AN INFORMATIVE GUIDE TO BUYING PROPERTY IN THE BAHAMAS FOR INTERESTED FOREIGN BUYERS
The Bahamas is one of the diverse real estate markets in the Caribbean region which offers tranquil beach cottages, stunning vacation villas, relaxing waterfront homes, elegant contemporary apartments and other excellent real properties.
If you are considering on investing in real estate in The Bahamas, but you have no idea where are the best places to buy a property as a foreign buyer, then this informative guide will be very helpful for you.
We will take you through the buying process of any real property in The Bahamas from start to finish. This guide includes an extensive introduction to the real estate market, the buying process and the taxes and fees that you will have to pay in acquiring property in The Bahamas.
BACKGROUND OF THE BAHAMAS REAL ESTATE MARKET
The Bahamas is not only rich in cultural heritage, but it is also simply breathtaking and is comprised of hundreds of stunning islands and natural sceneries, The Bahamas is considered a gateway to the Mexico Gulf, the Caribbean Sea and Central America. Breathtaking landscapes are also found along with South Florida to the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Dominican Republic,
Each year, millions of tourists visit The Bahamas for its pink and white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. Both via air and sea, an estimated 1.78 million tourists visited the island in 2019. But people do not go to the Bahamas only to enjoy its natural beauty. They are attracted by the tax incentives being offered to foreign nationals. Also, it is known to have a high standard of living. More importantly, though, it is geographically close to the USA, which is an added appreciative value of the country.
The Bahamas is regarded as the third richest country in the American region in terms of Gross Domestic Product per capita income. Thus, you are assured of a convenient and stable place to live or invest in property.
Property for sale in The Bahamas comprises of the best elegant and stylish real estate in the Caribbean region. It also includes magnificent beachfront homes, private islands for sale and chic condos located within beachfront resorts.
HOW TO BUY PROPERTY IN THE BAHAMAS
FOREIGNERS CAN BUY PROPERTY IN THE BAHAMAS
Foreign nationals who wish to own a property in The Bahamas may do so because the Government of The Bahamas is very welcoming to foreign investors and realtors. Actually, there are no limitations or prohibitions against foreign ownership of real properties in The Bahamas. Foreign owners have the same rights and privileges as local or native owners. Even beachfront properties are allowed to be sold to foreign buyers. What sets it apart is that The Bahamas does not require a license or permit before you can convey your intent to rent out the property or purchasing for commercial development. There is one exception, though. If you are buying a large property with over 2 acres in area, then you need to acquire a license or permit first.
THE PROCESS OF BUYING PROPERTY
To buy any property in The Bahamas, you will have to follow these simple steps:
- Start looking for a property to buy.
- Look for the perfect property and make an offer to buy it.
- If an offer has been made and accepted, engage the services of a lawyer to prepare all the necessary documents.
- The lawyer will prepare a sales contract. Once it is agreed and signed, you will pay an amount equivalent to 10% of the total purchase price as a deposit.
- Once the papers are completed, and the sale is consummated, the buyer will pay the balance of the purchase price and pay the corresponding taxes.
- If you are a foreign national, you should register your investment with the Exchange Control at the Central Bank of The Bahamas. This act is to guarantee you that upon resale of the property, they will send the net income of the sale outside of The Bahamas for the corresponding currency indicated in the original investment transaction.
PAYMENT OF STAMP DUTY
To acquire by way of purchase any real estate in The Bahamas, buyers should pay Stamp Duty. The amount varies depending on the value of the property, simplified as follows:
- 2.5% if the value is $100,000 and below
- 10% if the value is more than $100,000
The payment of Stamp Duty is usually shared equally by the buyer and seller.
In addition, a 12% Value Added Tax (VAT ) is imposed for related services, like legal services, commission, insurance, appraisals and other real estate services.
PAYMENT OF LEGAL FEES
Be advised that you need to seek the services of a local attorney who will assist you in the buying process up to the property transfer process.
