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How to Buy & Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas: Insider’s Guide
By Matthew Simon
June 2008 Edition
Copyright 2008 by Matthew Simon.
Introduction and Table of Contents
Experience, it is said, is learning from your mistakes. Wisdom is learning from other people’s mistakes. Since I began investing in real estate in the Bahamas, I have made every mistake at least twice, which means, by our definition, that I have deep experience. You, on the other hand, are going to have wisdom. Whether you are looking for a house, a condominium, a building lot, or acreage, this book will explain the process of buying and selling, point out the pitfalls, and provide you with the unbiased advice and information you need to make the right decisions. This book contains the following chapters: Chapter 1. Overview of the Bahamas………………….………….…..……….……5 Chapter 2. Real Estate Transactions in the Bahamas......………..…..…............ 8 Chapter 3. Step by Step Processes for Buying and Selling in the Bahamas.....20 Chapter 4. Reviews of Selected Websites…………..…………………………….24 Chapter 5. Exclusive Guide to the Islands: Where to Buy………..……….……..31 Chapter 6. Appendix………………………………………………….……..............74
How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas
© 2008 by Matthew Simon
3 If you find an error in this book, or see gaps in the information provided, please contact me at email@example.com, and I will address the problem without delay. The contents of this book are not intended to replace professional legal advice. Always seek advice from a Bahamian attorney before making any commitments to purchase or sell real estate in the Bahamas.
About the Author
Matthew Simon has been developing and managing real estate since 1983. He is currently developing condominiums on the island of Eleuthera, Bahamas. See www.buttonwoodreserve.com. Simon is a graduate of Williams College and a former Bain and Company corporate strategy consultant. He resides in Florida.
Copyright Information and Use of Contents
Copyright 2008 by Matthew Simon. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, electronic, printed, or otherwise, without the express written permission of the author. All rights are reserved, including resale rights: A great deal of work went into this book, and you are not allowed to give or sell it to anyone else without the author’s written permission. If you received a pirated copy, please delete it and notify the author.
How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas
© 2008 by Matthew Simon
incidental. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon .4 Limits of Liability and Disclaimer of Warranty The author makes no representation or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaims any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose and shall in no event be liable for any financial loss or any other damages. or any other purpose. including but not limited to special. consequential. When there are links to other sites. or other damages. those sites are likewise not warranted for content. accuracy.
turquoise water. account for most of the 300. and friendly. and good infrastructure. see Chapter 5. and balmy winters? Best of all. Only a few dozen of the islands are inhabited. And did I mention pink sand. where Freeport is located. below.000 How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . where these listings were found.S. the prices get even better as the inconvenience grows. As you proceed south to the more remote and less populated islands. but it has perhaps the best combination of reasonable prices. and most of it can be bought for a fraction of what it would cost in the U. Bahamians speak our language and accept our currency. For specifics about the various islands. The islands of New Providence.000 • • One-half acre of land with 100’ of beach frontage for $360. is not the cheapest island either. Property rights are strong.5 Chapter 1. Overview of the Bahamas Why Buy Real Estate In The Bahamas? The islands of the Bahamas begin just fifty miles off the coast of Florida. and Grand Bahama. there are thousands of miles of oceanfront land in the Bahamas. Overview The Bahamas is an archipelago of 700 islands that extends from 50 miles off the coast of Florida to as far south as Haiti and Cuba.000 Eleuthera. You won’t find deals like this in Florida: • Nineteen acres of land with 300’ of cliff-top frontage overlooking the Caribbean for $695. The country is safe. home to Nassau. stable. Foreigners can own land directly. easy accessibility.000 One-quarter acre of land with 90’ of rocky frontage on the Caribbean for $195.
World Audit gave the Bahamas the highest possible scores for political rights and civil liberties. which had a more conservative. the FNM. the Bahamas has been independent since 1973. The average daytime high during the winter is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. pro-business economic agenda. came to power for the first time. and the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP). The results were positive. The FNM took a variety of steps to open the economy to private enterprise and foreign investment. just as comfortable. the . The two major political parties are the Free National Movement (FNM). temperatures are mild year round.” and with good reason. with a night time low of 67° During the summer. with additional statutes added in over the years. It remains a member of the British Commonwealth and recognizes the British monarch as head of state. The country is a stable parliamentary democracy. Weather A nineteenth-century traveler dubbed the Bahamas “The Isles of Perpetual June. the original party of the black majority. enabling the FNM to stay in power for 10 years. The PLP. In that year. ruled from 1967 until 1992. Thanks to the Gulf Stream and trade winds. are sparsely populated. Government Formerly a British colony. The system functions well. currently in power. The legal system is based on English Common Law. ranging from 74° in the winter to 84° in the summer. The Heritage Organization in 2008 gave the Bahamas an 80% score for property rights. When the PLP regained power for five years (2002-2007). also known as the Family Islands. No country received a score higher than 90%. it How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . daytime high averages 88° and the night time low 77° Water temperatures are .6 residents of the country. dotted with villages which rarely have more than a few hundred souls. The so-called Out Islands.
described in more detail in the next chapter. you read that correctly. (See Chapter 2 for details. Many areas of the economy are closed to foreigners. Real estate is only partially affected. They are both eager to promote economic growth through certain types of foreign investment. no personal income tax. at least as far as real estate investment goes. and so will you. free-market economy that depends on tourism and off-shore banking. no sales tax. but they’re reasonable. Economy and Taxes The Bahamas has a stable. To a casual observer like myself. Bahamians do pay property taxes. usually results in approval. The FNM regained power in a close election in the spring of 2007.7 did little to change the FNM’s pro-business agenda. Restrictions on Foreign Investment Here’s an area where the Heritage Organization gives the Bahamas a failing grade—40%. as well as a variety of stamp taxes. For larger parcels of land. although time-consuming. Foreigners may buy residential properties of up to five acres without any significant restrictions. and no estate tax. there is little difference in the policies of the two parties today. The Heritage Organization ranked the Bahamas 24th out of 160 countries in terms of the openness and freedom of its economy. The Bahamas has no corporate income tax. in fact. no capital gains tax. The Bahamas also levies import duties that average 30-35%. in spite of its populist creed. there is a complex application process which. Yes. and most others are restricted by burdensome red tape. See Chapter 2 for details. The real estate stamp tax.) How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . adds up to 10% to the cost of every real estate transaction.
the attorneys for the buyer and seller work out the details of a Purchase Agreement. has some language that will be unfamiliar. which both parties sign. seller. either through real estate agents or directly. At that point. as in the U. is based on English common law. But the elements are the same—buyer. We will provide more details about infrastructure in Chapter 5. Electric service is universal. contingencies—and your attorney will understand it. Rather. Real Estate Transactions in the Bahamas The Basics Ownership of land in the Bahamas. as in the United States. At least a week and sometimes several pass between agreement on price and terms and the final execution of the Purchase Agreement. until the price and terms are agreed upon. Airports are ubiquitous. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . price. Chapter 2. when we look at each island. leaving plenty of uneasy time while you wonder if the other guy is going to change his mind. although air service to some of the less populous locations is limited. and on most of the islands is now reliable enough that a back-up generator is not essential.8 Infrastructure The quality of the roads and utilities services varies from island to island. which is the Bahamian equivalent of what Americans call a Purchase and Sale Agreement. verbal offers and counter-offers are made.. Land is generally owned fee simple (freehold). The Purchase Agreement. and high-speed internet is also widely available via DSL and/or cable. even if you don’t.S.S. The buying/selling process is more informal than in the U. I have never seen an Offer to Purchase in the Bahamas. Telephone and GSM cell phone service is excellent throughout the Bahamas. Roads on some of the Out Islands are not well maintained.
never mind a contract. Open listing agreements are given by word of mouth. Last point. and for a very simple transaction. a lower fee may be possible. you’re right. you don’t have to pay this much.000 house or condo is steep. Real Estate Agents Real estate agencies in the Bahamas are much like their cousins in the U.com. and the MLS is still in its infancy. When hiring an attorney. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . If you think a fee of $10. but I’ve found the latter rate to be negotiable at least down to 8% for large-dollar parcels. and I can attest from personal experience that it works—although it’s anyone’s guess what happens if a major dispute arises. without even a letter to document them in most cases. therefore. email me at mattsimonmx@juno. I routinely pay my attorney 2%. Both the buyer’s and seller’s attorneys collect this amount. This is commonly done in the Bahamas.S. again. make sure to get a referral from someone you know and trust. a caveat: There are a few rogue attorneys in the Bahamas. is more informal. If you would like a referral to a reliable attorney. Procedures are not standardized. At $200/hour. strange as it may seem to an American. that would be 50 hours of work. Commissions are typically 6% for developed land such as houses and condos and 10% for unimproved land.000 to close on a $400.9 Real Estate Attorneys Attorneys in the Bahamas charge a standard fee on real estate transactions of 2. There are cases on record in which Bahamian lawyers have absconded with large amounts of client funds without loss of their liberty or even their license to practice. To convey a condo? Fortunately. Attorneys will lower their price if you negotiate with them before retaining them.5% of the purchase price. although the business. Another way to save money is to have the same attorney represent both buyer and seller..
. Always double-check their claims with an attorney. I have tried many real estate sales sites on the internet. The downside is that other agencies can only earn a half commission on your property. The agent will next ask for an exclusive agency.viviun. and Craigslist. and there is no reason to agree to this.com. Selling on Your Own If you haven’t given your broker an exclusive right to sell. which entitles them to a commission if anyone sells the property.S. you will probably How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . there are plenty of real estate agents who will tell you that of course you can build a condominium tower on that aquifer. and the two best by far for selling real estate in the Bahamas are www. There are some advantages to this. and are not organized by location or any other characteristic.S. if you are selling property. which costs $20 for a month or $130 for a year.craigslist. you have to repost your listing at least once a week. so that if any other real estate broker sells the property. the omnipresence of the MLS has rendered the exclusive right to sell mandatory in most locations.org/rfs/. even you. In the U.. http://caribbean. and so have less incentive to show it. the listing agent still receives a commission. Chapter 5 includes names and contact information for reliable real estate agents for each island. As a result.S. or your headline will get pushed so far down on the page that few people will see it. You may also choose an open listing in which you can give the listing to any agency without obligation to any other.10 As in the U. which has a Caribbean section and which is free. But you can’t beat the price. The disadvantage of Craigslist is that listings are posted in the order in which they are made. Just as in the U. Not so in the Bahamas.. If you advertise on these two sites. you can try your hand at selling on your own by advertising on the internet. as the listing agency will disseminate your listing to all other agencies (a big hassle to do on your own) and will usually agree to promote the property more vigorously as well. real estate agents will ask you for an exclusive right to sell.
Second. the maximum term of the loans is 1520 years. Finally. No approval is required. and individual lots are required to register their purchases with the Bahamian Foreign Investment Board (FIB). and I wrote back with a follow up question. But if nothing else. I contacted two banks by email asking for information about their loan programs. customer service: Last year. yes. with contact information included.S. Follow this link http://ncane. and you may not be able to show the land if you don’t live nearby. The second sent the information promptly. Third. See the Appendix under Banks for mortgage loan terms from two Bahamian banks. The first sent me the information a full month after I requested it. borrow against U. In short. The main requirements are: 1.com/61y to view the registration form. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . Land Ownership Restrictions/Foreign Investment Board Foreign buyers of vacation homes. You may not be as skilled at closing a sale as your agent. A copy of your passport is the usual way to meet this requirement. First. but if possible. all loans I have seen for foreigners have been fully floating (usually tied to the prime rate or LIBOR rate) and these floating interest rates are typically a bit higher than U.S. you can generate extra leads which you can refer to your agent.11 get as many leads as your real estate agent. Proof of your identity. I’m still waiting for a reply. real estate instead. financing is available in the Bahamas and the rates are not excessive. typically from 25% to 30% depending on the bank.S. condos. fixed rates. Financing Financing in the Bahamas is less attractive than in the States. the required down payment is relatively large. compared to 30 in the U.
) 2. you need to show where the funds are coming from to pay for the real estate. This is obviously a simple matter as long as your team doesn’t include convicted criminals. you will be required to submit proof of identity. A “financial reference. and that the balance in my account is such and such an amount. Does the development team have the financial strength to carry out the proposed project? In addition to the bank letter mentioned in item 4 above. 2 and 3 above). A character reference. 5. There are three key elements that the FIB is looking for in approving a project: 1. To comply with this. where you’ll feel more at home. This can be from anyone.” I have always met this requirement by providing a letter from my bank stating that I’ve been a customer since such and such a date. and one or two letters of reference for each principal (as discussed in items 1. It doesn’t matter if the balance is $1000. You can obtain this from your local police station. (If it does. Your police record. Your attorney will take care of the remaining requirements. 3.12 2. a criminal record check. you will need to provide accountants’ letters attesting to the net worth of each How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . This is just a pro forma requirement. You can show statements from an investment account or otherwise document the source of the funds. 4. but someone with some standing such as an attorney or a clergyman is recommended. or if you are buying a property with the intent of renting it out. you must obtain approval from the FIB before taking title to the land. Source of wealth. For parcels five acres and up. try buying real estate in Nigeria instead. It’s easy. Are the principal members of the development team persons of good character? To demonstrate this. as far as I can tell.
