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Migrating To Jamaica | Should I Build Or Buy?

by Michael

Migrating To Jamaica | Should I Build Or Buy?

Migrating To Jamaica | Should I Build Or Buy?

Michael decided to migrate to Jamaica! Now it is just a question of buying or building. And what about his immigration status? I mean permanent residency? I outlined my response below for him.

By the way, it is great education for others looking to migrate here as well.

Here's his question...

The wife and I have decided that we would like to live in Jamaica. We are not interested in living in a gated community so we are looking for either property and house in the country or looking to buy a piece of land and building.

My question right now has to do with taxes. The info that I have found so far indicates that lawyer is 2-3%, real estate fee is 2-3% and that Gov takes a one time 16.5% tax, with a yearly tax rate of 0.50%. Assuming that I buy a property for $100,000, I could expect to pay an additional $20,000+ in fees and taxes.

What would the breakdown be if I instead decided to buy a $10,000 lot now and over the next few years build a 1000 sq ft home? I'm assuming that I would pay the 16.5% tax and the formention fees on $10,000? Say I spend $40,000 - $50,000 to build the house at a later date, do I skirt the 16.5% tax? Do I have to pay it on the building cost?

Also, it's my understanding that the Government would need to approve our immigration status from the USA dependant on how much money we had? Trying to find out what the magic number was if there was one.

Any website that I may have missed, that you know, that could shed some light on that for me?

Thank you very much

ANSWER: by Wellesley

Hi Mike,

Thank you too for your question! And congrats on your decision to live in Jamaica!

You seem to have done some great background research as well, so good for you!

You are in some luck actually as many of the points you mentioned are already covered in prior articles here.

In fact, I'd recommend you start by reviewing those articles first, five of them...

Maura sent me the following additional points as well.

  • As a purchaser his fees are not that high and he doesn’t have to use a lawyer. If he does it’s 1.5 to 2%
  • Construction costs 70-100 USD per square foot.
  • If he has residency he is good, otherwise, he can stay up to 90 days and not exceed 6 months in a year.

Here they are:

  1. The governmental requirements to live or retire in Jamaica
  2. Top tips and strategies for buying land in Jamaica
  3. The expected costs of building a house in Jamaica
  4. Best Advice On Returning or Migrating To Jamaica, and fianlly...
  5. Best Place to Live In Jamaica for a migrant or returning resident

By the way, if you are considering a board (wooden) home, as an option, you may also want to review our article on Insurance For Board Houses In Jamaica.

Of course, if you need any additional information or someone to speak to directly, there are two qualified professionals I'd hasten to recommend:

  1. Mr. McBean, a qualified builder of MPM
    Construction LTD
  2. Ms. Lisa Campbell, Real Estate Attorney, 876-908-1950, and
  3. Maura Watson, Real Estate Agent and friend of mine.

All three of them are highly reputable and will put your concerns to ease.

As usual, I welcome your comments here.


P.S. We've answered HUNDREDS of questions, click here and href="questions.html#VisitorPages">here to get even more answers.

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Aug 09, 2019
Property Sourcing
by: MPM

At McBean's project management we source lands, houses information and professionals free of charge while we do building designs and construction.

We also have all the required professionals to execute your project such as architects, surveyors, Valuator, realtors and loan broker.

We will be there with you step by step throughout the process.

Call us at 876-540-7771 / 876-377-1525

Email us at

Click here to add your own comments

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About The Author

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A patriotic Jamaican who adore its culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.  

To date, he serves over 9,300 unique readers / viewers per day.

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