Thinking of buying property in the Caribbean? Find out how to make your dream come true in our guide.

A Guide to Buying Property in the Caribbean

Owning property in the idyllic islands of the Caribbean is a dream for many. Our comprehensive guide aims to make that dream a reality by walking you through everything you need to know to purchase your own slice of paradise.

We’ll provide you with an overview of the Caribbean real estate market, including what to expect in terms of property prices, where to buy, investment options, and how far your budget might stretch.

Choosing the right island is a key first step. With so many options, from exclusive destinations such as St Barts and the Turks & Caicos Islands to secret gems like Dominica and Montserrat, we’ll outline the factors to consider when deciding where to search for your ideal property.

We’ll also guide you through the buying process, from finding the perfect property to financing the purchase. If you plan to relocate full-time, we’ll explain residency and citizenship options too.

So, with this guide, you’ll confidently navigate each step so you can soon embrace island life in your new Caribbean home. Your paradise awaits!


The Caribbean Property Market
Caribbean Property Prices
Caribbean Real Estate – What are Your Investment Options?
Vacation Homes for Sale in the Caribbean
Caribbean Investment Property
Citizenship by Investment Real Estate
Navigating The Buying Process
Financing & Mortgages in the Caribbean
Managing Your Caribbean Property Investment
Moving to the Caribbean
Residency by Investment
Citizenship by Investment
Find Out More About Buying Property in the Caribbean

The Ultimate Guide to Buying Property in the Caribbean

The Ultimate Guide to Buying Property in the Caribbean

The Caribbean Property Market: A World of Opportunity

The Allure of Island Life

For decades, the tropical islands of the Caribbean have lured property buyers with dreams of an idyllic, relaxed lifestyle. Swaying palms, white sand beaches, and turquoise waters seem to call out, inviting you to leave the world’s worries behind. Now, more and more people are answering that call – not just visiting, but buying a home amid island splendor.

Owning property in the Caribbean offers the chance to turn fantasy into reality, embracing island living full-time or just occasionally escaping to your own private oasis. As the region’s property markets boom, opportunities abound to make that dreams come true. But with so many diverse islands options, where do you start?

Hammock swaying by the Caribbean Sea

Understanding the Region’s Diversity

The Caribbean Sea and its surrounding lands span over a million square miles and include more than 7,000 islands. From the perspective of geography alone, the region is tremendously diverse – from The Bahamas’ 700+ islands and cays in the north to mountainous St Lucia and largely flat island of Barbados.

The cultural fabric fuses indigenous, European colonial, African, Asian, and American influences, resulting in a vibrant diversity. You’ll hear English, French, Dutch, Spanish and a variety of Patois dialects across different islands.

Economically, resource-rich exporters contrast with tourism powerhouses and smaller island economies. Politically too – independent nations, overseas territories, republics, and municipalities all share the Caribbean map.

With so much variety, it follows that real estate markets differ tremendously from island to island. But amidst the diversity lie many ideal havens for both part-time escapes and full-time moves.

Key Drivers Fueling the Caribbean Property Market

Several key dynamics are drawing buyers and spurring real estate growth across the region:

  • Tourism Growth – Destinations such as the Dominican Republic, Mexico’s Riviera Maya, Jamaica and Aruba have seen a surge in tourism arrivals which has fueled a demand for accommodation and a boom in construction, providing tremendous opportunities for investors.
  • World-Class Luxury Lifestyle – Luxury havens such as the Cayman Islands, the Turks & Caicos Islands, The Bahamas, Barbados and St Barts are well established as world-class sanctuaries for affluent buyers seeking a pampered island lifestyle.
  • Citizenship by Investment Programs – Citizenship by Investment Programs in Antigua & Barbuda, Dominican, Grenada, St Kitts & Nevis and St Lucia which offer investors second citizenship in exchange for a financial contribution to the economy or an investment in real estate have lured investors from around the world, providing a major stimulus to their respective real estate markets.
  • Better Quality of Life on a Budget – For many buyers in North America and Europe, the Caribbean region offers the opportunity to enjoy a better quality of life (by the beach or surrounded by nature) on a more affordable budget. Destinations such as the Dominican Republic, Belize, Panama and Costa Rica lure buyers seeking enhanced quality of life and better value for money.

Beautiful beach in the Caribbean

Choosing Your Island Home

From vibrant hotspots to unspoiled hideaways, budget picks to luxury sanctuaries, the Caribbean offers something for every taste and budget.

Luxury lovers, look to destinations such as The Bahamas, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, St Barts, and Turks & Caicos. Sailing enthusiasts should consider The Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, the Grenadines, Antigua, St Lucia, St Maarten, and the US Virgin Islands. Surfers will find great waves on Barbados’s east coast, the Dominican Republic’s northern coast, Martinique, and Puerto Rico, while scuba divers may want to consider heading to Belize, Bonaire, Grenada, or Roatan. For second citizenship, consider the advantages of Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts & Nevis, or St Lucia, all of which operate Citizenship by Investment Programs. Or, for secluded tranquility, check out quiet, tranquil islands such as Bequia, Dominica, Montserrat, or Saba.