An application to build a single house on a parcel of five or more acres will also be viewed favorably. a subdivision project in which the developer will sell lots is not likely to be approved. don’t propose a project that will cost more than you can document in terms of net worth and bank commitments.13 principal. but in general. 3. therefore. follow this link: http://ncane. In short. This type of project is likely to be approved. Will the project be beneficial for the Bahamas? The main criterion here is whether it will create employment for Bahamians. there are fewer environmental obstacles in the Bahamas. the Bahamas is encouraging second-home ownership as a way to build tourism and support the economy. and the economic boost from bringing new homeowners to the island in question). for example. On the other hand. So. and weed out the felons from your senior management. But if a project creates jobs without How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . management.com/snk. The project will also have to protect wetlands and be reasonable about environmental sensitivity. Although it’s only one structure. be sure to emphasize the jobcreation aspect of your proposal. There was a time when a Bahamian partner might have been necessary for approval of an important real estate project. a project that involves construction of buildings on those lots will generate more employment in the short term and also create employment opportunities in the long term (maintenance. That could still be the case if the project contributes little to employment. both short-term and ongoing. To view the application to purchase a parcel of five acres or greater. plus letters of commitment from any lenders involved. you have to prove you have the necessary funds or have commitments for the funds. Follow these simple steps and success with the FIB can be yours. because job creation will be minimal. When preparing your application. Job creation is the critical factor.
The Bahamas Environmental Science and Technology Commission. you must establish a Bahamian entity called an International Business Company (IBC). The wait during 2006-2007 was over a year. a nominee Director can be appointed. so it is easier to establish an IBC as a subsidiary. If privacy is desired. you must still obtain approval from the Ministry of Works in Nassau. In all cases. including travel from Nassau and all other expenses for the entire retinue. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . will review plans for compliance with environmental regulations. known by its acronym BEST. waste management plan. IBC’s must have an address in the Bahamas (usually your attorney’s office) and an agent in the Bahamas (usually your attorney). electrical and water plans. etc. so your privacy is protected. Once you have obtained approval for the project from the FIB. it is likely to be approved with or without a local partner. IBC’s cost about $2500 to set up. The latter will review your working drawings. Large projects and projects adjacent to environmentally sensitive wetlands will require a site visit from representatives from the various ministries. Fortunately the Free National Movement—the new party in power-has committed itself to speeding up the process. as the applicant must foot the bill for the site visit.14 damaging the environment. road designs. Corporate Ownership If you wish to hold your real estate in a corporation. and half that annually to maintain. A foreign corporation cannot hold real estate in the Bahamas directly without going through a long and expensive process. the name of the Beneficial Owner(s) of an IBC is not filed with the government and not available to the public. to ensure compliance with local building codes. which can add to the wait—and to the cost of the application. How long approval will take is an open question.
termites are a frequent nuisance in the Bahamas.15 Inspection If you are buying a house or condominium. Most of the agencies are located in Nassau.S. but serve all the islands. Expect to pay 1 to 2% of replacement cost in annual premiums. Title Problems and Title Insurance There is one legal aspect of real estate transactions in the Bahamas that warrants special mention: Bahamian properties are widely reputed to have title problems like we only dream about in the States. In addition. In addition to all the usual problems a house can have.S. registering of deeds is encouraged but not How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . Home inspection services don’t exist in the Bahamas. but any competent builder can inspect a house for you. hazard. The problems stem in large part from the traditional Bahamian practice of handing undivided interests in land down through the family. insurance companies in the Bahamas provide home owners with wind. and liability insurance. Insurance Just as in the U. may have been built with minimal inspection by municipal authorities. fifty or a hundred persons can have a claim to a parcel of land.S. All living members of each generation have an equal claim to this so-called “generation land. and it can be impossible to find them all in order to deliver clear title to a new owner. a thorough inspection is even more important in the Bahamas than in the U. as are hurricanes.. Older homes. Rates are similar to those in Florida and other hurricane-prone parts of the U.” The problem is that after a few generations. Flooding is a frequent occurrence in some locations during tropical storms or heavy rains. Ask your real estate agent for assistance. especially in remote areas. See the appendix under Insurance for a list of insurance agencies. There is some truth to this.
because the attorney is liable should a defect be discovered in the title. will insure Bahamian properties. A good rule of thumb is to make sure your attorney has at least $1 million in professional indemnity insurance. title insurance companies. so there is no reason to live in dread of this problem. Paradoxically. including First American Title and Fidelity Title. If you are the seller. Nevertheless. Just remember not to spend a lot of money on due diligence until you have completed the title search. that the title was hopelessly flawed. On two occasions. At the time of sale. Closings Closings in the Bahamas are low-key affairs that can be handled by the attorneys with both buyer and seller in absentia. which adds to potential confusion in the succession of title. title insurance is rare in the Bahamas and generally considered unnecessary.S. Bahamian attorneys typically carry indemnity insurance. major U.S. This is considered to be as good as title insurance. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . after an agreement on price and terms had been reached. Participants in a real estate transaction are permitted to skip this step. Ask your attorney for details.000. If you want further protection. an attorney will give an Opinion on the title. dollars sent to the Bahamas take a minimum of six weeks to clear. deeds may have to be executed in front of a Bahamian attorney or at a Bahamian consulate. a title search conducted by a competent attorney will determine if the title on a property is clear. I traveled at personal expense to distant islands to view land being offered by a major real estate agency.16 required in the Bahamas. although the amount can be as little as $20. only to discover. Deeds can also be certified with an apostille. so wiring is the usual method for sending large sums. Checks in U.
000 a tax at the rate of 1% per annum of the market value.00 Upon that part of the market value which exceeds $3. the tax rate on owner-occupied property is very reasonable: Owner-occupied Property: • • The first $250. Upon that part of the market value in excess of $500.17 Real Estate Taxes As mentioned in Chapter 1.000 the tax rate is 1% of the market value of the property. property taxes are waived for 20 years. • All Other Property (e.. On that portion in excess of $250.000 a tax rate of 1% per annum of the market value of the property. Non-Owner-Occupied Residential) • Upon that part of the market value that does not exceed $500.000 but does not exceed $100.000 and less than $500. Commercial. The downside of such developments is that all units must be made available as rentals at least How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon .g. • There is one situation in which your property taxes are waived completely: If you buy a house or condo in a development that qualifies under the Resort Encouragement Act.75% of the market value of the property. • On the portion in excess of $500.000 the rate of tax is 0. Unimproved Land • Upon that part of the market value that does not exceed $3.000 a tax at the rate of 2% of the market value of the property.000 a fee of $30.000 of assessed value is tax exempt.
000 . Renting for Income There are no restrictions on renting out your Bahamian house or condo some or all of the time. the government levies a stamp tax on every real estate transaction based on the value of the real estate.000 . In addition to property taxes.000 .18 half of the time.000. This tax is no small matter.2% From $20. The rates are: • • • • • Up to and including $20. Weekly rates vary widely according to location and size.000 . this obviously would not be a problem. but any veteran of the experience can tell you that building a house in the Out Islands is no task for the faint of heart.000.01 to $50. But if you plan to rent your unit out much of the time anyway.4% From $50.000. for example. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . On the purchase of a $400.8% Over $250. Most islands have experienced property managers who can handle the tenants and turnovers in your absence. contact one of the real estate agents listed in Chapter 5. but most are in the $1000 – $2500 range.01 to $250. as a quick visit to www. I don’t have knowledge of the process in Nassau or Freeport. buyer and seller must each pay $20.000 house or condominium. For a referral to a property manager.vrbo.000 . I will mention just a few things briefly.10% Customarily.01 to $100.6% From $100. half of the stamp tax is paid by the buyer and half by the seller.com will demonstrate. Building a House This topic could easily fill a book—or a house—on its own.000 in stamp taxes. This is widely practiced in the Bahamas.
Never hire a contractor without seeing his work and getting multiple references. 2bath house is likely to cost $300. I have not had a problem with this. History has shown again and again that waterfront land appreciates more rapidly. and demand for it will continue to rise as increasing world incomes boost the demand for vacation homes. I suspect it takes place quietly among officials and businessmen who know one another. and there are the import duties of 30-35% that alone add an estimated 15% to the cost of construction.S. What about Corruption? The Bahamas is reputed to have a higher level of corruption than the U. follow this link http://ncane. or lot. It only makes sense: the supply of oceanfront land is essentially fixed. There is shipping. and holds its value more consistently during downturns. so if something is missing. the quality of work varies from the incompetent to the excellent. Third. and people do it every year. you need not worry about encountering corrupt officials. That’s the word. Second.19 First. and you can thank me in 10 or 15 years when your land has increased ten-fold in value.com/iqq for a blog about building a house on Eleuthera. personally. and I suspect the issue is overblown. condominium. Most materials have to be shipped from the U.. including soft costs.000 to build. A Final Word of Advice Oceanfront. When it does happen. A 1500 square foot 2-bedroom. Things happen much more slowly on the islands. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . costs are higher. So buy on the water.S. If you’re just buying a house. be patient. sells more easily. you can’t just run down to Home Depot to pick it up. and that’s without a garage or a pool. Building on the Out Islands is challenging but certainly not impossible. For more insight into the process. there are strict hurricane codes.
com. so they will naturally be thinking from your perspective. contact the real estate agent recommended for that island (see Chapter 5). so make sure to get a referral from someone you trust. Next. 5. As a practical matter. If your offer or counter-offer is accepted. and you are holding the checkbook. and describe what you are looking for. email me at mattsimonmx@juno. When you are ready to view one or more properties. When you find a property of interest. 1. which means scores of sellers. assess the price by comparing it to the average prices for that community as stated in Chapter 5. type of property.5%. Step by Step Processes for Buying & Selling Step by Step Process for Buying Real Estate in the Bahamas First. If/when the time comes to make an offer. They want to make a sale.20 Chapter 3. contact the relevant agent in Chapter 5 and make arrangements. and I’ll recommend one. review Chapter 5 and decide which island(s) is most appealing to you. If you need a good attorney. many of whom they have never met. They have scores of listings to show you. Before you hire your attorney. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . As mentioned in Chapter 2. bear in mind that real estate agents in the Bahamas technically represent the seller. agree upon a fee. amenities. and price. 4. As mentioned. there are some rogue attorneys in the Bahamas. 6. and by comparing it to similar properties on the websites. now is the time to hire an attorney if you haven’t already done so. many of them will be more sympathetic to the buyer. 2. however. you can usually negotiate the fee down from the standard 2. 3. And/or look for properties of interest using the real estate websites recommended in Chapter 4. Most of the sites allow for searching by island.
9. If the Purchase Agreement is contingent upon an inspection. The next step is for the attorneys to draft and agree upon the Purchase Agreement. now is the time to get that taken care of. inspections are done while the Purchase Agreement is being ironed out. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . In some cases. the deposit is typically much higher--50% is not unusual. This can easily take a week or two. 10. Purchase and Sale Agreement. Your attorney will send the deposit to the seller’s attorney who will hold it in his/her client funds account pending the closing. Ask your attorney to include a clause in the agreement saying it can be executed by fax. If you are purchasing land or a re-sale home. I’ve never seen anyone use an escrow service in the Bahamas. 12. Don’t even think about sending a check unless you have a month or two to wait. you should begin that process now. If you are obtaining financing from a Bahamian bank. it is not much different from a U.S. Next. unless it’s a very large amount. You should probably wire the deposit to your attorney at this point. Deposits don’t bear interest in the Bahamas. 11. Both parties can now sign the Purchase Agreement. You will have to get used to some distinctive Bahamian terminology—“hereditaments” means “property” and “root of title” means “title history”—but overall. If you are purchasing a new condominium or villa in a development.21 7. 13. There is not much you need to do here except make sure the terms of your verbal agreement are reflected correctly. 8. Bahamian banks pay such low interest—even 30-day notice accounts earn barely 1%--that it would hardly be worth the trouble to set up a special account for your deposit. You will find a step-by-step review of that process in Chapter 2. since even wires can take some time to clear in the Bahamas. so you can save time and avoid overnight mail charges. particularly if you are buying pre-construction. you and your attorney must fulfill the requirements for the Foreign Investment Board certificate of registration. the deposit will typically be 10%.
Step by Step Process for Selling Real Estate in the Bahamas First. 2. review the discussion in Chapter 2 about listing contracts and make a decision as to the type of contract you will grant. if you live overseas and can’t show the property yourself.S. As mentioned above.22 14. not the buyer. only hire an attorney who has been recommended by someone you trust. negotiate in the usual way. When an offer comes in.com and I will provide one. determine the value of your real estate. If you need a recommendation for an attorney. Advertise your property on various “for sale by owner” websites. Because there are some rogue attorneys in the Bahamas. If you decide to use an agent. Decide whether you will use the services of a real estate agent. hire an attorney to represent you in the sale. you need not be present for this. As mentioned in Chapter 2. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . Even if you use a real estate agent. The final step is the closing. Just make sure to wire the funds to your attorney a few days in advance so they have time to clear. so you can show a buyer some flexibility. you may need to use an agent. you can negotiate down the legal fee in advance of retaining an attorney. 4. Next. As in the U. Remember that although your broker technically represents you.. the 3. 6. This can be done by reviewing the property values set forth in Chapter 5 and by looking up similar properties listed on the websites reviewed in Chapter 4. Chapter 4 has recommendations for both free and paid sites. you can still assist in the sale by listing the property on some or all of these websites. email me at mattsimonmx@juno. Even if you can show the property. Obviously. 1. it is standard practice to price the property 5 or 10% higher than the lowest price you would accept. 5. you may find it beneficial to involve an agent for his/her expertise and sales skill. and/or by contacting one of the real estate agents listed in Chapter 5.
