Having guests over the festive season should be fun. That said, preparation is critical when you want to create an environment that ensures all your house guests feel welcome, comfortable, and perhaps even a little pampered. Don't let the preparation part stress you out. Our agents have compiled some tips to ensure your guests feel right at home and enjoy their stay.
Are you moving elsewhere in The Bahamas? If the property will be largely unoccupied for a while, it might prove to be harder to sell. Even if the property is in great condition, vacant rooms don't naturally appeal to people. Some buyers see the appeal of an empty space because they can envision all the ways they can transform it. Unfortunately, many buyers can't. They're looking for a house that resonates with them emotionally in some way, and a vacant home—even in The Bahamas—may not provide them with that connection.
The playbook for selling high-end luxury Bahamas real estate—or any real estate for that matter—is evolving with time. Just a few years ago, all you needed to sell a luxury home in the Bahamas Islands was proximity to the beach and astronomical square footage. But the demographics of buyers have changed over the years, from affluent retirees to young tech millionaires and millennials looking for a remote working haven.
If you're dreaming of owning a second home in The Bahamas, our agents are always here to advise you. Whether you're focused on the prospect of Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale, we'll help you find a home that exceeds your expectations.
It's no surprise when foreign buyers fall in love with the beauty of the islands of The Bahamas and want to make our unforgettable sights a permanent part of their lifestyle. Before long, the question arises: Is it better to purchase an existing home or purchase land and build new construction?
Real estate transactions are almost always about the bottom line.
Think of staging as an investment of time that helps maximize the return on the sale of the property. Staging enables you to showcase your home's best assets and impress buyers so you can get the best possible deal on the sale. No matter why you're selling, whether you're looking to downsize or retire to one of our Nassau homes for sale, staging is one of the most lucrative undertakings you can take on.
Still, many sellers make the mistake of believing that staging is actually redecorating and in many other instances, sellers forgo the process altogether. It's really a form of visual merchandising that uses the principles of interior design to make your home look significantly better in photos and evoke a mood that appeals to buyers.
Whether you prefer Nassau homes for sale or Paradise Island homes for sale, buying a new home in The Bahamas is one of the best decisions you can make. When you select the right home with backing from the best Bahamas real estate agents, you will change your lifestyle for the better. It's your own slice of paradise!
Our agents are experienced and can help navigate you through the nuances of buying island real estate. The idea of buying real estate in another country may appear intimidating, but rest assured, there are many similarities. If any differences do arise, an experienced local real estate agent can help you navigate them.
Some say heaven is a ballfield in Iowa or country roads in West Virginia. For our agents, it's ice cream on a beach in The Bahamas. Get your favorite creamy treat at one of these wonderful shops near Nassau homes for sale.
Life in The Bahamas is paradise no matter where you end up, but choosing a community that aligns with your needs will make your time here all the better. This tiny country is packed with different neighborhoods to suit any lifestyle. Continuing on from our previous coverage, here are three more Bahamian neighborhoods you might want to consider when browsing our Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale.
During any week in the United States, thousands of homes get sold. But the story is a little bit different here in The Bahamas. While many people wish to relocate at any given time, the right Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale aren't always available.
If you've decided to sell your property in The Bahamas, you have every reason to expect to get a good deal. However, Bahamas buyers are highly sophisticated and rarely make a snap decision on the first property they see. Our real estate agents can help keep you in the running.
One of the best ways to get to know a culture is to experience its cuisine. This is as true in The Bahamas as anywhere else. Whether visiting The Bahamas for the first time or thinking of making the islands your home, you simply must dine at some of the local restaurants. Here are a few of the top dining destinations our agents recommend.
Retaining walls are an integral part of your landscape that enhance the aesthetic and protect your home. Installing a retaining wall is a cost-effective investment that our agents strongly recommend. Once installed, you'll enjoy many benefits, including, but not limited to, the following five things our clients frequently mention.
Living in an island paradise gives you an even clearer view of all the ways we humans can influence our environment. The Bahamas is highly active in environmental conservation so that everyone can enjoy the islands' beauty for years to come—and so are our agents.
Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale often incorporate environmentally friendly features, most noticeable in newer construction. The Bahamas government encourages builders to consider environmental impact and will often provide incentives to homeowners for doing the same.
It's hard to imagine a more beautiful place for a run than Nassau, The Bahamas. Located on the stunning New Providence Island, Nassau is most famous for its beaches, resorts, golf courses, and nightlife. But it also has some great running routes.
When you're ready for a jog in Nassau, you have countless miles of roads, trails, and beaches to choose from. So lace up your running shoes, and join our agents for a run near our Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale.
Our agents know that few experiences are more exciting and enjoyable than moving to a beautiful tropical island such as those you'll find in The Bahamas. Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale provide buyers with all the beauty of the unspoiled tropics alongside many "mainland" amenities.
Whether you've visited The Bahamas for long periods before or simply researched it, you likely have a good idea of what to expect. Yet, some things about island living could continue to surprise you even when you've been here for quite a while.
The best views of The Bahamas are from above. If you're visiting The Bahamas, one of the first things on your to-do list should be to go parasailing. There's no experience quite like strapping yourself to a giant sail and soaring over the water like a bird. The experience is thrilling, and the views are breathtaking. Our agents have compiled a list of the best places in the Nassau and Paradise Island areas to go parasailing.
Nassau, The Bahamas has plenty of open-air markets that are not only fun to visit but also sell a variety of interesting goods. From hand-woven items to fish that's offered for sale straight off the boat that's been used to catch it, you'll find plenty of tempting purchases at these markets.
Our agents suggest making a stop at the following open-air markets in Nassau.
Composting your yard and food waste is a great way to reduce the amount of trash that goes into landfills and incinerators. On top of that, the compost you create can be used to nourish the soil in your garden beds or yard, leading to happier and more vibrant plants. If you've always wanted to try your hand at backyard composting, there has never been a better time. Composting works well in the humid, tropical climate of The Bahamas, and our agents have some helpful tips to share.
If you have been contemplating life in The Bahamas, it may be time to start thinking about which part of the islands is right for you. Our agents know the area's top neighborhoods intimately, and each has its own unique attractions and atmosphere. Keep reading to find out which of The Bahamas' most popular neighborhoods is the best fit for your lifestyle and needs.
Relocating to The Bahamas can be a great adventure, and it's one our agents will be glad to help with. Having the right advisors on your side is an absolute must, so you can enjoy all the islands offer with plenty of peace of mind along the way. Our experience makes the difference for customers like you.
Many Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale have lovely backyard gardens. If you purchase one of these homes, of course, you'll want to keep the garden looking fresh and healthy. You may even want to improve the landscaping and add more plants and features to the design. Gardening in The Bahamas does come with a few intricacies, but if you follow the tips below, you'll be off to a good start.
Music filling the air is one of the hallmarks of island life. When our agents want to get in the groove, they head out to one of these great spots that feature live music around Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale.
The Bahamas is rife with beauty at every turn. Between the gorgeous views, amazing people, and exciting activities, Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale often get snatched up quickly. Many residents and people visiting The Bahamas love diving into one of the many hotspots located in the area, and our agents would like to share some of their favorites.
Have you ever realized that "stressed" is "desserts" spelled backward? When our agents need some balance in their lives, they head to these five amazing dessert spots around Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale.
When it comes to natural beauty, Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale are ahead of the rest. But our agents know a property needs more than charm to meet your expectations: Every now and then, you may want to renovate your home. And that can be more complex than in the United States.
The rules around who is allowed to perform contracting work are different than you might be used to. Bahamas contractors must be licensed in an area of specialization, such as residential or commercial construction, electrical work, or plumbing. Still, it is possible to be targeted by scams.
Visit The Bahamas, and you might just decide to become a lifelong resident. Nassau alone is home to so many fascinating historical sites, which shed light on the community's past and make for great places to visit in the present day. Some of these sites are even still in use today, serving as centers of public life in Nassau. Our agents have the details on six Nassau destinations where you can step into the past and learn more about local history.
Fort Fincastle – Bennet's Hill
One of three historic forts found near Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale with stunning views of Nassau, Fort Fincastle was constructed in 1793 atop Bennet's Hill by Lord Dunmore, a British captain looking to protect the area from pirates. You can still see the many cannons that were never once fired. Guided tours are offered daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There are so many things to love about The Bahamas that it should come as no surprise that Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale have always been extremely popular. One thing that you can't escape is the lost list of tropical drinks available throughout the islands. To give you an idea of what to expect, we've put together six of our favorite places to grab a drink, enjoy a meal, and have fun.
The balmy shores and overgrown tropical foliage of The Bahamas' out islands are some of the most exquisite landscapes in the world. While their populations are low, the select few who live in these paradises wouldn't trade the experience for anything.
With long sandy beaches, lively communities, and a warm, tropical climate, The Bahamas has it all. Now all you have to do is pick the right house among Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale and settle down. Moving to The Bahamas allows you to experience the natural beauty of the tropics and explore a whole new way of living. It's a perfect place to call home for nature enthusiasts and those looking to live a more laidback lifestyle.
The Bahamas is an excellent place to vacation, but if you're looking to slow down and enjoy life's little pleasures, you'll find this island chain has much more to offer. There's a large expatriate community in The Bahamas, from meandering travelers to the rich and famous.
It's no secret that when people visit The Bahamas, they're usually struck by how beautiful the islands really are. When clients look at Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale, they're always impressed by the natural beauty. The sunrises and sunsets are particularly breathtaking, especially when you take the time to enjoy them at one of the following resorts.
Restaurants throughout The Bahamas offer more than just seafood. If you're looking for some authentic Caribbean cuisine, amazing dining experiences, and, of course, a wide menu selection, you won't have trouble finding an option around Nassau and Paradise Island. In fact, there are several within a short distance of these beautiful Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale.
With so many great options, it can be hard to choose one, so here are some recommendations from our agents.
Do you enjoy looking at artwork? Immersing yourself in others' creations can be so relaxing and eye-opening. Nassau has a vibrant art scene, along with some incredible galleries displaying paintings, drawings, and sculptures. If you're looking at Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale, you may want to stop by some of these art galleries along the way.
It seems like a dream, but it's real: You're looking at Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale. You're moving to the Bahamas. There are so many great things to see and do here! One of the biggest draws is the wildlife. Here are a few you might run into.
Considering the wonderful tropical climate, proximity to the United States, and low taxes, The Bahamas is a delightful place to call home. Find your dream home among these Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale and find out why a home in The Bahamas is a highly sought-after asset.
