Guide for Canadians Buying Real Estate Property in the Bahamas

Guide for Canadians Buying Real Estate Property in the Bahamas

The Bahamas are the perfect private paradise and homeowner's dream. Discover how to buy a slice of paradise with your name on it. 

The Caribbean has a reputation for having a naturally stunning landscape throughout. Still, some countries like the Bahamas take the cake and more than live up to the reputation. For instance, Nations Online¹ describes the Bahamas as a "tourist's wet dream."  

This small island nation is an unmatched destination for Canadians looking to buy property in the Caribbean. Whether you wish to purchase a primary residence to escape the cold months or a rental property to cash in on the tourism popularity, you'll need to understand how the process works first. 

Can a Canadian Buy Property in the Bahamas? 

Yes, foreigners from Canada can buy property in the Bahamas. There are no restrictions on foreign property buyers, so you can enjoy the same rights and privileges as Bahamian citizens, such as being the proud owner of beautiful beachfront property.  

Generally speaking, no permits or licenses are necessary when purchasing property in the Bahamas. However, a special license or permit may be required for property over two acres if you intend to rent it out or use it for commercial development. The Government of The Bahamas welcomes foreign nationals, including Canadians, who want to invest in its beautiful country. 

Why Buy Property in the Bahamas as a Canadian? 

The Bahamas is a Caribbean Islands Group located in the northwestern West Indies, southeast of the coast of Florida, USA, and north of Cuba. The archipelago comprises a whooping 700 islands and islets and over 2,000 cays (coral reefs).  

Canadians exploring the option of buying property in the Bahamas might be interested in the following benefits. 

  • Diverse real estate market. Your options include single-family homes, beach cottages/waterfront residences, condominiums, villas, private islands, resort properties, and more. Whether you're looking for something opulent, stunning, idyllic, or contemporary, you'll be pleased to know the Bahamas welcomes investment from Canadian buyers. You get to enjoy the same real estate rights as Bahamian citizens. 
  • Breathtakingly beautiful scenery. Many Canadians look forward to purchasing a home surrounded by white sand or soft pink beaches, crystal clear, turquoise ocean waters, and other stunning views. 
  • Attractive tax benefits. The Bahamas is a tax haven², offering freedom from income tax, VAT, inheritance tax, and capital gains tax. 
  • Income generation potential. As a property investor, you can capitalize on the beautiful locations and relaxed atmosphere that attracts boatloads of tourists. 
  • Pathway to residency. Buying real estate can help fast-track your permanent residency³ if you have decided to dig some roots and adopt the Bahamian lifestyle. 

More reasons to buy property in the Bahamas include a safe investment climate and short, direct international flights from Canada to major airports in the Bahamas.  

Best Places to Buy a Property in the Bahamas 

No matter what type of property you're looking for, the Bahamas provides an array of options with stunning views, vibrant culture, and diverse activities. Some of the best places to buy property in the Bahamas include; 

  • Paradise Island 
  • New Providence Island (Nassau) 
  • Exumas 
  • Abacos 
  • Bimini 
  • The Berry Islands 
  • Grand Bahamas, 

Whether you're interested in a waterfront property or something further inland, you're sure to find a place that suits you perfectly in this beautiful Caribbean paradise. 

How to Buy Property in the Bahamas as a Canadian? 

Buying a Bahamian property is a unique experience, especially with so many location options to choose from. Generally, you can expect to follow some or all of these steps when buying a Bahamas property. 

Tour the place

If possible, travel around the Bahamas, research areas, and see the different islands before you decide which location you like best. You can even try a short-term lease to see if you love island life.  

Break down the costs

​​Generally, the short and long-term costs of buying Bahamas real estate include Stamp Duty, VAT, real estate commission, property taxes⁴, legal fees, storm/flood/hurricane insurance, utilities, and maintenance costs.​ 

Look into financing

If you're a foreign investor, you can find a mortgage from a major Bahamian bank or fiduciary, though this can be expensive. It's usually better to work with a multinational bank like CIBC, which has a solid presence in the Bahamas and offers cross-border mortgages. 

