Owning a Vacation Home in The Bahamas: Pros and Cons

Buying a second home in the tropical paradise of The Bahamas offers many advantages. Whether enjoying the year-round sun, white-sand beaches, or crystal-clear waters of The Bahamas during vacations or being interested in tax-free investment opportunities through vacation rentals, owning a vacation home in The Bahamas offers it all.

Some 8 million tourists visited the sunny Bahamas in 2023, a lucrative investment opportunity for real estate buyers to buy their own holiday homes and grow their vacation rental business. Even if you’re not keen on investment, enjoying rent-free vacations in a home away from home is something every frequent traveller craves.

Buying property in The Bahamas isn’t a hard nut to crack. The Bahamian government has made it easy for foreigners to purchase real estate in the country, and you can engage licensed real estate agencies for a smooth transaction. 

Like everything else, buying a property in The Bahamas has its benefits and challenges, so let’s take a deeper look at the pros and cons of owning a vacation home in The Bahamas. 

Pros of Owning a Vacation Home in The Bahamas

The benefits of owning a vacation home in The Bahamas go beyond its exotic appeal and world-class amenities. Your second home can become an excellent source of passive income for you in this charming tax-free travel destination. Let’s look at some of the advantages of owning a vacation home in The Bahamas in detail. 

1. World-Class Amenities

Picture white- and pink-sand beaches right at your doorstep, a scene straight out of a movie. Yet, this dream is a reality in The Bahamas, where you can revel in this unique experience without compromising on any luxury or amenity.

Your home in The Bahamas can open the door to a lifestyle you dream about. You’ll find all kinds of amenities here, everything from top-notch golf courses and state-of-the-art fitness centres to opulent resorts, islands boasting private beaches, upscale casinos, and entertainment hubs. 

Expert Tip: If you're looking for a vacation home for personal use, choose communities offering activities you like the best. On the contrary, if your primary purpose is rental income, buying waterfront homes or properties near the best beaches of The Bahamas is best.

2. Permanent Residency

Getting permanent residency in The Bahamas is easy for property owners— just buy a house in The Bahamas, and you'll get a residency permit for you and your family. The paperwork isn't too complicated; your lawyer and real estate agent will cover all the bases. 

Expert Tip:  Anyone who owns a property in The Bahamas is eligible for permanent residency; however, those who invest $750,000 or more get speedy consideration.

3. Convenience and Familiarity

The U.S. and other English-speaking countries greatly influence lifestyle in The Bahamas. Moreover, the national language is English, so there's no language barrier. You will be able to find most of the products you're used to in the grocery stores since most products in The Bahamas are imported from the U.S.

Peter Dupuch, Owner-Broker, asserts, “Easily accessible from the United States, Canada and Europe, with a warm and sunny climate, there is nowhere better to make your second home!”

Expert Tip: Imported products can be expensive, so if you can, bring the essentials with you on your trip to cut costs or bulk order the non-perishables if your vacation home has enough storage space.

4. Rental Income

Having a vacation home in The Bahamas can not only save you from hotel rent during your stay but also earn you a handsome income. The rent you get will depend on the condition of the property, its location, and the amenities you provide. 

Remember, you will need a permit to rent out your property, even if for a few months of the year. Your real estate agent will assist you in completing the necessary paperwork, which is quite a simple process.

Expert Tip: Some locations are popular for long-term rentals, whereas others get more renters looking for a short stay. Let your real estate agents guide you to the sites most suitable for your rental income strategy.  

5. Appreciation of Home Value

With the influx of tourists, remote workers, and digital nomads, the demand for residential and commercial properties is reaching new heights. This has led to a remarkable appreciation of the value of real estate. 

Peter notes, “The Bahamas has experienced huge growth in foreign investment since the Covid lockdowns ended. People realised that remote work is possible and where better to do it than The Bahamas!”

Property values in this thriving Bahamian real estate market mirror the dynamic growth spurred by tourism and local expansion. So, even if you don't rent out your vacation home, it will appreciate over time and promise a substantial profit in a few years.

Expert Tip:  Remember to register your purchase with the Central Bank Exchange Control Department to repatriate the entire amount after selling your property, including any profits in the currency of the initial investment.

6. Tax Benefits

One of the most attractive things about owning a vacation home in The Bahamas is the absence of income tax in this country. Whether a Bahamian or a foreigner, you don’t need to pay any income or capital gains tax. 

This means you won’t be paying any tax on your rental income or profits from the sale of your vacation home. You only need to pay an annual property tax based on your home price.

Expert Tip: Pay your property tax by March 31 of any tax year for a 10% discount. Senior citizens receive a 50% discount if payment is made before March 31. Moreover, if your property is valued below $500,000, you can benefit from the lower tax rate of 0.75%. 

Cons of Owning a Vacation Home in The Bahamas

Let’s consider some of the realities of owning a vacation home in The Bahamas so that you can navigate potential challenges and make informed decisions for property ownership.

1. Competitive Market

Costs vary between islands— Nassau and Paradise Island usually have a higher price tag since they offer the most modern amenities. At the same time, big cities on popular islands are typically heavily populated, so finding a property with all the amenities in your preferred price range can be challenging. 

Our experienced, local real estate agents know when a property comes on the market. They will help you narrow your choices and find the most suitable vacation home for your needs.

Expert Tip: Determine your budget and identify your deal breakers. Consider the islands of Eleuthera and Exuma, which are experiencing high demand currently. These islands are quieter and more affordable than Nassau/New Providence. They have enough amenities to make them attractive to tourists who want to enjoy island life! 

Developers are also preparing to meet this increased need. Many exciting projects are underway, such as Jack's Bay in Eleuthera.

2. High Living Costs

The cost of living in The Bahamas is generally high since most goods are imported, meaning you may have to pay more for necessities and utilities. The more remote an island, the more your expenses will increase.

Expert Tip: The neighbourhood you choose can affect the lifestyle and cost of living in the paradise. So, choose the location and property type that aligns with your priorities and budget, which may ultimately shape your living cost. ERA Dupuch Real Estate can help you find communities which fit your budget and desired lifestyle.

In Nassau, explore properties in Treasure Cove, Blair, West Winds, and Nautica for affordable options. For an ultimate luxury experience, your choice can be Albany, Ocean Club homes, and properties in Lyford Cay or Old Fort Bay, where your cost of living can increase exponentially.

3. Visitor Safety

A question many people want to ask— is The Bahamas safe for making it your second home? 

Bag snatchings, petty theft, and fraud are not unique to The Bahamas— they can happen anywhere in the world, and tourists are often the perfect target. However, being aware of your surroundings, keeping your valuables safe and in your sight, and just being plain vigilant and legal can keep you safe from harm. 

Expert Tip: Like every country in the world, there are some areas in Nassau and other islands that you should steer clear of. Such locations have no tourist attractions anyway and are not lucrative from an investment point of view. So, safety is not a concern for those who exercise common sense and caution and abide by the rules.

Most communities and neighbourhoods are gated, and resorts have tight security. The Ministry of Tourism and local governments have installed CCTV and increased police presence to ensure visitors and locals a safe and welcoming environment.

Our seasoned real estate agents are local experts. They will guide you to safe neighbourhoods for living in The Bahamas, buying a property, and keeping yourself safe.

4. Hurricane Preparedness

Since The Bahamas is an island country, hurricanes are always a possibility. ERA Dupuch real estate agency will guide you to hurricane-resistant vacation homes. You should also get hurricane insurance, typically around 2% of the property value— the actual amount depends on the proximity to the ocean, elevation and other factors.

Expert Tip: Before buying any property, bring in hurricane experts to inspect the property for any visible or hidden damage to make a wise decision.  

5. Maintenance Cost

You will need to maintain your vacation property like your primary residence. And if you're going to use it for rental income, you will need to decorate it nicely. You will also need hands on the ground to receive guests, attend to their needs, and maintain the property in general. 

Property maintenance can become even more challenging and costly when you’re away from it most of the time. 

Expert Tip: Hire a proficient property manager or management company. Our experienced agents can guide you in finding a reliable professional, ensuring your vacation home receives the care and attention it deserves even when you're away. 

How To Invest in a Vacation Home in The Bahamas

Let's quickly review the steps to find and buy a vacation home in The Bahamas. 

1. Partner With Trustworthy Experts

When buying property in The Bahamas, teaming up with a reputable real estate agency sooner than later is best. They know all the neighbourhoods, local regulations, fees, permits, and other rules and regulations for expats like the back of their hand. 

Experienced real estate agents will handle all that legal paperwork, ensuring everything's filed correctly and all the necessary taxes and fees are squared away.

2. Select Suitable Communities

Whether you plan to use it for personal use or investment, finding the right location that fits your needs and budget is essential. Here are some of our recommended communities for you to explore:

Take your time to evaluate them and consult our experienced real estate agents if you have any questions. 

3. Set a Budget and Secure Financing

Once you know the home prices on different islands and communities, it's time to set a budget and decide your investment goals. If you need financial help, consider getting pre-approval from local banks for mortgage options

Understand associated fees and costs and how owning property in The Bahamas might impact your taxes back home. 

4. Understand Laws and Permits for Vacation Homes

Foreign investors will need a permit to buy an undeveloped property of over two acres or plan to use it for commercial purposes. Remember to register your vacation home under the International Persons Landholding Act and keep an eye out for zoning and environmental regulations that might come into play. 

5. Plan Your Long-Term Property Vision

While you're looking for vacation homes, you should also consider how you plan to use it in the long run. Will you use it as your retirement pad, or do you hope to sell it someday for a profit?

Knowing your game plan will help you decide on the most suitable home. For example, if you’re interested in rental income, make sure there’s demand for vacation rentals in that neck of the woods. 

Owning a vacation home in The Bahamas is a tempting venture with many advantages, from world-class amenities to tax benefits. However, the competitive market, high living costs, and the ever-present hurricane threat pose challenges. 

As you embark on your real estate journey in this tropical heaven, consult trustworthy experts of ERA Dupuch Real Estate Agency. Given your lifestyle, budget constraints, and long-term goals, we'll help you weigh the pros and cons of owning a vacation home in The Bahamas.

Explore, evaluate, and let your Bahamas dream become a reality with the expert guidance of our knowledgeable and experienced real estate agents and brokers. Contact us today for a peaceful buying experience.


Posted by Helen Dupuch on
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