If you're thinking of purchasing property in The Bahamas either as a primary or vacation home, here's a guide that will help you find a home that's right for you.
So, what's your style?
Want to know more about living in The Bahamas? Our agents are here to help.
In a previous post, we discussed how you can take advantage of unique government programs to relocate to The Bahamas. People from the United States and all over the world have already leveraged these welcoming laws to make their long-term – or permanent – move.
There's no secret about the many reasons to move to a tropical paradise like The Bahamas. Beautiful beaches and mild weather are only the beginning. The cost of living is attractive, and tax obligations are straightforward, especially compared to the United States.
Whether living on the islands or not, many homebuyers decide to rent their properties to help them with the carrying costs of ownership. The Bahamas benefits from a robust short-term vacation rental market. You'll find many different options sure to be suitable for your needs.
With the right real estate agent on your side, the process is easy and convenient.
Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale are always in demand, but some property owners prefer to cater to international clientele desiring a short-term stay. Enthusiastic new visitors arrive every day – thanks to year-round warm weather, September has become the peak of the season.
Some of the best places to look for Bahamas short-term vacation rentals include:
The Bahamas has no restriction on foreign real property purchases, and some 80% of all buyers come from the United States. Generally, transactions are approved quickly and without issue, if the parcel is less than 5 acres.
Property acquisition costs can be significant. They include a transfer tax when property changes hands and legal fees pertaining to the transaction. The buyer's share of soft costs usually amounts to about 7.5% of the purchase price. This does not count the real estate agent's fee.
Bahamas residents don't pay taxes on income, inheritance, gifts, or capital gains. The principal form of tax revenue is Value Added Tax (VAT). That said, annual property taxes are assessed based on assessed value, just as in the United States.
Contact us to discover more about real estate in The Bahamas.
With the gorgeous beaches, bright sunny days, and frolicking families found in The Bahamas, it's no wonder that Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale don't stay on the market for very long. It's not just about the beaches and culture, though — it's also about the delicious island dishes that get people to sit up and take notice. Since we're guessing that many people out there haven't been lucky enough to taste these delights, our agents recommend seven traditional Bahamian dishes that will take your tastebuds for a ride.
The Bahamas is famous for its white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, and the capital city of Nassau is instantly recognizable for its pastel-colored British colonial architecture. But there's another reason to get excited about the Bahamas: golf.
Nassau and neighboring Paradise Island are home to some of the world's most stunning golf courses. If you're looking to play a round while in the Bahamas, these are our agents' favorite courses in the Nassau area.
Our agents know that the beauty of the Bahamas is becoming attractive to more Americans who no longer need to worry about commuting to work. Working remotely saves the average person thousands of dollars each year to reinvest for a better life.
Many remote workers now have the opportunity to become fully location-independent. Freed from the shackles of an office, they can do whatever they do from a world away. It's no surprise that the blue skies and sun-drenched beaches of the Bahamas are getting more attention.
Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale are getting a closer look. However, not everyone realizes that a home in the Caribbean really is attainable. They worry that they will not be able to buy property in the Caribbean or that it will be a very different process than they're used to.
You have made the best decision of your life: you purchased a home in the Bahamas. This tropical Caribbean nation happens to be an excellent place to live and work. Unlike many American cities, this nation's amazing cultural offerings don't come at the cost of a challenging job market.
The most common professions in the Bahamas are related to the tourism, financial services, and construction industries. There are a variety of other jobs that may be available in the country as well. Unlike other countries, the Bahamas is subject to less tax deduction when employees receive their salary. This nation is very welcoming toward foreigners and the process to become an eligible worker isn't very tedious. However, taking the proper steps is necessary, and you will need to apply and prove that you have a skill not currently available in the country.
There are different permits needed depending on how many days you plan on being employed in the Bahamas. In the Bahamas, only your employer can make an application for you to get a work permit. These permits can either be short term (usually about 90 days) or long term, which is an indefinite amount of time.
In these applications, the employer will first have to prove that no locals are available to fill the vacancy, then provide a copy of your passport, colored photographs of yourself, and other essential identification documents. Applications are examined and may be accepted by the government within a week of submission once you and your employer meet the requirements..
As mentioned earlier, the tourism market is huge in the Bahamas. There are many job openings in this sector. Jobs involving engineering and finances may be available for expatriates. Check to make sure you meet the qualifications before you apply to any job. Pharmaceuticals and farming are other potential jobs in the Bahamas that have a high demand for workers.
This is a good tip for any country, especially the Bahamas. Job finder websites like LinkedIn and Indeed will help you find employment in a new country. Sometimes it can be hard to find the right opportunity, so these sites digitally pick out the best employment fit for you.
Once you have found the right place, it is important to prepare yourself for an interview. The business culture and etiquette of the Bahamas is quite similar to the business culture of the United States. Bahamians are very welcoming people and are excited to encounter potential employees from other lands.
The Bahamas have a distinct and happy culture that brings joy to all people who live and travel to this country. Bahamians are known for their hospitality and friendliness. African influences, along with some American and British aspects, have helped Bahamians develop a distinct culture that values creativity and fun. The colorful streets, the glorious parades, and lively Caribbean markets all make it clear that the Bahamas has a rich and outgoing culture.
The Bahamas is a great place to live because of the culture, diversity, and people that live there. Public celebrations are very popular in the Bahamas, as most Bahamian citizens love to have a good time. Festivals and market events are always lively and welcoming to all, including immigrants and tourists alike. The laid-back lifestyle that the Bahamas is known for must be experienced to be believed. The beautiful landscape, warm weather, and affectionate people make the Bahamas a very attractive vacation destination and place to call home.
Morley knows all the basics of moving to the Bahamas. They are also experienced with helping clients land Bahamian jobs. Living in the Bahamas is a great opportunity for you and your family, and Morley Realty can help you make the move.
The Bahamas is a beautiful country with a unique culture and a different lifestyle than one you may experience in the United States. It is not too far from the States, as a 45 minute flight from Miami will get you to the capital city Nassau. However, the pace of life is different in the Bahamas, and is unlike anywhere else in the world. There is a reason why millions travel there every year to get a break from their regular life. Purchasing a home and actually living in the Bahamas year-round can legitimately improve the quality of your life for many reasons.
The Bahamas is located in the sub-tropical climate zone, which means that it is warm and sunny all year. Each day in the Bahamas, a short-sleeved shirt and shorts is acceptable attire. The wet season lasts from May to October, and the dry season usually occurs during the November to April time frame. Winters can be quite brutal in other parts of the world, causing you to stay inside just to keep warm. There is no such thing as a cold, sad day in the Bahamas.
The perfect weather makes swimming, hiking, eating outdoors at restaurants, and a plethora of other activities possible every day. Staying active and getting outside are factors that can only improve your quality of life.
The world can be a stressful place; everyone is in a rush, deadlines have to be met, and responsibilities have to be taken care of immediately. This can wear down a person and decrease his or her quality of life. In the Bahamas, the pace of life is considerably slower than anywhere else. Bahamians and tourists alike love being in the Bahamas because it gives them a chance to step back, breathe, and move at the pace they want to move.
The lifestyle is less demanding than modern lifestyles in other countries. It is very natural to feel mentally relaxed in the Bahamas. The presence of many spas and resorts in the country also allow for physical decompression. A laid-back lifestyle with less stress and more time to chill is great for life quality.
The Bahamas is known for having very low taxes for its citizens. In fact, there is no income or corporate tax existent in the Bahamas, making it a fine place to seek employment. Capital gains and inheritance taxes are also not required by the Bahamian government. Taxes on goods and services are also relatively low compared to other countries like the United States.
There is an abundance of beaches, cays, and nature trails all over the Bahamian islands. This promotes an active lifestyle with plenty of exploring and adventures to be had. You can swim with stingrays, visit underground caves, stroll through amazing flower beds, and take long relaxing walks on the beach. The irresistible nature helps maintain peace of mind while also keeping you active and fit.
Whether you are just visiting or planning on moving to the Bahamas, the living arrangements in this nation are rather grand. There are many resorts and homes located near beaches and trails. They are very affordable but modern and stylish. You can find a very upscale home in the Bahamas with super-advanced appliances and amenities.
Morley Realty will find the right place for you in the Bahamas as soon as today. Living in a unique tropical environment offers undeniable mental and physical health benefits, and the Bahamas real estate market is booming. If you are seeking a stress-free, Bahamian lifestyle and want to know about the properties for sale in the Bahamas, contact Morley Realty today.
There is always an adventure to be had in the Bahamas. From white sand beaches to cool marketplaces to relaxing spas and resorts, there is something for everybody. The Bahamas has over 700 islands, each with beautiful, sparkling seas of blue and pristine weather. In addition to the beaches, there are a large number of marketplaces, restaurants, shops, and entertainment centers all over the Bahamas. It is nearly impossible to ever be bored in this tropical escape.
The Bahamas brings in millions of tourists every year. There are popular tourist attractions, and then there are must-see attractions that the locals flock to. Some of these venues may overlap because even Bahamians cannot get enough of the tropical paradise they dwell in. Below is a list of attractions that locals love.
Both tourists and locals love travelling to the Atlantis Resort, which is located on Paradise Island. There are a variety of activities that you can enjoy at this resort. If you are looking to relax and decompress, you can visit the spa. If you're looking for some thrills, you can check out the gigantic water park, which has some of the most impressive waterslides in the world. Along with those activities, you can browse boutique shops, eat at award-winning restaurants, and even swim with dolphins. This is a place that you absolutely cannot miss in the Bahamas.
All the locals know about the grand fish fry that goes down at Arawak Cay in the capital city of Nassau. There is a whole strip of road filled with vendors creating some of the finest fish dishes in the Caribbean. The hand-painted colorful shacks and stands offer tourists and locals alike some can't-miss Bahamian cuisine.
The Queen's Staircase, also referred to as the 66 steps by locals, is a legendary landmark of the Bahamas. This wonder of architecture was carved out of solid limestone rock between 1793 and 1794. These exotic stairs were named after Queen Victoria of Great Britain.
The staircase leads to another historically significant spot. Fort Fincastle is located at the top of Queen's Staircase. It is also made of limestone and was constructed at the same time as the staircase. The fort offers an extraordinary view of Nassau and Paradise Island.
The acclaimed Straw Market is located on Bay Street in the heart of downtown Nassau. Bay Street is famous for its unique shops that sell fashionable items and crafts. There are tourist shops at the market, but there are also shops that sell special Bahamian crafts that you cannot find anywhere else. From straw handbags to hand-carved wood, you can find anything you could ever want or need at the market. The experience is unmatched, as you are sure to meet some brilliant craft makers and memorable salesmen.
