Real estate investment can be challenging, especially during these unprecedented times. But when it subsides, it’s time for the world to resume and that means fulfilling your dream of purchasing property abroad.
While the rich cultures of all these places might have some similarities, there are major differences that make each of them a viable place to purchase a vacation property. There’s something for everybody in all of these destinations and, hopefully, your next property abroad.
1. Turks and Caicos
The Turks and Caicos is a developing country and as such, some aspects of life can be different from other countries. Situated North of the Dominican Republic, it’s a fantastic destination, home to spectacular beaches and ocean views.
Its incredible beauty, marine environment and warm climate are definitely compelling. The island of Providenciales has seen the vast majority of development. Most of the stores, infrastructure, accommodations and utilities are found here. The smaller islands can be stunning, but a little restrictive when it comes to amenities and general services.
Properties are few and far between, but ones that are available offer incredible views - if you can front the cost. Banks in the Turks and Caicos will lend to non-residents. At the price points of the luxury rentals in this market, you definitely want to be conservative with any mortgage you take out in case rental income slows for any reason.
Real estate price varies considerably based on island and location. As expected, beach-front properties demand a premium. A property purchased here lets you make unforgettable memories.
Mexico remains a popular destination among Canadians and Americans for both tourism and retirement. It’s also enjoying good growth in the local tourism market. As a foreigner, you’re technically not allowed to buy real estate within 62 miles of an international border or 31 miles of the coast.
However, these restrictions can be sidestepped legally, either by buying via a Mexican land trust or via a Mexican corporation.
Put concerns about the drug cartels aside. Although the reputation isn’t altogether undeserved as drug cartels do control some parts of the country, most vacation home buyers are not affected by them. Mexico offers long coasts, mountain towns and colonial cities. There are also Mayan ruins, jungle, rain forest and lakes to explore.
It's also the most accessible 'overseas' haven from the United States. You could drive back and forth if you wanted. For all these reasons, Mexico is home to the biggest established populations of American expats in the world.
Barbados is an eastern Caribbean island and an independent British Commonwealth nation. The capital and largest town is Bridgetown, which is also the main seaport.
The culture of Barbados is a blend of West African and British cultures. English is the official language of the nation, reflecting centuries of British influence, but the Bajan dialect is an iconic part of Barbadian culture.
The total flight duration from New York to Barbados is 4 hours, 50 minutes and tourism is Barbados’ number one earner. During peak season you’ll find a great mix of tourists and locals socializing and going about their daily life, together.
Situated just north of the equator, it’s a little further to fly but Barbados has glorious sunshine all year round.
Typically, there are no restrictions on foreign ownership except for one formality: non-residents must obtain permission from Barbados´ Central Bank if they want to buy property. This is a formality, but failing to do so will void your purchase. But if you ‘walk the walk’ and ‘talk the talk’ Bajan style, you’ll make lifelong friends from all over the island in no time!
Anguilla, a dependent territory of the United Kingdom, is one of the Leeward Islands.
Anguillans are proud of their independence and unique identity as one of the smallest inhabited Caribbean islands. According to tradition, the small, narrow island got its name in 1493 because from a distance it resembled an eel, or in Italian, anguilla.
Anguilla's culture is a unique mix of stately British traditions and a lively Caribbean spirit. It enjoys the reputation of being the ‘culinary capital of the Caribbean’. And like most Caribbean islands, rum is a favorite.
The more colorful side of Anguilla’s culture comes out in its 15 art galleries. Live music and barefoot dancing are staples at most beach bars. However, no celebration on the island is louder or livelier than the annual Anguilla Summer Festival.
There are some restrictions on overseas buyers looking to purchase property. For example, non-nationals are permitted to purchase up to half an acre of land and must build a property with a gross external floor area of 2,000 square feet within 18 months from the date of issue of the Alien Landholding License.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing, commercial flights and public transportation are no longer operating due to COVID-19. You’ll have to wait until restrictions are lifted to enjoy the delicious dishes from Anguilla and of course, the national sport of boat racing.
5. The Cayman Isles
The Cayman Isles are made up of three main islands: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Widely regarded as 'the most carefree corner of the Caribbean', it’s home to 55,000 friendly locals.
The Cayman Isles are one of the closest Caribbean destinations to the United States. All three islands that make up this destination have their own unique personalities and activities to offer.
When it comes to food, Cayman takes influences from Jamaica and Trinidad with jerk spices featured on many menus. The national dish is turtle if you want to try authentic Cayman Isle cuisine.
Grand Cayman is a combination of arts and culture and you can dive into the luxury that is Georgetown which is surrounded by traditional architecture. The Caymanian culture is something you’ll need to adjust to as it widely differs from the US way of going about things.
It’s fairly straightforward to purchase property in this location most of the time. There are no restrictions on foreign ownership if the property is for personal use, but it gets a little more complicated when you consider it for rental purposes.
We understand that currency fluctuation is one of the biggest risks investors should take into account. Bermuda’s dollar is pegged with the US dollar, so you can even use US dollars over there!
The island of Bermuda is undoubtedly exclusive and purchasing a vacation condo can give you access at a much lower price. This welcoming destination has amazing beaches, incredible views, intriguing history and an amazing culture you’ll adore. Modern infrastructure makes living in and visiting the island of Bermuda safe, easy and convenient too.
Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory and retains the charm of its heritage (and language). However, you can substitute the usual downpour in the UK for a sub-tropical paradise instead.
It’s becoming somewhat of a bolthole for US citizens, especially with its recent reopening and welcoming of visitors. Bermuda has earned a global stamp of approval for the way it’s proactively handled the COVID-19 pandemic.
Picture yourself waking up in the morning to serene ocean views and exotic wildlife native to the island. You can’t do that in the big city in the US, can you?
The island is also well underway in developing a Fintech ecosystem, which will allow Bermuda to become a real leader within this modern technology. Innovating while still maintaining its island charm and sophistication.
Whether you want to have a more permanent vacation getaway, make strolling down pink-sand beaches a daily occurrence or have a place to work on your golf swing with uninterrupted ocean views - you’ll find it in abundance in Bermuda.
Bermuda is perfect, especially if you’re looking to maximize rental potential. Did we mention it’s only a two-hour flight or less from the East Coast?
Wherever you decide to purchase, work with an agent familiar with the country's language and laws to ensure you know what to expect, comply with local regulations and don't end up with any unpleasant surprises.
Many delightful island destinations beckon you to buy a second home, but which one is right for you and your needs?
The Best Bolthole: Bermuda Is Waiting to Be Discovered
Bermuda has a little slice of everything, so it's no surprise why it’s become such a popular destination for a second property. As non-Bermudians can now buy property in Bermuda, retiring here is definitely an option to consider too.
That’s why we created the ultimate guide to moving to Bermuda. From importing valuables to activities you can do once you’re here, we have everything you could possibly need to know.
Download your ultimate guide below.