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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 the Queen, who appears on all our currency!

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
http://nothingtodoinbermuda.com/bermuda-events-calendar

What does the Capital,Hamilton offer?

  • Hamilton’s Front , Reid Street and Church Street are the life and soul of Hamilton City and center of all the main activities. This is where most of the island’s glittering retail shops, great restaurants and many other commercial establishments like banks & insurance companies are located.

  • Many great restaurants and shops are located in Hamilton. 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 &amp; 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).

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.

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 condo-hotel?

  • A condo-hotel is a property operated as a hotel, but comprises properties that are for sale as vacation homes to private individual owners.

  • Property owners can then choose to take part in the hotel’s rental program when their home is not in use by them or their guests.

  • When owners choose to to do this hotel guests can then rent their property as a hotel guest room or suite. Revenue from these hotel guests is then shared between the private individual owner and the Management Company or Hotel.

What amenities are there on site at Bermudiana Beach Resort?

  • In the first of two conversion phases a cliff top pool and the first car of a 2-car funicular elevator to the beach will be constructed, the first half of the site landscaped and elevators will be added to each of the residence buildings.

  • In the second and final conversion phase a clifftop bar, restaurant, hotel reception, spa, gym and second pool will be constructed. Another car will also be added to the funicular elevator to the beach.

  • 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 which are: Lindo’s Family Foods, Market Place Heron Bay, Hunts Food and Supply Wholesale and Price Rite Whole

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 two fully-accessible (to wheelchair users) properties at Bermudiana Beach. Both are in Phase 1 in Astwood on the ground floor. Astwood has been chosen owing to its proximity to the entrance, reception and amenities. Other fully-accessible properties may be added in future phases if there is demand from buyers.

  • If a buyer wants a particular condo 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?

  • For the first 12 condos prices start at $375,000 for a studio in Astwood and increase to $1,033,000 for a 3-bedroom lock off condo with full ocean views in Grosvenor. As soon as completion deposits have been received for these first 12 condos, prices will increase by over 10%.

  • The exception to this is that when 3 Allamanda residences have been sold (3-bed/3-bath) prices for these will increase by as much as 17%, as we only have 14 residences in the 90-residence resort.

  • There are four phases and prices will increase steadily through these phases until conversion of the condos and amenities is fully completed. Those that wait until this time 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 Bermudan Dollar, which 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.

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 $5,125 on an entry level Studio (Periwinkle) and $19,490 on a front-line 3-bed lock off (Allamanda).
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 $22,500 and $61,980.

How do I own the property?

  • You will own your condo 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.

  • At Bermudiana Beach you effectively own everything up to the front door step of your condo on a 999-year leasehold basis. Everything else is owned by Bermudiana Development Co Ltd. This is a condition of the franchise imposed by Hilton.

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.

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 Acquisition License in order to buy a property in Bermuda.

  • At Bermudiana Beach, owing to a specific Government legislation for Bermudiana Beach, this license fee is waived.

  • Based on the average price of the condos at Bermudiana Beach this results in a savings to the buyer of approximately $25,000 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, 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 license that allows home ownership will only give you the right to come and go freely within your 90 day allowance.

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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