Parliament Square in Nassau is where the House of Parliament is located in the Bahamas. These are not your average government buildings: they are painted salmon pink to honor the vibrant and playful culture of the country. Loyalists from the United States constructed these buildings back in the early 1800s. This area is significant to locals because this is where the Bahamian Parliament meets to consider, debate, and change laws in the country. The Supreme Court and Senate buildings are in the Square, along with the House of Assembly.
As you can tell, living in the Bahamas is fairly ideal. The beautiful landscape, paired with new sights to discover every day, promotes an exciting and active lifestyle. If you have considered investing in a move to the Bahamas, you should speak with associates at Morley. There are many homes for sale in the Bahamas and Morley has all the tools and experience to turn your Bahamian dream into a reality.
The Bahamas is known for its tropical lifestyle, sunny beaches and unique culture. It is time to include "amazing properties" on that list as well. The Bahamas has a variety of properties that you can call your own. There are family homes, vacation homes, luxury properties, and even private islands that are available right now. The real estate market is truly booming down here, and it is critical that you act soon if you are seeking a move to the lush paradise of the the Bahamas.
Those searching for real estate in the Bahamas will need a little help to do so. A reliable real estate agent is a good asset to have if you are looking to make your Bahamas move fast and successful. It is important to have an organized, trustworthy real estate agent that will get you to right place at the right price. Check out the list below to find out how to separate a legitimate real estate agent and agency from the rest.
It is a good idea to talk with at least a couple real estate agents before making a decision. Each person and property is different, and the interview process can help narrow down which agent is perfect for you. You should evaluate the proposals that each agent has and determine which fits your lifestyle the best.
The interview process is beneficial because it gives you an idea of how communicative the agent is. It is important to notice what methods your agent uses to contact you, and how frequently they do so. You could also get a feel for their hours of availability during this interview. All of these factors play a role in how much you can trust your agent.
If you are looking for a move to the Bahamas, it is best that you have assistance from somebody that has sold homes there for a period of time. They should have a gauge on the Bahamian real estate processes and know where to find the best properties in town. Experienced agents will understand the trends of the market that unseasoned agents may overlook.
Real estate agents in the Bahamas have been very active recently. You should ask about the properties they have sold in the past year and how you can reach out to them. The houses they have listed in the past and the satisfaction level of past clients will showcase how effective and trustworthy they are as a real estate agent.
A trustworthy real estate agent stationed in the Bahamas should be licensed by the Bahamas Real Estate Association. Only licensed agents are allowed to practice real estate in the Bahamas. If you discover that a potential Bahamian real estate agent you have been considering is not licensed you should immediately move on. The Bahamas Real Estate Association gives licenses out to agents that have passed rigorous Bahamian real estate courses.
Once you have made a decision, it is time to trust that you have hired a reliable, punctual, and intelligent agent. You will know if you have chemistry with your agent. You will also know how qualified and successful they are in their duties. You should also feel comfortable with your agent. There will be many conversations with this person and it is paramount that they are both approachable and knowledgeable.
Morley employs only the most experienced and knowledgeable real estate agents in the Bahamas. They have served satisfied residents for three generations and understand how Bahamas real estate works. Come experience the Morley difference.
If you are considering living in the Bahamas, this post is for you. Composed of 30 inhabited islands and with nearly 400,000 residents, the Bahamas can be an absolute paradise for those looking for a slower-paced life with an emphasis on nature and the beauty of the outdoors. If this sounds like the haven you are seeking, consider the Bahamas for your next move.
While it would be wonderful to just pick up and move, unfortunately, that's not a realistic possibility for most people. Your job and monthly income is an important factor in deciding whether an international move is feasible and affordable, so let's examine some economic and financial data in the Bahamas to help you make an informed decision.
Jobs in the Bahamas vary in salary just as they do anywhere in the world. Occupation, experience, and location can also greatly impact the salary residents earn per year.
The average base salary in the Bahamas is $45,591.
Professionals with more than five years of experience tend to earn on average 36% more than those with five years or less of work experience.
More than half of Bahamian jobs are in tourism and financial services. These sectors help to develop and stimulate the economy most significantly.
Because of this, the demand for workers in these two industries is higher than in others, and wages can be better.
The standard workweek in the Bahamas is an eight-hour workday, five days a week.
When trying to determine if you can make a proper living while working in the Bahamas and keep your preferred lifestyle, these factors are important to consider in your calculations.
Housing in the Bahamas can be more expensive than average, depending on location and what type of housing you prefer.
Nassau is a popular city for affordable apartments and single-family homes and offers a taste of the exciting city life many ex-pats still crave when moving to an island.
Utilities are typically around 80% higher in the Bahamas than in other countries. Depending on your living situation and location, these may fluctuate as well.
Food does run more expensive than on the mainland because nearly everything has to be imported. Residents looking to save money on food can do so by shopping at local markets for fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, herbs, and more.
Most domestic goods and services are taxable at the standard rate of 12 percent in the Bahamas. This tax was introduced in 2015 as part of the efforts to reform the tax system here. VAT was implemented because most goods must be imported from other places, which can get expensive for the government.
You can find more information on the prices of the common goods in the Bahamas that we covered in this post.
While the cost of living in the Bahamas may be pricier than what you're used to, many other factors balance out the cost of living. Tax rates, for one, are a great way to save money in other areas and apply it to your lifestyle accordingly.
Be sure to visit Morley Realty as a valuable resource for all things real estate and life in the Bahamas. Our team has years of practical experience and knowledge in the various areas of the islands, and we can advise you on what will best suit you and the lifestyle you're looking for.
We can help with the coordination of financing, inspection setup, home insurance, and more. We are here for you every step of the way!
Looking for a great place to start your new business venture? We appreciate your entrepreneurial spirit! Many people find there are many benefits and perks to starting a business in the Bahamas.
Stimulating the economy, boosting tourism, and creating Bahamian jobs are a few of the ways new businesses help the Bahamas. Because of this, the government has created tax benefits and other incentives for entrepreneurs to start their businesses here. We'll be exploring those in more detail in this post.
If your new business is in the tourism sector, you're already off on the right foot! When tourism booms, so does the local economy. Over time, the more tourists and travelers that visit an area create an increase in demand for jobs in the Bahamas, bringing in additional people to work in this sector.
This means the economy in this area experiences a huge shift and nearly every niche is in demand, from transportation services, apartment buildings and hotels, maintenance and custodial services, hair stylists, grocery and other food-based services like restaurants, and much more.
Because the Bahamas is obviously a paradise in itself, many destination management companies do very well here. These include honeymoon and wedding planners as well as typical vacation planning companies.
Recreational companies like guided tours or undersea adventures, boating and fishing companies, and many more also see massive success here.
In a tourism-heavy country like the Bahamas, starting a business that somehow touches the tourism industry, no matter how small, will generate demand and heighten your chances of success in the region.
There is no personal or corporate income tax, no capital gains tax, and no inheritance tax assessed by the Bahamas Government. There is no sales tax on goods, but there is Value Added Tax (VAT) on goods and services.
These tax breaks are hugely beneficial to a business starting out or just experiencing growth. You aren't putting away large portions of your revenue to pay taxes. You can invest in your company, your inventory, your commercial property, or in hiring more employees.
The Bahamas has other business-friendly initiatives, including no corporate taxes, no annual filing or auditing requirements.
Many businesses seek the relief the Bahamas provides for the tax initiatives listed above. Additionally, there are no restrictions on real estate purchases made by foreign investors, meaning you can purchase a commercial property space here quite easily.
While there may be some challenges when starting a business in the Bahamas, the rewards definitely outweigh the risk! You'll be creating local jobs, stimulating the economy, and avoiding tons of corporate and personal taxes along the way. The opportunity awaits you in the Bahamas if you are bold and strategic enough to make the move!
If you're an entrepreneur thinking about moving to the Bahamas, be sure to reach out to Morley Commercial as you explore the Bahamas real estate sector. Morley Commercial is the largest commercial sales, leasing, and property management agency in the Bahamas, and our experienced agents will get you into an ideal property that will set your business up for success.
For some, island life may seem too far out of reach and is more of a lofty goal that has to wait until retirement, or at least the kids are shipped off to college. However, in reality, living on an island with kids is totally doable!
Thanks to high-speed internet, homeschooling capabilities, and the digital nomad nature of many adapting industries, living in the Bahamas and raising a family can be a reality in your life if you want it to be.
Raising a family doesn't have to be the cookie-cutter picture that many societies paint as the norm. We can all step out of our comfort zones and challenge ourselves to do things differently as we raise our children. It makes us better parents and helps us raise well-rounded children who are accepting of people from all walks of life.
There are many benefits children will gain while growing up in the Bahamas, and we've listed just a few of them here.
Living in the Bahamas will be a cultural education in itself for children. From locals who have grown up here, residents who have seen the islands change through the decades, and ex-pats who sold it all to start over here and build a life — there are truly people from all corners of the globe, all with a story to tell.
The islands are rich in historic culture, incredible foods, activities, and experiences that will shape your children and teach them about the world.
Many people relocate to the islands for the change of pace, casual lifestyle, and to readjust the time they spend indoors to a nature-filled daily routine. Families will get all of this in the Bahamas.
Many schools on the islands spend various classes outdoors studying marine life, the ocean, and weather patterns.
With a weather forecast rarely dipping below the 60s or above the high 90s, spending time outdoors is possible nearly all year long. You can exercise, share meals, study, and work while enjoying stunning views, interacting with nature, and discovering what island life is all about.
When considering a move to the Bahamas, whether you have children or plan to start a family, research the school systems and learn what is offered in the area you are considering.
The Bahamas offer many elite private schools on the islands. These schools are primarily located in New Providence and most are K through 12. If this is the route you want to take for your children, you have that option.
You can also look into homeschooling, which many families find fits better into their routines and schedule. Some families find that balancing work, deadlines, homework, meals, chores, all while getting kids to school in the morning can be difficult, so some parents opt to home-school their children so they can have a more hands-on approach and be actively involved in their child's education.
There is so much to learn and discover together on the islands, so this can be a beneficial decision for you as much as for your child.
If you are looking into real estate in the Bahamas and need a helping hand, don't hesitate to contact us at Morley. Our team of experts can assist you with finding the perfect place to put down roots with your family.
