Home Sweet Home//Interview with Jamaican Realtor Paula Roper Bacchas
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Home Sweet Home//Interview with Jamaican Realtor Paula Roper Bacchas


if you’re trying to decide between
building or buying a home then you need to consider the pros and cons of both
and if you decide to build then you won’t wanna miss what we have in store
for you on this episode of home sweet home it’s part 1 of our two-part series
on building so don’t go anywhere more home sweet home after this I’m now joined by Paula Roper Bacchas a
Realtor with century 21 heave-ho properties thank you so much for joining
us on home sweet home you’re welcome I’m glad to be here so we’re going to be
talking about building on this episode but before we get into that I’d like to
know what all the options are for prospective homebuyers so I can buy a
pre-existing home or I can build on a piece of land what are my options well
your options are varied you have the choice of buying a residential lot and
building on it you also have the option of buying a fixer-upper and transforming
it renovated it as you see fit and you have the chance the option of
buying a property and just living in there buying it ready done nothing much
needed to be done to it okay so that would depend on the person that’s buying
exactly what are some of the pros and cons of each of those okay um as it
pertains to a residential lot you get to design the property get design your home
as you would like it right put in all the fixtures all the amenities that you
would like as it pertains to a fixer-upper you might not be able to get
a residential lot in a particular location but you’re able to get an
affordable home that needs work done to it so in that case you can buy the home
and contact an architect and they will do the necessary designs for you and
make it into the home that you want and they’re okay so if I am to buy a piece
of land to build on it what am I supposed to be looking for well number
one is always location location location always hear that always location but as
it pertains to the features of the property it is the best thing to talk to
architect because you’d be better able to advise you as to what can be done
and design the home according to the location that the home is going to be as
it pertains to renovating a home the cost for renovation is varied because it
all depends on what you want to be done to the home what the finishes are going
to be how expensive or how high end the finishes are going to be so as it
pertains the cost I can’t necessarily tell you that it will cost X it all
comes down to the homeowner what they want the time that it takes to renovate
the home also varies it depends on your cash flow if you have all of the money
to do a continual stream of work or if you have to do a certain amount for that
period of time and then you save and do another right so it all the varies
but let’s say that you purchased a home it normally takes from you decide that
you’re going to purchase the home so completion of the sale being closed
normally takes between 60 to 180 days okay
so that four month period two to four months period that is the whole process
of closing off the sale so let’s say after you complete the purchase you go
immediately into renovating that can take another six to eight months so from you choose a home that you’re going to renovate finish to put on the
purchasing process and the renovating can take upwards of one year okay typically when I think of buying a house
I think of a realtor can I still contact you to buy land to build a house yes you
can we sell residential lots and commercial Lots what’s my first step when i’m looking to buy a piece of
land well number one I always tell my buyers to be pre-qualified get your
pre-qualification done if you’re buying to the national housing just go to the
national housing trust and get yourself an eligibility letter this just speaks
to how much National Housing Trust will be willing to lend you or loan you to to
purchase the property and get the ball rolling from there
you mentioned looking for the right location when buying property I know
that location plays a big role in the price of a property
can you speak to investing in property from that perspective okay as it
pertains to location it’s always um advice that let’s say you want to build
a forty million dollar home you wouldn’t necessarily go in a community that
doesn’t have other forty million dollar homes to build your forty million dollar
home so I would always say compare the other properties in your location and to
see if they support what it is that you’re planning to build so if you’re
going to build a beautiful lavish home you want your home to be in a community
like cherry Garden Beverly Hills Norbrook you want it to fit in exactly you don’t
want it to stick out like a sore thumb and then when it comes back to selling
the property your house if it’s in that area where other homes are comparable to
it you will get a better return on your investment good all right so I found my piece of land now that I want to purchase what is the process after that okay the process is
very simple all you would need to do is to submit your offer to purchase that
property to purchase that property the offer form should be accompanied by
identification TRN your pre-qualification letter or your
eligibility letter along with proof of address after we receive all of these
documents I will personally draft your offer form for you we will sit down
review it if there’s any changes that need to be made we’ll make those changes
and then you’ll sign to it after you sign to it we would submit it to the
owners for their decision whether they’re going to accept your offer or
they’re not or if they’re going to counter your offer let’s say all things
go well and your offer is accepted the next stage is that the owner will send
the offer form to their lawyer their lawyer will create what is called the sales
agreement when the sales agreement is prepared it will be sent to your lawyer
for review when it is reviewed and everything is okay any Corrections that
needed to be made are made then you would sign and pay your 10% minimum
deposit after you pay your deposit you would the owners would also sign and the
sales agreement would be sent to the stamp office and all this that we have
agreed to would be certified and stamped off and then the process the ball would
get rolling at this time you would get a valuation on the property and you would
get a surveyors ID report done and all of these if you’re taking out a mortgage
from the National Housing Trust you would take all these and all their other
supporting documents to them for the approval process it’s a long does it
usually take if you’re using a mortgage it normally takes four months 120 days
and is that also the time in which after that I can start building on my land on
completion of this whole sales process you can start to build on your land so
after I’m finished with you know who are the specialists that I should be going
to help me to transform that land into my dream house after you have finished
the sales process I can always recommend a great
architect by the name of Conrad Jackson to give you proper technical advice and
assessment well lucky for us we’re actually going to be interviewing Conrad
later today but Paula thank you so much for joining us on this episode of home
sweet home we’ve certainly learned a lot about the purchasing process when buying
land thank you when we return we continue the discussion on building your
dream home with architect conrad jackson from lloyd j. robinson & associates so
don’t go anywhere more home sweet home after this hi Conrad hi how are you I’m well not
too bad good to see you same here so we’re gonna be talking to you today
