As a real estate advisor in the Bahamas, I have had many clients inquire about the process of obtaining permanent residency while purchasing a home here. The Bahamas has always been a desirable location for real estate buyers, not only for its picture-perfect surroundings, but also for its tax-friendly environment and diverse culture. But what exactly do home buyers need to know about obtaining permanent residency in the Bahamas.
First and foremost, the Bahamas requires a significant investment for individuals seeking economic permanent residency. This means owning a property valued at $750,000 or greater. If your investment exceeds $1.5 million, you may be eligible for accelerated consideration. The process for obtaining permanent residency can seem daunting, but with the right guidance and information, it can be a smooth and efficient process.
One of the key things to keep in mind is the importance of consulting with a reputable real estate attorney. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney can provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the process.
Real Estate Success: Choose the Best Attorney for Your Transaction.
Simon Lowe is a partner at the Law firm of King & Co. in Nassau. He specializes in real estate transactions with particular focus on representation of international investors and second home buyers. He’s been practicing in the Bahamas since 2007. King & co. is recognized as a leading firm in the representation of high net worth individuals conducting real estate acquisitions, sales, financing and development in the Bahamas.
Simon has answered some "Frequently Asked Questions"
Is it safe to invest in real estate in the Bahamas?
Provided that the necessary due diligence is done with the assistance of a reputable Bahamian real estate attorney, investing in real estate in The Bahamas is generally very safe. The Bahamas has a long tradition of respect for private property rights for both Bahamian and foreign investors.
Is it important to be represented by a broker?
Working with a local broker is highly recommended when purchasing real estate in The Bahamas, particularly for investors coming from overseas who may not be familiar with the lay of the land. A good broker will be able to assist with locating suitable properties and will be an important go between and introducer for other associated professionals you will need to get established in The Bahamas, such as contractors, attorneys, bankers, etc.
Why do I need an attorney?
The Bahamas does not have a registered land system. Rather than confirming ownership of a parcel of land with a local land registry, a seller must instead produce original deeds and documents showing they have a good and marketable title. This process requires the expertise of an experienced real estate attorney who will provide an opinion on title confirming that the purchaser is acquiring good and marketable title to the property. Non-Bahamian real estate investors are also typically required to obtain approval to purchase from the Bahamas Investment Authority. While this is a simple process, it is generally best handled by a Bahamian attorney.
Any legal advice for a first-time real estate buyer?
The Bahamas imposes taxes on the initial purchase of property and on an ongoing annual basis. It is important to get a full understanding of the amount of these closing and annual costs.
When it comes to finding the perfect property to meet the permanent residency requirements, there are many options to choose from.
An important factor to consider is the location of the property. The Bahamas offers a variety of stunning islands, each with their own unique charm and benefits. For example, properties on the main island of New Providence offer direct flights to many major cities throughout the world, making it a convenient location for those who travel frequently.
Overall, purchasing a property in the Bahamas for the purpose of obtaining permanent residency is a wise investment. Not only will you have a beautiful home in paradise, but you will also have access to a tax-friendly environment, diverse culture, and endless opportunities for relaxation and recreation.
Written by: Silvina Andrews
Contributor: Simon Lowe