Date Archives: August 2021

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Buying Tips | 15 Posts
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Selling Advice | 6 Posts
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August
24

It happens whenever you relocate somewhere you aren't entirely familiar with— the feelings of stress, fear, and panic, along with the "What are we thinking?!" moments. We're here to help avoid these scenarios, so we put together a list of the different and best (in our humble opinion!) areas to buy property in the Bahamas. 

It's also important to determine what you are looking for when you begin house hunting. What are your hobbies? What do you need in terms of amenities within your home? Are you moving with your family, or a spouse, or solo? Do you prefer city life, or are you looking for something more laid back and casual? 

Knowing the answers to these questions can help your agent determine which island is best for your needs and lifestyle. 

New Providence / City of Nassau 

New Providence is where 70% of the population lives, and where the country's capital, Nassau, is located.

If you're looking for a place where you can settle and also be in the middle of all the excitement that city life provides, Nassau is probably a great fit for you. From the city center to the glitzy nightlife, restaurants, and bars, Nassau offers the hustle and bustle of a busy city with lots of activity. 

Because it's downtown center is a cruise port, most residents live on the outskirts of the urban center. There are some gorgeous home options in Western New Providence, and the Eastern coastal areas of New Providence which are worth exploring if you're looking to be out of the city center.

Because so many locals and ex-pats work and live here, you will find modernized buildings and infrastructure, great healthcare options, and premiere schooling options for children.

Nassau is a popular place to work and live.

Out Islands or Family Islands

Not part of New Providence or Grand Bahama, Out Islands include  Abaco , Exuma, and Eleuthera.

Making up about 80% of the country's landmass, Out Islands or Family Islands are  touted by locals as the place to get the 'true Bahamas experience.' Because so much of the Bahamas landmass is here, it's a great place for families to purchase property and settle down. There's plenty of room for kids to explore, families to grow, all with less tourist activity than on other islands. 

Housing options vary between the three islands mentioned above, but most consist of beach houses, cottages, and even gated communities. If you are moving to the Bahamas with your family, or plan on starting one when you get here, Out Islands could be a great fit for your loved ones.

Grand Bahama Island

Mostly known for its outdoor sports and other activities, Grand Bahama Island  is the perfect fit for someone who wants some of the city life experience, while also having the luxury of enjoying a less populated area. 

This island is located the closest to Miami, FL. If you are looking for quick travel back and forth to the United States, this island may be your best bet.

Freeport is located on Grand Bahama Island and offers a unique environment to settle. It has both private island homes and gorgeous urban apartments. For those wanting some city bustle and some relaxed beach life, Freeport will successfully give you both. 

When it comes to real estate shopping, even doing so in your hometown can be stressful. It's another added layer of stress to be looking somewhere you've never lived before. 

Our team of agents are experts in not only finding beautiful Bahama houses for sale but aligning the homes we find with your wants and needs. Contact us today and we'll be happy to help you close the Bahama property sale you've only dreamt about. It's out there, and we will help you find it!

August
17

For international home buyers who are in the market for a piece of real estate in the Bahamas, there is a lot to consider before taking the plunge. If you're relocating for work, you'll have to ensure it's an affordable option for you and your family. We've broken down some of the major costs you will face upon moving here, and some other expenses that you'll encounter in your daily life.

Home Prices

Home prices in the Bahamas can vary drastically, depending on your individual or family needs. This includes square feet, number of bedrooms, location, amenities, and more. To give you perspective, we have homes listed for less than $200,000 and upwards of $5,000,000 on our site. 

The islands are a melting pot of culture and people from all walks of life, and the real estate in the Bahamas reflects that. There truly is something for everyone; whether you want to rent a condo on the beach or purchase an island of your own — the option is yours! 

Apartments  in the Bahamas 

On average, the monthly rent for a 900 square foot apartment or condominium in the Bahamas is $1697, but it could be higher depending on the location. 

Apartments typically come furnished, which most ex-pats find to be very convenient as it alleviates the headache of coordinating shipping furniture and other belongings ahead of a move.

Cost Of Living in the Bahamas

Utilities

Electricity and other standard utilities average around 80% higher here than in the United States. For example, one month of utilities (electricity, water ) for two people in a 900 square foot apartment is around $355.  Costs go higher when you include  cable/internet, or you are using your air conditioning 24/7. 

Tax Breaks & Advantages

The tax breaks and advantages in the Bahamas can rectify the cost of living. There is no income tax, capital gains tax, or corporate taxes. 

Fees to Buy Property

There are a few fees involved in purchasing a property here, which are all important to know  when shopping for real estate in the Bahamas. 