10. Purchase Agreements must be made contingent upon approval. for example. such an account will probably earn 1% or less. 8. If it’s a very large amount. Your attorney will hold the deposit in his/her client funds account. lest he tip off the buyer. Purchase and Sale Agreement. you have the option of terminating the agreement and returning the buyer’s deposit. so you can save time and avoid overnight mail charges.23 broker’s financial interest is in closing a deal. Note that when Foreign Investment Board approval is required. if you feel the buyer would agree to that. even if both parties would like to waive that contingency. but in the Bahamas. If the closing date comes and goes and the buyer still has not obtained approval. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . your attorney and the buyer’s attorney will negotiate the language of a Purchase Agreement. You can also require the buyer to pay an extension fee in order to keep the agreement in effect. You can also extend the agreement at no cost to the buyer. The Bahamian Purchase Agreement has some distinctive terminology—“hereditaments” means “property” and “root of title” means “title history”—but overall. 7. I would not. it is not much different from a U. When a price is agreed upon.S. you could ask for it to be held in an interest-bearing account. you should prepare for a lengthy wait. brokers in fact represent the interest of the buyer as much as the seller. The typical deposit amount is 10%. recommend revealing your bottom line (the lowest price you would accept) to a broker. 9. Ask your attorney for a time estimate. Ask your attorney to include a clause in the agreement saying it can be executed by fax. No interest will be earned on it. Your only role in this process is likely to be confirming that the terms of your verbal agreement are reflected correctly in the document. Both parties can now sign the Purchase Agreement. If the buyer must obtain approval from the Foreign Investment Board (required for foreigners buying parcels of five acres or greater). As often as not.
but they are lacking in detail and so of limited use. Review of General Bahamas Information Websites www. a list of events which is far from complete but still better than one would find in a typical guide book. (The maps linked to this book in this next chapter are far superior. It also has maps of each island. Bahamas. Chapter 4. Nevertheless. Deeds may have to be executed in front of a Bahamian attorney or at a Bahamian consulate. airlines and other transportation servicing the island. or certified with an apostille. an even more incomplete list of beaches. Prepare in advance for the closing.) Overall. As well as general information about the Bahamas. I would rate it as slightly less useful than a typical commercial guide book (Fodor’s. You can plan a trip and book it right on the website. attractions and activities. General Bahamas information websites 2. For-sale-by-owner websites with Bahamas coverage 4. a sadly incomplete list of restaurants. I have reviewed dozens of each and selected only those which I judged to be most useful. Lonely How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . Frommers. Ask your attorney for details. Bahamas real estate websites 3. Reviews of Bahamas Websites This section reviews websites in four categories: 1.24 11. For-rent-by-owner websites with Bahamas coverage There are scores of websites in each category.com has a lot of information and is by far the best Bahamas general information website.bahamas. hotel/resort accommodations.com: This is the official website of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. and travel packages. the site includes an extensive section about each island with its history.
S. medical clinics. night life. hotels.25 Planet). rental car companies. www. restaurants. clinics. complete with rates—something no other site has. State Department site about the Bahamas. demographics. If you do a search for Eleuthera. attractions (incomplete for the Out Islands).com: This site has some great content but it’s confusing and frustrating to use.bahamasvacationguide. shopping. The list is limited to names and phone numbers--there is no description or discussion—but it’s still quite a useful resource. political system. including facts and business climate information. attractions. you’ll get a long list of Eleuthera hotels. etc.. Only the seven most populous islands are covered. vacation rentals. and other categories as well.state. are the discussion forums about every major island with participants always available to answer your (touristy) questions. and more. suddenly there is a whole new Eleuthera navigation bar. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon .htm: This is the U. restaurants.com: This site is a directory of advertisers organized by category: activities. www.tripadvisor. if you can find your way to the Eleuthera discussion forum (which is not easy). one attraction etc. Only problem: The navigation is so confusing you may never find the forums in the first place.com: Provides general information about the Bahamas. www.thebahamas. There are links to restaurants. hotels. in part because it does not offer objective recommendations about restaurants and hotels. shops. Trip Advisor is best known for its customer reviews of hotels.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/1857. one restaurant. It is packed with facts about the Bahamian economy. Even more useful. and emergency services. However. www. which are very useful. If you click on the Hotels link. It also has island-specific information consisting of a list for each island of its restaurants. in my opinion. for example. you’ll get a menu showing only two hotels. marinas.
www. It currently has How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . of course. this is a good place to start. If you want to research current prices. Ltd. this website proposes to fill in the gap by serving as a single site for all Bahamas listings.com: Paradise Real Estate is the fifth-largest real estate agency in the Bahamas with 587 listings and six agents.bahamasb2b. H.G.sirbahamas. along with a few other real estate specific sites. and so on.com: H. Christie has listings on all the major Bahamian islands. is the largest real estate agency in the Bahamas.hgchristie. Christie has 2520 listings—over twice as many as any other agency—and 28 agents.paradisebahamas.G.G. H. www. real estate. Christie. Bahamasb2b takes listings only from real estate agents. www. Not very useful.26 law firms.com/realty: With the Bahamas’ MLS system still nascent.bahamasrealty. Review of Bahamas Real Estate Websites The following are primarily real estate agency sites.com/: Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty is the third-largest real estate agency in the Bahamas with 888 listings and 23 agents. No real estate search is complete without checking the Damianos site for its exclusives. The real estate agency sites are a good place to research prices. www. www.com: Damianos Sotheby’s is the second largest real estate agency in the Bahamas with 1005 listings and 18 agents.coldwellbankerbahamas.bs: Bahamas Realty is the fourth-largest real estate agency in the Bahamas with 837 listings and 19 agents. except for the great page of photos from the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean. as well as to shop for real estate. http://www.
Coverage of the latter two is very incomplete—perhaps only paying advertisers are listed. The following are some additional real estate agency sites.bahamasrealestate.com/ (A large Freeport real estate agency.bahamasbestrealestate.islandlivingrealestate. listed in order of their appearance in a Google search for “Bahamas real estate.) How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . including activities.) http://www.bahamasrealestateassociation.com/: The Bahamas Real Estate Association is the organization that licenses real estate agents in the Bahamas. http://www. Eleuthera.27 a total of 255 listings. insurance (outdated).) http://www.php (A real estate agency in Nassau.com/ (A real estate agency in Spanish Wells. suggesting that it is being used by only a small number of agents at this time.” http://www. Bahamasb2b also has an “Island Guide” for each Bahamian island.) http://www.bahamasvacationhomes. and of course real estate agent licensing. tax incentives.) http://www.com/ (A real estate agency in Nassau. hotels. Its website lists all the licensed agents on the islands and provides general information about real estate laws.com/index.thompsonsrealestate.com/ (A real estate agency on Long Island.com/ (The website for Lowe’s Realty in Nassau.kingsrealty.) http://www. Every real estate agency—of which there are dozens more--has its own site. and restaurants.
and many more. Follow the link to view Bahamas real estate websites that have been listed. alongside its vast array of other merchandise.com: Ebay has auctions for real estate. is that buyers on the site are looking for steals. Real estate agents also list on Viviun from time to time.28 Review of For-Sale-by-Owner Websites If you want to sell your Bahamas real estate by yourself.island-search. www. I have tracked down a number of forsale-by-owner sites that are free. www. Craigslist offers free real estate listings in hundreds of cities and regions around the world. weather. in my experience. Listings are free. though.com/browse.viviun. The categories include real estate. not market-value purchases. but it is popular with buyers and ranks seventh in a Google search for “Bahamas real estate. including the Caribbean. I have had good responses to ads on this site. They are marked by these words in bold face at the end of the description: Listings are free.com: Viviun is the leading site for real estate sales by owners in the Bahamas. accommodations. based on my own experience. or assist your real estate agent in doing so. and are willing to sell at a discount.” coming in just behind the big five real estate agencies.ebay. jobs. If you’re in a hurry. music. You must include a reciprocal link to Island-search on your site. shopping.Craigslist. the following sites are for you. www.php?cat=902: Island Search is a free directory of websites related to islands. www. Viviun currently has only 118 listings in the Bahamas. photos. Listings are free. It is organized geographically and then by category. The problem with ebay real estate auctions. it can How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . I list them in order of usefulness.com: As mentioned earlier in this chapter. or to list your own Bahamas real estate website.
You can submit your site for inclusion in the Directory for free. www.com: Fsbo. Listings are free.fsbo.29 work.forsalebyowner. The process for posting ads was malfunctioning at the time of this writing. http://www. Listings are free. and follow the instructions. The price for an on-line ad is $199 until the property sells. Click on this link. and follow the instructions. too. There is no charge to post a listing.com: GetawayBahamas is focused primarily on vacation rentals. and are offering free postings for a limited time.getawaybahamas. click Seller Signup. click on “Submit a site”. http://www. It is just a list of relevant websites.com/Top/Regional/Caribbean/Bahamas/Business_and_Econo my/Real_Estate/ This is the page of the Google Free Directory that covers real estate in the Bahamas. There is a section devoted to the Bahamas. www.com: This site offers free real estate listings throughout the Caribbean. They have just expanded into international listings.com: This site offers free listings for real estate in the tropics. There is a section devoted to the Bahamas. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . Listings are free.google.equatorpads. The listing fee for real estate is $100 for a 1 to 10 day auction listing. Listings are free. but the site lists property for sale. Listing fees for time shares are much less.com: ForSalebyOwner has just a few listings in the Caribbean. www.com is a leader in for-sale-by-owner advertising. primarily real estate agencies.caribbean-panama-real-estate. I have not tried this site. Simply follow this link. so I can’t offer an assessment of its usefulness. http://www. Listings are free.
02—over three times higher than the closest competitor.VacationRentals. but only 72 listings in the Bahamas. www. A rental listing on HomeAway comes with free inclusion on four additional sites. measured by the percent of all internet users who visit the site. The cost to advertise a rental listing for a year on all five sites is $299. the following sites are for you. www. This could be an advantage— fewer listings means more exposure per listing—or it could be a reflection of the fact that users of this site are not renting much in the Bahamas.com: HomeAway ranks second. VRBO has 500 vacation rental listings in the Bahamas. Rates are $174 per year with a 30-day risk-free trial. Free sites are marked by these words in bold face at the end of the description: Listings are free. which no doubt increases your exposure significantly—although two of the other sites appear to be standard rental sites.homeaway. Its internet traffic. The cost to advertise a rental listing on VRBO is $229 per year. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . is . It has 344 Bahamas listings and a . rather than vacation-rental sites. What have you got to lose? www. www.craigslist.org: I have not used craigslist to advertise vacation rentals in the Bahamas.com: VacationRentals has a comparable traffic ranking to HomeAway.006 share of internet users. with more listings and more visits than any other site. or research vacation rental rates on the various islands. but I have used it successfully for vacation rentals elsewhere.com: VRBO is the leader in vacation rentals in the Bahamas. covering all the major islands.vrbo.30 Review of Vacation Rental by Owner Websites If you want to rent your Bahamas real estate. Listings are free.
The southwestern islands of Mayaguana and the Inaguas are in a dry tropical zone. The islands of the Bahamas fall into three climactic zones. Chapter 5. In the northeast.com: GetawayBahamas specializes in Bahamas vacation rentals. dense forests of hardwood trees up to twelve feet high. The land is covered primarily with pine forest and savanna. The greatest differences stem from climate and population density (or lack thereof). with rainfall of less than 30 inches and few trees. and a temperature that never drops below 45 degrees. Its internet share is only . its users are looking specifically for rentals in the Bahamas. On the other hand. Grand Bahama.” Annual rainfall averages 48 inches and winter temperatures occasionally drop as low as 40 degrees. Abaco. rather than in hundreds of other locations. and northern Andros are in a “moist sub-tropical zone. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . deciding where to buy means choosing an island. www.alwaysonvacation. has rainfall from 30 to 45 inches per year. The land is covered primarily with coppice--low. GetawayBahamas is ranked first in a Google search for “Bahamas vacation rentals.” Best of all.getawaybahamas. The central zone.31 www. It has several hundred listings.com: This website comes up third in a Google search for “vacation rentals” but it has only a .00002—that is. as the different islands offer a variety of living experiences. Guide to the Islands: Where to Buy In the Bahamas.001 share of internet traffic—one sixth of the above two sites--and only a handful of Bahamas listings. listings are free. which includes most of the Bahamian islands. 1/1000th of VRBO’s.
