Bermuda is a stunning place to live thanks to the breath-taking views and vibrant local culture. But depending on whether or not you’re local, buying a house here might not be straightforward. To help, we’ve put together a few tips for buying a house in Bermuda for both locals and non-Bermudians.
House Buying Tips in Bermuda
- Prepare Your Finances
- Ask Questions
- Check Government Regulations
- Have Multiple Visits
- Partner with a Real Estate Agent
- Don’t Hesitate
- Location, Location, Location
- Consider Condos
1. Prepare Your Finances
Before placing an offer on a house, take some time to prepare your finances. By doing this, you’ll be able to determine how high you’re able to go with your offers. Consider the additional costs that need to be paid both during and after the buying process, like legal feels, surveys, taxes, insurance and utility bills. It’s a big financial commitment, so make sure you’re ready.
2. Ask Questions
It’s important to be an informed buyer when it comes to houses. Speak to your estate agent about the property’s history, zoning restrictions, local regulations and relevant facts about the neighborhood.
3. Check Government Regulations
There are a range of rules and regulations that you’ll need to consider when buying a house in Bermuda. For example, Bermudians can save as much as $12,000 on their first house thanks to stamp duty exemptions from the government.
As a non-Bermudian you can own a property in Bermuda, but you’ll need to apply for a license from the Ministry of Law and Home Affairs office. It will take four to six months to receive the license and the requisite license fee is 8 percent of the purchase price, so you should factor this into your plans.
4. Have Multiple Visits
Bermuda is home to beautiful properties that offer incredible views of the islands. It’s easy to fall in love with a home and be eager to own a little slice of paradise as soon as possible.
But in order to ensure you find and buy the perfect property, try and view any through with a realism filter, checking to see if there are any structural issues or problems like damp. Even if it means making multiple trips back to the neighborhood.
5. Partner with a Real Estate Agent
It’s tempting to do most of the house buying online, but it’s important to partner with a real estate agent that’s based in Bermuda. Not only can they help you to find your dream home, but they’ll also offer expert advice and guidance to make the whole process as stress-free as possible.
If you aren’t Bermudian, then an agent will have all the knowledge you'll need to understand the local and legal customs.
6. Don’t Hesitate
Buying a property of any kind is a big life decision, so it’s important you’ve considered every aspect of the purchase to make sure it’s right for you. Once you’re happy that the home you’re looking at is the one, don’t hesitate when it comes to making a sale. Even the slightest delay can result in you missing out on your dream home. Act quickly and decisively to make sure you’ll be enjoying your new Bermuda home.
7. Location, Location, Location
There are nine parishes in Bermuda, so you’ll need to decide which of them you’d like to live in. The cost of living in Bermuda can be high, especially if you choose to live in the capital Hamilton, the country’s commercial center, so take that into account when choosing.
All kinds of things can influence your decision, such as how popular the area is with tourists. If you’re looking for a tranquil parish to enjoy that isn’t too far from Hamilton, then Pembroke, Paget, Devonshire or Smiths might be for you. There’s no wrong choice, but each parish offers something slightly different to homeowners.
8. Consider Condos
You might have initially started out your search with a house in mind, but you should also consider condos. Bermuda is a popular place to live, so property prices are very high. A condo can give you the same staggering views and numerous amenities but at a much lower price.
Even though you’re paying less, you have access to resort facilities that you don’t have to maintain. Swimming pools, gyms and tennis courts are just some of the facilities that can be included in resort condominium complexes.
If you’re a social person, then you’ll love being a part of the condo community. You’ll know who your neighbors are and there’ll always be a friendly face to grab a coffee with. It’s also good to know that there are people nearby that are looking out for you as they can keep an eye on your condo while you’re away. And if not your neighbors, then your professional management team.
Everything You Need to Know About Condos
You might not have considered condos when looking for a new home in Bermuda, but you really should. To make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision, download our condo buying checklist.
The checklist will help you to decide which kind of property is right for you and explain who condos are ideal for. It also features the top things to look out for when choosing a condo and questions to ask when you have a viewing.
Click the link below to get your free copy of the download.