Buyer’s guide to Abaco Real Estate
Investing In Abaco Real Estate
When buying in Abaco, the first tip is, to enroll the services of our fully licensed Abaco Real Estate company. One with a thorough knowledge of the real estate laws and the market, rather than buying directly from a seller. With sixteen years experience in the local real estate scene, we are well qualified to advise any prospective buyer on Abaco Real Estate.
The Bahamas is a developing nation with a stable economy. Dependent primarily on the tourism industry and maritime resources. Abaco boasts the most visitors’ return among the Bahamian islands. It has a population of second homeowners who spend a large part of the year on the island. Several high end resorts have sprouted in the last few years. They are, the Abaco Club at Winding Bay in the South. Baker’s Bay Golf and Ocean Club on Great Guana Cay and on a more affordable level, Schooner Bay, also in the South.
The government sees foreign purchasers with a friendly eye and although it might take a little longer than elsewhere at times, buying or reselling a property on Abaco is a standard procedure. Foreign ownership of property is encouraged. With a minimum investment of $500,000.00, one could apply for permanent residency. Otherwise a stay of nine months per year is allowed.
When Looking for a Property…
- Be as specific as possible when describing the property you are hoping to find.
- Be realistic about your budget and let the agent know about your financial status.
- Be prepared to make an offer quickly, should you find the perfect property. Like anywhere else, properties that show well and are well priced, sell fast.
- If financing is required, speak with your agent.
- Make a thorough inspection of the property you are interested in so as not to overlook anything.
- Ask questions. If your agent does not have an immediate answer, he or she will make every effort to find the information and supply you with one.
Buying a property in The Bahamas starts with a written offer or letter of intent. Once the offer has been accepted by the seller; a lawyer handles the rest of the transaction up to closing. There again, make sure you retain the services of a well established, reputable, Bahamian law firm.
Appointing Legal Representation
Once an agreement of terms to purchase has been met, it will be necessary to appoint an attorney to draw up a purchase contract. This is usually an attorney on the island and there are several Law firms to choose from. We will assist you in choosing one that best suits your transaction.
It is required that you use a Bahamian attorney familiar with the process in The Bahamas. Be sure to request a copy of the property recorded conveyance (Deed) that has The Registrar General’s Office stamp on it after closing.
Below is additional information on purchasing property and property taxes in the Bahamas.
Abaco Real Estate
For the avoidance of doubt please note the following:-
- Conveyances include the sale, lease, assignment or other transfer of real property from an owner/s to another.
- Real Property includes, but is not limited to:
- a) Vacant land
- b) dwellings for first time owner-occupiers whether or not valued over $100,000;
- c) Commercial buildings
- d) condominiums
- e) tenements or any other structures attached to the land;
- f) time-shares; and
- g) any buildings constructed for sale by contractors who are also the owners;
Consider the following examples of VAT/Stamp Duty:
- 2.5% where the value does not exceed $100,000
- 4% where the value exceeds $100,000 but does not exceed $300,000;
- 6% where the value exceeds $300,000 but does not exceed $500,000;
- 8% where the value exceeds $500,000 but does not exceed $700,000;
- 9% where the value exceeds $700,000 but does not exceed $1,000,000;
- 10% where the value exceeds $1,000,000
Real Property Tax
The rates of tax on real property are as follows:
- The first $250,000 of market value is tax exempt
- More than $250,000 and not exceeding $500,000 of market value is ¾%
- More than $500,000 and not exceeding $5,000,000 of market value is 1%
- More than $5,000,000 of market value is .25%
Unimproved property other than unimproved property exempt by virtue of Section 39 of the Real Property Tax Act:
- First $7,000 of market value is $100
- More than $7,000 of market value 1½%.
- First $500,000 of market value is 1%
- More than $500,000 of market value is 2%
Market value is defined as the amount the property would realize, if sold in the open market, without any encumbrances or restrictions. If the return is not filed, the owner is guilty of an offense, and upon conviction thereof, may be fined. Persons knowingly making false statements may be liable to fines, imprisonment, or both fines and imprisonment. If the tax is not paid on or before the last day the tax becomes due, a surcharge will be added.
In the case of an extension of time, the Chief Valuation Officer may postpone the date on which the tax is payable in a particular case, by notice in writing.
Seller’s Guide to Abaco Real Estate
Abaco Real Estate is our Business.
To request information; simply complete our contact form.
We will provide you with information that you can use to evaluate your sales opportunities and real estate goals.
Once you have decided to move forward and sell your island property, prepare your property for sale. Understand your real estate goals, and with your real estate agent, establish a competitive price for your home.
Get your house in selling shape: clean the interior and exterior, increase curb appeal if needed and think about how you might stage the home for showings. Remember the first impressions are the lasting ones!
Your agent will establish a marketing plan for your property.
Some of our services include:
- Drone Photography at no extra cost.
- Consistent Advertising.
- Web Exposure on one of the best Real Estate Websites in the Bahamas.
- Sharing our listings with all other real estate companies for improved coverage.
- Other customizable facets to get the word out about your property!
The process is about you; your plans and devising how we can best facilitate them. Selling your home in today’s market requires effective marketing strategies and the resources to implement them. Our agents will show your property to as many potential buyers as possible.
When you receive an offer (usually in the form of a Letter of Intent), read it over, consider what you require from the sale and either reject the offer, make a counter offer or accept the offer. To further negotiate, write down everything you have in mind and present it to your agent. He/She will advise you as to what is the best way to move forward and present your response.
Completing the Sale and Transfer of Title
Once the documents are executed and the balance of required funds are available for closing the transaction, the sale and transfer of title will be completed by your attorney. Your attorney will be responsible to handle the transaction on your behalf and will make sure that the title is free and clear of encumbrances, liens or restrictions prior to completion. He/She will also apply for the appropriate permits required to finalize the purchase.
In exchange for the transfer of title documents of Abaco Real Estate, the buyers’ attorney will provide the funds for completing the transaction. Your deed will be registered at The Registrars General Office in Nassau, to ensure protection of your investment. Request a copy of your fully executed and stamped Conveyance from your Attorney.