For many people, the Bahamas is a land of pristine beauty and it offers tremendous opportunities. Located just off of the Florida Keys, the chain of islands is one of the most popular destinations for tourists and investors. It shares a cultural history with the US, democratic governments going back 300 years, and one of the highest GDP levels in the Western hemisphere. The market is stable, close, and lucrative for people who want to purchase Bahamas real estate. Before you start looking at properties, it is critical to know the ins and outs of the market. These factors make you informed about what it takes to own a property and the expectation throughout the process. 

Facts about Buying Bahamas Real Estate

Any US citizen can purchase property in the Bahamas with no limitations because of their country of origin. The only exception is if you intend to buy more than 2 acres or use it as a rental or turn it into a commercial enterprise. In these situations, you must have a permit from the government to buy the property. These and other facts are critical in successfully navigating the markets to find the ideal property. There are several areas you need to know about to make the best decisions including the procedures of buying, legal costs, taxes, and residency.

The Process of Buying Real Estate

Buying real estate in the Bahamas requires following several steps to ensure everything goes smoothly including making the offer, signing the contract, and registering it. Making an offer begins by searching for a property through a realtor and narrowing it down to the one you want. It is at this point when you need to find a local attorney and have them create a real estate contract to purchase. After everything is signed with the other party, you need to leave a 10% down payment on the property. Then, transfer the balance of the funds to complete the purchase to the seller. You are required to pay 50% of the stamp taxes and the closing costs at this time. Next, you need to register the property with the Exchange Control via the Central Bank of the Bahamas. It is to make sure that when you decide to sell it, you can easily transfer the proceeds out of the country in US dollars. 

Legal Costs

It is a good idea to hire a local real estate attorney that knows the market. They can guide you through the process of buying and create the necessary paperwork for the transaction. The legal fees are 2.5% of the total purchase price and it is due at closing. It is split between the buyer and seller, with both parties using them to complete the transaction. 


US citizens can stay in the Bahamas for eight months without a visa. If you are plan on staying longer and buying property, you can apply for a Home Owners Resident Card through the Department of Immigration. It allows you and your family to stay in the Bahamas for the length of time on the permit. Anyone buying property over $750 thousand is eligible to receive a Permanent Resident Permit. 

Contact Island Property Group to Learn More!

American citizens can own Bahamas real estate but must follow certain practices to make the process go smoothly. There are several areas to focus on including the procedures of buying, legal costs, taxes, and residency. When you follow them, you will find the process much easier and stay at your dream home longer. No matter what area you’re interested in or what kind of questions you have about residency or purchasing real estate in the Bahamas, the Island Property Group can help!

Posted by Mark Wood on
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