I have organized this chapter from most to least populated. After Marsh Harbour. Both have major resorts: Abaco has the Abaco Club and Baker’s Bay Ocean and Golf How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . and direct flights to scores of major airports. The next largest city after Nassau and Freeport is Marsh Harbour. outside of Nassau and Freeport. The following islands are covered in this book in this order: • • • • • • • • • • New Providence/Paradise Island Grand Bahama Abaco Eleuthera (including Spanish Wells and Harbour Island) Andros The Exumas Long Island Bimini Cat Island San Salvador Some Generalizations: Nassau and Freeport/Lucaya (on the islands of New Providence and Grand Bahama respectively) are the only choices for buyers who want urban or even suburban surroundings.32 The population of the islands. including extensive shopping. ranges from over 200. standards. with a population of 5000—barely a village by U. the islands of the Bahamas are very rustic and rural. as we shall see.S. Abaco and Exuma are a bit more developed than the other Out Islands.000 on New Providence to less than 1000 on San Salvador. Abaco. but it also moves generally from north to south. along with the amenities such areas offer. In other words. many kinds of cultural opportunities. the next largest towns in the Bahamas have populations in the 1000 range.
the island is still very rustic. The intent of this section is to educate you about locations and prices. Eleuthera is unique in that it has four major resorts planned or underway. a bit higher than on the other Out Islands. here’s a link to an article by a couple who went through it themselves: http://ncane. but a bit more expensive than the other Out Islands. what real estate is available in each. as well as several large and established developments. on average. on average. I have no stake in any property referenced in this section. a bit less expensive than Abaco and Exuma. If you would like some more practical advice on the process of choosing an island to call home. flight options) and reduced quality or availability of infrastructure and amenities. and neighborhoods. and overall. Cat Island. Exuma has February Point and the vast Emerald Bay development. All specific properties mentioned were chosen by me solely because they provide good examples of pricing. Andros. but none is near completion yet. but one must also accept reduced accessibility (for example. and what you can expect to pay.com/i14. not to sell you any particular property. For each island. you can browse through this chapter and find the island and communities that fit your tastes and budget. Both islands are. Because they are more developed. NOTE: With the exception of Buttonwood Reserve.33 Club. Long Island. communities. Prices are accordingly lower. prices on Abaco and Exuma are. my development on Eleuthera. which includes the Four Seasons resort and casino. then go on to review the different resorts. and San Salvador are the least developed of the islands covered in this book. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . Bimini has one major resort—Bimini Bay—but the rest of the island is still very rustic. Equipped with this general understanding. we’ll provide a general description.
accounting for three-fourths of the Bahamas’ population. connected to New Providence by a bridge. half-acre canal-front lots sell for $1. is home to resorts and casinos. Marina.5 million. tennis. a strip of highrise hotels and casinos along Cable Beach. and more. It is the business and financial center of the islands as well as the political and administrative center. several very elegant beachfront residential enclaves. golf. gambling. As such.com Follow this link http://ncane. it is a varied city with a busy downtown. Christie Ltd. This 1000-acre development. John Christie. fishing charters. Lyford Cay is the most established luxury community in the Bahamas.G. night life. and two beautiful beaches.com/2an for a map of New Providence. New Providence Island. Membership in the country club is by nomination only. We begin our tour of New Providence residential areas with Lyford Cay at the western end of New Providence. as well as residential developments and condominiums. most notably the gargantuan Atlantis. Fifteen miles from downtown Nassau. culture. which dates from the 1930’s. and middle and low-income neighborhoods as well. the capital of the Bahamas and by far its largest city. The city was first settled in the mid-seventeenth century and is rich with history. and you can expect to be thoroughly vetted. and 2-acre beachfront lots are $10 How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . Half-acre golf-course lots sell in the $1 million range. with the adjacent Paradise Island. diving.34 New Providence/Paradise Island This section was written in collaboration with our New Providence expert. Paradise Island. john@hgchristie. The island offers beaches. and a major tourist destination.5 to 2. too. H. (242) 322-1041. sight-seeing. restaurants.000. Nassau has a population of 215. You’ll never run out things to do in New Providence. has a country club. golf course. some beautiful colonial architecture. is home to Nassau. The style and ambience are traditional. Vice President.
with restaurants and shops. Membership in the community’s Ocean Club.000 to $700. The community is particularly popular with the expatriate community--U. Canadian.9 million for a 3000 square foot house. Several small islands in the canal are currently being developed where canal-front homes will start at $1.000 to $2 million..com. tennis courts. For those on a budget. costs How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . three beaches. It has the advantage of proximity to downtown Nassau. five tennis courts. A typical single-family home of 2800 square feet sells in the $1.000 to $2 million. and a partridge in a pear tree. Sandyport has its own small commercial section. non-waterfront. located just east of Lyford Cay. For the budget-minded home shopper. and concierge service. there are numerous re-sale condominiums and townhomes available in the $450. In addition to proximity to Cable Beach nightlife and casinos. four restaurants. Sandyport www. Sandyport has seven swimming pools. Canal-front lots sell for $500. Continuing to the east. at the edge of the row of high-rise hotels that dominate this popular resort area.sandyport. which includes full access to Atlantis. non-golf-course lots selling for a mere $600. appeals to a younger crowd.000 range. It takes its name from the eighteenth-century Old Fort building which serves as its clubhouse. golf-side. Old Fort Bay www.000.oldfortbay. Ocean Club Estates is located over the bridge from downtown Nassau on Paradise Island. Situated on the eastern end of the island. but without the crowds or noise. the Olde Towne Mall. Ocean Club Estates offers beachfront. marina. Old Fort Bay’s amenities include a beautiful beach.35 million and up. there are non-beachfront.com is a canal-front community of 500 homes on 163 acres located on Cable Beach. Half-acre lots on the deepwater canal range in price from $700. One-acre beachfront lots sell for $4 million. a spot best known as the home of the vast Atlantis resort and casino.4 million range. and European. and harbor-view properties.S.
That may sound harsh.5 to $3 million range. $700. and access from the mainland is by ferry.com/en/Properties/RoseIsland is a 230-acre resort situated on Rose Island.000 for a two-bedroom unit.atlantis. 4500square-foot golf course home at Ocean Club Estates sells for upwards of $5 million. The Ritz Carlton. and casino. Prices in oceanfront buildings are about twice that much. If you’d like to own a piece of the famed Atlantis www. Beachfront homes are even more expensive. A condominium hotel. Oceanfront condominiums on Eastern Road. but at least you don’t have to worry about being rejected like at Lyford Cay. with prices mostly in the $1 million to $2 million range.000 will buy a 500-square-foot condo hotel unit in an oceanfront high-rise. Rose Island www. A typical four-bedroom.000. four nautical miles from Nassau. all low-rise.000 and is mandatory. are available from $500. a yacht marina. some dating back decades.ritzcarlton. There will also be conventional condominiums on the beach in the $1.5 million for half an acre. The resort features two miles of beautiful beach. Follow this link http://ncane. still in the planning stages. If you don’t want to shell out the $60. water slides. some modern.com/w67 for a map of Paradise Island.000 to join the Ocean Club. spa. and all the other amenities one would expect from a hotel with “Ritz” in the name. are available. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon .com with its shark pools. Twobedroom units will be priced at $4 million. A varied assortment of single family houses. will offer studio units starting at $700. is home to many fine oceanfront residences. Eastern Road.000. No cars are allowed on Rose Island. which runs from the city of Nassau east for several miles along the coast of New Providence. Building lots at the resort sell for $1. there are many other residential options on Paradise Island. only golf carts.36 $60. Condominiums on the island start at $500.
a 565-acre development which has just broken ground. Finally. Treasure Cove is a gated community of 220 homes close to Port New Providence. and of course a beautiful beach.000 to $1. on the south coast. just across from the St. Andrews. an 18-hole golf course designed with input from Tiger Woods (a major backer of the project). features a vast marina that can accommodate 250 yachts. this waterfront and canal-front community. with two. One of Nassau’s few family developments. but re-sales are available.000 to $1 million. It is also close to one of the best schools on the island. Condominiums will start in the $2 million range. complete with full-service marina.37 Port New Providence is the only luxury community on the east side of New Providence. located beside the marina. Port New Providence also has a townhouse development called Sea Point. due south of Lyford Cay. With its large park and playground. we complete our circuit of New Providence back at the western end of the island. The community is fully built. St. is close to the Exuma Cays. Canal-front lots in this gated community are priced in the $500. which have excellent fishing. Popular with boaters. you can be certain.5 million. Homes sell for $1 million and up.5 million for ¾ of an acre. Clay tennis courts--with a pro on hand for lessons--are another attraction. But what could be more valuable than family? How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . as well as a beautiful beach. it appeals especially to younger families with children. Andrews school.000 range.000 to $700. three. The least expensive lots at Albany will sell for $1. Albany Beach and Golf Resort. Albany is unique in its focus on families with children: youngsters will have their own pools and even their own clubhouse—which. A penthouse in this family-friendly development will set you back $40 million. Prices range from $450. and four bedroom units priced from $500. won’t look like the one you built in the backyard in second grade.
and for its beautiful beaches and luxury hotels and resorts. full-service marina.com/bigmap2. This open-air gathering spot is always bustling and there’s usually music in the air. Lucaya. one of the largest in the hemisphere. and a large residential neighborhood. the northernmost of the major Bahamian islands. (242) 352-3501. Today. named after the famous jazz artist who once had a home in the area.com/bigmap. The tourism center is Port Lucaya. Freeport/Lucaya is known both for its port. and the island was almost uninhabited.com/tp2 for a map of Grand Bahama Island. The city was the brainchild of an American businessman. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . Among its attractions is Count Basie Square.38 Grand Bahama This section was written in collaboration with our Grand Bahamas expert.html for a detailed map of Freeport. Groves conceived a visionary plan to convert the island to a giant free port. the greatest part of it in the city of Freeport/Lucaya. Follow this link http://www. which features a large. who was running a lumber operation on the island in the 1950’s.thompsonsrealestate. Half a century ago.000 acres and to guarantee the tax-free status of the port for 100 years. lanelle@lpbahamas. Follow this link http://www. Managing Director. Lanelle Phillips. Freeport was home to 40 industrial and shipping companies.html for a detailed map of Lucaya. Wallace Groves.thompsonsrealestate. has a population of 50.000. plus hotels.com Follow this link http://ncane. shopping. By 1966. Freeport didn’t exist. Grand Bahama. The nearby Port Lucaya Marketplace has 80 shops and 30 restaurants. Lanelle Phillips Real Estate. casinos. In 1955 he persuaded the government to lease him 100. hotels. and dining.
gave rise to the legend of the fountain of perpetual youth. three-bath house with a pool on one-third of an acre would sell for $1. half a century later. courtesy of Wallace Groves. A little bit of freedom. and residents can swim off their docks. are priced from $200. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . Interior lots are less than half that price. as the real estate prices in this section will clearly show.2 million. as well as a natural spring which. with deserted beaches and tropical pine forests. which typically have one-third of an acre of land and 125’ of frontage on the canal.000 range.000 to $1. Freeport is hardly free. according to some historians. the 250 square miles around Freeport/Lucaya are still property-tax exempt. Fortune Bay is a large subdivision on the southern coast of Grand Bahama. Boats are docked in front of the houses. lined with homes. Canal-front lots generally sell in the $125.000. New homes along the canals typically sell in the $750. but in general. We will review specific neighborhoods in a moment.000 to $250. Some older homes in Fortune Bay are available in the $400.000 price range. Large homes on oversized and exceptional point lots (located on points of land with unobstructed views) could sell for more than twice that amount. Canal-front lots in Fortune Bay. the island of Grand Bahama has less populated regions as well. now. Let’s take a look. There are very few interior lots. just east of Port Lucaya. Most of Fortune Bay’s lots are on the water. The Lucayan National Park includes a nature preserve and vast underwater cave system. but there are affordable locations on the island. A typical three-bedroom. at some canal-front neighborhoods. what is most notable about Freeport/Lucaya from a real estate perspective is the vast network of interconnected canals in the area.5 million range. The pricey homes in this community are owned by local professionals as well as foreigners. Best of all. including both canal-front and beachfront property.000 to $500. but these houses are 20 to 30 years old and in need of considerable upgrading.39 Unlike New Providence.
Over 1000 vacation-club (time share) rooms are also planned. Pearl Bay has a number of oversized lots which were originally zoned for multi-family high-rise.40 East of Fortune Bay. Coming from the south.000 range.000 to $75. This is a commercial subdivision with a major Marriott resort slated for development. Canal-front prices are in the $175. and villas will be available as time shares. lies the Grand Lucayan Waterway. Continuing north along the waterway. a small subdivision where lots are rarely available. Lots in Pine Bay are smaller and more affordable than those in Canyon Bay or Colony How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . Colony Bay is located on the west side of the waterway.000 to $375. Across from Colony Bay is Surrey Bay. Of greater interest is the subdivision behind it called Pine Bay.000.000. and prices from $200.000 to $250. Canyon Bay is one of the more popular areas for foreigners buying land.000 and interior lots for $75. because it has natural land elevations. the lots were originally intended for multi-family use. Prices are not yet available. the first of these subdivisions is Discovery Bay. just north of Pearl Bay. Continuing north. The hotel will include 300 rooms. There are just a few canal-front lots available. and a marina. a ten-minute drive from Port Lucaya. As with Pearl Bay.000. There are also some interior lots available at prices from $65. and most are on the water. There will be beach and canal-home sites. On the other side of the waterway from Pearl Bay are two Canyon Bay subdivisions. and the sizes range from ¾ acre to one acre. One-acre lots on the canal are selling for $225.000 to $390. This vast waterway has ten subdivisions. a shopping promenade. depending on frontage.2 acres.000 to $100. which runs north to south and cuts the island of Grand Bahama in half. the next subdivision on the west is Pearl Bay. because there are a fair number of lots available. on your left as you enter the inlet. Sizes range from ¾ acre to 1. This is one of the most expensive subdivisions on the waterway. These one-acre parcels are being purchased by vacationhome buyers looking for estate-sized lots on which to build.
000. and a marina with 25 slips. Voyager Bay.com is a beach and canal-front development located on the beach side of Bell Channel. Amenities include fitness and medical centers. Sentinel Bay.000 for a two-bedroom condominium to $12 million for an estate home with a boathouse underneath. and dockominiums. and the water north of the bridge is shallow. and $9000 per foot thereafter. Prices range from $979. and the subdivision. Dockominiums can be purchased separately by residents and non-residents. Royal Palm Bay.41 Bay. and Explorers Bay. beach. Prices for the large canal-front lots range from $185. Windsor Bay. a clubhouse. others have the smaller single-family lots. is a full-service marina community offering townhouses. the waterway passes under the Casuarinas Bridge. condos. and a private beach club for members’ use. The Grand Bahama Yacht Club www. and some have both. located on Bell Channel Bay.bellchannelclub. a pool. The Bell Channel Club & Marina www. averaging $125. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . There are far too many to list them all—or even a tenth of them--so we can do no more than give a sampling. Interior lots range from $28. Caravel Bay.000 to $175. The subdivisions north of the bridge are Bristol Bay. clubhouse. Beyond Surrey Bay. Port Lucaya.000.000 to $325.000 will purchase a two-bedroom two-bath unit overlooking the water. the zoning. The maximum clearance for a boat is 27 feet. so only smaller boats can operate beyond it. Some of these subdivisions have the re-purposed multi-family lots in the three-quarter to one acre range. private residences. $545. Smaller canal-front lots sell for $110. Emerald Bay.grandbahamayachtclub.000 to $60. The price is $7000 per linear foot up to 80 feet. Let’s take a look now at some of the residential developments in and around Port Lucaya.com.000 for one-third of an acre with 125’ of frontage on the canal.000 range depending on the size. restaurants. This four-story gated condominium development features tennis courts. just east of the inlet.
two-and-a-half bath unit. Club Nautica is a five minute walk from the beach and Port Lucaya.com is a new.000 and $795. The town is How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . and 24-hour security. a twobedroom. but the pool makes up for it. The building. Resale prices start at $575. The island’s westernmost settlement is also its oldest and was famous as a smuggling center during Prohibition. The buildings are three-stories high with large balconies and ocean views. and is conveniently located near the heart of Port Lucaya. Located across from the Reef Golf Course. As of June 2008.000. built in 1996. 24-hour security. Docks are selling in the $100. concierge service. the capital is West End. Although Freeport is far and away Grand Bahama’s largest city. Club Nautica www. Port of Call is a gated oceanfront condominium development near Xanadu Beach.000 for a two-bedroom. doorman. The development was completed in 1997 and includes a pool and barbecue area and on-site management. Coral Beach is an older beachfront condominium a fifteen-minute walk from Port Lucaya. For the budget-minded condo shopper. 29-unit townhouse development with private boat dockage. features a pool. The seven-story building has a pool. two-and-a-half bath unit is being offered for $795. convenient to downtown Freeport. Studio units are selling for $90. Prices for the two and three bedroom units start at $595.clubnauticabahamas. Three-bedroom units with ocean views are selling for $695. The beach is not top-quality. Located near the eastern end of Fortune Bay. shops.5 miles east of Port Lucaya. Amenities include an infinity pool and appointed community area. 2. Port Terra Nova www.000 respectively. 45 minutes distant. and a bar.portterranova. A two-bedroom unit is currently listed for $249.42 Oceanview is a high-rise condominium on a white sand beach in Port Lucaya.000.000.com on Bell Channel Bay is a small gated development with its own deep-water marina.000 range.000.
4 to 1. it pretty much comes down to Ginn Sur Mer. The community will feature canal-front and oceanfront homes as well as condominiums.ginnsurmer. which are connected by a bridge and together extend for over 100 miles. I was unable to get much pricing information for Old Bahama Bay. Neil Aberle..43 experiencing its own renaissance these days. one-bedroom condo-hotel unit listed for $575. Golf course lots are being offered for $650. The following two major developments are underway in West End. and the many How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon .com. The Old Bahama Bay resort www.com Follow this link for a map of Abaco: http://xrl.com. a 2000acre resort community still in the planning stages which should give Atlantis a run for its money. Abaco.000 and up. There will also be a central area for dining and shopping that will include spas and activity areas for children. That may sound expensive. Marsh Harbour. Adjacent to Old Bahama Bay is Ginn Sur Mer www. has 73 beachfront suites and a 72-slip port-of-entry marina.us/bkqk3 The Abacos consist of the islands of Great Abaco and Little Abaco. canal-front lots are $900. ground-level. a Monte-Carlo-style casino. There is also a waterfront residential community under development.8 million. Estate Agent. recently taken over by Ginn Resorts. HG Christie Ltd.000. The Abacos This section was written in collaboration with our Abaco expert.000 and up. and a palace. but if you want a residential community that includes a palace.oldbahamabay. golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. with its marina being renovated and new canals being constructed. Amenities include a mega-yacht marina. (242) 367-5454 neil@hgchristie. and oceanfront lots are $1. but I did find a beachfront.
and Out-Island Internet. on Elbow Cay. and there is reliable power to all of the main settlements including the outer cays--although many homes do install backup generators to cope with the occasional power outages. The red-and-white striped lighthouse at Hope Town. To contrast its quaint villages. Blackberrys. and the islands are known for their Cape-Cod-style houses with clapboard siding and picket fences. Again. Marlin and sailfish are popular game in Abaco’s waters. Yachtsmen consider its islands and cays to be among the world’s most beautiful cruising grounds. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . Abaco has several major resorts complete with championship golf courses and acres of condominiums. and other mobile devices. The roads are good throughout Abaco. Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco. The Abacos were settled by Loyalists who fled New England after the Revolutionary War. The Abacos are served by two international airports at Marsh Harbour and Treasure Cay. is a boat-charter center as well as a base for diving and deep-sea fishing. Bateleco (DSL). Scotland Cay and Guana Cay. Nowadays many people rely on the GSM network for cell phones. Abaco is known as the sailing capital of the Bahamas. these are all fairly reliable but do occasionally suffer outages. Municipal water is available in most of the settlements on the mainland (Great Abaco) but not on any of the outer cays. They brought their building styles with them. the third-largest town in the Bahamas with a population of 5000. with several national and international flights arriving and departing daily. Man-O-War. and also from Treasure Cay to Green Turtle Cay. and bonefish are hunted in the flats. is another distinctive Abaco landmark. There is also reliable daily ferry service from Marsh Harbour to Hope Town. Broadband internet services are also available through Cable Bahamas.44 small cays surrounding them. with several crossings per day. The system provides reasonably good coverage in all but the most remote areas. Batelco supplies landline telephone service to most of the main settlements. a wireless internet service provider.
as it is more often called) is one of the largest and most beautiful outer cays. a 500-acre development that will include a full-service marina. Condominiums are a popular option in Treasure Cay. Great Guana Cay (or just Guana Cay. Lots with 100’ of How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon .com at the northwestern end of the island. roughly from north to south. with prices near the marina starting in the $300. Waterfront lots on the harbour will set you back $500. Treasure Cay www.000.000 to $700.000s and on the beach approaching $1. 40-acre nature preserve and stunning double water views from its 60-foot elevations. just south of the settlement of Guana Cay. is another successful development which also boasts a marina. marina village. Green Turtle Cay was one of the earliest settlements in the Abacos and is noted for its charming New-England-style homes and cottages and two well-protected harbors at White Sound and Black Sound.bakersbayclub. It is currently seeing rapid development with the establishment of the Baker’s Bay Ocean and Golf Club www. Guana Cay’s Atlantic-side beach is one of the longest and most beautiful in the Abacos with excellent snorkeling and diving right off the beach. Beachfront lots start at $1. Orchid Bay www. has created one of the longest running and most successful resort developments in the Bahamas.4 million.45 Let’s take a look at the main settlements of interest to foreign buyers.orchidbay. whose Sunday Pig Roast regularly attracts visitors from all over the Abacos.net.5 mile crescent-shaped beach and brilliant turquoise blue waters. This beach. and an 18-hole golf course. bar and restaurant.treasurecay. water sports and tennis facilities.000. combined with a full-service marina and 18-hole golf course. Treasure Cay is particularly popular with the sport-fishing crowd and is a base for several major tournaments during the summer months.000. There are now about half a dozen good restaurants on the cay including the famous “Nippers” beach bar.com is a planned resort community begun in the 1960s and is world-famous for its beautiful 3.
The Abaco Beach Resort has the largest marina in Marsh Harbour and is home to several fishing tournaments during the summer months.3 million to $1.000 and up. somewhat more commercial island. and Sea of Abaco waterfront lots with private dockage potential are available from $400. bars. There are several U. There is only one beach in Marsh Harbour. Harbor-front properties are $500.000. and it’s common for most residents on the outer cays to do the bulk of their shopping “in the city”. hardware stores.000 to $700. the modest-sized Crossing Beach.thecrossingabaco. Man-O-War Cay used to be the boat-building capital of the Abacos and is still a busy.5 million. as well as a gorgeous ocean-side beach. with good selection. by contrast.com is under construction here with beautiful views out over the Sea of Abaco. The Great Abaco Club. Prices are significantly higher in the two resort developments of Baker’s Bay and Orchid Bay. is the commercial center of the Abacos and the transportation hub of the area. however. A lot with 125 feet of frontage on the beach sells for $700. liquor stores.000.000. where beachfront lots sell for $1. is a very quiet semi-private island with only residential homes– no hotels. There are a number of very good restaurants and several marinas in the protected harbor. It has a sheltered and protected harbor with beautiful views. also noted for being “dry” – no alcohol can be purchased on the cay. Neighbouring Scotland Cay.000 and up. the Bahamas’ third largest city.000 range. have an airstrip and a protected marina. Sea of Abaco waterfront lots sell for $600.46 frontage on the beach are selling in the $500.5 million and up. which is opposite the Man-O-War/Hope Town Ferry Dock. Marsh Harbour.S. The Crossing www. It does. A new condominium development. next to the Abaco Beach Resort. Interior lots with water views can be had for $150. Prices start at $500.000.-style supermarkets. etc. Some of the finer How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . has 3-bedroom homes on the canal with dockage for $1. or restaurants.
000 and up. ocean. because of its more protected nature.theabacoclub. The beach at Winding Bay is stunning.000. members-only golf and beach club created by Peter DeSavary. Elbow Cay is home to Hope Town.000 to $1. and bay views from the property are among the most How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . lush native vegetation. There is good deep water dockage on much of the eastern side of the cay. and a great bar and restaurant at Cracker P’s. Oceanfront lots sell for $350.000. Little Harbour is home to sculptor Pete Johnson’s foundry. and because of this is often used as a launching point for mariners heading south into the open Atlantic Ocean. and the general feeling of a well-run and friendly community.000 for a nice piece of beachfront property.000 and up. and well over $2 million for one of the many fine homes throughout the cay. The harbor is truly picturesque. as well as the popular “Pete’s Pub”. and the golf course. surrounded by beach and overlooked by high cliffs on its western side. a five-star. Lubbers Quarters is not strictly speaking one of the “outer cays”. great beaches and marinas. Little Harbour is at the southernmost end of the Sea of Abaco.com. several excellent restaurants and nightspots to choose from. one of the oldest settlements in the Abacos and famous for the candy-striped lighthouse at the entrance to its well-protected harbor. You can expect to pay $600. A nice piece of waterfront property on Lubbers can be acquired for $350. lying as it does wholly within the Sea of Abaco. Around the corner from Little Harbour is the Ritz Carlton Abaco Club at Winding Bay www.47 homes in exclusive Pelican Shores and Eastern Shores can reach and even surpass the $2 million mark. Hope Town is immensely popular with its charming New-England-style picket-fence homes and cottages fringing the harbor. The cay has excellent elevations throughout and. and harbor-front for $500. with excellent views of the ocean through Tilloo Cut. and so generally has calmer waters surrounding it.
and $3. not a single soul could be spotted on Ten Bay Beach. Farther south are the residential areas of Casuarina Sound and Bahama Palm Shores. depending on size and location. including Harbour Island and Spanish Wells: http://xrl. Prices here start at $2 million for golf course lots. Casuarina Sound has a protected waterway behind it where you can keep a boat for access to Cherokee Sound and the ocean. you can have one all to yourself. Beachfront lots on Long Beach are $275.000 and up.Morris@SothebysRealty. Best of all. both quiet and peaceful areas with good beaches.com Follow this link for a map of Eleuthera. Long Beach is currently showing signs of renewed life.48 dramatic and beautiful in the Bahamas. Around midafternoon on New Year's Eve. six miles How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . Jonathan Morris of Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty. Governors Harbour Eleuthera. oceanview lots with beach access are $100.com/4hqm for a project tearsheet). swimmers and shell collectors. due in part to the new development taking place at Schooner Bay (follow this link http://ncane. when nearly all the island's rooms were booked.000 and up. Beachfront properties in both areas can be purchased for $250.000 and up. Further south is the residential subdivision of Long Beach which makes up for its relative distance from Marsh Harbour with its world-class beach. $3 million for a turn-key “cottage”.us/bkqk7 “Surfer's Beach is for wave riders.5 million and up for beachfront properties. Eleuthera This section was written in collaboration with our Eleuthera expert. but there are also beaches for snorkelers. (242) 332-2820 Jonathan.
Windermere Club and French Leave. due in large part to government policies. Navy base for many years. There are sections of beach and sections of rocky shore and cliff frontage along this side. there is little need for a map. The two sides of Eleuthera look out on very different seas. In the Sixties. The Queen’s Highway. highspeed internet. Eleuthera is an island of rolling green hills and sleepy villages. Eleuthera is a paradise for beach lovers who enjoy privacy and unspoiled natural beauty. 2006. February 19. and the island was largely forgotten. no crowds. and on an island less than a mile wide for long stretches. you’re never far from the beach. and one in the north (ELH). but that isn’t surprising when you consider that most of it has only one paved road. Needless to say.S. in part because it hosted a U. one in Central Eleuthera at Governors Harbour (GHB). It’s obvious that the reporter who penned these lines was seeing Eleuthera for the first time. Eleuthera is blessed with excellent infrastructure. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . Eleuthera was a jet-set destination with resorts such as the exclusive Cotton Bay Club. There are no shopping centers on Eleuthera. despite a brilliant sunshine and near perfect temperatures. The guidebooks are fond of noting that Eleuthera has not a single traffic light. The island has three airports. Municipal water is available throughout the island. 110 miles long with a population of just 8000. as it’s called.” New York Times. Regular visitors are surprised to find anyone on their favorite beach. is a two-lane country road on which you can drive for miles without seeing another car. All that is changing now. one in the south of the island at Rock Sound (RSD). as is GSM cell phone service. and reliable electricity. and no traffic. With sixty miles of beaches and a few dozen hotel rooms.49 south of Governor's Harbour. Several new developments have broken ground. In subsequent decades the resorts closed. as we shall see below. and considerable new home construction is underway. The Caribbean side is shallow for a great distance and is usually calm and free of surf.
