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 also 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.
Why buy property in the Bahamas?
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 exquisite 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.
How to buy property in the Bahamas?
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 Bahamas property.
1. Tour the place
It's best to travel around the Bahamas, research areas, and see 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
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.
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 ruling out the banks.
Banks may seem convenient, but you won't be thrilled by the 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 when you transfer $100,000.
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
Speed turnarounds 24-48 or same day
A range of FX tools
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
What are the top considerations for owning property in the Bahamas?
Crucial factors include taxes, infrastructure, healthcare, weather concerns, and real estate forecasts.
Where are the best places to buy property?
Start by checking out popular areas like New Providence Island (Nassau), Paradise Island, The Exumas, The Abacos, Andros, Bimini and The Berry Islands.
Can I stay in the Bahamas for prolonged periods after buying property?
You'll need to apply for the right visa to stay longer. Consideration of your application will be accelerated if you're a financially independent individual or investor with a Bahamian residence worth BSD $750,000.00.
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Who can use the MTFX payment service?
Individuals and businesses who need to send money in foreign currency internationally can use MTFX’s services. The beneficiary of the transfer must have a bank account for the funds to be paid into.
Personal clients usually use our services to transfer money between their own accounts in two different countries.
Business clients usually use our services to transfer funds to suppliers, fund international operations, or repatriate overseas earnings.
Why should I use MTFX and not my own bank?
MTFX offers currency exchange rates that are 2-5% better than those offered by the banks. Personal clients usually save hundreds of dollars per transfer and for larger transfers, the savings can run into the thousands.
We also offer excellent customer service, dedicated currency specialists, and a 24/7 online platform with best-in-class technology that allows you to complete transfers from any device virtually anywhere in the world.
Business customers save with better currency exchange rates and proven solutions geared towards managing and mitigating foreign exchange risk. Our solutions include forward contracts, market orders, rate alert services, and much more - all backed by great technology and great people.
How do customers send funds to MTFX?
Funds can be transferred via wire transfer, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), or ACH payment services. MTFX maintains bank accounts in all major currencies with highly-rated banks. Our banking infrastructure ensures that you can transfer funds to us quickly and securely.
How long does it take MTFX to transfer funds?
Our global network of banking partners allows us to get funds to virtually anywhere in the world quickly and efficiently. Most wire transfers from MTFX will be received by your beneficiary within 24-48 hours. MTFX also offers same-day transfers that are almost instantaneous, as well as low-cost in-country payment services for your less urgent transfers. For further information please speak to one of our currency specialists.
Please read the following update before logging in to your MTFX online account
We have updated our online dealing system to provide you with better functionality, more unique tools and an overall enhanced client experience. MTFX Online 2.0 is now available for your dealing needs. You can begin using our enhanced online portal today.
Please note that the traditional portal will be available for use until MAY 30th 2021 at which point it will be decommissioned.