It can be overwhelming to shop for homes for sale in the Bahamas, so trusting one of our local agents who know the market will help you get the home that suits your family's needs and will keep you happy for years to come.
For those on the verge of retirement who are looking to settle down internationally, the Bahamas is a wonderful option. The islands boast white sandy beaches, sparkling blue water, welcoming residents, and enough outdoor activities to keep you entertained long-term.
Moving to the Bahamas can be quite an undertaking because there are a lot of moving parts to consider. Moving here is not just downsizing and moving to a smaller home or relocating to another city; an international move requires extensive planning, financial security, and help along the way.
But once you're here, all that planning is well worth it! You've worked hard your entire life and now is the time to kick up your feet, relax on the beach, and have a cocktail with your partner and loved ones. Here are five reasons why the Bahamas is ideal for retirement.
Real estate in the Bahamas is competitive in price: properties currently for sale on the islands are listed from anywhere in the range of $200,000 and upwards of $5,000,000.
Depending on your financial situation, investing in a home in the Bahamas means you can gain residency here. 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 a Permanent Residency, international buyers must purchase a property valued at $750,000 before they can apply.
Just buying property in the Bahamas means you are on your way to becoming a resident and putting down roots in your new home.
It's very easy and efficient to travel from the Bahamas to the United States and onward. With international airports in New Providence, Grand Bahama, and Abaco, you can get almost anywhere you need to go stress-free. These airports offer direct flights to the US, Canada, and Europe. If you retire here but have family and friends in the US or other countries, traveling by plane to visit them will be a breeze.
The wide range of activities offered in the Bahamas often surprise ex-pats who retire here. You can enjoy water activities such as sailing, swimming, diving, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, and kite surging.
On land, residents love to participate in tennis, golf, bicycling, and birdwatching. Whether you love the land or sea (or both!), there is truly something for everyone here; living in the Bahamas means you will never be bored, and you will discover some new hobbies that you love!
Retirees will be thrilled with the tax benefits they receive as residents of the Bahamas. These breaks include no income tax, capital gains tax, wealth tax, inheritance tax, sales tax, and corporate tax.
While properties for sale in the Bahamas may seem pricier than in the United States, the balance you gain from tax breaks is well worth it.
Regardless of where you live in the world, knowing your coverage when it comes to health care insurance is essential. We can't plan for everything; accidents do happen and issues come up when we don't expect them to.
There are private health care options available as well, and we recommend doing your research and making a plan before arriving on the island so you know what your coverage and options are.
If you are thinking about the Bahamas as a potential location to put down roots and enjoy your retirement, contact the experts at Morley. Our agents have decades of experience with buying and selling property in the Bahamas, and we can make your international move a smooth and enjoyable one.
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 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.
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.
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!
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more information on these fees and how they work when purchasing a home, visit our FAQ page.
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.
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 costs in the Bahamas are comparable to in the United States. A few common items include:
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
When you're selling your home it can be tempting to try and go it alone. Maybe you don't want to work with a real estate agent to try and save some money, or you just think it won't make much of a difference. Although there are people who decide to go it alone with some degree of success, there is much to consider to guarantee the very best outcome for you and your family. The truth is there's a lot that goes into selling a house you may not have considered. Depending on your level of experience with buying and selling homes you may not know even the basics of how things work. Agents do more than just bring in potential buyers and show up to have documents signed. They know all the ins and outs of both buying and selling a house.
If you're trying to sell your home you really do need to consider all your options to make your sale a success and that includes using a real estate agent. The reasons you need an agent to sell your home are the same no matter where you are. Having a good agent to sell your home is invaluable. Here are some important things you should take into consideration when deciding whether to get a real estate agent to sell your home.
Real Estate Agents Have More Experience
Unless you're selling houses every day along with your normal day job, you won't have as much experience as an agent. Experience can make a huge difference in getting your house sold quickly or having to drop the price because it has remained on the market for an extended period. Real estate agents are trained to know how to navigate the market.
They've prepared for this, taken and passed exams, they have done this before. This experience is valuable and worth the costs involved. Your end goal is the sale of your house sold and in a timely manner, and not lose money in the process. The agent's goal is the same as yours, they just know how to do it faster and better. They are equipped with information on all aspects of the sale from regulatory law to the best place to look for buyers.
Real Estate Agents are Professional Negotiators
Selling your house can be emotional. It's somewhere you've lived your day-to-day life as a family or maybe even grown into as a family. If you've put a lot of work into it, you can have an extra attachment because you know the amount of sweat equity involved in that work.
An agent is removed from all of that. Their main goal is to get your house sold and, if negotiations are involved, without the emotional ties that can prevent the making of a good deal. They aren't going to make a deal without your approval but are better able to guide and advise objectively.
Real Estate Agents Understand Contracts
Closing paperwork can be complicated. A buyer may have an agent with them during the closing, but, of course, that agent is there only to look after the buyer's best interests. You will need someone on your side, too. Sometimes last-minute issues surface right as someone is about to sign on that dotted line. For someone that doesn't deal with closings often these can be dealbreaker situations. The agent will be well versed with the language and structure of contracts, disclosures, and the proper closing process, start to finish. They will know what needs to be disclosed and what to do if something comes up as paperwork is being signed.
Real Estate Agents Can Give You Pricing Advice
Much like negotiating, pricing your home can be hard to separate emotion from. You know how hard you worked to get your home ready for sale, or the work you've put in over your years of ownership. It's difficult to keep that out of your mind entirely while settling on a price to list your home. Agents can help with this, as they know the neighborhoods, they know the market, and they know comparable housing prices. All these things factor into making sure you're pricing your home effectively. This is an invaluable resource to have when trying to make a sale.
Selling your house is not as easy as you might initially think it will be. There are many reasons you'll want to have a real estate agent on your side. From negotiation to fielding interested buyers there is much to consider. Hiring an agent to assist with the sale of your home is likely to take a lot of stress off of your shoulders, and may very well be the best decision you make during the entire process.
Summer's finally here! Time for cookouts, backyard parties, outdoor sports, and time by the water. All this time outside can lead to potential dangers, if we aren't prepared. With proper preparation and a safety plan in place, you'll be set for, what could be, your best summer ever.
To avoid accidents and pricey repairs, prepping your home for the summer months is a must. From steamy temps and unexpected storms to the general wear and tear on the inside and outside of your home, there are quite a few things to get ready for. First, we must take inventory of what home maintenance is overdue. From repairing broken appliances to cleaning out your air conditioning filters and ducts, summer upkeep projects can save you money in the long run and keep everything running smoothly. Conduct a home energy audit once every year, to determine where upgrades can make a difference in lowering your carbon footprint and utility bill.
To help keep the outside of your home looking great while keeping your family safe, be sure to add these to your to-do list:
- Install sunshades or tinting to your windows to deflect heat.
- Reseal any cracked caulking or weather strips on external windows and doors to prevent leaks.
- Inspect outside your home for cracks and any overhanging tree limbs that could fall during a storm.
- Double-check that flood insurance is included in your home insurance policy.
- Spray your yard and home to protect it from pests and other creatures. Set traps and other deterrents, where necessary.
- Schedule a yearly inspection to help catch termites before they cause major damage to your home's structure.
Keeping bugs at bay often entails the use of chemicals or pesticides, so safe usage should be top-of-mind. If you choose to use pesticides in and around your home, ensure children know to avoid any treated areas after application, for as long as manufacturer's instructions dictate. Always explain the dangers of all potentially harmful products to your children. This can help prevent injury from accidental exposure. Placement of a first-aid kit, with poison control information, and fire extinguisher on every level of your home is a smart idea - having them nearby helps you respond as quickly as possible in the event of an emergency.
Security and Monitoring
As temps rise in the summer months, unfortunately so do the rates of home break-ins and theft. On average, there is an 11% increase in home-based crimes during the summer months. And though we are now staying home more than ever before, this increase is enough to make one nervous during a weekend getaway. Thankfully, smart home technology has vastly advanced, giving homeowners control over their home protection and monitoring capabilities. Recent additions to the smart home market include indoor and outdoor cameras, motion detection lighting, and automatic locks that can alert you on your phone any time someone locks or unlocks a door. These devices are not only helpful for identifying and stopping burglaries, but they're also great for monitoring your children's activity throughout the home. Some devices even allow you to speak to your children or play music directly through speaker systems. Ultimately, the purpose of smart devices is to help streamline your life, making everyday tasks easier.
When we are around more often, like during the summer or shelter-in-place orders, our homes, appliances, and devices go through something known as home strain. And with a global pandemic keeping us homebound more than ever before, home strain is reaching new heights. As sheltering in place continues and as more people opt to work from home, this issue is likely to persist. The most needed repairs come from issues with power surges, broken appliances, and damaged electronic devices. To help counteract the effects of home strain, it's important to thoroughly clean your home, appliances, and other devices. Electronic devices and other household appliances run faster and last longer with regular cleanings. Regular cleaning also allows you to inspect for damage and fix small issues before they grow.
Grilling and Fire Protection
Grilling is an especially popular summertime activity. Improperly operated grillware can be extremely dangerous. This is especially true when there are young children in proximity, as they can accidentally injure themselves or others. A few things to consider before grilling this summer to keep your family and home safe:
Never leave a fire unattended. Constant monitoring will help keep the fire under control and prevent any potential injuries from children or pets getting too close to the flame. It is recommended to keep your grill at least 10 feet from your home or any other structures, and away from any overhanging trees.
When returning indoors, it is important to extinguish the fire. Never let it a grill burn out. While it is recommended to keep a fire extinguisher on hand for emergencies, a grill can be put out with water once you are done. It's also a good idea to keep a first-aid kit nearby in case of accidents or burns.
Whether you have an in-ground pool, hot tub, above ground, or inflatable pool, children should always be supervised while swimming. If possible, enroll your children in swimming lessons early or teach them yourself. As they are learning, a life jacket or other flotation device should be put on before getting in the water. Become CPR-certified and always keep an extra flotation device and first-aid kit nearby. To ensure you know when your child is near the water, consider adding back door and gate alarms to alert you of any movement near the pool or hot tub.
Setting Safety Rules
The safety of their child is the goal of every parent, but it can be easier said than done. It is important to talk with your kids about summer safety, including the limits you've set for how far they can venture out or what activities they take part in without you nearby. In addition to installing safety measures like gates around the pool and locks on medicine cabinets, it's important to let your children know what type of play is and is not allowed. Playing in a parked car, for example, can easily turn dangerous in the summer heat. Always lock your car when it's not in use, even if it's just in your garage or driveway.