Legal fees are typically shared equally also by the buyer and seller at a rate of more or less 2.5%.
PAYMENT OF REAL PROPERTY TAX
Real property owners must also pay the Annual Real Property Tax, the amount of which depends upon the cost of the property to be bought.
The calculation of real Property tax rates is as follows:
For Owner-occupied real property:
- 0% to be computed on the first $250,000 of the market value of the property
- 0.625% to be applied on the next $250,000 and up to $500,000 of the market value of the property
- 1% to be computed on the next $500,000 up to $5,000,000 of the market value of the subject real property
- 0.5% to be applied if the property has more than $5,000,000 market value
Vacant or Unimproved property:
- $100 shall be charged on the first $7,000 of the market value of the property
- 2% shall be charged on the part above $7,000 of the market value of the property
- 1% to be computed on the first $500,000 of the market value of the property
- 2% if the value of the property exceeds $500,000 in market value
- However, properties owned by the Bahamians in the Family Islands as well as properties owned by foreign governments are exempt from the payment of real property tax.
LOOK FOR BAHAMAS REAL ESTATE LISTINGS
As an expert in luxury Caribbean property, Caribbean Escape can provide you with a great listing of the best residential property in The Bahamas.
FINEST HOMES FOR SALE AND CONDOS FOR SALE
To check on the wide selection of villas, houses and homes for sale in The Bahamas, including apartments and condos for sale, browse over our website.
Discover: Buying a House in The Bahamas
FIND LAND FOR SALE
You can also buy vacant or undeveloped land. This proves to be an advantage because it will provide you with a clear plan on how to build your dream property in The Bahamas.
If you are looking for beachfront land or a lot located in the business center, we can help you in searching for the perfect property for sale in The Bahamas.
If you prefer wide in areas for commercial development, we also have our commercial real estate listings on our website.
LOOK FOR HOTELS FOR SALE
Are you looking for hotels for sale in The Bahamas? You may check hotels, B&Bs, vacation villas and guests houses here on our website.
OWNING THE PERFECT REAL PROPERTY FOR SALE IN THE BAHAMAS
Find out more lucrative real estate investment opportunities and the tremendous benefits that could be derived from there.
To locate your perfect property in The Bahamas, read information on our Bahamas real estate listings.
BEST LOCATIONS TO BUY PROPERTY IN THE BAHAMAS
See Abaco – Check our guide to buying a property in Abaco.
See Albany – Check our guide to buying a property in Albany.
See Andros – Check our guide to buying a property in Andros.
See Berry Islands – Check our guide to buying a property in Berry Islands.
See Bimini – Check our guide to buying a property in Bimini.
See Cable Beach – Check our guide to buying a property in Cable Beach.
See Cat Island – Check our guide to buying a property in Cat Island.
See Elbow Cay – Check our guide to buying a property in Elbow Cay.
ELEUTHERA & HARBOUR ISLAND
See Eleuthera & Harbour Island – Check our guide to buying a property in Eleuthera & Harbour Island.
See Exumas – Check our guide to buying a property in Exumas.
See Grand Bahama – Check our guide to buying a property in Grand Bahama.
See Kamalame Cay – Check our guide to Guide to Kamalame Cay.
See Long Island – Check our guide to buying a property in Long Island.
See Lubbers Quarters – Check our guide to buying a property in Lubbers Quarters.
See Lyford Cay – Check our guide to buying a property in Lyford Cay.
NASSAU & NEW PROVIDENCE
See Nassau & New Providence – Check our guide to buying a property in Nassau & New Providence.
OLD FORT BAY
See Old Fort Bay – Check our guide to buying a property in Old Fort Bay.
See Paradise Island – Check our guide to buying a property in Paradise Island.
See Rose Island – Check our guide to buying a property in Rose Island.
See Rum Cay – Check our guide to buying a property in Rum Cay.
See Russell Island – Check our guide to buying a property in Russell Island.
See Sandyport – Check our guide to buying a property in Sandyport.
See San Salvador – Check our guide to buying a property in San Salvador.
See Scotland Cay – Check our guide to buying a property in Scotland Cay.
See Spanish Wells – Check our guide to buying a property in Spanish Wells.
See Treasure Cay – Check our guide to buying a property in Treasure Cay.
RESIDENCY AND CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENTS IN THE BAHAMAS
FOR FOREIGNERS PLANNING ON STAYING IN THE BAHAMAS
Only citizens of the United States of America, European Union, Canada and the United Kingdom may stay in The Bahamas for months without the need of securing a visa.
IS VISA NEEDED TO LIVE IN THE BAHAMAS?
You need to apply to the Department of Immigration for a Home Owners Resident Card if you are a non-Bahamians, but you own a property in The Bahamas. It will allow you and your immediate family to enter in The Bahamas and stay for the duration of the period of the permit.
BECOMING A RESIDENT OF THE BAHAMAS
There is a minimum investment requirement of $750,000 in real estate in The Bahamas to be entitled to a Permanent Residence Permit. If you wish though to benefit from accelerated benefits of Permanent Residency Permits, make your investment of $1.5 million in property in The Bahamas. Holders of Permanent Residents Permits in The Bahamas may stay in The Bahamas without restrictions and with incentives from The Bahamas’ tax benefits.
BECOMING A CITIZEN OF THE BAHAMAS
To apply for becoming a naturalized citizen of The Bahamas, you should have been a legal permanent resident of The Bahamas for 10 years and 7 years if you are married to a Bahamian citizen. You should also possess independent financial means.
Read more: Residency in The Bahamas
REAL PROPERTY MORTGAGES IN THE BAHAMAS
If you are need of financing to fund the purchase of the property you are looking to invest in The Bahamas, you can apply for a mortgage. We have our reputable international financial organization which extends mortgage loans for qualified non-residents buying, building, investing or improving a second home in The Bahamas who can help you with your needs.
Read more: Caribbean mortgages
HOW TO SEND MONEY TO THE BAHAMAS
The best way to save money if you are investing in real property in The Bahamas is to hire a foreign exchange expert who will help you get the best rate for your purchase. Our partner Halo Financial can ideally assist you when making one-off, staggered or regular international payments for a property purchase in The Bahamas. To know more about how you could save money, browse: Foreign Exchange.
GETTING TO THE BAHAMAS
Getting The Bahamas is relatively easy since there are regular direct flights to The Bahamas from UK, Canada, USA, Canada and other parts of the Caribbean.
These international flights land at the airport in Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport.
If you are from North America, you can fly direct from major cities like Atlanta, Cincinnati, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, New York, Charlotte, Toronto and Orlando to Nassau and other major cities.
Direct flights are also available if you are coming from the USA and you want to go to Eleuthera, Abacos, Andros, Exuma, and Grand Bahama.
If you want to fly exclusively to The Bahamas, you may do so by private plane or arrive by private boat.
ADVANTAGES OF INVESTING IN THE BAHAMAS
- The availability of short, direct international flights from the USA, UK and Canada to various airports in Nassau, Great Exuma and Grand Bahama.
- 700 picturesque beautiful beaches sprawled across the Atlantic Ocean.
- Tax incentives are available to foreign owners and investors which include exemption from payment of income tax, Value-Added-Tax, inheritance tax and capital gains tax.
- Established, real estate market with a vast selection of waterfront homes available. Buyers can choose from affordable to ultra-luxury with the option of applying for permanent residency.
- Growing tourism sector providing income-generating potential for property owners that choose to rent their homes to visitors – A record 1.78 million stayover tourists visited The Bahamas in 2019.
- A growing tourist for beachgoers, snorkelling fans, yachting enthusiasts and lovers of all kinds of water sports.
- High-end resorts, world-class golf courses, great restaurants, spas, luxury shopping and casinos will surely entertain you day and night.