When you do want to purchase real estate in Grand Bahama, there are many professional real estate brokers and attorneys who can advise you and lead you through the process. Here are just a few general guidelines to be aware of when buying property:
There is a 2.5 % government stamp duty on all real estate transactions valued under $100,000.
A total tax of 10% on all real estate transactions valued at $100,000 and over. This includes the 2.5 % government stamp duty plus 7.5% VAT. (VAT registrants will be able to claim as a credit or net off the 7.5 % VAT on commercial property sales valued at over $100,000).
There is NO Property Tax in Freeport until 2035 based on The Hawksbill Creek agreement and there is NO Capital Gains Tax in The Bahamas.
Ownership of property is conveyed in fee simple.
Once an offer is accepted by the seller, a 10% deposit is usually put into sellers attorneys escrow account to take the property off the market.
The bar standard for attorney fees is 2.5% of the purchase price for both the buyer and seller and each party needs representation. In The Bahamas you must use a Bahamian attorney for the transaction. It is not uncommon for one attorney to represent both buyer and seller and in that case attorneys will slightly reduce their fees. Attorneys handle title search and applications for all permits.
Real Estate fees are paid by the seller. The standard fee on developed property is 6% and on raw land is 10% of purchase price.
Typical closing time is 60-90 days.
Shipping your furniture and household goods is easy. Transportation is readily available to The Bahamas, including ocean freight and air freight. There are several companies that specialize in this area.
Local banks have many programs available to facilitate mortgages and will be happy to discuss ways to finance your real estate purchases.
A homeowner can obtain an Annual Homeowners Residence Card from the Director of Immigration that allows the permit holder, spouse, and minor children to enter and remain in The Bahamas for the period of the permit. The cost for the Annual Homeowners Residence Card is $500 per annum.
If you are building a custom home, or investing in a residence valued at over $1,500,000, Permanent Residency status will be considered for fit and proper owners of upstanding charachter. An application for a Certificate of Permanent Residency can be made to the Department of Immigration. Holding a Permanent Residency certificate can lead to significant tax advantages in your home country.
Bahamas Information Courtesy of: