Moving to The Bahamas: Moving Strategies and Tips From Real Estate Experts

Nestled amidst breathtaking natural beauty, The Bahamas is a dream destination for Europeans and Americans drawn to its vibrant local culture and enticing nightlife. With direct flights from major cities in the US, Canada, and the UK, The Bahamas is a favourite destination among expatriates considering moving to The Bahamas.

The Bahamian archipelago is graced with around 340 days of abundant sunshine and a diverse natural landscape that beckons vacationers, snowbirds, and nature enthusiasts alike. Yet, this tropical paradise offers more than idyllic weather and pristine beaches.

It’s an English-speaking country with a stable democracy and a tax-friendly environment, assuring an expatriate-friendly atmosphere. The Bahamas' thriving real estate market is notable for diverse, affordable luxury housing options

The key to unlocking your island dreams? Partner with a trusted real estate agency, making your move to The Bahamas an effortless reality.

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Your Options for Moving to The Bahamas

There are multiple options for getting permits and immigration for those interested in relocation. Here are the two most common options for non-Bahamians to move to The Bahamas.

Permanent Residence: You can live and work in The Bahamas with a Home Owner's Card, which you can apply for if you own a property or an island in the country.

Expert Tip: Investors spending $750,000 or more will get speedy consideration. 

Work Permit: If you wish to work in The Bahamas as an employee or a business owner, you can get a work permit to live there.

Expert Tip: If you intend to bring your furry pals with you, you’ll need an Import Permit from the Department of Agriculture.

Finding a Place To Live in The Bahamas

The Bahamas has over 700 islands, each with its unique lifestyle, housing options, amenities, and challenges for those considering moving to The Bahamas. 

New Providence and Grand Bahama are typically the most favoured destinations for permanent settlement, with options like Albany, Lyford Cay, and Ocean Club Estates, attracting luxury tourists, celebrity guests, and residents.  

Other places, such as the islands of Abaco and Eleuthera, are popular among tourists looking for vacation houses or retirees seeking a retirement home away from bustling urban centres like Nassau and Freeport.

The Bahamas offers diverse real estate options catering to various lifestyles and preferences. From cosy condos to spacious single-family homes and opulent beachfront estates, there's something for everyone seeking to make The Bahamas their new home.

Buying a Home

For expats looking to buy property in The Bahamas, the first step should always be to engage the services of a licensed real estate agency to ensure a smooth and secure transaction. At ERA Dupuch Real Estate Agency, our expert agents and brokers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to guide you through the intricate process of acquiring your new home.

Buying a home in The Bahamas entails various obligations and negotiations for home prices, commissions, legal fees, and applicable taxes. Additionally, if you wish to renovate or upgrade your property, you will need approval from authorities, a process our experts can assist you with.

Here’s an estimated home price for two of the most popular property types in The Bahamas across different islands. 

 Approximate/Median Price of a CondoApproximate/Median Price of a Beach House
Nassau $549,000 $1,550,000
Exuma $550,000 $3,000,000
Cat Island N/A $737,500
Treasure Cay $495,000 $495,000

Explore properties for sale in The Bahamas

Renting a Home

When you’re making the life-changing decision to relocate to a place as beautiful and diverse as The Bahamas, it's crucial to approach it thoughtfully. 

If you know what kind of property you want, you can confidently secure the home of your dreams. However, if you'd like to shop around and become more familiar with your options before making a long-term commitment, many opt for short-term rentals in different neighbourhoods.

This approach offers an excellent opportunity to explore the region and determine the best place to call home.

Short-Term Rentals:  These are perfect for stays under 90 days, allowing you the flexibility to experience various areas before settling down.

Long-Term Rentals:  Typically, you’ll need to secure a lease for a minimum of one year for a long-term stay. It will allow you enough time to settle in, search for your permanent residence, and complete the buying process.

Most rental properties in The Bahamas come furnished, either partially or fully, so you don’t need to worry about basic furniture and essential appliances while you’re still looking around.

In Nassau, condos typically rent for $3,500, rising to $4,500 for beachfront units. Houses rent for around $3,900, but beachfront properties can reach $8,500. In contrast, a rental house in Treasure Cay can cost around $3,500, making it an affordable coastal living choice.

Expert Tip:  While short-term rentals offer flexibility, they can become costly in the long run, so carefully plan your long-term stay in rentals.

When it comes to lease agreements, you'll encounter two main types: Gross lease covers all expenses in the rent, including utilities, taxes, and maintenance costs, whereas, in a net lease, the tenant is responsible for paying utility bills, property taxes, and maintenance, in addition to the agreed-upon rent.

Expert Tip:  Remember, the Bahamian legal system generally favours landlords over tenants, so it's essential to familiarise yourself with your legal rights before signing any tenancy agreement to ensure a smooth and secure rental experience.

Explore Rentals in The Bahamas

Choosing the Right Property

Remember to factor in the lifestyle, living costs, and investment goals when selecting the right property for your family's needs. Also, make sure the property is hurricane-resistant.

Beachfront properties offer breathtaking views but come at a premium, while inland options are more budget-friendly. 

If you’re buying a property purely for investment, evaluate rental rates and resale potential to ensure smart investments, especially in tourist-centric areas like Treasure Cay or Inagua, so plan accordingly for your dream island life.

Expert Tips for Expats Moving to The Bahamas

Our real estate experts offer invaluable advice for people interested in relocating to The Bahamas:

Engage a Real Estate Agent:  Leverage their local insight, market knowledge, negotiation prowess, and legal know-how to secure the best property deals.

Do Your Research:  While agents are essential, you should research yourself to find the ideal neighbourhood and property type for your family since your real estate agents may not answer some questions for you legally.

Identify Deal Breakers:  Assess transportation access, safety, pet-friendliness, schools, and budget constraints to discover your non-negotiables.

Get Your Finance in Order:  While looking for your ideal home in The Bahamas, remember to organise your finances as well— factor in currency exchange, taxes, local costs, and other legal matters.

Understand Immigration Limitations:  Familiarise yourself with immigration regulations, including residency, work permits, property ownership, and investment laws.

Financial Assessment:  Evaluate your financial health, income, and long-term objectives to determine your housing budget. Stay updated on the Bahamian real estate market by consulting local experts and monitoring market trends in stable or growing areas.

Choose the Best Real Estate Agents in The Bahamas

How Much Does It Cost To Move to The Bahamas

Relocating to The Bahamas is relatively easy, with friendly immigration laws. Since it’s an island nation, your belongings will have to be shipped or flown in— you will have many logistics options. Though cost of living can be higher, expats favour The Bahamas for its tropical climate, unique lifestyle, and tax relief.


It won’t be incorrect to call The Bahamas a tax haven since there’s no income, capital gains, or inheritance tax. The government relies on indirect taxes such as import duties, stamp taxes, and value-added tax (VAT) to sustain the nation's financial infrastructure.

Businesses in The Bahamas are subject to licence fees, property tax, and national insurance contributions. Understanding this tax landscape is crucial for relocating and investing in this tropical paradise.

Real Estate Costs and Commissions

You should understand the various costs and fees involved in purchasing property to accurately estimate the cost of moving to The Bahamas. You will pay property tax based on the home price, which varies based on the location and condition of the property, among other factors.

Buyers also pay a one-time stamp duty, calculated as a percentage of the property's value. Real estate agents charge a commission of around 6% of the sale price. Additionally, if you’re buying a condominium or a property in a gated community, you will typically pay maintenance fees to cover shared expenses and upkeep.

Cost of Living

Cost of living in The Bahamas is generally higher as the islands need to import most of the goods from overseas. The estimated monthly cost of living for a family of four can be around $4,894, besides rent. The monthly grocery may cost around $115 per person, whereas utilities, including electricity, cooling, water, and garbage, can cost about $284 monthly.

Transportation Cost

Public transportation in The Bahamas varies by location. For example, the capital, Nassau, has buses, taxis, and jitneys, while other islands have limited options. In gated communities and on small islands, golf carts are a popular means of transport. 

On average, gasoline costs around $1.53 per litre, while monthly passes for local transport are around $60. Boats are a go-to choice for island hopping, but charter airlines are also available for quicker inter-island travel.

Learn More About the Cost of Living in The Bahamas

How Is It Like Living in The Bahamas for Someone Relocating From Outside of the Country

For an expat moving to The Bahamas, the first thing you’ll need to get used to is the ‘Island Time!’ Things can take a little longer than you may be used to. For example, closing dates are not as precise as in the US or UK. 

The key is to be patient and enjoy the relaxed pace of life. 

Moving to The Bahamas entails a laid-back, sunny lifestyle that attracts people from the US, Canada, Europe, and other parts of the world. This island nation blends British heritage with American influence— you will find many similarities and a few differences! 

Healthcare is similar to what you're used to, though some specialised care may require travel to the US. 

Expert Tip:  Make sure your health insurance includes overseas coverage.

Those looking for employment can find opportunities in teaching, banking and accounting, but a work permit is necessary. If you're moving with kids, you will discover diverse schooling options with British, US, and International curriculums, which may influence your choice of location when buying a home.

Buy a House Near One of the Best Beaches in The Bahamas

Moving to The Bahamas is a significant life decision, and our seasoned real estate experts can ensure a smooth relocation. With their extensive experience in The Bahamas real estate market, our agents will guide you through researching your new destination, meeting all necessary legal requirements, and providing ongoing support. 

Contact ERA Dupuch Real Estate now to make your island dream a reality.

Posted by Helen Dupuch on
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