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How to Buy a Private Island in the Bahamas: Important Things to Consider in 2024

For anyone who’s looking to buy an island in The Bahamas, they know that it’s not just a purchase. It’s a journey into an exclusive realm of international real estate. The Bahamas Islands consist of about 700 islands–of which only 30 are inhabited by people. This means The Bahamas offers an array of non-developed and partially developed gems, just a hundred miles away from Florida.

Whether you're drawn to the serene and relaxing beauty of the place or the vibrant snorkeling spots scattered across the archipelago, understanding the nuances of acquiring your slice of paradise is crucial. After all, this is often a once-in-a-lifetime purchase.

This article dives into key considerations of buying an island in The Bahamas, from assessing airport accessibility to the implications of owning in a central yet tranquil location, ensuring your island-buying venture is as breezy and relaxing as the Bahamian breeze itself.


Can You Buy a Private Island in The Bahamas?

Yes, you can definitely purchase a private island in The Bahamas. This often comes with a significant investment, as island prices typically exceed $1 million, and can range up to $60+ million.

The allure of The Bahamas extends to non-residents, thanks to the availability of freehold properties.

 

Why Buy an Island in The Bahamas

 

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Whether you seek solitude, an opportunity to indulge in luxury, a smart investment, or the chance to build your own community, the islands of The Bahamas present an unparalleled setting.

 

Privacy

Owning an island in The Bahamas offers privacy like no other. It’s a private paradise where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, immerse yourself in tranquil surroundings, and enjoy the serene beauty of nature without intrusion.

 

Luxury

If you want a new dimension of luxury, buy an island in The Bahamas. Beyond the exquisite natural beauty, owning an island here allows you to have a personalized luxury experience. Whether it's designing your dream villa, enjoying pristine beaches that are exclusively yours, or indulging in customized services, the luxury of island ownership in The Bahamas is unmatched.

 

Investment Opportunities

Investing in a Bahamian island is about more than just acquiring land. There’s a lot of potential to be tapped into in this paradisiacal place. When you buy an island in The Bahamas, you can develop a luxury hotel, sell individual lots for custom homes, or even establish a family retreat.

All of these choices offer diverse avenues for financial returns. The Bahamas' growing economy, coupled with its appeal to tourists and investors alike, makes island ownership a lucrative venture.

 

Community

Imagine creating a community of like-minded individuals, much like the camaraderie and exclusive ambiance of places like Cat Cay and Chub Cay. Buying an island in The Bahamas means you have the unique opportunity to build a community from the ground up, where residents share values, interests, and a passion for the exquisite Bahamian lifestyle.

Whether it's for leisure, collaboration, or simply enjoying the company of neighbors in a paradisiacal setting, the community aspect adds a rich, fulfilling dimension to island ownership.

 

What to Consider When Buying a Private Island in The Bahamas

Buying a private island in The Bahamas is a significant undertaking that requires meticulous planning. Whatever your purpose may be, whether it’s for building a personal sanctuary or a commercial enterprise, it’s helpful to understand the following factors to ensure your island dream becomes a rewarding reality.

 

   1. Personal vs Commercial Use

Firstly, you should decide your primary purpose for buying an island in The Bahamas. For personal use, privacy, tranquility, and personal preferences in landscape and features might be considered.

In contrast, if you buy an island for commercial use, you require accessibility, potential for development, and suitability for the intended business model — whether it's a luxury resort, a residential development, or an exclusive retreat.

 

   2. Location

The island's location is also important. Proximity to major islands like Nassau, Grand Bahama, Eleuthera, or Great Exuma can offer easier access to amenities and infrastructure. On the contrary, more remote islands might offer more privacy and untouched natural beauty, but they could pose challenges in logistics and development. You need to consider these things.

 

   3. Natural Resources

The Bahamas islands offer a wealth of natural resources, such as pristine beaches, unique marine life, and lush tropical forests for anyone wanting to build a personal sanctuary or a commercial space.

