Buying Property in the Caribbean
The Caribbean with its white sandy beaches, azure blue skies and clear calm waters, has long been associated with the jet set, but increasingly it’s becoming a more affordable dream, as flights get cheaper and developers move in.It’s still an expensive area, you’re not going to pick up a ruin that you can restore like you can in a European country, but apartments and villas are coming on the market for a little over £100,000, and as more areas open up to direct flights, there’ll be no shortage of customers if you want to rent your property out to tourists.
Multitude of RegulationsOf course, the Caribbean is a collection of many countries rather than one, so the buying process and regulations will differ from country to country. At one end of the extreme there is Cuba, the largest island, where it is not really possible to own property. At the other end, UK citizens will find it pretty easy to buy in one of the former or current British dependencies such as the Turks and Caicos.
In much of the Caribbean a permanent move is not on if you need to work, as work permits are very hard to come by, impossible in some areas. This restricts most foreign investors to buy-to-let investment or holiday homes, which may or not be rented out when the owners aren’t there.
Mortgage OptionsIt is possible to get mortgages in most of the Caribbean countries that allow foreign investors, but self-certification mortgages aren’t available. They will not take projected rental income into account, and they will be in US dollars or local currencies. Of course, it is possible to take out a mortgage in the UK to release equity to fund the purchase.
In most countries foreign purchasers will need to obtain an Alien’s Licence, or similar document, which should be merely a formality. In Barbados you also need permission from the Bank of Barbados to make your purchase.