medical clinic. so there’s plenty How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . The Atlantic side beaches are world class in many locations with pink sand and moderate surf. There is a marina at Davis Harbour. which has the only shopping center on the island. We’ll take a look at these high-end developments first. an airport (RSD). It also has a 4500-acre private beach preserve. These facilities serve the local community as well as a growing resort presence. the cliff top frontage with its sunset views and freedom from salt spray is more valuable than cliff top land on the Atlantic side. and the island’s only golf course. a gas station. pharmacy. In areas where the offshore reef is not present to break the waves. On the other hand. a bank with an ATM. If they are out of your price range. South Eleuthera The largest town in South Eleuthera is Rock Sound. an 18-hole Robert Trent Jones masterpiece in playable but not pristine condition. not far from town. See Surfer’s Beach. don’t be discouraged: there is a lot more to Eleuthera than expensive resorts. located southwest of Rock Sound. We will explore Eleuthera by dividing it into five components: • • • • • South Eleuthera Central Eleuthera North Eleuthera Harbour Island Spanish Wells. has a magnificent deep-water marina and was designed to appeal to the serious boating crowd. South Eleuthera is home to two of the new resorts mentioned above. and several restaurants. a large grocery store. hardware store. Powell Point at Cape Eleuthera.50 The beaches are typically not as wide (nor as expensive) as those on the Atlantic side. the surf can be substantial. below.
though.5-bath townhouses (already built) are $800. 1/6-acre beach villa lots are $600. made the news in 1982 when paparazzi scandalously photographed a vacationing—and pregnant--Lady Di in her bikini. but most of us don’t have a couple million on hand for a vacation home. but unlike the other two. or estate homes.windermereisland. you can buy a beachfront lot on Windermere for a cool $1. Eleuthera still has affordable options.51 of room for picnics. and the furnished 2-bedroom. The house lots on this exclusive island were to be sold by invitation only. The estate lots sell for $800. beach villas. Starting in 2006. At that price. it has been around a long time.5 million. This 1500-acre development is situated around a spectacular pink-sand beach and will include a boutique hotel to be operated by Starwood.000 and up.000.000 each.000. Fortunately. The clubhouse and villas are under construction as of June 2008. Which brings us to our next topic: Yes. the uninhabited northern portion of the island was opened for development. because they are currently selling lots on the internet. A private club with a pool. and bar/dining room is maintained for members and guests. Or you can buy a mile away for half the price. There is a third major resort in this part of Eleuthera.com. why not take two? The second major resort in South Eleuthera is Cotton Bay. Here’s a look at some of the areas in South Eleuthera where one can buy a beachfront or oceanfront lot or house. Buyers can choose from townhouses facing the marina.000.000-850. and villas from $1 million. An oceanfront (but not beachfront) lot is currently listed for $449. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . Windermere Island www. 2. or about $200 per square foot. estate lots from $700. I guess their invitation list was a little too exclusive. Windermere is a gated private island five miles long with a pink-sand beach running along much of the Atlantic side. tennis courts. Now that you’ve received an exclusive invitation.000 and up.000. Garages are available for an extra $65. long a favorite of the British royal family. these three resorts are impressive. and inland lots can be had for as little as $290.
Nevertheless. some Eleuthera fans swear by Caribbean beaches. A dozen or so gracious old homes from this period still stand.52 Savannah Sound is the body of water between Eleuthera and Windermere Island.000.000. Double Bay http://ncane. However. four-acre waterfront lots with 100’ of frontage on the Sound are selling for $200.5 mile length. so prices are lower than for Atlantic beaches. three-mile-long beach on the Atlantic side of Eleuthera.000 to $1.000. Winding Bay Beach http://ncane.com/5b3 is a beautiful horse-shoe-shaped beach protected by a reef.) Like so much of Eleuthera. Homes in this area sell in the $3 million range. Utilities are not available for these lots.com/5l1. It sits on a two-mile-long Atlantic beach with a fine reef system just offshore. Further south and a step up in price. the area on the main island across from Windermere is largely untouched. There are in addition several dozen newer homes that have been built along the beach. A typical 1. There are a dozen or so homes along its 1.com/egd is a beautiful. As of May 2008. two-acre lots are available with 150-200 feet of beach frontage and asking prices of $900. On the opposite side of the island from Double Bay is Ten Bay Beach http://ncane. One-acre beachfront lots with 100’ of frontage are selling for $550. No homes are for sale as May 2008. so bring your own cell phone and generator. Turning to the area north of Windermere Island.5 million. Double Bay is one of the old beachfront estate developments dating from the 1950’s. Atlantic Cove is located south of Savannah Sound. between that village and the village of Tarpum Bay. (It is also the name of a small fishing village that overlooks that Sound. The water is How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . and ocean-view lots with deeded access are selling for $350. it is narrow at high tide and not a spectacular beach. Like most Caribbean-side beaches.5 acre lot on Double Bay with 150 feet of frontage sells for over $1 million.
com opened for business in 2004 and currently has 32 one and two bedroom condominiums on the Banks Road across the street from French Leave Beach. and government offices. As part of a condo hotel. a beautiful historic library.53 calm and shallow for a long way out. and is one of the top resort hotels on the island. the island’s capital and largest town with a population of 1500. Starting from the south.000. the up and coming area that. great for young children and lazy adults alike. Let’s begin by reviewing the new resorts in this section of Eleuthera. with its colonial architecture and critical mass of services. and salt spray is never a problem. Pineapple Fields has a pool and a very popular restaurant. and numerous restaurants. with continued development. is generally viewed as the best location on mainland Eleuthera. The area also has several new resorts which we will review below. Tippy’s. shops. Governors Harbour has a large general store. Pineapple Fields runs an expert weekly and nightly rental operation. the Pineapple Fields condominium hotel www. perched above the beach.pineapplefields. This Atlantic-side beach. As a result. and owners must make their units available for rent half the time. Half-acre beach-front lots on Ten Bay have recently sold for $350. a post office. a medical clinic. the Pineapple Fields units come furnished. the island’s only movie theater. gas stations. an internet café. is one of the finest beaches in the Bahamas.000. Governor’s Harbour and environs. could become the next Harbour Island. the Central Eleuthera region has the highest property values on the Eleuthera mainland—not counting the island’s high-end resorts and enclaves--with premiums in the 25% range. Interior lots of 1/3 acre are currently available for $45. three miles long with deep pink sand. Pineapple Fields is selling 625 square foot one-bedroom units with 300 square How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . two banks. a large harbor with a boat ramp. Central Eleuthera Central Eleuthera is centered on Governor’s Harbour.
$2.000. have been built as of May 2008. Prices have not yet been revealed. which have a modern architectural style. French Leave encompasses 260 acres with over half a mile of beach frontage. Buttonwood consists of 50 acres that extend from the Caribbean on the west to a nature preserve beside a three-mile-long pink-sand beach on the east. Construction is of steel. They are connected to the Atlantic beach by a private road. Prices How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . the resorts sits right upon the spectacular French Leave Beach. The land rises to a peak at the center of the island. but you should prepare for plenty of zeros before the decimal. Finally. Units come with a large private garage beneath the building. the much-anticipated French Leave Resort and Marina www. and a four-bedroom house. Three miles north of Governor’s Harbour is the new Sky Beach Club www. The condominiums will be located on a high ridge overlooking the Caribbean.54 feet of decks for $275.buttonwoodreserve. Six of the homes.com. Sky Beach sits on 22 acres of land with 600 feet of frontage on a prime Atlantic beach. where site work is underway.com has not yet broken ground. A one-bedroom house at Sky Beach Club is listed for $700.skybeachclub.000 and up—about the price of an entrance hall in Cotton Bay.frenchleaveresort. Units must be made available for rental at least six months of the year. eight miles farther north is the Buttonwood Reserve condominium development www. so the homes on either side will have excellent views of their respective seas. A mile farther to the north. Thirty-two units will be built along the top of the ridge. all with unobstructed Caribbean views. and includes a marina on the Caribbean side of the island. The master plan calls for 35 stand-alone homes and a clubhouse to be built on the acreage.com. Sky Beach is also offering fractional ownership. Based on the site of the old Club Med.7 million.
000 for a 2000 square foot house on half an acre on up to $3. a little rough. sailing.5 million for an estate home on three acres with 450 feet of beachfront. Let’s take a look now at the main areas for vacation-home buying in Central Eleuthera. but scenic.000 range. The shore here is mostly rocky shore. South Palmetto Point and the adjacent community of Palmetto Shores are on the opposite side of Eleuthera. At present. rather than beach. The nearby village of South Palmetto Point. real estate is slightly less expensive than across the island at North Palmetto Point. “The Point” is accessed by a charming sandy beach road. but being on the lee side is calm for snorkeling. facing the Caribbean. would have How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . and is conveniently close to a hotel restaurant/bar distinctively named “Unique. These homes. and kayaking. has restaurants and food shops.55 for the 1140 square-foot two-bedroom units (plus 390 feet of decks) start at $385. Oceanfront lots sell in the $400. Non-oceanfront lots in this area can be purchased for as little as $50.000. North Palmetto Point is a popular location on the Atlantic side of Eleuthera with many vacation homes and a great beach for swimming and snorkeling. A marina is also under development at South Palmetto Point which.000. Banks Road is actually a section of the old Queen’s Highway where it ran along the Atlantic side of the island. The stretch of Banks Road between Governor’s Harbour and Palmetto Point is known as The Golden Mile because of its desirable location and prime stretch of pink-sand beach.” Prices for beachfront homes in North Palmetto Point range from $800. walking distance from the shore area. could make the area a haven for boaters. rarely on the market. There are many old stately homes on this stretch which sit on 5 or 10 acres and have several hundred feet of beachfront. when completed.
5 million. Homes range in price from $600. North of Wykee. Cigatoo Estates consists of beachfront lots. Freedom Estates is a new development of one-story homes on quarter-acre lots with deeded access to a pink-sand Atlantic beach. Cottages sell in the $250. a boat ramp on the Caribbean. Moving to the north side of Governors Harbour. Wykee and its original collection of houses date from the mid-nineteenth century.000.000 range.000 for a 3-bedroom. Ocean view lots are available in the $350. 2. along a somewhat rocky beach. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon .5 bath house with a one-car garage and a view of the ocean. maintaining the architectural uniformity.000. and that rarest of luxuries on Eleuthera. Wykee Estates is a small development that runs from sea to sea. a swimming pool. These one-acre lots sell in the $450. Farther north. bisected by the Queens Highway.000 range. Sir Roland Symonette. Half-acre lots with views of the Atlantic or the Caribbean (and sometimes both) sell for $250.000 to $1. The former vacation compound of the first Premier of the Bahamas. many with high elevations. Newer houses in the development have been built of the same handsome fieldstone. and lots start at $75.000.000 range. Quarter-acre lots along this beach are currently selling for $650.56 multi-million-dollar price tags. Ocean view lots in this subdivision can be purchased for under $100. Wykee has a beautiful stretch of pink-sand beach on the Atlantic. Prices start at $500. Most homes have ocean views.000 with one-acre lots in the $1 million range. Further north along the Queen’s Highway. Banana Beach is a community of cottages on quarter-acre lots with deeded access to a beautiful Atlantic beach.
There are always a variety of lots for sale in Rainbow. The second is that Lenny Kravitz owns a cottage on the outskirts. featuring everything from local musicians to the occasional appearance by Lenny himself.57 North Eleuthera Unlike South and Central Eleuthera. Rainbow has a well-organized homeowners association that maintains and operates the roads and amenities with revenues from the $60 annual homeowner’s fee. there are no major resort developments in North Eleuthera (except on Harbour Island. Ocean-view lots start at $30. Elvina’s. which is the village’s first claim to fame.org. rather than beachfront. No. the Gregory Town bar known to all Eleuthera regulars. Caribbean-side lots are preferred to those on the Atlantic on this part of the island.000. and usually homes as well. Atlantic-side oceanfront lots are in the $75. that isn’t a typo or a misplaced decimal. Lest the reader How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon .000 range. flooding from high waves coming over the cliffs. $60. but new homes are being built every year. Gregory Town is also the center of surfing activity on the island: nearby Surfer’s Beach has excellent waves and a global reputation. which will be discussed separately). Most of the oceanfront lots on both sides of the subdivision are rocky shore frontage. only a few Atlanticside lots have been built upon to date. and a small resort called the Rainbow Inn with an excellent restaurant. The majority of its quarter-acre lots—which number 1. In fact.00 per year. which serves as an anchor for a number of vacation home communities. Rainbow Bay has a beach.000 range. Prices for Caribbean-side oceanfront lots are in the $150.700--are still undeveloped. The most popular area for vacation homes is a large subdivision dating from the early 1970’s called Rainbow Bay www. Seven miles north of Rainbow lies the village of Gregory Town. as the latter experience considerable salt spray and.rainbowbay. at some spots. Rainbow runs the full width of the island from sea to sea and extends for two miles in length. tennis court. hosts a lively open mike session twice a week. A combination of the local red dirt and ample rainfall make Gregory Town’s pineapples among the sweetest in the world.
and several shops and restaurants.000. Oleander has underground utilities and attractive landscaping. Inland lots can be had for $65. Eleuthera Island Shores (EIS) is a large subdivision just south of Gregory Town. The neighborhood is home to an interesting mix of artists. North of Glass Window Bridge is the Bottom Harbour/Whale Point area.000 range.000 and inland lots at about $35.58 conclude that Gregory Town is for parties only.000. the village has a perfectly respectable public boat ramp. musicians. The original developer of EIS neglected to provide utilities. which has an excellent restaurant. Just north of Gregory Town on the Caribbean side of the island. and road maintenance has not always been up to date. The homeowner’s organization has been less effective than Rainbow’s. Harbour Island with its shopping and restaurants is just a short watertaxi ride away. a rugged part of the island with dramatic cliffs on the east side and a lovely protected bay on the west.000. so homeowners must either pay to bring in electricity from the Queen’s Highway or make do with solar power and gas cooking. gas station. Quarter-acre cliff-front lots sell in the $100. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . charming community with great views from its cliffs and a little rocky beach. One-acre beachfront lots are selling for $500.000. The area is rich with marine life and offers excellent snorkeling. Atlantic-side one-acre lots (oceanfront but not beachfront) start at about $80. bakery. Roads in this area are still rough. A quarter-acre cliff-front lot in EIS recently sold for $150. It is walking distance to The Cove resort.000. Oleander Gardens is a small. Ocean view lots are available from $25. and neither landline service nor municipal water is available. and surfers. EIS extends to both sides of the island and has considerable cliff frontage.