Of course, awareness of the island's natural resources, including any existing wildlife, is vital. Some areas may have restrictions due to environmental protections that can limit development options. Work with local environmental agencies and conservation organizations for guidance on ensuring that your development plans are sustainable and compliant.

This is why it’s so important to connect with the right people to help you navigate through all the details and nuances of developing an island in The Bahamas. Unlike other firms, Rodland Real Estate has built out a Private Island advisory team to assist with some of the challenges and nuances of and navigating the entire process from purchase to development.

Tim Rodland, CEO and Founder says, “We’re committed to going the extra mile for our clients, prioritizing their needs, and building enduring relationships that last a lifetime.”

 

Get in touch

 

   4. Island Access

Accessibility is a key consideration that impacts both the initial construction phase and long-term usability if you buy an island in The Bahamas. Evaluate the possibility of constructing an airstrip or install docks, the feasibility of these projects, and the overall ease of building on the island.

However, it’s important to note that you need approvals for major construction developments like airstrips. The advantage of working with Rodland Real Estate is that accessing the expertise and network to help you acquire the permissions you need for such projects.

 

   5. Island Size

The size of the island should align with its intended use. A smaller island might be adequate for a family retreat but insufficient for larger commercial developments that require space for amenities, guest accommodations, and potential expansion.

As your real estate broker in The Bahamas, Rodland Real Estate understands that your needs are essential in choosing the right size for buying a private island.

 

   6. Government Approvals and Regulations

Navigating the regulatory landscape is critical, especially in developing an undeveloped island. Understand what approvals are necessary for your intended plans, and consider the advantages of purchasing an island with existing structures or infrastructure. Some islands may already have existing approvals in place; they just have to be renewed, if possible.

For non-Bahamian buyers, the process of buying an island in The Bahamas is streamlined but requires adherence to specific regulations. Purchases must be registered with the Bahamas Investment Authority.

Special permissions are also needed for larger properties or those intended for commercial or rental use. Foreign investors should also comply with the regulations of the Central Bank of The Bahamas, particularly for repatriating funds post-sale.

Aside from this, you should consider the following financial costs:

  • Government stamp tax/VAT

  • Legal fees

  • Annual property tax

With these considerations in mind, investors not only secure a piece of paradise but also potentially easier access to residency and smoother customs processes for themselves and their families.

 

   7. Your Real Estate Agency

There are numerous misconceptions about island ownership in The Bahamas and the complexities and challenges involved in acquiring and developing them. This highlights the importance of working with the right partners.

It’s important to select a real estate agency with a comprehensive approach to island sales. An agency that offers support beyond the transaction, assisting with development, regulatory guidance, and local networking, can be invaluable.

That’s where Rodland Real Estate comes in. Rodland Real Estate provides clients with local expertise and the necessary tools and connections to make private island ownership and development a reality. Whether it's for commercial purposes or creating a private family enclave, our private advisory team is dedicated to helping you realize your dreams, working side by side in navigating the bureaucratic processes in our beloved country. While knowledge is important, it's the connections that truly make a difference.

 

Get in touch

 

Buy a Home on The Bahamas Islands

If you’re not looking to buy an island in The Bahamas, perhaps you can start by buying a home in one of its beautiful islands.

 

Nassau

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Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas, is where 70% of the population of New Providence lives. It offers a vibrant blend of modern amenities and rich cultural heritage. Buying a home here means immersing yourself in a bustling, cosmopolitan environment with easy access to shopping, dining, and entertainment.

The presence of luxury communities in Nassau, such as Caves Heights and One Cable Beach, is the epitome of elegance and tranquility combined with island living.

Nassau is perfect for those who seek a dynamic lifestyle while being close to beautiful beaches and historical landmarks.

Discover the lively spirit of Nassau. Contact Rodland Real Estate to explore homes in this lively Bahamian capital.

 

Paradise Island

 

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Connected to Nassau by two bridges, Paradise Island is synonymous with luxury living. Known for its world-class resorts, exclusive real estate, and luxury communities, such as Ocean Club Estates and One Ocean, buying a home in Paradise Island offers an upscale lifestyle in a tropical paradise setting.