Use a licensed agent and attorney

You may also need to meet with a licensed real estate agent to help you find your perfect property and make an offer. Additionally, it's recommended to work with a local lawyer to advise on the property transfer process and ensure all title documents are in order. 

Hire a local caretaker/manager

You might need a caretaker or property manager to oversee the upkeep of your property. They can check on the place, liaise with service providers, and stay on top of home care while you're not there. 

Fees and Taxes 

When buying property in the Bahamas as a Canadian, it’s essential to pay your dues tax-wise and fee-wise. The list includes registration fees, stamp duty, legal fees, and your real estate agent’s fees. Make sure you double-confirm with your sales agent and lawyer, so you have everything covered. 

How the Exchange Rate Comes into Play? 

The Commonwealth of The Bahamas uses the Bahamian Dollar (BSD), which is pegged to the US Dollar 1:1. Hence, the US currency is accepted for real estate transactions all over the Bahamas, meaning you'll have to convert Canadian dollars to US dollars.  

This is where the USD/CAD exchange rate comes into play. When this exchange rate is less than competitive, you incur higher costs, especially on large payments, such as a property purchase. Therefore, to keep your costs low, it's crucial to find a more cost-effective way to transfer US dollars to a Bahamian bank account. 

You can use the MTFX currency rate calculator to check the exchange rate before you transfer Canadian dollars to US dollars.  

Where to Find the Best Exchange Rates? 

Changing Canadian dollars to US dollars is a requirement if you're buying Bahamas real estate. Finding the best exchange rates helps you make the most of your money. If you're wondering where to find the right foreign exchange service, you can start by skipping your bank. 

Banks may seem convenient, but you end up overpaying because of poor exchange rates and expensive fees. In contrast, using a foreign exchange specialist service, such as MTFX, is one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to make international money transfers. 

A foreign exchange service like MTFX offers rates 3-5% lower than the banks because of its high volume and specialist operations. This means you can unlock savings of up to $5,000 for every $100,000 you transfer. 

Looking to buy property in Bahamas?

 

Paying Online Without Going to the Bank 

With MTFX, you not only get to save money with each transfer, but you also save time. The MTFX secure online platform is accessible 24/7, so you can trade many trips to the bank for a few clicks in the comfort of your home or office.  

Transferring money online also eliminates the risk of handling large sums of cash and gives you more control over the process. With an MTFX account, you can enjoy easy and efficient transfers that reflect these tech-savvy times. 

Invest More in your Property with MTFX Exchange Rates 

As a foreign exchange specialist, MTFX can add more value to your property with: 

  • Competitive exchange rates 
  • Low transfer fees 
  • Speedy turnaround times of 24-48 hrs or same day 
  • A range of expert FX tools, such as currency rate alerts 
  • Tailored guidance from FX specialists 

Register your account with MTFX to send money from Canada to any destination bank account in the Bahamas today! 

Buy Property in Bahamas – FAQs 

Can foreigners buy property in the Bahamas? 

Yes, foreigners can buy property in the Bahamas without restrictions. The Government of the Bahamas has an open-door policy for overseas buyers looking to invest in the country.  

What should I consider when buying property in the Bahamas? 

To make a wise, informed decision, be sure to consider essential factors like tax obligations, quality of infrastructure and healthcare, weather concerns, and real estate forecasts. 

How can I send money overseas to buy property in the Bahamas? 

MTFX lets you pay for your property purchase without going to the bank. You can open an account in less than five minutes, convert currency, and send money to a bank account in the Bahamas. It’s quick, easy, and cost-effective, plus you get expert guidance when needed to ensure a smooth transaction.  
 

Are there any restrictions on buying, selling, or owning property in the Bahamas?

No, there are no restrictions on buying, selling, or owning a property in the Bahamas. Foreigners may acquire up to five acres of residential property in the Bahamas without needing prior government approval. 

Popular related articles;

Sources

  1. Bahamas
  2. Bahamas Considered a Tax Haven
  3. PERMANENT RESIDENCE
  4. Real Property Tax Assessment, Payment & Exemptions

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