The Bahamas Government approved a $2.6 Billion injection into the country's real estate market, specifically for the resort development proposed by Baha Mar Resorts Ltd, scheduled to open in early 2014. This should breathe new life into the Cable Beach, New Providence community, and make a strong Bahamas real estate market even stronger.
The Bahamas is an archipelago of 700 islands and islets (2,000 islands if the cays, small islands formed on coral reefs, are included), in the western Atlantic Ocean, located near Cuba and Florida. (See map at end of article.) This luscious tropical destination enjoys the reputation for being one of the hottest tourist destinations in the Caribbean. Especially for those who enjoy water sports, like to sail or cruise, fish or go diving. The weather is usually pleasant all year round with the exception of hurricane season. The white sandy beaches are so inviting and the waters are literally turquoise blue. Owning real estate in The Bahamas is just as hot! Investment property or vacation home - the reward of owning a genuine tax-free paradise is a temptation that need not be resisted. Ernest Hemingway didn't resist. Why should you?
The famous explorer Christopher Columbus landed at San Salvador in The Bahamas 1492. It is said that he named the island salvador, i.e. rescuer or more aptly put, salvation ~ because his crew men were ready to put him to death if they did not see land and see it very soon! Though Columbus claimed The Bahamas for the Spanish on his first journey to the Americas, the islands became a British crown colony in 1717. But on July 10, 1973, under the leadership of the late Sir Lynden Pindling, The Bahamas became an independent country. No longer a colony: democratic and free, just like America. The official language is English (with a delightful accent). The capital of The Bahamas is Nassau on the island called New Providence and its second-largest city is Freeport, located on Grand Bahama Island. The popular newspapers, published daily are: The Nassau Guardian, The Bahama Journal, The Tribune, and Freeport News. Television and radio, ZNS Bahamas, is operated by government-owned, commercially-run Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas (BCB).
The current political environment in The Bahamas appears to be stable and historically, the country has enjoyed an amicable relationship with the United States, building close economic and commercial relations. That is good news for a real estate investor because although the real estate market for private islands differs globally, everyone knows that island property is almost always prime real estate. Travel between The Bahamas and the United States is easily accomplished. You do not have to expatriate. The entry requirements only differ if you are a U.S. citizen versus a U.S. resident (non-U.S. citizen with a green card). The Bahamian government even passed a law to facilitate for the sale of real property in The Bahamas to non-Bahamians. (Refer to section below entitled Real Estate Investing Guidance.)
So think about it. Paradise. Tax-free. Stable economy. Foreigners welcome. Sunken treasure. It's possible! A lot of pirates used to hang out in The Bahamas. There were several shipwrecks. With The Bahamas being a mere 50 miles off the coast of Florida and having a total of 700 islands, the investor's only difficulty is in deciding which island in The Bahamas to buy real estate.
Since The Bahamas is just a half hour plane ride, go back and forth to Florida!
Islands of The Bahamas
There are a number of online sites to find information about islands in The Bahamas. The islands listed below are where one might consider investing in real estate:
[Map of The Bahamas: CIA - The World Factbook]
Real Estate Investing Guidance
Many people purchase real estate in The Bahamas as a second home or vacation home. The International Persons Landholding Act, 1993, provides for the sale of real property in The Bahamas to non-Bahamians. Non-Bahamians who own property in The Bahamas may apply to the Director of Immigration for an annual home owner resident card. You can buy real estate using US currency and transacting in English. Many American celebrities own property in The Bahamas such as Lenny Kravitz, Johnny Depp, Shakira, Oprah Winfrey. As mentioned earlier there is no need to expatriate however, should you decide to, expats are welcome in The Bahamas. Bahamas is a tax shelter haven.
"Investing in real estate early is the key to an early retirement. Investing in Bahamas Real Estate will not only put money in your pocket but provide you with a nice retirement location when it's time to relax in your later years." (Source: Bahamas Real Estate Today)
As with all investment decisions, educate yourself and count up the costs. For the past two years, property values dropped on average by 20%. Economists predict that 2011 will show a significant turnaround year in the Bahamas. So hurry! Before the Canadians buy it all up! Happy investing!
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The Letters of Ernest Hemingway: Volume 1, 1907-1922 (The Cambridge Edition of the Letters of Ernest Hemingway)