Experience immense luxury in Paradise Island. Inquire about our exclusive property listings today.

 

Abaco

 

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Abaco is known for its serene beauty, boating culture, and tight-knit community. Abaco is perfect for those who love maritime adventures, as this place is a fishing, boating, and sailing paradise. The island's natural beauty, combined with a laid-back lifestyle, makes it a great choice for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.

Set sail for a new life in Abaco. Contact Rodland Real Estate to find your dream waterfront home in the Abacos.

 

Exuma

 

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This Bahamian paradise offers an intimate connection with nature and an escape from the bustle of urban life. It has stunning beaches, a welcoming community, and opportunities for water activities. Plus, known as the Home of the Swimming Pigs, Exuma is famed for its four-legged “celebrities” that swim in sapphire-blue waters.

Embrace the pristine beauty of Exuma. Explore this serene paradise with us.

 

Eleuthera

 

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Eleuthera is known for its pink sand beaches, friendly locals, and charming villages. Moreover, the island is famed for its high cliffs that run along the eastern side, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the rocks.

Experience the charm of Eleuthera. Let Rodland Real Estate guide you to your perfect home near Eleuthera.

 

Harbour Island

 

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Known for its three-mile-long pink beach running the entire eastern side of the island, Harbour Island is one of the best and safest spots to swim and snorkel in The Bahamas. Protected by a distant coral reef, the beach here is turquoise clear.

Dunmore Town, the historic heart of Harbour Island, Bahamas, is renowned for its pastel-colored colonial buildings, charming streets, and rich cultural heritage, dating back to the 18th century.

Known as a celebrity hideaway, Harbour Island offers a mix of laid-back island life and upscale amenities.

Swim and snorkel in the turquoise-clear waters of Harbour Island. Browse prestigious property listings.

 

Spanish Wells

 

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With a population of less than 2,000 residents, Spanish Wells is a small, close-knit community. It’s known for its fishing industry, pristine beaches, and peaceful living. This Bahamian paradise is ideal for those seeking a quiet, community-oriented lifestyle, away from the tourist trails, yet rich in local culture and charm.

Find your peaceful haven in Spanish Wells. Start your home search with our expert assistance.

 

Bimini

 

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Bimini is the closest Bahamian island to the United States, offering a blend of convenience and seclusion. Known for its deep-sea fishing, rich history, and laid-back vibe, Bimini is a great choice for those looking for a simple, relaxed lifestyle.

Capture the essence of laid-back island life in Bimini. Let Rodland Real Estate help you find your perfect island retreat.

 

Berry Islands

 

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The Berry Islands are a cluster of cays known for their privacy, excellent fishing, and boating. The island offers a tranquil, secluded environment that’s perfect for both relaxation and adventure.

Uncover the secluded charm of the Berry Islands.

 

Browse Islands for Sale in The Bahamas

The Bahamas is a prime spot for real estate investors and financial professionals. The economy, largely fueled by tourism and offshore banking, is continually thriving.

In the quest to buy an island in the Bahamas, whether you're drawn to the exclusive allure of Eleuthera, the luxury of Paradise Island, or the untouched beauty of the Berry Islands, the journey is as exciting as the destination itself.

Whether you want to build a personal haven or a commercial property that others can enjoy, Rodland Real Estate stands ready to guide you through the array of islands for sale, ensuring that your transition into island ownership is as smooth and enjoyable as the Bahamian breeze.

At Rodland Real Estate, the team anticipates and adapts to the key influences affecting consumer decisions. We’ve established a brokerage that understands the nuances and pain points that both buyers and sellers have with the status quo and

If you’re not ready to buy an island in this part of paradise, you can opt for buying a home instead. With the expertise of Rodland Real Estate, you'll find not just an island but a new chapter in an extraordinary lifestyle.

Take the first step toward owning your piece of paradise.

 

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