rhonda@hgchristie. prices can reach up to $5 million. you’re always a short walk to a beautiful beach. A typical nonwaterfront cottage with three bedrooms and an ocean view would have a price tag in the $350. HG Christie Ltd. Best of all. Spanish Wells is connected to its neighbor.000. $70. modern gym. There are two marinas. A two-acre beachfront lot would cost $2 million.S. bakery. There is also a growing population of winter residents from the U. liquor store. and the harbor is close to excellent diving and fishing. With its trim frame cottages painted in pastel colors. because the two islands are so narrow. Rhonda Waton. medical clinic. For a beachfront estate home.000 for a one-bedroom cottage with a road between it and the water. Many of the 1500 residents of Spanish Wells—perhaps most--are descended from the first English settlers who arrived here in the seventeenth century. Dock rights would typically be included. Spanish Wells might look at home in the Florida Keys or even Cape Cod.5 miles long and half a mile wide. numerous restaurants. Spanish Wells has the largest grocery store on the Eleutheras. and a variety of shops. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . The town has an excellent harbor which helped to give it its name: Centuries ago. Governors Harbour. (242) 3323404. and Europe. Waterfront homes on the islands start at $500. 1. Quarter-acre interior lots sell for approximately.. George’s Cay.000 range. by a small bridge. Estate Agent. a bank.com Spanish Wells is a fishing village on the little island of St. Eleuthera. Russell Island.59 Spanish Wells This section was written in collaboration with our Spanish Wells expert. just off the coast of North Eleuthera. Spanish ships en route to Spain from Latin America would stop here to fill their water casks.
and the island is reputed to be How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon .valentinesresort. there are homes in that price range as well. Naturally. is lined with beautiful frame houses dating from the nineteenth century. Andros Follow this link http://ncane. the island’s only village. its hue taken from fuscia coral ground by the action of the sea. Andros is by far the largest of the Bahamian islands. an island frequented by celebrities and high society from Hollywood. Harbour Island is a golf cart community—use of cars in the streets is strictly limited--which gives guests and residents alike the feeling of being on a perpetual vacation.000. A quarter-acre interior lot without an ocean view would sell in the $400. rhonda@hgchristie. these amenities don’t come cheaply. HG Christie Ltd. Rhonda Waton. don’t worry. Harbour Island has excellent restaurants and shops and a laid-back rhythm much appreciated by its celebrity clientele— and the rest of us. Governors Harbour.60 Harbour Island This section was written in collaboration with our Harbour Island expert. Harbour Island’s broad beach is pretty in pink. A waterfront home with a pool and a dock might cost $4 million. and a beachfront home. The interior of Andros is mostly deserted. Eleuthera. 7 million or more.com/7nu for a map of Andros. The beach. justly famous.com On the other side of Eleuthera from Spanish Wells. Harbour Island is a world unto itself.com are selling for $800. (242) 3323404. If you have $20 million to spend on a house. with an area of 2300 square miles. too. is lined with exclusive resorts and private estates.000 range. New York. and London. One-bedroom condominiums at Valentines Resort www.. Estate Agent. The main street of Dunmore Town.
Just offshore is Andros’s other great attraction. Wendy Rowe. Passage between the islands is by boat or ferry. The mysterious interior is home to six-foot iguanas and the rare Bahamian boa constrictor. a vast barrier reef—the second largest in the world—with some of the best diving in the hemisphere. most of whom live in a dozen or more villages spread out along the east coast of the island. George Town. The Exumas are a chain of 365 islands that extend for 130 miles from Hog Cay in the south to Beacon Cay in the north. South Andros. which is very rough in areas. and North Andros. Estate Agent.us/bkqmb. (242) 336-2274 wendy@hgchristie. Central Andros. We did not have more detailed info on Andros as we went to press. The Exumas This section was written in collaboration with our Exuma’s expert. the Queen’s Highway. The largest villages are Nichols Town in the north.com Follow this link for a map of Exuma: http://xrl. and the mysterious-sounding Congo Town in the south. most of them deserted.com. which speaks for itself. HG Christie Ltd. Sasquatch has not been sighted. The two largest islands are Great Exuma How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . The east coast has miles of beautiful beaches. The marshy west coast is known as “the Mud”. Andros has a population of 6000. but only because no one has hazarded the iguanas and the boas to go looking for him.61 the largest still-unexplored landmass in the world. If you would like to know more about real estate options on this island. email me at mattsimonmx@juno. Andros has four airports—that’s one for every 1500 residents—and essentially one road.. Andros Town in the center of the island. Andros is actually three separate islands. Exuma. but we may have it by now.
full-service spas. the Exumas are considered among the finest cruising and yachting grounds in the world. a 500-acre community that includes a Four Seasons resort. Other inhabited islands include Black Point. helping to make the area the hub of the island chain. phone service.emeraldbayresort. Staniel Cay. at the different areas of Exuma that are popular with foreign buyers. and a 340-acre island for 25 million. As of June 2008. which are numerous in the Exumas. With only a handful of exceptions. with daily flights from Nassau and Florida. and there are even a few nature trails for landlubbers. Almost as exclusive as a private island is Emerald Bay www. and an airstrip is currently available for $12 million. The Exuma Cays Land and Sea National Park is located at the north end of the Exuma chain. a settlement of 1000 souls with a fine harbor that makes it popular with the yachting crowd. Don’t forget to add the cost of rendering them habitable—electricity. A fully developed 25-acre island complete with two houses. and land animals. Let’s take a look. Sampson Cay. and is home to endangered marine life. Like the Abacos. a 7-acre island is listed for $800. It consists of 110.62 and Little Exuma. which lie end-to-end near the south of the chain. is located ten miles from George Town. a 125-slip deep-water marina. birds. fine dining. a 150-acre island for 2. docks. a casino. now.000 acres of coral reefs and cays. Exuma’s major commercial airport.000 at www.hgchristie.5 million.com. and Farmers Cay. and a house or two. a Greg Norman championship golf course. We’ll begin our review with private islands.com. The park serves divers and snorkelers as well as fish. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . The capital of the scattered Exuma empire is George Town on Great Exuma. Residential lots start at $800. multiple outbuildings.000 with beachfront lots selling for three times that much. the other islands are uninhabited—and that’s half the fun. and much more. Prices range from the expensive to the princely.
and a name that could make a marketing consultant weep. on the south side of Exuma. close to the capital of George Town. pool. The February Point Resort www. A typical beach front lot with 100’ of frontage sells for $550. Flamingo Bay Estates offers elevated views of George Town Harbour.3 million and up.000.februarypoint.000.000. and the town.000. February Point has a beach. Houses in this area. is a less expensive alternative. Several miles further east. many modern homes. Tar Bay. Jimmy Hill is a well established residential area with a beautiful beach and many fine homes. and estate homes are selling in the $5 million range. roughly three miles east of Jimmy Hill and five miles west of George Town.63 Condominiums are available for $1. The Hermitage area. Beach front lots sell for $750.com is located a mile east of George Town.000. and a clubhouse with restaurant. Five miles to the east. marina. which tend to be more modest in size than those in Tar Bay or Jimmy Hill. with convenient access to beaches. the Hoopers Bay area has a wonderfully protected beach situated in the bay’s deep crescent. with occasional mangrove creeks and excellent bone-fishing flats. is another popular area with a top quality beach. can be bought for under $500. The shore line is mostly rocky. A typical beach front lot sells for $500.000 and up. All How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . Back on the north side of Exuma. tennis club. A typical harbor-view lot sells for $85. fitness center. Set on a private 80-acre peninsula. Oceanfront lots with views of the Elizabeth Harbor are also available. Hooper’s Bay also has some rocky shore line and some elevated areas. while lots on the rocky shore can be purchased for $450. boating.
is elevated with harbor views and beach access.000. The most popular sections are 11 and 11 West.000 to $800. On the north side of Little Exuma.000.000 with completed villas in the $3 million range.000. and a sea-view lot costs on an average $75.bahamasacres. seven miles from George Town. A typical beach front lot sells for $600. The tagline for the development is “Awesome…and then some!” Top that. Houses are also available in the $500.000. Home lots start at $750.000. Bahamas Sound/Bahamas Acres www. large parcels) is also available in this area. three miles from George Town. if you can. The sections called Ocean Addition East and West are located on the north side of the island closer to the Four Seasons Resort. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . As is typical of the south side. Beach front lots average $450.000. and Section 12.000. back on the south side of the island is the Exuma View area. Sea-view lots of half an acre average $75. Finally. A typical lot sells for $80.000 whilst elevated rocky shore lots are $225. situated three miles from George Town.uk is a collection of subdivisions on Great Exuma. A typical two-acre lot with elevations and sea views sells for about $200. Acreage (that is. Crossing the bridge to Little Exuma. Bahama Island Beach and Island Harbour Beach are popular areas with excellent beaches and elevations with fine sea views. These quarter-acre lots are located on the southern rocky shore line of the island and sell for $40. the Ferry Area is on the south side of the island not far from the bridge.000 range. Section 18. the shoreline is rocky with occasional mangrove creeks.000 to $200.co. Tropic of Cancer Beach. It consists of elevated land with a rocky shore line interspersed with mangrove creeks.64 residences are provided with complete maintenance and housekeeping services.
Bring your Jeep. jknowles@islandpalmrealty. and well-stocked food stores. There is another airport near the north end of the island at Stella Maris. but the soil would not support large-scale farming and the plantations were gradually abandoned.us/bkqmh.com Follow this link for a map of Long Island: http://xrl. still predominate. banks. marine store.65 Long Island This section was written in collaboration with our Long Island expert. from Scrub Hill to Gray’s Settlement. Island Palm Realty. Deadman’s Cay. (242) 337-1555. and to a lesser extent agriculture. medical clinic. Long Island has reliable electricity and good telephone and GSM cell phone service. Municipal water is available only on the central section of the island. as well as the usual potholes. They came with their slaves and established plantations. DSL high-speed internet is also available. to flatlands in the south. Not for long. as on most islands. There is one main road--called the Queen’s Highway. the aptly named Long Island has a population of 4000. Fishing. Deadman’s Cay. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . It is one of the few Bahamian islands which does not depend primarily on tourism. with an airport. It is paved the full length but has numerous rough spots where the pavement is almost gone. With its miles of perfect beaches and famed diving sites. Judith Knowles. a bit south of the center of the island. Long Island has a varied topography ranging from steep cliffs and rolling hills along the Atlantic coast in the north of the island. Long Island was settled by Loyalists who fled the U. is Long Island’s commercial center. library/museum.S. it’s only a matter of time before we foreigners on Long Island outnumber the fish and the pineapples. Long Island. after the Revolutionary War. Ninety-six miles long and only seven miles wide at its widest point. Ruins of plantation houses can still be seen at many locations on the island.
there are few dense concentrations of vacation homes on Long Island. It is also the harbor where the weekly mail boat from Nassau arrives. and a marina. the homes are scattered along both coasts.000. on the east side of Long Island.000 for a half-acre hilltop lot with an ocean view.000. A few existing homes are available for resale on the Stella Maris website. for $465.stellamarisresort. Stella Maris Resort Club www. Rather. Port St. tennis. gym. The Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort www. at the popular spots for buying vacation homes. is planned for Stella Maris. In the meantime. Stella Maris has a variety of lots for sale.66 Let’s take a look. It will bring a golf course and new marina to the resort. Cape Santa Maria is currently selling 1800-square-foot (including patios and decks) beachfront condominiums for $895. Their 20 beach bungalows rent for $325 per night. The settlement of Salt Pond. an event of no small How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon .com is a high-end boutique resort located on a beautiful pink-sand beach at the northern end of Long Island.capesantamaria. a bank. peak season. Stella Maris has an international airport on its acreage—not something you’ll find at your local Holiday Inn—as well as shops. Current listings include: $25.000.com is located on 2000 acres. and plenty of water sports equipment. The resort has a restaurant and bar. Units must be made available for rent at least half the year. including: a 3bedroom house on a prime Atlantic beach for $785. Outside of Stella Maris. water sports. as well as new real estate options.000 for an ocean-view lot adjacent to the resort. Two other areas. $175. A major new development. George. now. has a beautiful double bay and is the home of the Long Island Annual Sailing Regatta. a more modest twobedroom house. however. have a sufficient number of homes to warrant special mention. not beachfront. extending from sea to sea. $250.000 for a quarter-acre inland lot. most of it still undeveloped.
one Anglican and one Catholic. Christie Ltd.us/bkqqb.000.000. a restaurant-bar overlooking the harbor. john@hgchristie. shops. A two-bedroom beachfront house with 320 feet of beach frontage on Thompson Bay is being offered for $1. a three-quarter-acre hilltop/ocean-view lot in Lochabar for $100. Also close to Clarence Town is the development of Turtle Cove with 200 house lots. a settlement with a well-protected harbor sheltered by cays. and several beaches. Vice President. are selling for $210.67 importance on the island.G. one of the deepest in the world and a spectacular sight with its high cliff walls. Turtle Cove has a beautiful two-mile-long Atlantic beach the next bay over. It has a public dock and a private marina.000 for two acres with 100’ of frontage on the sea. Clarence Town is also known for its two hilltop churches.000. As of May 2008. H. lies Thompson Bay. Dean’s Blue Hole. a short distance away.3 acre inland lot in Lochabar for $50. Described as the island’s “prettiest harbor town. This section was written in collaboration with our New Providence expert. Current listings in the Clarence Town area include: A 1.com How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . beachfront lots at Indian Hole Point. Bimini Follow this link for a map of Bimini: http://xrl. Most of the vacation homes in the Clarence Town area are located just south of the town in Lochabar. all oceanfront.3 million. John Christie. built by the same churchman before and after his conversion to Catholicism. of which a dozen or so have been built upon. and a three-bedroom oceanfront (but not beach front) home in Turtle Cove for $415.” Clarence Town is the headquarters of government on Long Island. Across the island on the Caribbean side. Turtle Cove is the home of the famous inland ocean hole. As if this were not enough. Twenty-five miles to the south of Salt Pond lies the settlement of Clarence Town. a half-acre beachfront lot in Lochabar for $250.000. looking out on Thompson Bay. (242) 322-1041.