As children get older, they'll likely want to venture out to play with friends away from home. Before going out to play, establish ground rules for how far they can go and for how long. Ensure they are aware of the potential dangers of your area. Mobile numbers should be memorized in case of an emergency.
Whether your yard is relatively empty or full of toys, an inspection should be part of the pre-play routine. This allows you to address any issues you find before letting your children run around.
With summer in full swing and shelter-in-place orders continuing, you'll likely be spending most of your time at or near home. This makes total home safety more important than ever. While you may be able to make most repairs yourself, some things are better left to the professionals. Carve out enough time for cleaning and repairs - plus time for summer fun too!
When discussing energy efficiency, it is common for experts only to consider improving the savings results for homeowners in colder climates. It is a topic that our neighbors to the north and west must give consideration as most energy needs will increase when temperatures begin to fall. Having an energy efficient home, however, is also incredibly important in warmer climates. With the proper energy-saving strategies and smart design choices, Bahamian homes can become just as energy efficient as those in other regions.
BUILDING DESIGN & LAYOUT CONSIDERATIONS
For the highest energy efficiency, a home should be designed from the ground up with respect to how the light and other natural elements will affect energy needs. For example, West and East facing glass windows and doors can have about five times the heat gain of north-facing glass. For the most favorable outcome, a home should be constructed so that windows are positioned within 20 degrees of North or South, wherever possible. Choosing colors for your home, that are reflective as opposed to absorbent for roofing and siding can also help to control the heat inside the home.
Landscaping should be planned to work with the design elements of the home. Where there are windows or doors installed on the west or east sides of a house, trees and shrubs can be positioned to block the sun at the hottest times of the day.
Shady trees also work well for controlling heat gains in the home. During the warmest months, the trees will have leaves and block out sunlight. During the cooler months, the trees will lose leaves and allow greater heat gains. Shrubs and trees can also shade pavement so that sunlight is not reflected indoors.
Materials selected for the walls, floors, and roof, the type of windows and doors, and many other construction elements can all have a major impact on home energy efficiency. Materials with low heat conductivity should always be used and be thick enough to keep out any unwanted heat. Windows should be shaded or tinted to keep out the heat as much as possible, possibly even using a recessed window design for consistency. Ceramic tile floors are best for energy efficiency in hot climates, with carpeting typically raising the average temperature inside the home.
INSULATION FOR SAVINGS
Proper insulation is important for hot climate energy efficiency. About two inches of foam insulation is generally sufficient to help keep heat gains out and keep cool air inside. A carefully sealed building is of utmost importance.
ENERGY STAR APPLIANCES
Investing in Energy Star appliances boosts your home's energy efficiency. There are other ways to reduce energy expenses with your current appliances, as well. The refrigerator is often the leading energy user among a home's appliances, so it must operate efficiently.
ADJUST TEMPERATURE SETTINGS
The smallest temperature changes can greatly impact your home's energy efficiency. Adjust the thermostat to 68 degrees or lower on cooler days, and 78 degrees or higher during the summer so that you use less energy.
ADJUST WATER HEATER SETTINGS
This is typically something homeowners do not consider doing. However, this small change can go a long way in saving you money. A maximum temperature of 120 degrees is adequate for most homes. This prevents accidental scalding and is proven to slow the buildup of minerals in your water heater tank.
ADJUST REFRIGERATOR SETTINGS
The temperature of the refrigerator itself should be set to 35°-38°F, and the freezer to 0° F. The refrigerator is often the leading energy user among a home's appliances, so it must operate efficiently. Keep the door closed as often as possible. Check the door seals to ensure they are tight and secure. If a dollar bill placed between the door gaskets slips out easily, the seal is not as tight as it should be. Consider replacing it.
UNPLUG ELECTRONICS WHEN NOT IN USE
Always remember to unplug rarely used appliances to decrease energy usage around the house. Unplugging electronics like charging devices for phones, tablets, and digital cameras can increase your energy efficiency. Using a power strip with an on/off switch makes it easy to decrease electricity use by powering off multiple electronics at once.
Beyond construction, landscaping choices, and other big-ticket items, there are many ways homeowners can save. Lowering your energy bill can be accomplished by improving the energy efficiency of your home. Simple lifestyle changes go a long way to impact and improve your bottom line. When followed consistently, these practices could lead to substantial energy savings and lower utility bills. Making use of the strategies outlined above will help you and your family to live more energy efficient and boost the savings you see on your monthly energy bill.
Between Mother's Day just recently and Earth Day, there's been a lot of focus around family and our health. There's also been a lot of talk about sustainable food practices on a local level. All this chatter has us thinking - where can we source natural, homegrown foods? The answer is simple and right under our noses - when it comes to local markets in New Providence, all roads lead to the Gladstone Road Farmer's Market!
Now open on Fridays and Saturdays, between 8am - 4pm, the Gladstone Road Farmer's Market is packed full of wholesome goodies, entertainment, and educational opportunities for the kids (and big kids)! And while the main focus is on fresh fruits and veggies, we're happy to share that here, you'll also find fresh-made juices and teas, homemade sweets and treats, and a healthy dose of delicious Bahamian fare! What better way to spend a Saturday morning :)
As you enter the grounds, first up, you'll find JR's Farm. Farmer Jetta Rolle has a farm on Cowpen Road west, where she grows a long list of healthy vegetables and leafy greens. Originally a Grower with the Ministry of Agriculture for several years before developing her farm, Ms. Rolle has years of experience and knowledge when it comes to local farming practices. At The Market, she sells $1 seedlings like beets, lettuce, collard greens, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet pepper, tomatoes, onions, and herbs. She also sells her greens, veggies, and herbs but claims proudly that most people come to her, particularly for her broccoli and cauliflower.
Fresh Produce at the Gladstone Road Farmer's Market
For Whitlyn Miller, farming comes naturally. A horticulturalist and retired teacher by profession, Ms. Miller sells the fresh fruits and vegetables at her stand. She also sells vegan and vegetarian snacks and desserts, plus veggies for small-batch pickling. You'll find her at her farm stand, where she's always eager to share her knowledge and chat about growing and harvesting techniques, weather conditions, new recipes, and the great varieties of fruits and veggies we can grow. A little-known fact - she invented "cracked coconut." If you haven't tried it, you're definitely missing out!
Not only do freshly-grown veggies taste better, but they're chock full of nutrients without any added unwanteds! They don't need to have a long shelf life to make an international trip. They're harvested straight from the soil, cleaned, and ready to go! Natasha Adderly would agree. With her Bahama Island Farms, she's another one of the local vendors at the Gladstone Road Farmer's Market. She specializes in salad mixes and microgreens and also stocks her farm stand with seasonal veggies and delicious wines she makes from native fruit.
Natasha Adderly | Bahama Island Farms
At the Edgar family's farm stand, you'll find fabulous Bahamian fare, including conch fritters, hearty soups, sauces, and homemade juices. With their farm being only a mile or two away from the Market, they proudly stock their stand with the seasonal veggies they've produced and even create delicious homemade sauces from over-ripe produce. Chock full of sun-ripened tomatoes, onions, peppers, and fresh herbs, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything in a store that can rival this great sauce. When it comes to their juices, you can enjoy ice-cold refreshing and homemade selections ranging from tamarind to ginger beet, sorrel, soursop, moringa, passionfruit, and more!
Herb gardens are an easy weekend project for any novice grower, and there are some essential fruits and vegetables we can also grow at home. A quick visit to Olga and Reggie Munroe's stall, and you'll discover all you need to know. This couple is passionate about cultivating plants from Non-GMO heritage seeds.
When it comes to dairy and poultry, you're sure to find everything from locally-grown organic eggs to live birds, coops, and even fresh local meat for sale.
Fresh eggs available at the Gladstone Road Farmer's Market
Other interesting stalls you'll want to check out:
The Market is a wonderful place for farmers to showcase their passion and their products to their visitors. It also allows them to come together and exchange ideas and recipes, to trade growing secrets and learn from one another.
Breads, pastries and more at The Gladstone Road Farmer's Market
For us visitors, The Market isn't just a place to purchase freshly-grown, naturally-made foods. It's also a place for us to learn about our local food system and share unique experiences with our children about food sustainability, local culture, and agriculture. This is down-home Bahamian living at its finest, and if you haven't visited yet, you need to make sure The Gladstone Road Farmers Market is on this year's bucket list. Come for an hour, stay for the afternoon. Explore, learn, share and grow with the outstanding farmers here.
The Gladstone Road Farmer's Market is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 8 am to 4 pm, and entrance to the grounds is free. Standard Covid-19 Protocols are in place (masks, social distancing). Be sure to bring those reusable bags - you'll be glad you did!
The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is just over a month away, but the past six seasons have each gotten off to an early start, as we've seen. Officially, the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 - a time frame that was selected to encompass 97% of all Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes, according to NOAA's Hurricane Research Division. The other 3%? Well, they cover the months of May and December, when we've seen tropical storms and even a few hurricanes (unfortunately).
Since 2015, at least one named storm has developed before June 1 each hurricane season, some of which have had impacts with countries in the Atlantic basin, including The Bahamas. While the National Hurricane Center has not yet officially adjusted the start of hurricane season earlier to account for these pre-season storms, beginning this year, they will begin issuing routine Atlantic tropical weather outlooks on May 15.
As with years prior, 2021 is expected to be an above-average year with regards to activity. The Weather Channel announced their predictions, which forecast 18 named storms, 8 of which will become hurricanes, and 3 of which will likely be major hurricanes (category 3 or higher).
By now, we know the drill, but it's always good to have a reminder. As history has proven, preparation is key. If you haven't already run an assessment on your home's status, and attended to any issues in need of your attention, this would be the time to do so.
Here are a few items to cross off your list:
Check your roof
Just as we monitor our health, it's essential to monitor the health of your roof. We've already had significant rainfall over the last few weeks, so if you've noticed any leaks, this would be the time to attend to them. If you haven't seen any problems, it's still a good idea to check for potential problems. Take a look at your roof from the top. Are there any cracks in the sealant or loose shingles? Although asphalt shingles can last for up to 30 years or more, high winds, excessive rain, and tree branches can be a problem for older roofs. If you have any questions or feel there may be a problem, have your roof checked by a qualified specialist who can confirm any suspicions and address any issues before things start to heat up.
Clean your gutters
Our homes' gutters collect debris – leaves, branches, and other materials. If you haven't had a chance to give them a good cleaning, now would be the time to make sure your downspouts are clear. Build-up can cause water to eventually flow over the edges and collect in near to foundations. Leaking under the roof will cause water damage.
