What the first step of the home buying process?
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the first step of the home buying process.
How long does it take to buy a home?
The timeline varies, but on average, it takes a few months to finalize the entire process. From start (execution of the Sales Agreement) to finish (closing escrow), buying a home can take anywhere from 45 to 90 days. The process can take longer depending on the complexity of the transaction. For example if any permits or government approvals are required, the process may be extended.
Can non-Bahamians buy property in The Bahamas?
Yes, non-Bahamians can purchase property in The Bahamas! A Permit to Acquire Property is required by all non-Bahamians acquiring an interest in land if the property is undeveloped land with two or more adjoining acres. A Permit is also required if the intended use is not as an owner-occupied property.
What is the process for obtaining government approval as a non-Bahamian buyer?
Non-Bahamians must apply for a permit through the Investments Board or the Bahamas Investment Authority.
What types of properties are available for purchase, and where can I find listings?
The Bahamas offers various properties, including beachfront homes, condos, and vacant land. Our website features all MLS (Multiple Listing Service) listings - reach out to one of us and we can set up a search tailored to your specific needs, wants, and budget! That way you will be aware of all listings, and notified of new listings as soon as they hit the market, no matter who they are listed by.
What are the associated costs with buying property in The Bahamas?
Costs include the purchase price, VAT on the purchase, and legal fees. Real estate commissions are typically paid by the vendor.The Bahamas Government VAT on Property Conveyances is a graduated tax payable on the conveyance of all real property in the Bahamas. As of July 1, 2022 the following rates came into effect:
4% if value is from $100,000 up to $300,000
6% if value is fron $300,000 up to $500,000
8% if value is from $500,000 up to $700,000
9% if value is from $700,000 up to $1 million
10% if value is over $1 million
The buyer and seller conventionally split the Government VAT
Bahamian Citizens are eligible for a refund of the VAT paid in connection with construction or renovation of first time home. First time purchasers of a home may be exempt VAT where the value does not exceed $300k.
If property is purchased by a company/in a company name, the transaction will attract 10% VAT no matter what the sale value.
Do I need a real estate attorney, and what is their role in the purchasing process?
Yes you need a Bahamian real estate attorney to purchase real estate in The Bahamas. The right attorney will ensure a smooth transaction, conduct due diligence, and handle legal aspects including establishing clear title to your property. Your attorney can also handle the various permitting applications including Foreign Investment Board approval and Permanent Residency applications.
What are the property taxes for homeowners in The Bahamas?
Property taxes are applicable and are based on the assessed value of the property.
Senior Citizens Benefit: After 300,000 exemption, a 50% discount on balance of home value not exceeding 1 million dollars. But they must be 65 years or older, have an NIB Senior Citizen’s card.
Full Payment Benefit: If tax is paid by Mar 31st of any tax year, a 10% discount is applied.
Owner Occupied Property means property occupied by a person who being the owner in fee simple or a mortgagor in possession occupies and resides in such property exclusively as a dwelling house on a permanent or seasonal basis.
On that part of the market value which does not exceed $300,000 - Exempt
On that part of market value which exceeds $300,000 but does not exceed $500,000 - 0.625%
On that part of market value which exceeds $500,000 - 1% subject to a maximum of $120k per annum
On that part of market value which does not exceed $500k - 0.75%
On that part of market value which exceeding $500k but not exceeding $2 million - 1%
Value exceeding $2 million - 1.5%
Property owned by company seeking owner-occupied exemption
The beneficial owner of such company shall submit to the Chief Valuation Officer a declaration in the prescribed form stating that such property is occupied by the beneficial owner exclusively as a dwelling house on a permanent or seasonal basis.