31 July 2022

Buying real estate in Barbados: The Apes Hill Guide 

Buying property at Apes Hill Barbados is a turn key process. We guide you through every step so that you get the home you’ve dreamed of.

The Apes Hill Guide 

Property is a major investment that you make after evaluating what is right for you and your family. Our expert team is pleased to be a resource for any questions you have when considering Barbados as a second home, and when buying Barbados real estate.

 

 

Why is Barbados a great place to live?

We think the friendliness, charm and kindness of the local people makes Barbados just about unbeatable. Plus, everyone speaks English. (Sometimes it will be in dialect, but that’s part of the fun.)

 

Barbados offers a great quality of life. The island lies outside of the Northern Atlantic hurricane corridor, so we escape the disturbance that many other islands in the region experience. As locals say, we are ‘behind God’s back’.  We enjoy political and social stability; the beaches are varied and sublime; there’s great golf, sophisticated bars, restaurants and shopping abound; there is plenty to see and do; there’s direct airlift, excellent health care and strong infrastructure (especially in technology); the British-style educational system has produced an able populace, abject poverty is rare, and Barbados is one of the safest islands in the Caribbean.

 

 

Can a foreigner buy a house in Barbados?

There are no restrictions to non-nationals purchasing properties in Barbados. The Barbados government is generally very welcoming of foreigners buying property; they are afforded the same rights as citizens. 

 

There are some simple procedures that involve foreign currency being brought into Barbados, as well as funds borrowed by non-nationals. Just register these transactions with the Central Bank of Barbados. (This enables you to repatriate your capital when the time comes.) Talk to us for details.

 

 

What do I want out of my investment?

When considering your property investment in Barbados, first ask yourself what you want out of it. 

 

Luckily, Barbados is an established luxury market less likely to be impacted by economic volatility.

 

You might want a Barbados villa in the tropics as a reward for hard work—someplace warm and idyllic where you can retreat from life’s demands with your family.

 

You might have Barbadian heritage and want to extend that cultural bond to your children. Or you might be looking for a relaxed pace of island life that affords you an active lifestyle of golf, hiking, surfing and family time. 

 

You might also be looking for financial returns on your Barbados real estate investment. Why not? You could buy stock, but a home in the sun that could be rented or sold sounds so much more rewarding.

 

Short term rentals can be lucrative, especially in a resort setting like Apes Hill Barbados. Focusing on short term rentals allows an investor like you the added benefit of using it part of the time while renting the balance.  How much the home is used by the owner and at what time of year will impact on the cashflow from rentals, but not affect the capital growth.  Most investors will use the home 4-6 weeks in the winter season and around 4 weeks out of the winter season, even with this usage the home can be profitable in a resort location like Apes Hill Barbados.  We’ve given this great consideration and can facilitate the investment balanced with lifestyle goal with an exciting leaseback program unlike anything else you’ll find on the island. 

 

 

Apes Hill Barbados offers Leaseback on Real Estate

A leaseback is a term used when the developer will lease your home back from you after purchase. The lease will pay all the running costs and allow up to 10 weeks of use per year.  At Apes Hill Barbados, we furnish and discount the home to reflect the potential rental income that will be made during the lease and retained by the developer.  The investor can unwind the lease at any time, come for more weeks than the allotted amount by paying cost, or come for less weeks and revenue share in the weeks put back in the rental program.

 

 

What does the process of buying a Barbados property look like?

Let’s start with the early phase of your purchase decision. Most people will ‘try before they buy,’ coming to holiday in places they think will work, learning more about them, and getting to know the sights, sounds and scenery. Once that’s narrowed down, they’ll come back a few times to look more intently.  

 

This process teases out the main questions faced when buying a second home: 

  • Where? (Do I want real estate in Spain or the Caribbean, do I want St. Lucia or Barbados?)
  • What suits me best? (Do I want a resort feel, a plantation house, a residential neighborhood, a villa on the beach or a secluded cottage?) 
  • How will I manage the financing? (Do I want to rent it out or keep it private? Do I need a mortgage?)  Because it offers certain advantages, many non-nationals choose to own Barbados property through a corporate structure. We can connect you with counsel to talk you through the pros and cons of what is right for you.

 

 

Once these questions have been answered, it is time to talk with a real estate agent and go looking. A good agent will pilot you through sourcing information not just on your home but resources on the Barbados tax and legal structure, and help you choose a financial institution as appropriate. After your purchase, they can connect you with a Property Manager who can manage your property so that it retains value, so that it’s perfect when you arrive and, if desired, generates income. 

 

It is wise to ensure that your agent is registered with the local regulatory body, BEAVA, Barbados Estate Agents and Valuers Association. All of the agents with Apes Hill Barbados are registered with BEAVA.

 

 

What’s the procedure and how long does it take?

