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frequently asked questions

Is Bermuda a sovereign state?

  • Bermuda is an island country with its own distinct national identity, but not a sovereign state.

  • A sovereign state is one neither dependent on nor subjected in any way to any other power or state or country. Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory and as such has a great deal of autonomy.

  • It is the smallest in size but economically the most advanced, prosperous and populated per square mile as well as the oldest of 14 British Overseas Territories.

  • Bermuda has its own written constitution, but operates under the British Legal System, and has a Governor appointed by the Crown. The Governor is responsible for matters of defense and to a large extent foreign affairs. We also have a Parliament that operates under the Westminster System.

  • Bermuda’s Head of State is King Charles III.

What annual events are there in Bermuda?

January – Bermuda Restaurants Weeks, Bermuda Marathon Weekend, Bermuda Festival of the
Performing Arts
March – Bermuda International Film Festival, Grey Goose World Par 3 Championship, Bermuda Triple
Challenge, Good Friday Kitefest, Moth World Championships
April – Bermuda Agriculture Exhibition, The Town Crier Re-enactment in St. George’s Peppercorn
Ceremony, MS Amlin World Triathlon Bermuda, Hamilton’s Summertime Harbour Nights
May – Hamilton’s Summertime Harbour Nights, Antigua Bermuda Race, Bermuda Day
June – Hamilton’s Summertime Harbour Nights, Annapolis Bermuda Ocean Race, Bermuda Heroes
Weekend, Newport Bermuda Race
July – Hamilton’s Summertime Harbour Nights, Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship
August – Hamilton’s Summertime Harbour Nights, Cup Match Weekend, Non-Mariner’s Water Raft Up
September – Hamilton’s Summertime Harbour Nights, Sand Sculpture Competition
October – City Food Festival
November – World Rugby Classic, Viper North American Race
December – Goodwill Golf Tournament

See links below for more information:
https://www.gotobermuda.com/
https://www.bermuda.com/things-to-do/events-calendar

What does the Capital, Hamilton offer?

  • The City of Hamilton is where most of the island’s glittering retail shops, great restaurants and many other commercial establishments like banks & insurance companies are located.

  • The central bus terminal and the main ferry terminal are also located here that connect to most parts of the island.

  • And there is no better place for nightlife in Bermuda than the Hamilton City. This is the location of the summer Harbour Nights festival, with Gombey Dancers and Beat  the Retreat Ceremony.

  •  Here are the top places to visit in Hamilton City:
    City Hall and Arts Center, Bermuda Cathedral, St. Theresa’s Cathedral,
    Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI), Albuoy’s Point Park,
    Victoria Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, Waterfront Square, Bermuda House Of
    Assembly, Bermuda Cabinet House, The Cenotaph, War Memorial, Perot
    Post Office, Bermuda National Library, Bermuda Historical Society Museum,
    Barr’s Bay and Park, Birdcage, Fort Hamilton.

What "sporty" activities are available in Bermuda?

  • Swimming and Snorkeling: Can be done during summer.

  • Swimming with the Dolphins: Can be done in the summer.

  • Sunset & Sightseeing Cruises, Sailing and Boat Rentals: Can be available year
    round. (weather permitting).

  • Fishing: Reef and Shore fishing can be done year round. Deep sea fishing can be
    done between May to October.

  • Cliff Jumping & Rock Climbing (Solo): Can be done during summer.

  • Bird Watching: Different kinds of birds can be season in different season. However, the rare Cahow (which is the national bird of Bermuda) can be seen between December to February.

  • Cave exploring and swimming: All year round (cave waters will be very cold).

For further information about events taking place in Bermuda, you can visit the Bermuda Tourism Authority website

When do I need to be in Bermuda to go Whale watching?

You get the best opportunity of watching whales in Bermuda during the spring time between March and April. This is when the humpback whales migrate from the Caribbean water zone to the north Atlantic feeding zone. The whales usually have a regular pattern of behavior and a migration route.

For further information about Whale Watching and other activities, you can also check out the Bermuda Tourism Authority website

How safe is Bermuda?