Trim your trees
Landscaping isn't just to make your yard look pretty. Yard maintenance is an essential part of home upkeep – especially when it comes to hurricane season. Coconuts, over-extended branches, palm fronds can all become missiles when the winds pick up. Don't leave yourself exposed to potential damage. If you notice that a tree in your yard isn't flowering or looking healthy, have it checked out. A weakened tree can break or snap in high winds and damage cars, roofs, and other plants.
Check your drains
Another problem area when it comes to extensive rains is your drainage system. Make sure your drains are clear and free to allow for flowing water. Doing this can save your home from possible flooding, especially if you are in a low lying area. Stock up sandbags and keep a sump-pump on hand. Seal any foundation or wall cracks with a water-proof sealant, well in advance of storms. These are all ways in which you can help protect your home against potential flooding damage.
Service your generator
Regardless of the time of year, it's always good to get a health-check on your generator. You should schedule a maintenance service on an annual basis. Doing this will maximize the efficiency of your generator. Here are some other helpful guidelines when it comes to maintenance:
– Change your oil and oil filters every 50-60 hours of use.
– Change your air filters annually.
– Change your spark plugs every 100 hours.
– Check your generator battery regularly to ensure there's no corrosion, decay, or damage.
Check your shutters
From roll-downs to metal or wooden, it's vital to ensure the shutters you use to protect your windows and doors are in good shape now. Because they have a specific purpose, they may be stored away and left until they are needed. Some materials can deteriorate over time. You may also have parts that are missing. The day before a storm is not the time you want to find this out. Run a quick check on your shutters' status and inventory to make sure you don't get caught out.
Be proactive when it comes to your home's maintenance and upkeep. It is always better for your home and wallet. Do yourself a favour and take stock of what needs to be done. Write out that list, make that plan. Book your servicing appointments and be prepared for Hurricane Season 2021. You'll be happy you did.
Earth Day is tomorrow, and the global theme is Restore our Earth, which focuses on natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world's ecosystems. With almost 365 days of sunshine along our shores, as a nation, we are in a unique position when it comes to benefitting from renewable and solar energy. As we expand our horizons, we are increasingly moving towards environmentally-friendly technologies and ways to reduce energy consumption, save on costs, and increase our sustainability practices.
Our homes today are relying more on solar-powered technologies. Existing residences are swapping out the old with the new where they can, and new residential builds are incorporating these capabilities from the ground-up.
While some are installing state-of-the-art solar energy systems, like this Turnberry home, others are introducing this technology in smaller doses to save on electricity bills and to cut back on their carbon footprint. Today, we have a host of options ranging from a solar panel for hot water or air conditioner to solar-powered sprinkler systems and outdoor lights for your yard. Even something as simple as swapping out those regular light bulbs for LED ones can help! Regardless of your budget, there are ways you can save!
For your Business
Across the country, many of our businesses have also started making the transition to more sustainable energy solutions - some in small ways, by changing out light bulbs to LED, replacing HVAC units with energy-efficient ones, and having programmable thermostats in offices. Others have adapted on a larger scale, with whole energy management systems and solar power systems. Going green with your business can help you cut costs on energy, but it can also have a positive impact when it comes to your company name and community relations.
For us All
On a larger scale, we've seen many initiatives unfold over the last several years to increase our green living as a country.
In 2013, the National Energy Policy was developed to connect the energy and economic sectors and create opportunities to use renewable energy in as many areas nationwide as possible. Policies outlined in the National Energy Policy pave the way toward achieving renewable energy targets for 2033, including the use of renewable energy in:
Some of these initiatives exist today, with the plans implemented and off the ground:
Thomas A. Robinson Solar Parking Lot
In 2019, the Thomas A. Robinson National stadium officially unveiled its solar parking lot. The 925-kilowatt grid-tied solar system will displace 310 thousand liters of diesel fuel annually, which should save the island 350 thousand dollars and offset 856 tons of carbon emissions annually. The lot has 324 parking stations and an additional two electric car charge ports for electric vehicles.
Family Island Solar Program
Bahamas Power & Light (BPL) launched the Family Island Solar Program with support from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and Carbon War Room's Islands Energy Program. This program proposes to develop "solar-fueled power systems" on the Family Islands of Andros, Bimini, Eleuthera, and Inagua with hopes of meeting 30% of the electricity by the year 2030.
On the Horizon
Good news for our family, friends, and customers in Abaco and Grand Bahama! According to a report released by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the initial funding for electricity restoration on islands hit by Hurricane Dorian has been bolstered by the receipt of $9.739m in grant funding from the EU's Caribbean Investment Facility. The even better news is that this restoration is set to produce a 50 percent increase in renewable energy installed and battery storage capacity for additional resilience. Some of this funding is set to be allocated to installing a 4 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) plant and energy storage, which will supply energy to the Marsh Harbour government complex and the Marsh Harbour's hospital. In Cooper's Town, the medical clinic will have a Solar PV plant of approximately 0.25 MW, including a storage capacity of close to 2 MW.
In New Providence, this funding will also be used to subsidize rooftop solar PV installations for a total additional renewable energy capacity of 2.5 MW. This will involve five commercial and 50 residential installations of 50 kilowatts (kW) and 5Kw, respectively, plus 20 systems for community buildings with a 100 kW capacity.
Located on the eastern shores of New Providence, Palm Cay spans over 69 acres, including 1200 ft of white sand beaches. It is home to more than 300 exquisite and expertly-designed stand-alone homes and condos. A host of amenities cater to their community of "ocean-loving adventurers," as they proudly say, and it's one of the aspects we love most about this community. Here's a closer look at what you can expect to find at Palm Cay.
A boater's paradise, Palm Cay offers everything any boating enthusiast could want - including a full-service, deep water marina, and the best location for accessing Rose Island and the Exumas - only 28 miles away! The 194-slip marina is considered world-class and has a fuel dock, Starbucks cafe, and concierge service. The marina partnered with NavTours, who specialize in sailboat charters in some of the most beautiful destinations in the world, including our beautiful Bahamian islands. The Palm Cay marina is now home-base for the company's fleet of sailboat and catamaran charter boats.
Adding to the allure of this seaside community is the Pink Octopus Restaurant, the beachside Ink Bar and Palm Cay Club, which offers both an adult and family pool, as well as the Member's Beach Club. "Palm Cay's Members Beach Club recently underwent a $2 million transformation. This included the construction of a stunning beach bar, an opulent 80 ft. lap pool and a private section of luxury cabanas, as well as ample dining and entertainment space. Surrounded by white powder beaches and crystal-clear ocean, the members beach club is an embodiment of serenity and sophistication," states the developer.
A Dermalogica Spa is one of the newest additions to the seemingly endless list of amenities. Health and fitness enthusiasts enjoy a full complement of health and fitness options, with the gymnasium, tennis courts, water sports, and children's playground.
With an array of awards and achievements, including "Developer of the Year," by the Bahamian Contractor Association, and "#1 Marina" by FirstChoice Marina, over the years, Palm Cay continues to expand. The One Marina project is now complete, and development continues, with new opportunities coming soon.
Whether you're looking for a vibrant neighborhood to relocate your family to, or you're looking to purchase an investment property that you can put on the vacation rental market, this is the place. Bahamian tourism is on the rise again - a welcome update for us all. As we've seen already for the month of March, our tourism numbers exceeded most expectations, and it's true when they say our islands are a hot destination(but we already knew that). There continues to be growing interest in VRBO and Airbnb properties these days, and the Palm Cay community is thriving, making this both a great place you can escape from it all AND somewhere you can look to for strong investment opportunities.
But don't take our word for it! Discover for yourself the excitement that lies along the shores of this neighborhood. Check out our video tour with Melissa here, and explore this Anchorage condo, now available for rent!
If you're interested in building in this great community, here's a property that's perfectly placed close to the community tennis courts and playground!
It's Easter in the islands! A time when nature seems to be at its finest – as though it's putting on a show. Lush tropical greens, bright blue skies, crystal-clear aqua waters, and vibrant shades of pink, purple and red of the bougainvillea line the streets, all welcoming you and letting you know that Easter has arrived, and there's no better place to celebrate than here!
You can feel the excitement in the air and the quiet buzz of activity starting to pick up. Easter is a celebration, after all, and one that's often a mix of religious services, an opportunity to spend quality time with those you love, and here especially, it's a time for celebrating some of our favorite culinary traditions! Here are the top choices among the islands:
Dish It Up!
Get your Easter holiday weekend off to a great start with delicious Bahamian hot cross buns and fresh fish on Good Friday!
Hot Cross Buns
Seriously. Is it even Easter without a delicious hot cross bun?? Move over chocolate (just for a quick minute) – make way for these delectable delights! These mouth-watering bread rolls are rich and golden and full of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and sweet raisins. They are also decorated with their trademark design – the "Mark of the Cross" – a simple yet significant emblem made using sugar icing.
These buns have a long history - they originate from ancient English traditions of Easter, and have been shared with our islands by the British since the late 1600s. Similar practices of baking hot cross buns can still be found throughout the UK and Australia, with almost no variation from our Bahamian version! Typically enjoyed on Good Friday, hot cross buns can be found in most local bakeries and grocery stores throughout the islands as Easter draws near. But don't wait till the last minute, or they'll be gone!
If you're feeling adventurous, why not try your hand at making some from scratch? Here's a recipe by Bahamian chef and writer Kenria Taylor!
The culinary tradition of eating fish during the Easter holiday is another custom belonging to the Christian faith. Although this practice originated in the Catholic Church, these days, you'll find this custom is almost as much a cultural one as it is religious. There are no restrictions when it comes to the type of fish or style you prefer to cook, but as you likely already know, Good Friday is usually a day reserved for some delicious fried Grouper, Jacks, Snapper, or Wahoo - to name a few! Of course, boiled fish or stewed fish are also great alternatives. You can even get creative and try a Masala fish curry dish! Vibrant, full of flavor, and ready for you at Taj Mahal!
If you're on the hunt for some delicious seafood options you can prepare yourself, head to Heritage Seafood, on Carib Road, just off of Mt. Pleasant Avenue in Palmdale! You'll find fabulous fish cuts and more. Here are a few recipe links for Bahamian boiled, steamed, fried, or curried fish that you can try!
For practicing Christians in The Bahamas, Easter is a time for celebrating and giving thanks, and what better way than with a beautiful meal to be shared with those we love. Traditionally, meat was restricted for members of the Catholic Church during the Lenten Season, making the main dish of "Easter Ham" a very welcome main feature! Today, a typical Bahamian Easter lunch will be sure to include all the fixings of down-home local favorites, including peas and rice, baked macaroni and cheese, potato salad, plantains, coleslaw, and more. And don't forget the dessert! When it comes to sweets shared on this cherished day, you're sure to find Coconut pie or tart, pineapple tart, rum cake, and more! And yes, of course, no Easter would be complete without those delicious chocolates and jelly beans!
Find the Fun!
Nassau is abuzz with activity this weekend – great outings (social distancing and mask in mind) and local island finds are the order of the day!
Here's a quick look at some of the things happening:
Drive-In Movie at Ardastra Gardens
Saturday, April 3rd | 6:15pm
This Saturday, take the kids to see "Peter Rabbit" at the Drive-In Theatre at Ardastra Gardens! This feature is an adaptation of Beatrix Potter's classic tale of a rebellious rabbit trying to sneak into a farmer's vegetable garden. Fun for the whole family! Visit www.ardastra.com/recreation for details.
Authentic Bahamian Pop-Up Shop at The Island Store
Beginning March 31 – 9am – 5pm
Dress Your Tables
Now – Saturday, April 3rd
Whatever your plans, or who you choose to celebrate this holiday weekend with, we at Morley wish you the happiest, hoppiest of holidays!
This week, the Bahamas National Trust marks the 10-year celebration of the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve - a world-class Bahamian Botanic Garden in Eleuthera founded by Shelby White in honor of her late husband, Leon Levy. The Preserve is quite appropriately referred to as "a living part of Bahamian history."
The Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve | Photo: Raymond Jungles
Both Leon Levy and his wife, Shelby White were lovers of the natural environment and way of life in Eleuthera – Leon was particularly interested in native plants used in bush medicine. After his passing in 2003, Shelby wanted to honor Leon, and his devotion to the island, while "contributing to a better future for all Eleuthera." She chose to do so by creating the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve with the Bahamas National Trust's help.
In April 2019, the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve became the first institution in The Bahamas to be designated as an accredited Botanic Garden by Botanic Gardens Conservation International. This tier of accreditation recognizes institutions for their achievements in plant conservation.
Today, the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve is an internationally recognized botanical garden that spans 30 acres. It is the first and only national park on the island of Eleuthera. Located in Governor's Harbour, it features gardens and wetlands designed by world-renowned landscape architect, Raymond Jungles, and serves as a showcase for traditional bush medicine, a facility for propagating indigenous plants and trees, and an educational center focusing on the importance of native vegetation to the Bahamas' biodiversity. The LNPP "helps to preserve the natural history of Eleuthera and showcases the unique flora and fauna of The Bahamas to the world," states the Bahamas National Trust.
Bahamians and visitors are welcome to walk miles of trails through the native habitat and view the beautiful orchids, birds, insects, medicinal plants, and hardwood trees that you can find here.
While few of us can claim to have achieved such great feats, it can be said that many of us islanders have a deep appreciation for our natural environment and the beauty that can be found in our local tropical landscapes. Whether you're planning a trip to Eleuthera this Easter holiday, or you're looking for a little inspiration for creating your own native plant oasis in your back yard, you'll want to learn more about the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve.
Find them online in any of these spaces:
Surrounded by endless miles of beautiful blues and greens, our islands were made for celebrating the sun, sand, and sea! For those in search of that idyllic island lifestyle in New Providence, having a home in one of our many waterfront communities offers the best of both worlds - modern-day conveniences with the charm of island living. While the list is extensive, we took a look at three specifically unique communities in New Providence and wanted to share a bit of insight into these areas.
Old Fort Bay is today known as a luxury residential community-based in the west, yet its history dates back to the 1700s. The original Old Fort structure is now an exclusive members' club, but much of the building's history has been preserved in restored murals and architectural details and artifacts. One could easily get lost in the magic of the history that abounds here. Old Fort Bay Marina & Yacht Club lies next to Lyford Cay Harbour and features a canal system. Historic homes and sought-after real estate include Colonial-style estate properties, villas and waterfront houses, and spacious single-family houses. As well as a private beach club, the community has a fitness center, tennis courts, children's playground, 24-hour security, exclusive restaurants, lush tropical landscaping, and more.
If luxury, peace, the natural environment, and a desire to live the island lifestyle is not just a dream for you but a requirement, you will want to see this coast and canal building site in Old Fort Bay.
Port New Providence
Resting on the eastern shores of New Providence, the Port New Providence community has long been considered to have the most boaters per square foot than any other Eastern neighborhood. This location also has the easiest and fastest route to the beautiful Exuma islands - just a quick trip away. That's music to the ears of any avid boater, beach lover, fisherman, or island adventurer. After all, when your dock is on your doorstep, there's every reason to embrace that Out Island lifestyle. A gated community, Port New Providence is a blend of single-family homes and townhouses. Here you'll find a host of amenities, including a private beach, additional dockage, clubhouse, childrens' playground, tennis courts, and tastefully landscaped grounds, including a duck pond. 24-hour security is also provided.
If you're ready to build that Out Island home of your own, or you're looking for a great investment opportunity, here's a property that gives you 65 feet of canal front along one of the most elevated lots within this fabulous community!
Sea Breeze Canal
Developed in the 1960s by the George Baker family, this subdivision is a top choice for many of the island's professionals. Tucked away in a secluded and serene waterway, this community rests along eastern New Providence's southern shore and is where you want to be if you're a lover of nature and all things tranquil. Here again, the lure of life on the sea calls. Boating, fishing, diving, and beaching are all within easy access when you can dock your boat in your own backyard! Other highlights include a community park to be enjoyed by families of all ages and sizes and the convenience of this great location. From here, access to almost any point on the island is easy, with several main thoroughfares located close by. Shopping, schools, medical facilities, and dining are also within easy reach.
If you're ready to make that move, this property offers 100 feet of canal front - perfect for that boat you've needed an excuse to buy ;)
Whether you're looking to build a luxury tropical retreat or a smaller canal front home that offers that Out Island feel, there is proof of the healing powers of living by the water. When it comes to finding the right property to fit your needs, you'll want to speak with one of our agents. They'll provide you with the information, guidance, and support you need to make a sound decision. Reach out to them today!
In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian and with the on-going pandemic, one thing was abundantly clear. There is a dire need to extend financial services to our Out Islands. Answering that call and leading the charge in financial and tech innovation is the Central Bank of The Bahamas. In October 2020, CBOB announced their Sand Dollar's introduction - a blockchain-backed digital token pegged one-to-one to our Bahamian dollar and available to Bahamian individuals and businesses alike. This new currency is regulated and issued by the Central Bank of The Bahamas and allows us to buy and sell our goods and services and send money to one another digitally.
Read more about this fascinating Bahamian initiative in the International Monetary Fund's Finance & Development publication here:
The holidays are here, as difficult as that may be to believe. For those of us with retail or service businesses, we know without a doubt that this Christmas season will be far different. You may be wondering how you can make the most of this busy shopping period. Our Morley commercial agents, Chris Sands and Kayleigh Dickson, put together some thoughts on how you can best reach your potential clients and customers.
As we've seen throughout the year, our circumstances are constantly changing. Flexibility has proven to be key. Being prepared to make adjustments to your operations can only help now. Make sure you have all the necessary ingredients to maximize your sales potential this holiday season. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Start with your floor plan and work from there. Reconfigure your store space where possible. Widen the aisles and remove anything that may potentially take up space unnecessarily. Ensure there is enough space around the cashier's counter. Create marked social distancing points for your clients and customers standing in line. Where possible, aim for contactless payment options.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Signage for safety measures throughout your store space is crucial. Let your customers know upfront what they can expect when they shop in-store with you. Ensure that guidelines and procedures are clearly outlined.
"You want to make your customers feel as comfortable as possible during their shopping experience," note Chris and Kayleigh. "Encourage your sales staff to be vigilant about your store's safety measures. But also ensure they're creating a welcoming and helpful environment. Customer empathy is key."
The Bahamas Federation of Retailers released this Sunday a comprehensive list of suggested health and safety protocols. You can view these here.
This Sunday brought incredibly welcome news for us all – retail business owners, employees and patrons alike! We can't wait to get back to in-store shopping! As you open your doors to your customers again, take another look at your in-store operations plan. Does it need to be adjusted at all? Run a thorough review of your procedures ahead of the Christmas rush, so that you're ready if things change. Do you have a plan in place for outdoor seating or shade in anticipation of potential long lines? Do you offer curbside service by appointment? Reduce customer frustration by ensuring your operations are able to run as smoothly as possible. "If a customer is leaving their home and coming to your business in a mask, they are likely motivated to buy. Make sure you have a 'free and clear' operation with no hold ups during this purchasing cycle."
Another key consideration? While many of us are chomping at the bit to get back to in-store shopping, there are still some who are not quite comfortable with this yet, and who, despite things opening back up, may still prefer to avoid the crowds. How can they support their local retailers and community? How can they support you?
Take a look at this great incentive offered by John Bull. Now open for in-store shopping, they are continuing to promote their Curbside Service for their clients who are more comfortable with this approach. Their service is inviting, their instructions are clear, and their efforts are undoubtedly appreciated!
Check in with your staff and your customers and adjust where necessary. Knowledge is power, as they say!
Find New Opportunities and Brush Up on the Old
For retailers and service providers, these last two months of the year are often the busiest. Take the extra steps now, if you can, to find new opportunities for growth and ways to reach your customers. Don't wait for them to come to you. Consider new incentives. How can you make purchasing your products easier for your customers? Today's buying habits focus mainly on convenience and instant gratification. The easier and faster you can make a purchase for a potential buyer, the better. Make sure you have the fundamentals down, and stay open to new opportunities:
A website is a great sales tool, but it's not the only one available. There are still tools you can use to reach your potential client base. The easiest and most immediate way to do this is through social media.
Make sure you have a Facebook page and an Instagram account, at the very least. YouTube and Vimeo are also great options for video sharing. Use these tools to share your products and to let your followers know why they need to have your products. Think about the what, how, why, when and where. Be sure to communicate these points when promoting your goods and services. Photographs and video are key.
Many business owners are also utilizing live video as a way to reach their client base. One such company is Biggity Candles. Over the last several weeks, they've used the lockdown weekends productively. Through live video sessions, they've shared information about new holiday products and promotions.
