Your Guide to Buying a House in The Bahamas

Your Guide to Buying a House in The Bahamas

There are plenty of great reasons to consider buying a house in The Bahamas. 

The islands enjoy better weather than most of the world. The people are friendly — just ask the thousands of expats who call The Bahamas home — and the lifestyle is relaxed. There are numerous tax advantages to Bahamian residency and buying property in The Bahamas can be the first step toward citizenship — and help you fast-track the application process.

Of course, buying real estate in The Bahamas is a major commitment. Although the Bahamian real estate market is considered relatively stable, prospective buyers should always exercise due diligence before any significant purchase (especially if that purchase is in a foreign country).

In this guide to buying Bahamas real estate, I’ll take you through some of the most important considerations and provide some useful advice and resources to make your purchase straightforward and free of unexpected surprises.

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Where to Find Bahamas Houses to Rent

Where to Find Bahamas Houses to Rent

The property market in The Bahamas has been slowly inching upwards in recent years as the demand for luxury homes in particular increases. Whether you’re looking for an extended holiday, a second home for regular getaways, or somewhere to live while taking advantage of a business opportunity, it’s essential to do your research before you commit.

Securing a rental property in The Bahamas doesn’t have to be challenging. The Bahamian government is relatively welcoming to foreign visitors and investors. And although renting a property does preclude you applying for a Home Owners card, it does offer the freedom to get acquainted with this tropical archipelago before committing to a specific area.

In this post, I’ll discuss a few things you need to know about Bahamas real estate rentals, including the best locations, the types of properties available and what to expect when renting a home.

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Bahamas Residence Permits: What You Need to Know

Bahamas Residence Permits: What You Need to Know

Relocating to a new country — especially a lush, tropical one like The Bahamas — can seem like an impossible dream, but making your home in this Caribbean paradise doesn’t have to be complicated.

Whether you’re moving to The Bahamas to enjoy the glorious weather, pursue a new business opportunity, or take advantage of the relatively low taxation, there are several options open to you. If you want to be able to vote or run certain types of business, you’ll need to pursue citizenship

But if you plan to maintain citizenship in your home country and want to put down some roots, there are a number of Bahamas residence permits for you to choose from. In this post, I’ll help you explore the difference between the various Bahamas residence permits, how to obtain them and the benefits of each.

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The Bahamas Citizenship by Investment

The Bahamas Citizenship by Investment

There are a lot of benefits to living in The Bahamas — and even more to becoming a citizen. 

Gaining Bahamian citizenship eliminates the need to worry about residency rules and requirements, time limits on how long you can stay, or your ability to work in the country. And of course, gives you the right to participate in the national democratic process by voting. 

Authorities in the country maintain some strict rules about foreign nationals operating businesses, and obtaining citizenship is a necessary step for anyone planning to open specific types of business (retail, restaurants, beauty salons, or import/export, among others).

It can be challenging to become a citizen of The Bahamas. But if you’ve got adequate resources, acquiring Bahamas citizenship by investment might be something you’re considering. In this post, I’ll talk about the options available for those looking for an alternative route to Bahamian citizenship, and the benefits to those options.

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How to Get Bahamian Citizenship in 2019

How to Get Bahamian Citizenship in 2019

So you’re thinking of obtaining Bahamian citizenship. Why wouldn’t you? The Bahamas has a lot going for it. It’s known the world over for its pristine beaches and glorious sunshine — but that’s not enough to make it more than just a vacation destination.

The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest countries in the Americas — just behind the United States and Canada. Its people are friendly and welcoming. It’s not difficult to make friends in The Bahamas, and there’s a thriving community of expats there who can testify to the fact. The country also boasts a healthy market economy, and the Bahamian passport ranks 26th on the Henley visa restrictions index.

How difficult is it to gain Bahamian citizenship? That answer will, of course, also depend on your priorities. But in this guide, I will outline how to obtain Bahamian citizenship, including the steps, requirements and fees.

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The Bahamas Permanent Residency Program

The Bahamas Permanent Residence Program

There’s a lot to be said for living in The Bahamas. Even if you’re not counting consistently balmy temperatures, glorious sun and beautiful beaches, Bahamians enjoy a quality of life that many would envy.

In addition to its standing as a tropical paradise, The Bahamas is also well-known for its friendly people, thriving community of expats, political stability and an economic climate that welcomes foreign investment. But those looking to reap all these benefits are definitely considering a longer-term commitment than a week or so of holidays.

If living in The Bahamas appeals to you, you should probably consider the Bahamas permanent residency program. In this post, I’ll examine some of the benefits of permanent residency in The Bahamas, as well as the various ways you can acquire it.

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Health Insurance in The Bahamas

Bahamas Health Insurance

The Bahamian lifestyle sounds pretty idyllic, doesn’t it? Right next to the US there is a tropical paradise with a financial center and very low taxes — what could go wrong?

Well, even in a beach paradise accidents happen, children need immunizations and we all occasionally get sick. The Bahamas has a good (and improving) healthcare system to take care of these eventualities.

Without an option to pay into the national health insurance system, expats should definitely consider buying a private health insurance plan in the Bahamas. This is not like parts of southern Europe or Asia where you could get by paying as you go.

Here you’ll find everything you need to consider and watch out for when deciding on Bahamian health insurance for your family — from costs to essential options and trusted providers.

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The Bahamas’ Tax System Explained

Bahamas Tax System

Even in a tropical paradise it sometimes has to rain. Similarly, even in tax havens like the Bahamas, there has to be some tax system to fund government spending.

The Bahamas tax system is world famous for not taxing income (personal or corporate), capital gains, wealth or inheritance. With some strategic planning, it is one of the least onerous systems to live under.

Mainly, the Bahamian government fills its coffers by their import duties, value-added tax and stamp duty on various documents needed for certain transactions.

Follow this guide to navigating the tax system here in the Bahamas and you’ll be able to structure your income, portfolio and other activities to minimize your tax bill.

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The Bahamas Tax Rates

The Bahamas is generally seen as one of the most pleasant options for where to live in the world. A tropical climate and easy-going way of life put the Caribbean nation on the top of most lists for those looking to relocate.

And tax rates run a close second to climate when it comes to naming what makes the Bahamas a favorite for the very wealthy and location-independent digital nomads.

Some countries that compete for this attention have relatively high nominal taxes but then create a system of complicated exemptions, credits and rebates to significantly reduce the effective tax rate.

The Bahamas approach to tax rates differs a bit. The headline numbers look very attractive: there is no personal income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax and a very low VAT rate. But there are relatively high rates of duty on imported goods and national insurance contributions on payroll.

This article will guide you through the taxes on everything from property to corporate income and will help inform an important part of your decision to relocate to the Bahamas.

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Your Guide to International & Private Schools in The Bahamas

International Schools in the Bahamas

Education for their children is, understandably, top of mind for expats who move their families to the Bahamas.

The school system on the Bahamas follows the British model and the calendar and curriculum will be familiar to those from North America or the UK.

Every child from 5 to 16 must attend school on the Bahamas and the options (roughly) into three categories: public, private, often faith-based options and international schools. The three international schools in the Bahamas are seen as the top options for parents who can afford the tuition.

Living in gated communities or on various, relatively distant islands means that families often choose a school before they pick a community. If you only think you’ll be in the Bahamas temporarily, you may want to opt for one of the international schools that will prepare your children to move easily from one country to another.

Here, I’ll guide you through the best schools in the Bahamas, including top private schools and their curriculum and tuition.

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