  • Transfer Tax (VAT) – 2.5% of the property value, for a property valued at $100,000 or less. 10% of the property value, for a property valued at more than $100,000. 
  • Legal Fees - Each party pays its respective legal fee and 12% VAT thereon. Typically, the legal fee for a party is 2.5% of the purchase price.
  • Real Estate Commission – Brokerages charge 6% of the purchase price for developed land and 10% of the purchase price for undeveloped land. 

For more information on these fees and how they work when purchasing a home, visit our FAQ page.

Cost for Residency

Ex-pats can obtain an annual residency permit for $100 that must be renewed every year if they've purchased property valued at over $250,000. In order to obtain Permanent Residency, international buyers must purchase a property valued at $750,000, and then they can apply.

Transportation

If you have a car at your current location, you can ship it to the Bahamas so it arrives once you're here. You can also buy a used one on the island, or have one imported (but you will pay duty on it). 

Public transportation includes buses (or jitneys) and taxis. Many locals ride bikes. 

Food

Food costs in the Bahamas are comparable to in the United States. A few common items include:

  • A gallon of whole milk is $3.93
  • A dozen eggs are $3
  • 1 pound of chicken breast is $6
  • A hamburger meal in a fast-food setting is $12

While the cost of living may be generally higher, the real estate in the Bahamas is truly one of a kind. There aren't many places in the world that offer everything that our islands do. Bahamas real estate is a worthy investment to make, especially if your future goals include living here or vacationing here. We'd love to have you, regardless!

August
10

Calling all Bahamas homeowners! Whether you're thinking about selling your current home, or have plans down the line, this is a guide to help you throughout the selling process. Bahamas real estate can be a roller coaster, just like in any other country, and we find that the more informed our clients are, the more confident and optimistic they feel when it's time to sell.

Being well versed in the current market and real estate in the Bahamas, we want nothing more than for sellers to feel well-equipped for the process of selling their homes here. Listing a home and going through the entire process in any country can be stressful and overwhelming, and we hope this post will help to ease any stress you have about selling your home in the Bahamas

Select a Qualified Agent

The most important step you'll take in selling your home is selecting an agent. You'll need an agent with extensive market knowledge and practical experience, a network of connections and referrals, and up-to-date knowledge on pricing. 

Without the valuable insight and knowledge you gain from having a seasoned agent representing you, your home could sit on the market for an extended period of time, or you could get offers much less than you're hoping for.

Agents offer a lot of value to sellers — They leverage an extended network of agents, colleagues, and residents to make sure their clients' property gets as many views and as much foot traffic as possible. They will also launch marketing campaigns for your home — including a digital listing, social media promotions, print ads, and more. All of these will factor in to ensure your home gets the proper exposure to find interested buyers. 

It's simply not worth the risk to embark on the journey of selling in the Bahamas without an experienced, knowledgeable license BREA agent in your corner. Trust the experts, you won't regret it! 

Get Your Property Buyer-Ready

Knowing firsthand what features and amenities make your property desirable is the first step in making a successful sale in the Bahamas. These can include any updates you've made to the property that enhance the value, so be sure to mention these to your agent so they can make sure they're included on the listing. Living in the Bahamas is something buyers already know they want if they're shopping for a home, so make sure yours stands out! 

It's also of vital importance that your home and surrounding property are looking their absolute best — from landscaping, fresh paint, a deep clean (inside and out) and staging are all ways to get your home to shine when listed online, and more importantly, when buyers come to see for themselves. 

Manage Your Expectations

While your agent plays a role in this as well, it's important to be aware of the current market and how homes similar to yours are selling. Do your due diligence and research the current climate so you know how it may affect your sale.

Your real estate agent should provide you with a comparative market analysis, which will help when determining an appropriate price for your property, and give you detailed insight into what homes similar to yours are selling for. 

As the islands continue to attract international buyers and investors to its idyllic shores, the demand for real estate in the Bahamas skyrockets. The search for a laidback lifestyle is in high demand for many people around the world. If you own a home in the Bahamas and are interested in selling, now is an ideal time to do so. 

If you have questions or need advice on how to go about making your home buyer-ready, please reach out to us! Our multi-generations of experience and market knowledge can assist you with preparing your home, finding the right buyer, and closing at a price you're happy with.

August
5

One of the first choices people looking to purchase real estate are faced with is whether to invest in a townhouse or single-family property. So how do you arrive at the right decision? We've compiled a few ideas for you to consider when making the all-important decision.

You must first understand the difference between the two.