. just 50 miles from the east coast of Florida. which resumes on the west coast of South Bimini. There are only a few developments to review. Bimini’s airport is on the south island. and it remains so to this day. With that kind of thinking. but I’m sure Edgar Cayce would disagree. Hemingway helped to make it famous as a center of deep-sea fishing. and the main settlement.com is set on 800 acres of land on North Bimini. South Bimini and North Bimini--the latter the more developed area.” Bimini lies in the Gulf Stream. which will take How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . He never explained why it would take so long to find it now that he had located it. Expect it in '68 or '69 . no wonder their civilization didn’t survive.68 Hemingway’s famous “Island in the stream. Bimini is actually two islands. where Alice Town is located--as well as numerous cays. Or at least that’s what some people believe. Bimini is also a popular cruising ground. and includes five miles of beach. the clairvoyant Edgar Cayce predicted. The two islands are connected by a ferry. The resort. and he was psychic.not so far away. but eerily. Back in the 1930’s. The west coast of North Bimini has a long stretch of excellent beach. caters to the yachting crowd. "A portion of [Atlantis] may yet be discovered under the slime of ages and sea water near Bimini. Bimini’s other claim to fame is the presence of the lost city of Atlantis just off its shores. Why the Atlanteans would have built a road in 20 feet of water is anyone’s guess. Bimini Bay Resort and Casino www. Alice Town. he was right: in 1968 a diver discovered a road 1000 feet long made of huge rectangular blocks of limestone lying in 20 feet of water off the coast of Bimini. Like the Abacos and the Exumas.. Bimini has reasonably reliable electricity and good landline and GSM cell phone service.biminibay. Some narrow-minded scientists insist that the stones of “Bimini Road” are naturally occurring beach rock. although direct flights to Alice Town by seaplane are also available.
Some of the houses are quite nice. along with a full-service spa. There is a row of houses between the condominiums and the water.000. Swedish and Thai massage services. tennis courts.000 range. There have been title problems at Port Royal. the only available lots in the subdivision are two internal lots listed in the $50.” It features the Bahamas’ largest full-service marina with accommodations up to 200 feet. so views from the condos will be minimal.biminisands. So far. and an upscale restaurant. are right on the beach—and no doubt much more expensive. and a white-sand beach. an infinity pool overlooking the ocean. Prices are not publicly available. I was unable to find much pricing information.000 range.000 range and canal-front lots in the $150. others are run down. Most of the twostory buildings face the harbor.com is a resort and condominium development built around a small protected harbor. shopping. Bimini Sands www. Dating from the mid 1990’s. and more recreational facilities. beachfront lots sell in the $500. currently has 200 vacation rentals comprised of condominiums. but a first-floor one-bedroom unit with a marina view is currently on the market for $265.000-$60. but several are right on the beach. When available. How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . As of June 2008.000. the casino exists only in the name and on the drawing board. The only price I could find was for a large studio condominium (640 square feet) selling for $400. on the other hand. so make sure to retain a reputable Bahamian attorney to represent you for the conveyance.69 years to build out completely. two pools. The houses. single-family homes. A Robert Trent Jones designed golf course is also planned. Bimini Sands has a full-service marina. Port Royal has both beachfront and canal-front homes. several restaurants. and the intriguingly named “tree houses. Further south on the island is the subdivision of Port Royal which dates from the 1960’s. Taking the ferry across to South Bimini.
and aside from heaven itself. Electricity and landline phone service are reasonably reliable. Cat was named after the pirate.com Follow this link for a map of Cat Island: http://xrl. but the soil soon gave out and the plantations failed. rural North Dakota. although some accounts attribute the name to a once-large population of feral cats. This is a place for people who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of. Arthur Catt. (242) 322-1041. deserted. the north hilly. Christie Ltd. so I say believe them both. A central ridge reaches 200 feet. Internet is by satellite only. you can almost hear your echoing footfalls on Cat Island. A monastery known as the Hermitage. H. Like Long Island. Many of the roads on the island are rough. Cat Island has two airports.G. for example. The south of the island is flat.us/bkqsq. pink-sand beaches and an interesting. Cat has many miles of beautiful. Fifty miles long and with a population of 1600. is located atop the peak. after the Revolutionary War. Stores on the island are small and have a How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . john@hgchristie. the highest elevation in the Bahamas.S. John Christie. hand-built by an Anglican clergyman turned Catholic priest. a hermit could hardly have found a better location for peace and quiet. Their ruins are still scattered about the deserted countryside. Both explanations are intriguing. Vice President. varied topography. so a four-wheeldrive vehicle—or at least one with high clearance—is recommended.70 Cat Island This section was written in collaboration with our New Providence expert. Cat was settled by Loyalists fleeing the U. one at Arthur Town in the north and the other at New Bight in the south. They established cotton plantations worked by slaves. Municipal water is not available.
The main subdivision is Greenwood. but forget the romaine. so electricity and telephone must be brought in to each lot from the main road. three miles long and mostly deserted. be it Bahamian or U.pigeoncay-bahamas.com is a small resort and subdivision on the northwest side of Cat Island. The developer did not provide utilities. Its half-dozen cottages sit on a beautiful beach. so this will be brief. Subdivided in the 1960’s. Fernandez How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . A quarter-acre lot at Greenwood with 80 feet of beach frontage recently sold for $250. the island will occasionally run out of some staple like milk or gasoline--which is part of Cat’s charm. which makes for an interesting polyglot community. Pigeon Cay www. Expect to eat a lot of canned goods.000. but elsewhere. which sits on a beautiful pink-sand beach on the southeast coast of the island. This small subdivision occasionally has lots or homes for sale.com is a small. The land behind the beach. Greenwood also has an Inn: www. Title issues will not likely be a problem if you’re buying a lot in an established subdivision. Fernandez Bay Village www. and particularly if you’re buying a large tract of land.S.greenwoodbeachresort. An interior lot sold for $25.000.com. which provide protection from storm surges. Although the resort itself does not have real estate for sale. Beachfront lots with 100’ of frontage sell for $250.000. As you might guess. where the cottages and other homes are built. Greenwood was sold mainly to Germans. The roads are sand. has elevations of 20-30 feet.000. And if the weekly boat is delayed by bad weather or repair problems. Cat Island doesn’t have many developments or subdivisions. Less charming are the title problems that routinely plague land on the island. Fernandez Bay is just a few minutes from the New Bight airport. make sure you have the title carefully examined before you part with your first dollar.fernandezbayvillage. and another is listed for $50. You can find iceberg lettuce. high-end resort of charming field stone and thatch cottages on a mile-long stretch of beach. lots on the Bay come on the market from time to time.71 limited variety of goods. Located on the western side of Cat Island.
clubhouse. a 750 square foot cottage with 128’ of frontage on a lovely beach is being offered for $425. homes or parcels of land can also be purchased on Cat Island outside of existing subdivisions and developments.27 million.000. A one-acre beachfront parcel at Hawk’s Nest is currently listed for $425. Some scholars dispute this. The white cross at Long Bay. Of course. how about a 1.72 Bay is the most expensive location on Cat Island. Columbus named the island San Salvador.000 or more for 100 feet of frontage.2 acre parcel of land on a deserted white-sand beach near Old Bight (a name no real estate developer would come up with) for $240. As of June 2008. 1492. restaurant. It also has a pool. beachfront four-bedroom house on two acres at Fountain Point is listed for $1. and beachfront lots sell for $500. Hawk’s Nest is also selling lots and homes. A four-bedroom house at Hawk’s Nest with 3000 square feet of living space would sell in the $1.000. Hawk’s Nest has reasonable rates in the $200 per night range.000? For the more conventional. a modern. even without factoring in the ’67 VW beetle. but a careful study of Columbus’s log leaves little doubt.5 million range. San Salvador Follow this link for a map of San Salvador: http://ncane. If a cottage is not to your fancy. You won’t find a bargain like that in Florida. This ambitious development has its own airstrip and deep-water marina. Columbus made his landfall in the new world on this small Bahamian island on October 12. and a PADI dive center.hawks-nest. A four-star resort. but the name How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon .com is located on the southeastern tip of Cat Island. There are four monuments to this event at different locations on the island. is probably at the correct location. Hawk’s Nest Resort and Marina www. erected in 1956.com/z4s.
73 was soon forgotten. From the seventeenth century, when the English pirate George Watling established himself on San Salvador, it was known as Watling’s island. Only in 1926 did the Bahamian legislature change the name back to San Salvador. The remains of Watling’s buildings, known as Watling’s Castle, are still extant. The island hosts a museum about Columbus stocked with art and artifacts. The other important structure on the island is the Dixon Hill Lighthouse, the last kerosene light house still operating in the Bahamas. Much of the interior of San Salvador is taken up by salt lakes and marshes. There are no roads into the interior, just a single road tracing the circumference of the kidney-shaped island. The 1000 inhabitants live in small settlements along the road. San Salvador is almost entirely surrounded by a reef, and it has some of the best diving and snorkeling in the Bahamas, including cave diving and wreck diving. The beaches are also excellent. The island is home to the Bahamas’ only Club Med, a vast resort of 200 rooms, one of the most luxurious in the Club Med chain. San Salvador has one airport with daily flights from Ft. Lauderdale and Nassau. We did not have more detailed info on San Salvador as we went to press, but we may have it by now. If you would like to know more about real estate options on this island, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whatever your budget and your preferences—urban or rural, sailing or beaches, a house, a lot, or a condominium—the Bahamas has something for you. I hope this chapter has helped you identify the island(s) and communities that are most appealing to you, and that this book has given you to tools to buy and sell successfully.
How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas
© 2008 by Matthew Simon
Chapter 6. Appendix
Banks First Caribbean Bank Requirements for U.S. Dollar International Mortgage
Terms: 15 - 20 years Rate: 90 day LIBOR + 3%. 70% financing if buying – 50% financing if building 1% non-refundable commitment fee
Requirements: Completion of account opening form (if non-customer) Completion of mortgage application If visiting the branch one form of identification and one address confirmation is required. If mailing, two forms of identification and one address confirmation is required. Identification can consist of notarized copies of passport and driver’s license. Address confirmation can be a notarized copy of a credit card statement from a major credit card company or a notarized copy of a bank statement. Bank statements for the last six months, (last 12 months if self-employed) Tax returns for the last three years. Business Financial Statements for the last three years, if self-employed. Business Bank statements for the last 12 months, if self-employed.
How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas
© 2008 by Matthew Simon
75 A bank reference from a bank where you have been a customer for at least one year. A job letter confirming length of service, position and salary. If self-employed, letter from accountant or lawyer confirming ownership of business and salary. Appraisal Credit Bureau Report Copy of signed sales agreement.
Land Loans: 50% financing, 10 year term, min. $250k – 90 day LIBOR + 3 Security Requirements: 1st Legal mortgage over property. Homeowner’s insurance for insurable value assigned to the Bank.
First Caribbean Bank, Nassau Ms. Ingrid O. Carey Tel: 1-242-302-6014 Fax: 1-242-302-6092 Ingrid.Carey@firstcaribbeanbank.com
Butterfield Bank International Residential Mortgage & Construction Financing
Key Features USD Financing available for:
How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas
© 2008 by Matthew Simon
Properties can be owner-occupied or for rental. Acceptance Fee is 1. Closing fees and costs are for the client’s account. General Documentation Completed Personal Information Form Completed Personal Financial Statement Copies of 3 years Tax Returns An Appraisal on the property.000 Maximum term of loan 20 years. General Terms Minimum loan amount U. $200. Efficient handling of all loan documents leads to a quick turn around time. Monthly repayment schedule.S. Loan Amounts *Residential Properties: Up to 75% *Vacant Land: 50% Construction Financing: Up to 85% *based on the lower of the net purchase price or appraised value. o Residential properties.76 o Properties in the major islands of The Bahamas. payable upon acceptance. LIBOR or Prime based rates. vacant land. construction financing Convenient and flexible terms at competitive rates.00% of approved loan balance. acceptable to the Bank. A copy of the Agreement for Sale How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon . Loan applications reviewed by qualified staff on an individual basis.
2 Trinity Plaza West Bay Street Nassau. Life insurance cover assignable to the Bank for Full Value of loan over the loan term.77 A copy of the conveyance (re-financings) General Security A first legal charge over the purchased property All Perils insurance on the property.O. Rosetta Street East Nassau. Ltd. to include hurricane coverage. For further information please contact: Butterfield Bank (Bahamas) Limited | 3rd Floor | Montague Sterling Centre | East Bay St. Box N-3242 | Nassau | Bahamas Tel: (242) 393 8622 | Fax: (242) 393 3772 | e-mail: timothy. Johnson. Ltd. Ltd. Bahamas 242-323-4545 Insurance Management.colclough@butterfieldbank. | P.bs Insurance Companies Andeaus Insurance Brokers Co. Bahamas 242-394-5555 J. Box N 8337 How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon .S.
Bahamas 242-322-2341 How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in the Bahamas © 2008 by Matthew Simon .78 Nassau.
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