. Their merchandise expands far beyond just appliances for the home. They are also known to offer for sale electronics, computers, and most important for décor, furniture for any time of home. They pledge to serve Jamaica with pride while offering the lowest prices for the best brands.

5. Happy Homes Furnishing

Happy Homes Furnishing is located in Evelyn Road, Ocho Rios and is your one stop shop for all your home furnishing needs. They stock a variety of furniture to complete a perfect home. Visit them today.

For more details on home décor, contact Meldam Realty (974-2239) or email us (info@meldamrealty.com)

Below is a list of the best places to obtain nutritiously delicious food in Kingston and Ocho Rios

KINGSTON

1. Fromage Gourmet Market Located on Hillcrest Avenue, the gourmet market and bistro has been the topic of discussion for foodies from all taste buds of life. Upon entering, you are immediately taken to France as the walls are covered in French themed architecture. Consequently, it is designed to give you a literal taste of France. It provides sumptuous, delicious, finger licking meals that will keep you coming back for more. No doubt, their original meal “Taste de Fromage” absolutely surpasses all the other French and Italian themed meals on the menu. Meals are reasonably priced and the location is suitable for any of life’s special celebrations.
Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records
Named after the world-renowned sprinter, Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records present an inviting ambiance that offers delicious Jamaican food and music. The greatest sporting moments are always on the large screens while you sample the hearty, delicious dishes such as jerked sausage, chicken and shrimp kebab, served with a spicy Appleton sauce. For a fresh, lighter option, there is also a wide selection available from the Cobb salad to various other healthy, nutritious meals.

2. Gloria’s Rendezvous
Gloria’s Rendezvous located in Port Royal, Jamaica is your one-stop restaurant for delicious, mouth -watering seafood dishes. Gloria’s specialises in fresh caught fish and seafood dishes including fried fish, steamed fish, curried lobster and honey-jerked shrimp. Side dishes include bammy, festival or rice and peas. It provides Upon entering the restaurant, you are greeted with a look and feel in keeping with the Port Royal spirit. It is approximately 10 minutes away from the Norman Manley International Airport.

3. Redbones Blues Café
Redbones Blues Cafe is a Jazz & Blues themed Caribbean Fusion Cuisine Restaurant & Bar that opened in Kingston in December 1996. Thus, one can expect to be served food that not only appeals to the eye but also tantalises your taste buds. There is an atmosphere of elegance as the dining rooms are elegant and airy with intimate terraces and a split level courtyard boasting through pictures famous jazz and blues singers who have eaten there.

4. CRU Bar and Kitchen
CRU Bar and Kitchen is the latest addition to the Caribbean Producers Jamaica (CPJ) family and in recent times has become one of the hottest spots for young professionals. It represents a fine mixture of elegance and relaxation. They aim to provide a wholesome and fulfilling experience, with Top Quality food, drink/cocktails and a staff that wants to exceed the customers’ expectations!!

OCHO RIOS

1. Spring Garden Seafood & Steakhouse
Great prices, superb service and a wide variety of tasty steaks and seafood dishes await you at Spring Garden Seafood & Steakhouse. The restaurant is located in the resort town of Ocho Rios and promises to satisfy customers with scrumptious, mouth -watering meals and excellent customer service. There is a wide array of seafood dishes and steaks.

2. Evita’s Italian Restaurant
Boasting an authentic 1860’s Gingerbread house with wooden floors and mahogany bar, Evita’s Italian Restaurant stands as a true representation of class, good food and excellent customer service. The menu is made up mainly of dishes from Northern Italy but also captures the Jamaican spirit by also serving Jam-Italian dishes. It has served both nationals and non- national for over 20 years with top of the line customer service.

3. Mongoose Jamaica Restaurant & Lounge
Mongoose Jamaica Restaurant& Lounge is located in the town centre of Ocho Rios and provides an ambiance of elegance and relaxation. You are sure to be wowed by top of the line customer service and the most tasteful, flavourful and succulent Jamaican food you’ve ever eaten. Stop by Mongoose Jamaica and unwind while your taste buds are aroused.

4. Ocho Rios Village Jerk Centre
At the landmark Ocho Rios Jerk Center ,locals and tourist alike mingle easily in an atmosphere of fun and relaxation. An authentic aroma of burning pimento wood greets your nostrils from blocks away and soon your stomach begins rumble indicating its readiness for some nice, tender jerk .Enjoy chicken, pork, ribs, conch and catches of the day well -seasoned and right off the grill.

5. Miss T’s Kitchen
Miss T’s Kitchen is located in the Garden Parish and is proud to serve you authentic healthy, home-style Jamaican dishes and beverages in a lush, garden setting. They boast using only the freshest ingredients from local farmers and exotic island spices to create mouth-watering flavours.

JAMAICA OR FLORIDA WHERE SHOULD I RETIRE?

Retiring for anyone is deemed to be a period of rest, relaxation and comfort. What is even more important is finding the ideal place to retire. Jamaica, an ideal island getaway destination and Florida, a favoured retirement destination are perfect for retirees. Everything you desire ranging from luxury, relaxation to little or no taxation.