The normal sequence for purchasing property in Barbados is as follows:

  1. Offer: Offer and acceptance, followed by confirmation of the offer in writing. At Apes Hill Barbados, this is called a Heads of Terms and is used to instruct attorneys on preparation of a Sale and Purchase Agreement.
  2. Appointment: Engage an attorney to act on the purchaser’s behalf to review the Sale and Purchase agreement to be signed by both parties. The attorney fees are approximately 1% - 2.5% plus 17.5% Value Added Tax (VAT).
  3. Exchange of contracts: Sign the Agreement and pay a 10% deposit on land and a 20% deposit on a build of a new home to the vendor’s (seller’s) attorney typically within four weeks.
  4. Completion: Conveyance and payment of the balance of the purchase price. For a built home at Apes Hill resort, allow three months.  When purchasing off-plan, there are staged payments based on construction. When financing the timeline may be slightly longer based on the financial institution.

 

 

What are the visa requirements?

Tourists from most countries do not require a visa to visit Barbados, and if you’re not coming for more than a few months, you’ll be considered a tourist. An entry stamp is given on arrival, and you can stay in Barbados for between one and six months depending on your country of origin. (You will need a valid passport and a return travel ticket in order to enter.)

 

If you’re planning to stay longer, or to live here, that’s a bit different. Foreign investors who spend in excess of USD $2,000,000 on property in Barbados or high net worth individuals (HNWI) with a minimum net worth of USD $5,000,000 can obtain a Special Entry Permit (SEP), which allows successful applicants to live in Barbados for 10 years if you are under 60 years of age and indefinite duration for those who are over 60 years of age. Once you live here for five out of seven years, you qualify for citizenship by naturalization. 

 

 

Is Barbados real estate a good investment?

We certainly think so! Figures show that despite the global recession, property prices in Barbados have remained fairly constant. The real estate market is active, with good liquidity on investment when the property has been well maintained and is priced with the market. This allows you to sell your dream home on the island if needed.   

 

 

Will I have to pay tax when I invest in property in Barbados?

Certain taxes are imposed when buying and selling the property. For example, when you buy there is VAT of 17.5% on your lawyer’s fee. If you’ve bought as an offshore company, there is property transfer tax of 2.5% and stamp duty of 1% payable when you sell. You do not pay this as a buyer.

 

Income tax is another matter and depends on where you are resident/domiciled for tax purposes.  Good news: Double taxation treaties—meaning you don’t pay twice on the same income—are in effect between Barbados and 43 other countries. There is no Capital Gains Tax in Barbados. 

 

What about Land Tax? On un-improved residential land (i.e. without a dwelling on it,) you’ll pay 0.6% of the site value. 

 

On improved land, the first US$95,000 is exempt.  On the excess greater than US$95,000 but not exceeding US$250,000, land tax rises to 0.1%. On the excess greater than US$250,000 but not exceeding US$625,000, tax is 0.45% On the excess greater than US$625,000, it’s 0.75%. 

 

Thinking of renting out the home you buy? You’re in luck. Barbados Vvillas rented to the tourist market and registered with the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) will be calculated on 75% of the tax demanded. In other words, you get a 25% break.  Do not worry about all the details, we have a network of professionals that will work with you and your goals to find the best solution for you.

 

 

How long does it take to buy property in Barbados?

The process of buying property here is generally fast. Once a price is agreed between buyer and seller and a local attorney is engaged, it will typically take 60-90 days to close the purchase of a property. If a local mortgage is part of the purchase, it may take slightly longer depending on the bank’s performance with the loan. 

 

Take a look back at the Procedure section for a breakdown of how long the other steps may take.  

 

 

Where is the best place to buy property in Barbados?

We think it’s the Apes Hill Barbados Golf resort and Community, of course, and many people seem to agree. Keep in mind that generally, proximity to beach, control and quality of the views will be reflected in the price of property. Apes Hill is inland but a short drive to some of the best beaches on Barbados, including some great snorkeling over reefs and wrecks. You’re also just minutes away from the west coast’s wealth of shopping, restaurants, activities and bars. (Polo too!) 

 

Apes Hill becomes more desirable with its elevated controlled views and offers resort amenities like great golf, opportunities to meet your neighbors at the pool or tennis courts, in the clubhouse or on a stroll—all without ever feeling crowded. Why not discuss it with our team? 

 

It’s naturally cooler up here with less mosquitos and flies! We carefully selected the Apes Hill location as we are in the most elevated spot on the island. This ensures a continuous breeze, plus some of the best views the island has to offer. The rolling slopes and little plateaus here hold dramatic surprises in limestone outcroppings, water features and stunning flora, all of which we maintain with sustainability in mind.

 

 

Is real estate in Barbados expensive?

Yes and no. It’s a small island, so land itself comes at a premium, especially when located in desirable areas. However, considering that this is a safe, well-established destination with stability in prices, particularly in the luxury market, it’s a smart investment in you and your lifestyle. Part of what you’re paying for is reduced risk and the luxury of controlling your experience.

 

 

How much money do I need to retire in Barbados?

That depends on your requirements, location, and lifestyle. You’ll also need to balance factors such as food and petrol prices, medical, health insurance and labor costs. How much you’ll need is also affected by the quality of your investments, and whether you’re carrying a mortgage or not. Talk to your financial planner, and to us to be connected to our network of professionals.

 

 

How can I find out more about Apes Hill Barbados?

We’re always happy to share the story of Apes Hill. Let’s chat today about investing in Barbados, our leaseback program, and playing unforgettable golf.