One of the most cost effective forms of housing in Barbados is a chattel house. These are small structures on a small piece of land and are traditionally made of wood.
You can buy a chattel house in Barbados for as little as $145,000 BDS and would typically be around 3,000 square feet in total, inclusive of the land. There are chattel houses in all parishes of Barbados and depending on the location you can expect to pay between $50 and $100 BDS per square foot.
If you are unsure about what area you would like to purchase property in, please go to www.TotallyBarbados.com, click on "About Barbados" and read the articles on each parish to see which amenities can be found in each parish.
Chattel houses have often been in the same family and passed down for generations and they do not come up for sale on the market very often. When they do become available, they are often sold reasonably quick as they are good starter homes and a great way to get on the property ladder in Barbados.
Being reasonably priced, you can afford to build a new structure on the land if you so desired. A typical chattel house would have a lounge and dining area, a kitchen area, and two bedrooms. It is quite usual for the parents to sleep in one room, with small children sharing the main bedroom and all others would sleep in the other bedrooms.
If you buy an old chattel house, it is likely to have had a kitchen and bathroom added at some stage as it was not an essential part of the layout when these types of house were first constructed. These days you will find that chattel houses are part wood and part walled.
A lot of these houses have been damaged over the years in hurricane season and as repairs have been carried out the owners have opted to rebuild using concrete, as it is a sturdier material for future hurricane seasons.
The down side to buying a chattel house is you do not get much land with them and there is not much room for a garden. They are often built very close to the house next door and they are not ideal for privacy. These properties also tend to be quite hot as they are made of wood and it's unlikely you will find one with air conditioning.
Local Barbadians own the majority of chattel houses and it is unusual for a non-national to want to buy one of these properties. However, for a single person who is just starting out a chattel house can be ideal.