Bermuda’s crime rate has historically been relatively low, with petty burglaries the most prevalent crime. Almost all of Bermuda is, therefore, relatively secure.

What is a hotel condominium?

  • The hotel condominium business model works on the basis of apartments being designed and developed to be marketable as leisure real estate for outright purchase by individual owners, while providing effective hotel room inventory when owners, themselves, are not occupying their vacation homes. Successful condo resorts incorporate traditional hotel central facilities for the enjoyment of condo owners and hotel guests who are paying a nightly rate for accommodation. Typically, these facilities include restaurants, bars, a spa and gym, meeting space, beach facilities and a well-staffed reception/concierge desk.
  • As a Bermudiana Beach condo owner you will benefit from modern, carefree ocean-front living while generating an income from your condo when you are not in Bermuda.
  • The condos are usually designed to function as one, two or even three bedroom hotel suites, with a small kitchen and dining area, but with the potential for individual en-suite bedrooms to be “locked-off – meaning that these rooms can be accessed separately and occupied as individual “hotel type” rooms. This flexible design assists in reaching higher occupancy levels year-round and higher nightly rates than are typically achieved by conventional apartments, being marketed as traditional self-catering accommodation. The architectural and interior design aspects of the apartment layouts must be carefully contrived to achieve the best end result, whereby the usage requirements of both the condo owner and the hotel guest are met to a satisfactory level.
  • Revenue from the nightly rental business is split between the apartment owner and the hotel management company. At Bermudiana Beach the split is 40% share of Net Rental Income to the owner and 60% to the hotel management company.
  • The operating company then covers the costs of all hotel services out of its 60% split and retains the balance as profit. The condo owner must still pay homeowner association charges.
  • Owner occupancy is normally restricted to a certain number of days each year and by season.
  • At Bermudiana Beach Owners are restricted to 90 days usage each year with certain seasonal restrictions.
  • You wholly own the property, which leaves the remainder of the year available for rental.

What amenities are there on site at Bermudiana Beach Resort?

  • The resort is being converted in one go. An ocean-view pool, a beach elevator and steps down to the beach will be constructed, and elevators have been added to each of the buildings.

  • An ocean-view pool bar & grill, restaurant, hotel reception, spa, and gym will be constructed.

  • Are the pools going to be heated?
    Both pools will be heated to 80F. This is a Hilton standard requirement.

  • Where can I store my car when I am not on island?
    The hotel will make arrangements for overseas owners to store their cars under cover offsite. A charge will be made for this service.

What other amenities exist within the immediate area?

See diagram.

image10

Where are the nearest shops to Bermudiana Beach?

  • Most shopping is in the City of Hamilton. Alternatively, there is select shopping in Dockyard at the Western end of the Island and St Georges located at the eastern end of the island.

  • See link: https://www.gotobermuda.com/things-to-do/shopping

  • Also, please see the map below for the nearest grocery stores:

How long does it take to get to and from the airport?

  • The airport is approximately 10 miles from Bermudiana Beach and will take about 30 to 40 minutes via taxi to get there.

How close is Bermudiana Beach to Hamilton?

  • The City of Hamilton is approximately 4 miles from Bermudiana Beach and will take about 15 minutes via taxi to get there.

Can the interior design be customized?

The interior design is pre-determined to comply with Hilton standards. Apart from location and property type each condo’s interior design is identical, so that it is easier to market hotel rooms as a collective.

How are the residential buildings and hotel constructed?

  • Bermudiana Beach Resort follows the same resilient building practices that have kept Bermuda safe from storms for over 400 years.

  • Using International Building  Code masonry construction methods,  the residences and hotel facilities are built with concrete foundations and floors and concrete  block walls .

  • Roofs are constructed using resilient timber secured with hurricane clips, with traditional Bermuda profile roof sheathing glued and screwed to the roof assembly.

  • Since being built Bermuda has weathered several Atlantic storms and Bermudiana Beach Resort has performed without incident.

Which properties will be fully-accessible?

