When you think of the Bahamas, what comes to mind? Do you envision the white, sandy beaches of the Exumas? Or do you see Nassau’s happy nightlife? Did you run away to the Bahamas to escape the frigid temperatures of the winter and enjoy the warm sun of the Bahamas? Whatever your experiences, the Bahamas has provided a perfect vacation spot for you and your loved ones.

By Abby Drexler

Hotel Life — Is It For You?

If you come to the Bahamas every once in a while, then staying at a hotel may be a good fit. However, if this is one of your regular vacation destinations, such lodgings may become undesirable. One thing that might make this living paradise more complete would be your very own vacation home.

Think about it — no one will tell you when you can check in or out because it is your own home! Anyone who is in your abode will be completely vetted by you. You won’t have to worry about the quality of a hotel because it will be your house.

If you want to own a house in the Bahamas, congratulations! As with any enterprise, research is imperative. Here are five tips to help you accomplish your goals.

Knowledge is Power!

  1. Research

Before you go into your Bahama Real Estate Adventure, do some preliminary research of the properties. Window-shopping will enable you to investigate the various communities. Find out about the availability of retail stores, schools, law enforcement, demographics, patterns of weather, religion — anything you may want to know about the area. You can also check on what is required to buy a home in the Bahamas. Knowing what to expect can prevent the adventure from any mishaps.

  1. Affordability

That villa in Abaco is your dream! But if it is on four acres of land, costs $750,000 and you can only afford a home on one acre for $250,000, then you may want to rethink your villa! Buying your home is just one aspect of obtaining it. You have to have enough money to pay for the fees, taxes and moving costs to name a few. So yes map out your bedrooms, baths and kitchens of your dream house. Just make sure that you have enough currency to cover it.

  1. Know Your Taxes and Fees

Part of managing your expenses relies on knowing how many taxes and fees you have pay for purchasing your new home. This includes the VAT (Value Added Tax), the stamp duty, the annual real property tax and the government tax, just to name a few. Some fees include registration, legal, the real estate agency, permits, appraisal of property, surveys and closing fees. These are just a few items to look out for when buying your new home.

  1. Real Estate Agency and Lawyer

This advice should be a no-brainer but there are plenty of people who want to do everything themselves and get into plenty of trouble for their efforts. While it is good to be proactive and do as much as you can in acquiring your vacation home, you will need professional help eventually. Unless you are proficient in Bahamian law and how to buy a house there, procuring a lawyer and real estate agency will help you get the best deal for your money.

  1. Rental Property

Living in the Bahamas can be quite costly. After you finally buy your house, keeping up with the costs of it can be a challenge — especially if you aren’t there all the time. One way to offset the cost is to make your property a rental. Non-Bahamians who lease their homes get a tax break.

Another advantage is your living quarters will have someone to watch over your investment. Even if you were to visit your place for ten weeks out of the year, who will tend to it during the other forty-two weeks? Leasing your dwelling will ensure that a trusted tenant will take care of your home during those times that you are away. An added benefit of this type of arrangement would be in the form of receiving rent money.

Abby Drexler is a contributing writer and media specialist for Holowesko Realty. She regularly produces content for a variety of travel and realty blogs.