APS to expand homeownership options for Oryx Residences

June 24, 2020 4:32 am

Cayhill -- Pre-qualification appointments resume for Oryx Residences in Cay Hill, after COVID-19 measures pose delay in the sales and move-in process. The 62 units residential project of the General Pension Fund of Sint Maarten (APS) acquired the interest of over 500 persons, of which 339 are APS participants. APS is working with Banco di Caribe (BdC) to issue mortgages with 100% financing for first time homeowners. APS is now announcing that the Fund is preparing to provide participants additional financing options, such as lease-to-own.   

APS is expanding the financing options in order to allow more participants the opportunity to own their first home. While APS was able to close the sales of some units just before the lockdown, the initial round of pre-qualification appointments resulted in surprisingly low numbers of qualifying APS participants for the 100% financing offer. The reason being that, participants are faced with limited borrowing capacity, as a result of existing car loans, personal loans, payday loans, credit card loans, Irma recovery loans etc.

“During mortgage pre-qualification process we came to realize that the indebtedness of our participants was hampering their ability to get a mortgage. For this reason, we had to get creative and look at other options to ensure that homeownership would not be out of reach for our participants.” – Nadya Croes-van Putten, APS Director

Lease-to-own is a more viable option for many who now do not qualify for the 100% financing offer. The Central Bank of Curacao and Sint Maarten (CBCS) lending guidelines stipulate that only a portion (37%) of the gross salary can be used for repaying any kind of debt. For many interested participants, these conditions leave little to no room to qualify for a traditional mortgage, even when 100% financed.

Oryx Residences is the first residential project by the pension Fund. The project consists of 62 residential units, 44 of which will be 2- and 3-bedroom townhouses and 18 apartments of 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms. Oryx Residences is designed to create a true sense of community with designated green spaces, a playground and central park area. The units are engineered to withstand seismic activity and wind speeds up to 150 mph, factoring in the effects of a category-five hurricane and those of an earthquake. The construction of the homes is completed, however some necessary repair works to the exterior finishing of the units are pending. The repair works primarily consists of plasterwork and will resume taking into consideration the local and international COVID-19 impact.