Building A House In Jamaica- Step By Step

half finished home runaway bayThere are half -finished houses everywhere we walk in Runaway Bay.  half finished house runaway bayInterest rates on mortgages in Jamaica are very high ( about double what they are in Canada) so people don’t take out loans to build a house. house being built jamaicaInstead, they save money and then build their homes in stages as they can afford it.  goats grazing runaway bayThey may buy land and clear it first and let their goats graze on it.  building a house runaway bayThen they build the first floor of their house. partially built home jamaicaThen they build the second in runaway bay
Then the third storey and finally finish the interior and exterior.  little girl peeks out the window of a half finished house in runaway bayAs soon as the house is livable they move in morning glory bed and breakfastand finish the house in more stages while living in it. house building runaway baySome families never save enough money to finish their houses so there are partially built homes everywhere. house runaway bay

Other posts about Jamaica……….

Pirates, Plantations, Political Activists and Pot

Wish I Had Them In Jamaica

Hairnets and Helmets

Jamaican Introductions

Acquiring a Taste for Jamaican Food

Dead Yard Party



Filed under Jamaica

3 responses to “Building A House In Jamaica- Step By Step

  1. Actual Jamaican

    This is a very narrow, poorly informed view of what happens in the Jamaican housing market. Firstly, people absolutely do take out loans to build homes. Most people do that because they would never be able to save enough money to build homes out of pocket. The National Housing Trust lends at the lowest rate – significantly lower than the bank – however, they lend a maximum amount of J$5,500,000 which is about $57,000 Canadian at the January 2017 exchange rate. This is the maximum amount they lend to any one person to build regardless of that person’s income. They will lend money to two people to build together but that’s a combined loan of $11,000,000 (CAD$113,400). This can’t exactly build a “dream home” so some people will borrow this money from the NHT (at a low interest rate) but be unwilling to borrow additional funds from the bank because the bank’s interest rate is higher. They will therefore start building until they’ve maxed out the loan funds and then save to make additions to achieve their dream home. It is also important to note that the NHT places restrictions on the kinds of houses that can be built (they don’t finance two storey houses regardless of whether your 5.5 or combined 11mill can cover it) and the funds are disbursed in stages. Each stage of the building process must be approved before they disburse more funds. This takes time and is one cause of having houses that take a while to be completed.
    Secondly, Runaway Bay is a rural town. The sizes of the houses in runaway Bay are not necessarily typical of the houses islandwide. The houses shown here are, in general, larger than a typical Jamaican house. These houses are probably being built by well off people who want a house in the country. These people may choose to build out of pocket because they foresee the potential of earning large enough sums of money to build houses out of pocket.
    MOST people who want to build a house will borrow from the NHT and (either build a small home or) get the balance from a bank.
    Finally, although Runaway Bay is a rural town, not everyone is a farmer. Most people are not farmers. Most people do not own goats. There are, however, stray goats all over the island and goats that may wander away from nearby farms who will gladly graze on any available grass (such as that which might be found in an open lot).


    • Dear Actual Jamaican, Thanks so much for this. I admit I had a very narrow experience in Jamaica living only in Runaway Bay for a month and working in a school there. I received my information about housing from a couple from Canada who are Jamaican originally but live there for half the year. Thanks so much for augmenting and correcting my incomplete report. I learned lots from your information.


  2. Maryloudriedger, when I read the article above I knew that this view was from a person living abroad, and you are correct because most people abroad, when building their homes they are building from their pockets and without a loan, and so they may have to built by stages when the money runs out.


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