  • There will be one fully-accessible, 3-bedroom condo at Bermudiana Beach. Groundfloor Astwood #4, 1 Longtail Lane, has a lock-off that will allow two separate hotel rooms to become a fully-accessible 1 King Bedroom Grand Suite and a 1 King Bedroom Deluxe Suite. Astwood has been chosen owing to its proximity to the entrance, reception and amenities.

  • If a buyer wants a particular condominium to be made fully-accessible this can be considered subject to the above.

  1.  

What are the list prices of the condos at Bermudiana Beach?

  • Prices start at $412,500 for studios, $459,000 for 1-bedroom, $614,000 for 2-bedrooms and $825,000 for 3-bedroom homes.

  • Prices will increase quarterly now until conversion of the condos and amenities is fully completed. In July 2022 prices rose by 10%. Those that wait until the hotel opens in June 2023 will buy at full market value. Early birds will however enjoy prices substantially below market value to compensate for the months when they don’t have full amenity and the development team are working on parts of the site.

  • HOA fees will not be charged until the hotel opens.

Do I buy in Bermuda dollars or US dollars?

  • Bermuda uses Bermudian Dollars and US Dollars. The Bermudian Dollar is pegged to the US dollar at 1:1.

Can I get a mortgage to help me buy?

  • Each institution has its own rules for determining eligibility. Some prefer to lend to prior depositors.

  • Local lenders may offer residential mortgage products to overseas buyers although there are some restrictions as it relates to US citizens due to regulatory rules. However, interest rates are significantly lower in other countries so many overseas buyers use their assets at home to raise the necessary capital and effectively buy in Bermuda as cash buyers. We will refer you to local lenders for those seeking a mortgage.

What property can a Non-Bermudian buy in Bermuda?

  • Non-Bermudians may only buy property valued above a set minimum Annual Rental Value (ARV). The minimum ARV for houses is $126,000 and $25,800 for condominiums.

  • The ARV is used to determine land tax and is not necessarily a reflection of market value.

  • Houses with a qualifying ARV start at approximately $2,350,000 and condominiums at approximately $320,000. ARVs may be viewed on the Land Valuation Department’s website www.landvaluation.gov.bm. The effect of these guidelines means that only the highest valued properties are available to Non-Bermudian buyers.

  • Non-Bermudians must acquire an Acquisition License to buy a property in Bermuda.

  • A Non-Bermudian is permitted to own up to 2 properties.

  • A Non-Bermudian is not permitted to acquire vacant land except in specific tourism developments.

  • Non-Bermudians who buy property are not able to rent it out for short-term or holiday rentals unless it is in a specific ho tel tourism designated development. Non-Bermudians may be granted permission to rent their property on a longer term basis upon application to the Department of Immigration which is subject to a tax of 7.25%.

Can a Non-Bermudian rent the property they own in Bermuda?

Please be aware that government regulations prevent Non-Bermudian homeowners from renting out their home without express permission from the Government Ministry.

Permission will seldom, if ever, be granted for a period in excess of twelve months and renewal of permission will be considered on its merits at the time.

A non-Bermudian who owns a condo-hotel residence (like the ones at Bermudiana Beach) is exempt and can rent property they own to Bermudians and to non-Bermudians with a work permit, residential certificate or to any non-Bermudian staying for less than 90 days in Bermuda providing it is rented through the hotel inventory.

What property can a Bermudian and holder of a Permanent Resident Certificate (“PRC”) buy in Bermuda?

  • A PRC is able to buy any property on the market with some exceptions.

  •  A PRC is not permitted to acquire vacant land, a property that is part of a Government Scheme, and may not rent out a property that they own which has two assessment numbers.

  • A PRC is permitted to own up to 2 properties.

  •  A PRC married to a Bermudian no longer needs to apply for a license to own real estate when purchasing jointly.