A single-family home is a detached or stand-alone home that does not share any common areas or walls with another property. Typically, this term refers to a single property. In some instances, the property may be located within a development that has a HOA (homeowners' association) that manages some or all of the community's common areas, however, a single-family home is always a stand-alone property. Investing in a single-family home will have some definite advantages. First and foremost, the buyer makes all the decisions concerning any upgrades, repairs, maintenance and remodeling. While a HOA can place restrictions on a townhouse owner and limit your tenant pool, as an owner of a single-family home you have the freedom and flexibility to screen and select potential tenants.

 

An example of a multi-family property is a townhouse development, as there are multiple "homes" on the property. You must be sure to consider the ramifications of owning a "home" that is not detached but is part of a group of development of other "homes". While you may be able to landscape around your townhouse, the property management and upkeep of the property is undertaken by the HOA. One of the main upsides of buying a townhouse is financial, in that the maintenance and upkeep costs are shared across all the townhouses and therefore are typically lower than a single-family property. Townhouses are also typically smaller in size, and the tenant pool is usually larger as they are looking to rent small to moderately sized units. 

With any investment, you want long-term profitability through appreciation in value. A property's appreciation is the value added to the investment over time through a combination of your property improvements and with any luck, benefits from market changes. 

When purchasing a property, it is vital to first consider several key factors. You need to satisfy your highest needs. Location, of course, matters a great deal. As the investor, you need to be aware of the state of the housing market and decide which kind of property will best suit your family's needs. Only a trusted professional can provide you this insight. Our team here at Morley is always ready and happy to assist.

August
3

If you're thinking about making an international move and the Bahamas is on your list, we highly encourage you to seriously consider this tropical paradise for your future home. From warm beaches to the gorgeous water and picturesque resorts, to the occasional celebrity sighting… the Bahamas has something for everyone. 

With that said, if you are looking at properties for sale in the Bahamas, we highly recommend carefully researching an agent  to help you with your search. Real estate in the Bahamas can be tricky, and you need someone in your corner who knows the lay of the land and can help you find the perfect abode for you and your family. 

While moving here may seem like the easiest decision you'll ever make, we put together a list of positive and practical reasons why relocating here is worth the money.

1. It's a smart investment to buy in the Bahamas 

The Bahamas Government maintains an investor-friendly outlook on real estate and welcomes international investors to buy property in the Bahamas in order to stimulate tourism and boost the local economy.

Because of this, Bahamas real estate is a smart place to invest. The opportunities here are plentiful — Whether you want to relocate and purchase a long-term home, buy an investment property and treat it as a vacation home, or create an AirBNB property; these investment options aren't as readily possible for many families living in other countries. 

2. The Bahamas are just a quick flight away from the "real world"

Maybe you (or your spouse) travel for work, and you need to be able to get back to the US easily. Maybe you have family or other responsibilities in the states, but still want to enjoy all that the Bahamas has to offer. The good news is that traveling from the Bahamas is quick and easy; we're located just off the coast of Florida.

3. There are major tax advantages to living in the Bahamas

If you're looking for a country where you can get impressive tax breaks, the Bahamas is a great option. There is virtually no income tax here. There are no taxes on capital gains, individual income, personal inheritances, or dividends. 

Property taxes for owner-occupied residences are as follows:

  • On the part of the market value that does not exceed $250,000 — Exempt
  • On the part of the market value that exceeds $250,000 and does not exceed $500,000 — 0.625%
  • On the part of the market value that exceeds $500,000 and does not exceed $5,000,000 —1%
  • On the part of the market value that exceeds $5,000,000 —½% ($60,000 annually cap)

Tax breaks can be a huge advantage for families, business owners, and investors. The tax advantages listed above are worth considering when you make your move!

4. The Bahamas are very family-friendly 

If you're looking for a spot to put down roots for your family, and instill important values in your children like culture, curiosity, and the beauty of the great outdoors— look no further! The Bahamas has it all, from sandy beaches with plenty of water sports and activities, premiere private schools, and an ex-pat and local community that will make you feel right at home. 

5. The lifestyle is much more relaxed 

If your life is high-stress, chaotic, or you don't feel like you get to spend enough time with your family, a move to the Bahamas could change all of that. Local residents and ex-pats alike have adopted the laidback lifestyle, which can be a healthy, positive change for many people. If this is the reason you are considering relocating, you'll find exactly what you're looking for here.

If you are looking at homes for sale in the Bahamas, we understand it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. If you need guidance or advice on navigating the home buying process in the Bahamas, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We'd be more than happy to help you find the perfect home for you and your family. 

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