The Apes Hill area in Barbados already has a stellar reputation, thanks to one of the Caribbean’s best golf courses, which was closed in 2019 to undergo a multimillion-dollar renovation, and is set to reopen this year. Even better, is the arrival of new and luxurious residential properties, which gives property investors a chance to own a property in one of the country’s most breath-taking locations overlooking a world-class golf course.
Now, whether you want to buy a starter home, a vacation home, or an investment property, purchasing a property, more so in Barbados is most certainly a massive financial investment. And as such, it is quite crucial for an investor to have as much information as possible to ensure that they make well-informed decisions – you just can’t afford to make a mistake you know. In this article, we will tell you more about the Apes Hill real estate buying process, thereby helping make a much more informed decision with regard to your investment.
The residential buying process in Apes Hill
For starters, you must be aware of the type of property you want, and whether you can afford it. Come up with something like a ‘wish list’ that basically describes what it is that you want in a home. Other than the type of home, you also got to figure out the location.
Secondly, you need to figure out how you are going to finance the investment. If you are planning to take up a loan, it is highly recommended that you get pre-qualified by the lender first before you even start your search. Basically, you will provide your preferred lender with you your financial information, which will obviously include your credit history. The lender will then examine this information to determine if indeed you can borrow, and if yes, how much. Having this information will certainly give you an accurate idea of how much you should plan to spend when making an offer.
Thirdly, you need to find an experienced and knowledgeable realtor to guide you through the entire process, right from the property search, to negotiation, financing, and the transaction process.
Fourthly, with the help of a local realtor – and of course knowing how much you are willing to spend – you can start searching for your dream property in the region. We will recommend that you begin your search online, as there are so many properties listed in Apes Hill, and then shortlist the ones that meet your needs. After that, you can now plan to visit for a viewing together with your realtor, who will play a crucial role in helping you select the right property.
The other thing you got to do is to make an offer once you get the right property. If your offer is accepted, you will need to find a property attorney in Barbados to help in registering and establishing the title of the property. The attorney will also draft a contract, which will state the deposit amount to be paid.
Lastly, after that is done, now you can go back to your lender to finalize the loan details to get the funding. What we basically mean by this is that you will need to meet all the requirements set out by the lender, including things like the interest rates and the down payment. Then, the attorney will keep a 10% deposit in escrow until completion, which is when the title of the property passes to you, as the investor, by way of conveyance. This will take around three months to be done. The balance during this period as well. The last thing to do will be to transfer taxes as well as the stamp duty to the investor.
Can foreign investors buy property in Barbados?
Yes, absolutely. The Apes Hill real estate market is open to all investors from across the globe. However, foreign investors must notify the Central Bank of Barbados, which is just a logistical requirement since there are no restrictions on foreign investments. We also have to mention that there are no capital gains on the island, which means that even if the property does appreciate in value, you won’t be taxed.
Also, non-residents and non-citizens can also secure US Dollar mortgages, from the off-shore sector of the country’s banking industry. Some of the institutions that offer such mortgages include: the Scotia Bank, The Royal Bank of Canada, as well as CIBC First Caribbean International Bank. Here are some of the requirements are as follows:
- The minimum loan value is $250,000
- A 60 to 70 percent loan to value ratio
- If the loan amount exceeds US$2.5 million, the loan to value ratio is about 50%
- The interests are pegged against the international LIBOR rate
- The attorney fees are about 2% and the VAT is 17.5%.
If the investor is looking to buy land, then a certificate of compliance from the Town and Country Planning Department Office (TCPDO) will certainly be required. This document certifies that everything has been provided properly and in accordance with the planning guidelines. Even when the property bought needs to be improved, or after buying the land he/she intends to build a property, permission is also required from the TCPDO. This permission will be granted within six months.
Are there any other costs?
Of course, there is. There is the land tax, and there is also property insurance. When it comes to the land tax, for unimproved land that’s over 4000 sq. ft, the tax is about 1% of the site value, while under 4000 sq. ft is 0.8%. When it comes to the residential land tax, any amount below $75,000 will not be taxed. An amount between $75,000 and $225,000 will have a 0.1%. US$ 225,000 to $425,000 will have a 0.7%. Anything above $425,000 will attract a 1% tax rate.
With regards to the property insurance, residential properties are charged about 0.4% with commercial buildings paying up to 0.8%, and hotels going up to 0.9%. We also have to mention other metered utilities plus all the other costs associated with the specific communities you settle in.
As you can see, investing in the Apes Hill real estate market in Barbados isn’t that difficult. And considering the sustainability, uniqueness, and biodiversity that went into the designing and building of the Apes Hill property, investing here is completely worth it. So, get a local realtor today and commence your investment journey.