What are The Bahamas best known for?
Thinking about moving to the Bahamas? We will share everything you need to know about living and moving to the island! The Bahamas is best known for its crystal-clear turquoise water, beautiful soft white sand beaches, calm island laid-back vibes, top-notch fishing, and endless adventures. The Bahamas is nestled just below the U.S., making it an easy destination and a quick flight from the States & Canada.
Expats will often move to The Bahamas to enjoy the epic lifestyle the 700 islands and cays has to offer. With so many different islands to choose from you are sure to find the right fit. Whether you are investing or looking for a vacation home there are endless amounts of options to suit your needs.
What part of The Bahamas is the “best” to live in?
There are plenty of islands and cays that can be considered potential destinations to buy your future island home when moving to the Bahamas. Of course, you have the option to buy your own private island as well, but it’s important to consider access to amenities as well as infrastructure. Choosing to purchase land or a home on an already-developed island is an easier and more costly choice.
Best islands to consider when moving to The Bahamas
Offering the most city-like energy, Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas. Lots of hustle and bustle, casinos, resorts, restaurants, and city life. Still enjoy the benefits of the Bahamas weather, beautiful water, and lifestyle while having all the city amenities. This a great opportunity for a hassle-free investment home. Nassau is the most expensive of all the islands when considering buying land or a single-family home.
A popular and off-the-beaten-path island with easy access from the U.S. but still offers a quiet island lifestyle. With a few restaurants and hundreds of miles of beautiful beaches, this is our top pick for buying real estate in The Bahamas. Prices are still relatively inexpensive and there are vast amounts of opportunities for large or small developments.
Abaco is a top destination for travelers from all over the world. Its laid-back vibes and beautiful beaches attract all kinds of visitors and investors year-round. But perhaps what it’s most known for is being the “Boating Capitol” of the Bahamas. With endless amounts of fishing and exploration, plus easy access via boat from Florida. This is a boater’s dream location!
The Exuma’s are best known for having the most amazing blue water in the world. They are a chain of 365 islands and keys, stretching across 200 miles of the most epic water.
Great Exuma, the island’s capital is an epic choice to consider when purchasing in The Bahamas. There is a great market there for vacation rentals if you choose to rent out your home. Additionally, there are direct flights from the U.S. and Canada, they have a good grocery store, a few small hotels, and some restaurants.
This is a great opportunity to buy on an island with infrastructure and access to some normal services, while still maintaining the island lifestyle. You will definitely enjoy having a vacation home in the Exuma’s!
Known for its marshy land and excellent bone fishing, this is a fisherman’s paradise! If you are looking for a place to adventure, this is a great spot for you. From blue holes to barrier reefs, excellent scuba diving, and more, this is the place to be if you are a nature and water lover!
The island itself is quite quiet, only a few small hotels can be found on the island. There are a few local convenience stores, and Andros is definitely on the less developed side of all the islands.
Located in the southern part of the Bahamas island chain, Long Island is a beautiful stretch of land boasting one of the world’s best beaches, Cape Santa Maria. Long Island is also known to have the world’s second deepest blue hole, Dean’s Blue Hole.
Boasting a population of 3,000 people on a 1,400-square-mile island, you can choose whether or not you want to see humans while on the island! There are beautiful and unique opportunities all over Long Island for you to buy the perfect Bahamas home.
Real Estate in The Bahamas
The process of purchasing a home in the Bahamas is relatively simple. Of all the factors to consider, the most important is to ensure you hire a local realtor who is knowledgeable about the island and all its rules, permits, etc. Contact us to get started on your real estate search.
Depending on your wants & needs, we can find the best property for you. Prices vary depending on which island you choose, whether you are choosing land or single-family homes, etc. There are many factors to consider when purchasing your home. From cheap waterfront land to acres for millions of dollars, we have a vast range of properties available for any price range.
Buying a Home
Similar to purchasing real estate anywhere in the world, the transaction will go as follows.
- Submit an offer
- Negotiations with seller/sellers’ agent
- Agreed upon terms + contract drafted by seller’s attorney (Bahamian)
- All parties sign + deposit submitted to the buyer’s attorney (Bahamian)
- The buyer’s attorney works with the seller’s attorney to do a full title search to ensure all documentation is accurate and recorded appropriately.
- Buyer wires remaining costs to buyer’s attorney
- The deal closes/conveyance is recorded and given to the new buyer
Buyers should expect to pay around 7% on top of the purchase price for lawyer fees, VAT, applications, etc. You should also note that obtaining financing is a difficult and long process. It is absolutely doable, but prepare yourself for a longer-than-normal wait time for bank approvals.
The standard transaction time from the accepted offer to the closed sale is about 45-60 days. If the title on the property you are purchasing is cloudy, you should expect a time frame of 60-90 days.
Property taxes are about .05%-1% of the property value and vary based on the purpose of the home (i.e. investment or residence). You should expect to pay about 1% of the home’s value annually for homeowners insurance.
The Bahamas has zero personal income tax. There is also no Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance or Gift Tax, nor are there any wealth taxes or taxes on share dividends and interest. This is a great thing to consider if you are seeking to save on your taxes.
The Cost of Living in the Bahamas
Living in the Bahamas has its pros and cons when referring to cost. Living on the island you’ll have to expect general items to be more expensive, as most things are imported. From groceries to household goods and dining out, you should expect to spend at least a quarter more than you are used to spending in the U.S. Because most items are imported, you should factor in the cost of shipping/VAT/duty on the items you will be purchasing.
The benefits to your pocket when living in The Bahamas is that you’ll notice you’ll have fewer things to spend money on. Besides food and your house expenses, you won’t be doing much shopping or unnecessary spending on the island. Just buy what you need, and you’ll save on the rest. You will find that the easy island life will bring you more joy than shopping for “stuff”.
In general, the cost of electricity, water, gas, etc. is quite expensive, so it is a good idea to perhaps go “off the grid” as much as possible when deciding to build or choose your home of choice. Living on the island you can’t always expect to have the best access to normal amenities, but this is what makes island life so special. Embrace the lifestyle and enjoy the simplicity of island life.
Working in The Bahamas
If you are planning to work & live in the Bahamas, you should consider the rather strict laws of working here. If you have a business operating outside of the Bahamas, you can of course run that business from the Bahamas, however, you must have some sort of legal status to be living here long-term (i.e., residency or permanent residency).
In general, it is almost impossible for a foreigner to secure a work permit for most occupations that can be filled by a Bahamian unless you have been brought in as an employee by an established company that will take you through the work permit process.
If you wish to open a business in The Bahamas, you are required to have a Bahamian partner (51% them, 49% you). The exception is investors with lots of capital who usually can get things done a bit easier.
Homeowners Residency in Eleuthera Bahamas
Upon receiving the conveyance for your home purchase, you can apply for a residency or “homeowners” card. Upon receiving this card (which usually can take up to a year) you can license and register cars and come in and out of the Bahamas freely. You should note that the card needs to be renewed annually and will cost $500 per year.
Becoming a Permanent Resident
As a permanent resident of the Bahamas, you can live and work freely for life in any of the Bahamas Islands. If this is something you are interested in, you have a few options. The first and easiest option is to marry a Bahamian citizen and stay married for at least 5 years before applying for permanent residency. Your other options are:
- Purchasing a residence in the Bahamas for over $750,000 and going through a rigorous application process + a $15,000 one-time application fee.
- Legally working or living in the Bahamas for more than 20 consecutive years
Who should buy property in Eleuthera
If you’re looking to escape to the island life full time this is a great place to buy. As mentioned above, it’s easy to access from the U.S., offering daily flights. There are also major tax benefits, not to mention the happiness benefits you will get from living a simple island life. Enhance your days with the sunshine and beautiful landscape of Eleuthera.
Vacation Home Owners
Looking to buy the perfect vacation home? Eleuthera is an epic destination for this. Specifically, if you are from somewhere that has a colder climate, this is an excellent place to spend your winters. Winter residents are popular buyers of property in Eleuthera. People living in cold climates like to head down to Eleuthera for the winter and enjoy our 75-degree sunny days. This is a perfect opportunity to rent your house out for half the year and make your investment pay itself off while you enjoy it when you need it most.
Looking for an investment property? Eleuthera has some amazing untapped opportunities offering 6-10% ROI. So much potential for vacation home rentals and other developments. Contact us today to have a conversation and share the info with you.
Anyone looking for an island escape should buy a piece of paradise and or move to The Bahamas. Whether you are escaping the cold in winter, looking for an investment property, or want to live here full-time, The Bahamas is a magical place. You just can’t beat the laid-back peaceful energy and beautiful beaches. Contact us today or check out Everything Eleuthera to start the search for your island escape!