Perfect investment opportunity for Real Estate

Writer : Fatima Shah

Why is the Caribbean a good investment opportunity? 

The clear blue ocean and pristine white beaches truly represent heaven on earth. The Caribbean Islands welcome close to 32 million tourists every year. The island’s main industry is the tourist industry, which means a majority of the indigenous population is involved in the service industry. These consist of the following countries:  St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia, and Dominica which make up the region. 

These countries offer citizenship by investment programs to investors who would like to partake of the island’s beauty and get a good ROI on their investment at the same time. Apart from that, Caribbean passports offer visa-free entry to around 145 countries around the world, thus making it an excellent option for a second passport. 

Investor Programs leading to Citizenship 

Almost all the Caribbean governments offer investor programs to foreigners which can bring much-needed Foreign Direct Investment to the islands. Since the main industry is tourism for these Island nations, their governments focus on providing investment options in their booming Real Estate sector to investors. 

Investors have the option of buying a standalone property or putting a stake in larger hotel projects where they will get a portion of the profit return. Usually, large projects which are certified by the government are open to investors on the investment to a citizenship path. Equity partnership in these mega projects is actually cheaper than buying standalone real estate. However, these investments have to be done during the development stage of the project and the investor keeps a stake till the project is final. 

Governments also have different requirements for mandatory ownership of real estate which can range from 3 years to 7 years. This means that the investor has to hold on to the property for the specified number of years in order to retain citizenship. If the property is sold for an amount greater than the amount invested, there is no tax on the capital gains achieved, which attracts a lot of foreign investors, since the real estate market is on an upwards boom. 

Benefits of investing in Large Developer projects 

Investing in a large developer’s project is considered prudent on many accounts. 

-Firstly these mega developers have approved projects thus the project is reliable and a profitable option. 

-Secondly, these developers have a license to take part in the government schemes leading to citizenship, meaning there is no risk of fraud. 

-These projects are multi-million dollar investments so they enjoy a greater chance of being in a prime location with nearby amenities, thus the ROI will be guaranteed. 

-Since these 5-star hotels are internationally owned, there is greater trust amongst clients, and these hotels enjoy year-round bookings. 

-Private investors are attracted to better returns, and if they invest in the construction phase they can enjoy even more prime conditions on ROI.

-These projects are developer handled, so there is a good chance of the project being on track and start operations on time.  

-It is convenient for the investors since the management company will ensure the upkeep and regular maintenance as well as daily operations of the hotel, something which is the investor’s responsibility in standalone real estate. 

-Investors have the unique prospect of enjoying 7-14 days hotel stay for free by being co-owners of the project. 

How much does it cost to maintain a Caribbean property?

When investing in the Caribbean island nations investor to citizenship program, there will be some additional costs to buy the real estate. Firstly, as a noncitizen, you will need to apply for the Alien Landholding Licence (ALHL) in order to buy standalone real estate or invest in a large-scale project. It will take anywhere from 2 months to 6 months to apply and receive a license before you can buy property. 

Apart from that, you will need to engage an agent to buy a property and their fees can range from 3-5% of the total investment. Government citizenship programs also have hefty fees that have to be paid in order to take part in the program. These are between 30,000 to 50,000 USD and have to be paid upfront before buying a property in the citizenship program. 

Additional costs like insurance, utilities and service cost of the management company which will be dealing with the upkeep of your property will add up to the cost of the property and have to be taken into account when deciding to apply for a second passport. 

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