Other property buying costs

a. Stamp Duty
  1. In Bermuda Stamp Duties are charged on a sliding scale: 2% on the first $100,000; 3% on the next $400,000 (up to $500,000); 4% on the next $500,000 (up to $1 million); 6% on the next $500,000 (up to $1.5 million); and 7% on everything above $1.5 million. (Thus, any property sale for more than $1,500,000 will incur stamp duty of $67 ,000 plus 7% of the value above $1,500,000.) This cost is then normally shared between the buyer and seller.

  2. At Bermudiana Beach stamp duty is waived completely. Based on our Phase 1 price list this represents a saving to the buyer of between $5,000 and $20,000.
b. Other Tax Matters
  1. Are there tax benefits if I buy at Bermudiana Beach?
    You will need to seek advice from a tax specialist with expertise in your own country’s laws to assist you with this.

  2. Do I need a tax advisor to assess tax liability in my home country?
    Again, you should seek advice from a tax specialist.

  3. Other taxes: 
    There are no other taxes on property.

c. Acquisition License Fee (for overseas buyers only)

  1. Non-Bermudian buyers have to obtain an Acquisition License from the government to buy property in Bermuda. Applications are made through a local attorney of their choosing and at present cost 8% of the purchase price for a single home or 6% of the purchase price for a condo.

  2. Because owner occupancy is limited to 90 days a year, the Acquisition
    License fee at Bermudiana Beach is waived. Based on current prices this
    represents a saving to the buyer of between $25,000 and $70,000.

On what basis do I own the property?

  • At Bermudiana Beach your condo is real estate that you individually and wholly-own.
  • You own it by deeded title on a 999-year leasehold basis.
  • You own through what is known as Condominium Ownership –“Condominium” is a legal term used in the U.S and most Canadian provinces. In the US, the laws governing condominium development and ownership can vary from State to State. Nevertheless, it is universally understood to mean a development consisting of residential dwellings that are individually and wholly-owned.
  • Beyond your doorstep, common areas, amenities and hotel facilities are owned by Bermudiana Development Co Ltd. 

What is a 999-leasehold interest?

  • Condominiums in Bermuda are typically owned as leasehold interests. At Bermudiana Beach the length of the lease is 999 years – “the leasehold equivalent of freehold”!
  • You will have to pay a monthly amount for maintenance, which covers the running of the general amenities (see points 4 and 5 below, plus a one-off payment that buys you ownership of the lease until you either sell it, or it expires.

  • Leasehold purchases generally occur in buildings that comprise more than one unit, such as blocks of condos/apartments. Alterations are limited in accordance with the head lease as well as other restrictions imposed by the landlord/owners committee. You will have some input on the condo rules and regulations as owners will be consulted via the AGM.

  • Leases can vary greatly in length. Most recent developments in Bermuda are sold
    with a 999-year lease.

  • As a leaseholder, you are in no way obligated to retain the lease. You can sell at any time.

Can I occupy year round or are there owner usage restrictions?

  • Section 3 of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection (Tourist Accommodation and Hotel Residences) Regulations 2010, allows owners the right to occupy tourism-designated property for a maximum period of 90 days in any given calendar year.

  • Bermudiana Beach’s condominiums are classified as hotel residences rather than as condominiums in a normal apartment building and therefore we have to comply with the above.

  • So, if you own at Bermudiana Beach, you, your family and your friends can use your condo for up to 90 days (3 months) each year.

  • You are limited to 30 day's usage in Bermudiana Beach's High Season (May through August).

  • Furthermore, you can't occupy your condo for more than 21 consecutive days in any calendar year.

  • Usage doesn't have to be on consecutive days and can be broken into as many vacations and short breaks as you like. 

  • The other 275 days, plus any days and weeks you don't use from your usage allocation, can be made available for rent through the rental program.

  • These controls are in place to maximise potential rental income for the owner and hotel management company alike.

How is the co-ownership relationship between condo owners and resort owners managed?

  • Most Condominium developments create a HomeOwners’ Association (HOA) and use this as a way of controlling shared responsibilities for common areas of the property on behalf of the owner and the developer/operator.