about building a house and your role as an architect
its my pleasure to have you my dear okay fantastic let’s go Kandi welcome this is one of the
beautiful houses I’ve designed this house is actually for sale Kandi so I
hope you have enough money in the car purchases that will be fine let me invite
you to the patio so we can sit down and have a chat I’m excited to see it and I
am NOT disappointed this is so lovely conrad give us your thoughts on building
from scratch versus renovating an existing home okay the difference in my
humble opinion in terms of building from scratch is that homeowner would have to
find all of that money upfront to be able to put that house from inception
to end buying an existing house and renovating if you don’t have a lot of
renovations to do you could possibly move into the house and the house be
move-in ready the renovations you could actually do over time as your pocket may
allow so depending on how much money you have at the time you may be able to
fast-track it or you can do it over a period of time okay now help us to understand
your role as an architect what exactly do you do in the process of building the
home okay the architects rule is as the technical adviser to the client that
person gives technical unbiased opinion in terms of building and guiding the
client as so what is the right process or route to go so they are with the
client from inception they assist the client adhering a brief trying to
ascertain what their needs are and what their long-term goals are and short-term
goals also taking into consideration what their budget may be I need some
clarification as to the difference between a contractor and an architect
why can’t I just go directly to a contractor and complete my vision there
okay good question Kandi an architect has been trained
professionally to design buildings to the specifications of both the building
code regulations of Jamaica the needs and
wants of the client each client is different and each client has their own
specific needs the architect is the person who has a vision puts that vision
turn it into reality the contractor is not quite equipped to do so okay so what
does a contractor do then what is his role the contractors role is
implementing what the architect has designed and doing it as for the
specifications of the architect and per the specifications of the design how
closely do the contractor and the architect work to in the building
process and are there other people that come into play or other roles in this
the architect works very closely with the contractor architect is usually the
leader of the the building team who deals with the contract administration
aspect of it which is the monitoring and supervising of the construction process
to ensure that the contractor what he’s doing he’s doing it as per the
specifications of the architect and as per what is required by the client and
the building code regulations of Jamaica as it relates to to the construction
process there are a lot of other disciplines that play a crucial role in
putting together a house or a building in general apart from the architect you
have the structural engineer the electrical mechanical engineer who deals with your lights air conditioning loading and that sort of stuff the quantity
surveyor who deals with the costing for the house who can tell you from
everything how much blocks how much steel how much sand is required to build a
house and the total cost at the end of the day labor cost and also a land surveyor who
plays a crucial part from inception of the house to ensure the boundaries of the
land are within the confines now what is the process of making my dreams a reality from the time I meet with you walk me through that okay
once architect meets with a client you Per say yes I may be asking a lot of
questions that you may think may be personal questions well when I architect
does that they do it in to try to see what is your personality like what are
your needs because every client is different once we have completed a
comprehensive brief for a client then we start to put our designs together once
you have come up with the initial designs we then meet back with a client
more than once to ensure that whatever it is we are designing will meet their
needs and desires now once the client has said listen I
have 80 million dollars to do this house the architect can assist the client from
early out to design something based on your budget it has been approved by the
local authorities you have two years in which to start building
so who sources the other consultants that you mentioned previously
well the architect can source the other consultants on behalf of the client so like at Lloyd
J Robinson associates we have a team of persons that we work with and we would be more
than happy to assist the client to source all those persons as a one-stop
shop okay so as the client the only thing I need to do is come to you and
then you will advise me from there forward I don’t need to remember to do
all of the 10 or 20 things you listed just now no ma’am the architect is your guide okay well with that being said that I’m excited to see the rest of this
house so we’re gonna take a short tour yes there are some special features of this
house I think you’ll find captivating fantastic nice nice wow this is just lovely nice jacuzzi tub
okay and then this would be my bathroom my personal bathroom my husband would
have to use one of the other ones over there I’m loving all this space Conrad you can
come in my shot now but this closet is just so spacious yes I love it and this
is a definitely a woman’s space for sure for sure Conrad so far this house is just amazing
it’s beautiful so props to the architect and to the designer the interior
designer as well this is just fabulous what sort of timeline are we looking on
to build a house like this how long did it take
alright this house was actually a single-story house that we did
serious renovations to and we added on an additional story the construction
period for this house was about ten months ten months it would have been way
longer than that Wow and what sort of challenges did you
face in building something like this well with every renovation of an
existing building you always have challenges some of it is existing stuff
like you may have old plumbing you have the change or you may have to upgrade
the wiring of the house because it is out dated some of these existing houses
would have been built like in the 60s or 70s so they would have been fitted with old
galvanized pipes so you have to upgrade because those pipes would have now become
rusted and to the new homeowner it would have created problems other than that
it’s just a matter of structural analysis of what the existing structure
can handle and use the structural engineer assist us in this regard and it
will help to make the architects design become a reality for potential
homeowners can you leave us with a tip for those who would like to build or
something to keep in mind okay what I’d recommend for persons building is that
they first after having the discussion I’m purchasing a property through our
realtor is the consult an architect the architect will guide them giving
them an unbiased opinion of what the process is and the route they should go
so I strongly advise that they seek the help of professionals and their money
will be well spent they’ll be getting value for money
Conrad thank you so much for sharing your expertise as an architect with us here on home sweet home we certainly learned a lot from you today it was a
pleasure being here and thank you very much for having me and that’s it for part 1 of our two-part
series on building make sure you tune in next week as we’ll continue the
conversation and until then I’m Kandi for home sweet home bye

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