Jamaica at a Glance
Moving to Jamaica
Jamaica: An Island Overview
Jamaica is one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful and well-known islands. We have already established the immense importance of tourism for the national economy in our article on working in Jamaica. It’s not only expats who move to Jamaica for a few years to further their careers or work on one of the many ongoing economic and infrastructural projects on the island: it is also a hotspot for retirees, who arrive in Jamaica in significant numbers every year to enjoy their golden years in the Caribbean.
Upon your move to Jamaica, you will quickly realize that it is, in fact, a rather small island nation. Distances between the large tourist centers on the northern and western shores and the capital Kingston – one of the prime expat locations in Jamaica – are almost negligible. If you do indeed settle in Kingston and are looking for a nice weekend getaway, it is only a few hours away.
With only a few hundred kilometers between Jamaica and the southern USA as well as Central America, moving to Jamaica will also present you with a multitude of options to discover the rest of the Americas – should you ever get tired of life in a tropical paradise, that is!
Kingston and Its Metro Area
Odds are that you will settle either in Kingston, the nation’s capital, or somewhere in its metro area. Located in the southeast of the island and spanning various parishes (Jamaican administrative areas), Kingston is probably one of the cities foreigners have to visit at least once. As the unrivaled cultural and economic focal point of the country, expats moving to Jamaica could definitely do worse than settle in Kingston.
The two best-known “satellite towns” in the area, and among the prime choices of a fair number of expats, are Spanish Town and Portmore. The former is a capital in its own right: that of the St. Catherine parish. The latter is the largest so-called dormitory town in the area – a mostly residential small town whose residents commute to work in neighboring municipalities. Perfect for expats who are interested in moving to Jamaica’s capital, but would like to escape the hustle and bustle of the large city!
Kingston and its metro area are home to about a third of the nation’s population, close to a million inhabitants. Jamaica’s capital and its periphery holds a major attractiveness both to expats and locals from rural areas.
Housing in Jamaica
The real estate market reflects the steadily increasing interest of expats and locals alike to move to Jamaica’s capital, but still live in a secure area in which the city’s problems are kept under control. The numbers of so-called gated communities, closed neighborhoods which often feature their own security guards and fences or walls surrounding the premises, are on the rise, and you will surely be able to find one whatever city you might settle in after moving to Jamaica. You should, however, be aware of the somewhat obvious fact that this is among the most expensive options of finding a new home.
In case you did not visit the country for a prolonged stretch of time before actually moving to Jamaica, you might want to hire the services of a realtor to find a suitable new home. If you are somewhat more confident of your knowledge of the particular area you want to reside in after your move, your safest bet at finding a nice place are probably online housing portals such as Property Ads Jamaica.