  • At Bermudiana Beach a new HOA has been created: South Shore Homeowner’s Association. SSHOA will be consulted on all major issues relating to the operation of the condos.

How will the HomeOwner’s Association be structured and who will be running it?

  • Owners will appoint 3 representatives, that can rotate annually to share responsibility. The developer will be represented by directors of the hotel management company who will serve in a consultative capacity.

  • HOA budgets and accounts will be produced on a regular basis, and the HOA will keep a register of owners readily available for inspection.

  • An AGM will be called each year to review annual accounts and decide on capital issues.

Will I need a local attorney?

  • Yes. Once you have decided on a property/home, and before you sign the ‘Sale & Purchase’ Agreement drawn up by the Seller’s attorney, you will need to retain a good Conveyance Lawyer. At your first meeting, bring as much information about the property, the Seller, and the transaction as you possibly can. You will also want to discuss with your lawyer, all likely costs associated with the buy of your condominium , including legal fees, bank administration fees, stamp duty, closing costs, etc.

Do I need an Overseas Buyer's License to buy a condo in Bermuda?

As an overseas buyer you would normally need an Overseas Landholding License in order to buy a property in Bermuda.

As an overseas buyer you would normally need an Acquisition License (also known as a Landholding License) in order to buy a property in Bermuda.

But at Bermudiana Beach, owing to a specific Government legislation for Bermudiana Beach , this license fee is waived provided you put your condominium into the hotel rental program.

Based on the average price of the condos at Bermudiana Beach we estimate that this results in a saving to the buyer of approximately $50,000 compared to the purchase of a traditional condominium.

What happens if my Acquisition License isn’t granted?

  • In Clause 5.6.2 of the SPA it states that if the Licence in Principle is not approved on or before 6months from the date of this Agreement, then either the Vendor or the Purchaser may by written notice rescind this Agreement and refund the Deposit to the Purchaser within 10 Working Days and there shall be no further liability or claim between the Vendor or the Purchaser with respect to this Agreement.

Who pays the legal fees on the transaction?

  • The legal fees for the preparation of the Sale & Purchase Agreement and Leasehold Agreement are $1,000 + $3,500, paid for by the purchaser. The Attorney Cox Hallet Wilkinson Limited is Bermudiana Beach’s legal representative.

Will I have to go through an anti-money laundering (AML) process?

  • Since 2018, Bermuda real estate has been subject to globally established and recognized anti-money laundering (AML) legislation, which requires additional due diligence for all sales transactions in Bermuda.

  • All related and supporting documentation will have to be submitted to the regulatory body upon the execution of a Sale and buy Agreement.

  • Your attorney /agent will need to see your identification (passport, driver’s license) or
    receive an original certified copy of these. They will assist you through this process.

If I buy will I have automatic residency in Bermuda?

  • No. The landholding license that allows home ownership will give you the right to come and go freely within your 90 day allowance. Please note there are also usage restrictions at Bermudiana Beach Resort (see Using Your Condo).
    Investing over $2.5 million in Bermuda qualifies investors for an Economic Investment Certificate. After five years of holding this Certificate, the investor can apply for a Residential Certificate.
    Holding a Residential Certificate gives overseas investors the right to live in Bermuda indefinitely.

If we buy a house can we work in Bermuda?

  • The granting of a work permit is entirely separate from the issue of home ownership. You won’t be allowed automatic residence in Bermuda and renting out such property requires special permission from the Minister of Immigration.

Are there any property costs once I am the owner?

  • South Shore Home Owners Association (SSHOA) will charge a regular maintenance fee. This will be charged quarterly initially but frequency will be reviewed during the first year of operations.

  • The charge is necessary to help cover the upkeep of the common areas and amenities. It will cover painting & redecorating, landscaping & gardening, cleaning & repairs to the exterior and communal areas, pools and lighting, building insurance, and a fee for the resort management company.

  • Some of the funds levied will be paid into a reserve fund to pay for the costs of larger, less frequent expenditure and to help prevent the need for special assessments.  

  • Payment is a condition of the lease and failure to pay may result in the HOA serving notice."

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