When you want to really make the most of these tools, use them together. Use your social media to drive your traffic to your website. Add pricing to your products on your site, if you can. This way, you have the potential to generate sales seven days a week, 24 hours a day. CBS Bahamas has done an incredible job with maintaining an online presence throughout this pandemic. Their social media is strong, and they were able to maximize their sales potential by incorporating an online sales platform with their website. In a recent social media post, they listed the various ways their shoppers can make purchases:
"We agree. #Curbside is no fun. But, we're making retail easy thanks to the #Bahamas' largest online catalog. With guaranteed 2hr (or less) in-store pickup, $5 island-wide delivery, and 24/7 live agent chat; COVID-19 shopping has never been easier. Check us out today; our online store is #alwaysopen."
Another way to reach your customers? Email. Create attractive email flyers to send out to your clients and customers. Let them know ahead of time about new products and promotions you have slated for the holidays, as well as any changes to your operations. Keeping your customers informed is a must, and with so many different programs available, there's no reason you can't incorporate this into your marketing. Check out MailChimp, iContact or Constant Contact for a few options. They each offer pre-designed templates, taking the hard work out of the equation.
Consider using WhatsApp as a way to share information about your products as well. Check in with your regular clients and ask them if they'd like to be added to your messaging group. This is an easy, fast and effective way to share information with them. Whether it's a change in your store hours, or even a special holiday menu you're wanting to share!
Another option? Virtual Shopping appointments. Paper Clutch Giftsdoes a great job with this. They offer (and advertise) their virtual shopping appointments on social media. Incorporating tools like these lets people 'browse' your store without leaving their homes. They'll have the help of a personal shopper who can show them the products and offer great advice. It's a special touch that will leave a lasting impression. John Bull offers the service of a Personal Shopper and invites their customers to Whatsapp them for access!
It's not enough to speak to your customers. You need to be open to speaking with them. Be sure you respond to all online inquiries as quickly as possible. This will go a long way in building trust with your clients. Messaging on Facebook. DM on Instagram. Emails. Messaging apps through your website. WhatsApp. Find as many ways as possible to stay in touch.
Go the extra mile, if you can. Meet your customers where they are instead of waiting for them to come to you, and consider delivery. While this may not be an option for all retailers, for most it is. If you can't offer your own in-house delivery, find someone who can. A simple online search will give you a host of options to consider reaching out to.
Kraven offers everything from casual to fine dining, alcohol, grocery, pharmacy, and retail deliveries. Bahama Eats does as well. Mutru is another option. They partner with major local retailers to deliver goods to their consumers. Whatsmore, with support like this, you're not just adding another service to offer to your clients. You're gaining exposure and marketing support as a vendor of these programs. Lowe's Pharmacy recently added this service for their client base. Any customer can have their products delivered to their door using either the Kraven or Bahama Eats apps!
Put your business in front of your 'target market' at a low cost. Target customers through digital marketing, social media, online advertising, and Google SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Be sure to consider all available online options to maximize your reach!
A Helping Hand
These days, we could all use a hand. As a business owner, you know. Every bit helps. While you're working on making the most of potential profits for your own business this holiday season, don't forget to support those around you. Find ways to share the love – partner, collaborate, refer, encourage and support small businesses wherever you can. A little time, care and consideration goes a long way. It's the holidays, after all. A time for giving.
If you're a retailer and you're looking for online local resources and communities that you can follow and join, here are some great options to get you started:
It's true when they say they're more than a group of businesses working together. They're family. A family that has grown together, that encourages one another and supports each other. That's the Tin Ferlcommunity. With their Pop-Up Park at the Dundas Center for Performing Arts grounds on Mackey Street, this family of like-minded small business owners has banded together to provide us with a creative twist to traditional dining! Featuring approximately 15 different food and beverage vendors on any given day, lunch becomes a true experience of culinary genius here! With everything from juicy burgers to seafood tacos, pasta dishes, curries, jerk chicken, stuffed buns, guava duff and fresh-made teas, juices and coffees, there's no limit to the fun you can have out here at the park! With the recent update to our COVID-19 Regulations, now we can stay awhile and dine outdoors in the park as well!
Officially opening the gates to the Pop Up Park at the Dundas Center for Performing Arts in March of this year, Tin Ferl was founded in June 2019. Three friends – Kendrick Delaney, founder of The New Duff, Brandon Kemp, founder of the Nassau Night Market, and Alicia "Puppy" Robinson Treco, founder of Pup Star Entertainment – came together to discuss some of the issues facing the pop-up community. They decided to start a collaborative that would "advocate for the pop-up community, be a centre for information and networking, and provide the community with opportunities to develop their businesses and sell their products," according to a recent online article by BahamasLocal. "We want this to be the home for Pop-Up vendors, where they can work full-time at building their businesses because they have an affordable, ideal location from which to build a strong following. We are very grateful to our sponsors, Aliv and Sign Island, for their support in helping make the Pop-Up Park a reality."
The result of their creation? An organization that provides training and education, business and marketing assistance to their vendors. Starting with a free consultation, Tin Ferl offers their vendors far more than just a place to set up shop. They are committed to helping their members grow their business models – offering everything from booth support (concessions including ice and gas deliveries, electricity to their booths, etc) to photography, advertising and marketing, social media management, and overall brand development.
Of their business concept, Brandon says "the Tin Ferl community is actually composed of 80 different participants, which expands beyond food and beverage, into arts, crafts and other Bahamian-made goods. Our Pop Up Park includes 30 vendors overall. Our members are home-based business owners. Our model works because we all work together to support each other and we've created a community. We operate under the motto 'Together we are stronger. United we'll succeed'. Our name Tin Ferl – (Bahamian for Tin Foil) – is what we are all about. A single piece of foil is easy to tear. But when you layer foil, stacking one piece on top of another on top of another, it becomes very strong. Tin Ferl is dedicated to uniting and supporting small businesses and to providing the pop-up community with affordable, stable, and rewarding locations to sell their products."
The Tin Ferl group welcomes vendors looking for a stable base in which to grow. They've designed an easy and straightforward registration process, which outlines vendor requirements, their weekly schedule, their procedures and guidelines, COVID-19 safety measures and available supporting services. They also offer several packages for those vendors interested in increasing their online presence and exposure in a professional, polished and affordable way.
As for us patrons, we can only tell you wonderful things await as you enter those Dundas gates. We're not sure whether it's the delicious aromas that draw the crowds (all with social distancing measures, mind you!), the tempting photos, the recommendations of others, or previous experiences that keeps the park busy, but if you haven't checked out the Tin Ferl Pop-Up Park and the many delectable delights, you're definitely missing out!
Here are a few of the vendors you can expect to find there:
Black Pearl Bubble Tea, The New Duff, Tipsea, Junior's Jerk, Cabana Club, Natural Scrubs, Fancy Jonsa, Vell Monkey Foot, FoodPlay Cafe, Gim Sum, TK Grill Yo, Simply Good Hotdogs, Sky Juice King, Happy Hour Java, Tropical Smoothies, TZ's Bay View, Island Pops, Chops Conch Fritters, Island Sushi, Saige, First Choice Grill, Natalie's Caribbean Cuisine, Blue Flamingo Cafe and Bell's Takeaway, among others.
As of this past weekend, the Pop Up Park is open on Saturdays as well as Monday – Friday!
As the holidays draw closer, we're told we can also expect to see some (socially-distanced and COVID friendly) Junkanoo entertainment to add a bit of festive cheer!
We've heard it before, but it warrants saying again - it's been a year. Are we right? If ever there was a time when life seemed turned upside down, turned around, and something closer to the lyrics of a Bahamian song, it would be 2020. And yet, with so many unknowns, so many changes, there are some silver linings we can take with us. One of these is the spirit of Bahamian entrepreneurship and innovation.With COVID-19 restrictions in place, local businesses were hit hard. Both the health and economic impacts have been felt not just here, but around the world. Traditional business practices changed, with many companies finding new ways to adapt to meet the needs of their customers.
New opportunities were created as well. Almost overnight, Bahamian entrepreneurs stepped up to the plate. They created avenues to support local businesses. The traditional delivery concept morphed. Companies answered the call for services like grocery delivery, or wines and spirits. Retail items, pharmaceutical supplies, household goods - you name it!
An extra bonus for the business owners using these services? Exposure via a third-party marketing initiative. The delivery companies focus on promoting their services, of course. But they also promote and advertise the vendors that they work with - it's a win-win all around!
Our retailers, service providers and restaurants are now open. Yet, we have a feeling the demand for delivery is here to stay. Some of us are happy to get out and visit our favorite shops on our own. But there are also some who feel more comfortable avoiding the crowds and prefer to stay at home.
Here are some companies leading the charge for delivery services across the island:
With Kraven, ordering your take-out, beverages, groceries, pharmacy items, merchandise and more, is a breeze. Download the app on your phone and sign up for an account. For customers, there's no charge to sign-up, and you'll know your costs up front when it comes to delivery. The service provided by Kraven is efficient, professional and easy. The company is responsive and a pleasure to use!
Mutru is revolutionizing how online and in store customers get their goods. "We partner with freight forwarders and major retailers to bring your purchases to you at home, at work, or anywhere you need it. We also provide a new delivery solution to power same day delivery for retailers and businesses. Whether you want to integrate Mutru into your eCommerce site or simply book a local delivery today, we've got you covered. Mutru gives customers more - a lot more – Choice and Convenience," they say. Partnering with retailers including CBS Bahamas, WHIM Automotive, Missari International, Sugar Mama's and more, the company proudly provides services to large enterprises and small businesses alike. With Mutru's EcoPack Fulfillment service, retailers can meet the needs and demands of their local clients. Mutru will receive, package and deliver your goods directly to your clients for a flat rate of $5.00!
They also offer direct shipping from The Bahamas to the United States! Great news for Bahamian businesses and entrepreneurs trying to expand their reach. Locally-made goods can now be offered to an American market in an easier way!
Their latest achievement? A Messenger Service. Now you can have your documents and small packages delivered across the island. Payment options are either a pay-as-you-go or monthly subscription rate.
Mutru's latest results show that their retailers have:
- saved $30,000 and 37 hours
- had 3,000 packages delivered
- served 872 unique customers
As the holiday shopping season ramps up, there is a strong push for supporting local businesses. The Bahamas Federation of Retailers this week launched a ShopLocal Bahamas campaign. They stress the value and reach of local purchasing for our Bahamian economy and workforce. We agree, and we know we can do this. Through innovation and by working together. Utilizing supporting services, our retailers can maximize efforts to meet their customers' demands.