JAMAICA

The land of wood and water, surrounded by the Caribbean Sea is an iconic island destination known for its stunning beaches, diverse culture and attractive real estate. It also is the ideal country for anyone in the Jamaican diaspora or non-national desirous of retiring in luxury and relaxation.

Taxation

The Business Dictionary online defines taxation a means by which governments finance their expenditure by imposing charges on citizens and corporate entities. Therefore, the government of any country requires citizens to pay taxes for the development of the country whether economically or socially with the aim of raising the standard of living for its nationals and non- nationals alike. Taxation has proven to raise both confusion and controversy among Jamaicans in the diaspora desirous of retiring in Jamaica. According to the Tax Act Jamaica, for those retiring who are receiving pensions from outside of Jamaica are required to pay taxes but simultaneously enjoy additional tax exemptions. There are no special tax incentives in place for retirees but for all retirees who are citizens of Jamaica, there are certain tax exemptions. The income tax rate is set at 25% along with the rental tax earned by non- residents. There, however, are no capital gains tax and no inheritance tax

 

Accessibility & Transportation

For those individuals desirous of retiring in Jamaica, travelling by air is the most convenient way to arrive. There are no issues for those persons travelling from the Caribbean, North America and Europe as the country is equipped with 3 modern international airports: The Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, The Donald Sangster International Airport in St. James and the Ian Fleming International Airport in St. Mary. Airports in Kingston and St. James is served by the major airlines.

As it pertains to roadways, most roadways are paved. There also is a newly built highway which serves to link the North coast of Jamaica to the South coast by reducing travel cost. For those who do not own a vehicle and wish to travel from place to place, there are taxis, taxi services, minibuses and other means of paid transport available throughout the country.

Real Estate

Jamaica is the ideal location for retirees as the island boasts a number of properties for commercial and residential real estate investment. Properties are reasonably priced for your investment and currently, there are no restrictions on foreign ownership of property so retirees can invest with ease. For anyone wishing to purchase/ rent in Jamaica, Meldam Realty is the ideal agency for you.

If the agreement, however, requires money to be transferred from abroad to Jamaica, approval must be sought from the Bank of Jamaica prior to agreeing to purchase. The transaction cost is reasonably priced as the transfer tax is set at 5%, stamp duty at 2%, attorney fees at 3% and commission for agents ranging from 3- 5%.

Residency and Visa

Permanent Residency is a status one can apply for to allow them to live and work in Jamaica indefinitely without the need for a work permit. Persons can apply for permanent residency through employment; working in Jamaica for three years or more, marriage; being married to a Jamaican national, retirement; persons who no longer work in their home country and are desirous of living in Jamaica. The Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA)’s website provides a detailed list of the documents that are required when submitting an application.

In addition to the above requirements, applicants must show evidence that his/her primary place of residence will be Jamaica, be residing in Jamaica for a minimum of three (3) years if he/she is the holder of a work permit and have an entry visa.

FLORIDA

With very little tax requirements and a very tropical climate, the state of Florida stands tall boasting the highest rate of retirees over age 65 of all states in the United States. It is believed to be one of the best destinations for anyone seeking retirement. Florida is a particularly popular destination courtesy of a comfortable living environment, excellent property value and the draw of year-round sunshine.

 

 

 

 

Taxation

As it relates to taxation, the State of Florida has boasted for many years a very low tax burden. The state does not require citizens to pay income tax which is quite unlikely in other parts of the world. There also is no requirement for inheritors to give anything that is willed to them to the state. However, small amounts of taxation are imposed for sales and use tax, intangible tax and corporate income taxes.

Accessibility & Transportation

Individuals retiring in Florida can access the state from anyone one of its 13 international airports. Persons travelling from various parts of the world will experience no major difficulties in accessing Florida as the airports are serviced by major international airlines. As it pertains to roadways, the roads in Florida are well paved and there are varying highways and parkways. There also are cab services and taxis available for commuters who don’t own vehicles.

Real Estate

In Florida, potential buyers can choose between either commercial or residential real estate. However, for retirees, the popular option would be residential real estate which can be deemed as being reasonably priced. Data from Florida Realtors has shown that the market is steady and that the supply of homes for sale is stable. The numbers speak for themselves: condominium sales increased 10.9 percent and home sales price 13.7%. According to Florida Realtors president, broker and co-owner of Veissi & Associates, Matey Veissi, this is a great opportunity for sellers who will end up with close to 94% of their asking price.

 

Residency & Visa

For citizens of the United States wishing to retire in Florida, the process proves easier as oppose to those who are non- nationals. Non- nationals are required to apply for citizenship by following the process stipulated by the government of the United States.  There, however, is a specified route that non- nationals who want to retire can take. Immigration to America website introduces the EB-5 programme. Basically, this programme gives potential retirees the opportunity to make a direct investment of US $500,000 into a pre-approved US enterprise; the EB-5 program makes it possible to reside in the USA permanently. After which they obtain a green card which enables a direct route to permanent residency for retirees, with the chance to become a full US citizen after five years.

 

With the information provided, the decision of choosing where to retire has been made easier for you. Jamaica and Florida are both lovely retirement destinations with a wonderful climate and a reasonable cost of living. The decision is now up to you. Happy Retirement!