Diving in the Caribbean

Delve into our Destination Guides

To find out more, delve into our destination buying guides to discover the perfect destination for you.

Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bonaire, BVI, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Roatan, Saba, St Barts, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Maarten & St Martin, St Vincent & The Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos, US Virgin Islands

Browse Real Estate from Across the Caribbean

Alternatively, browse real estate by location:

Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bonaire, BVI, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Roatan, Saba, St Barts, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Maarten & St Martin, St Vincent & The Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos, US Virgin Islands

Buying property in the Caribbean - artwork

Caribbean Property Prices

Just as the islands themselves vary considerably, so too do Caribbean property prices.

Caribbean Real Estate on a Budget

Buyers on a budget should look to destinations offering value such as the Dominican Republic’s Punta Cana and Puerto Plata areas, Mexico’s Riviera Maya including Playa del Carmen and Tulum, the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, and even opportunities on the island of St Lucia. These destinations offer excellent bang for your buck, with quality condos and homes for for under $200,000.

Increase your budget to the $300,000 to $500,000 range and your options expand further. Villas on islands such as Bonaire, Aruba and Roatan come within reach. You may also find condos in Jamaica, St Maarten and even Barbados.

Browse: Affordable Caribbean real estate

Affordable Caribbean real estate

Luxury Caribbean Real Estate Options

For buyers with an even larger budget, the Caribbean luxury real estate market is an ocean of opportunities. From exquisite penthouses in the Cayman Islands and the Turks & Caicos Islands to sprawling oceanfront estates in The Bahamas and hilltop hideaways in St Barts, the Caribbean market abounds with a world of lavish options.

Browse: Luxury Caribbean real estate

Caribbean luxury real estate

Maximizing Your Budget

Due to its immense diversity, the Caribbean real estate market offers options for virtually every price point. With expert knowledge, you can find a destination to make the most of your budget so soon you’ll be basking in the perfect Caribbean paradise for you.

Buying property in the Caribbean - artwork

Caribbean Real Estate – What are Your Investment Options?

Once you have decided on where to invest, consider the type of property that would suit you, your lifestyle and what is driving your decision to purchase.

Vacation Homes for Sale in the Caribbean

For many buyers, the appeal of Caribbean real estate lies in owning an idyllic vacation escape. Just imagine basking on the terrace of your own beachfront villa or strolling the sands just steps from your oceanside condo. Properties directly on the sand or fronting pristine coastlines represent the quintessential Caribbean dream.

But you need not be directly on the beach to enjoy prime amenities. Homes in gated communities near the shore provide access to resort-style features like infinity pools, restaurants and spas. For golf lovers, properties abutting championship courses allow you to enjoy world-class links right in your backyard.

The vacation home market caters to every taste. Lively hotspots put resort excitement right at your doorstep, while secluded escapes deliver peace, privacy and connection with nature.

Browse: Vacation homes for sale in the Caribbean

Caribbean vacation homes for sale

Caribbean Investment Property

Beyond personal enjoyment, Caribbean real estate can also offer lucrative income-generating potential. Investment properties in popular areas can generate significant rental income when not in use via vacation, short-term or long-term rentals. Condos at resorts with rental programs in place may offer comprehensive solutions to handle everything from the marketing to ongoing management on your behalf.

Browse: Investment property in the Caribbean

Caribbean investment property

Citizenship by Investment Real Estate

Several Caribbean nations including Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts & Nevis, and St Lucia offer citizenship by investment programs. These programs allow vetted applicants to obtain a second passport by making a substantial contribution to the local economy. One such option is investing in approved real estate.

Obtaining citizenship in the Caribbean could provide you and your family with increased global mobility and security. It also enables you to live and work throughout the Caribbean region. But programs have strict requirements, so conducting thorough due diligence is a must.

Our guides provide details on approved projects, the application process, and advantages of citizenship within each program. We can help you determine if this pathway to a second passport could benefit you and your family.

Find out more: Citizenship by Investment in the Caribbean

Choosing the Right Option for You

As you can see, the Caribbean real estate market offers diverse investment options. Would you prefer to buy an idyllic vacation home to enjoy relaxing family breaks. Are you looking for a rental property in a tourist hotspot offering robust returns? Or, perhaps you’re looking for a real estate investment which could also provide you with enhanced global mobility?

Ultimately, only you can decide what kind of investment would align best with your requirements and objectives and determine the ideal investment path forward, but we’re here, to help you make that decision.

Beach boardwalk

Navigating The Buying Process

Can Foreigners Buy Caribbean Property?

In most destinations throughout the Caribbean and Central America, foreign nationals are permitted to buy property and tend not to face many restrictions.

  • Some countries limit foreign buyers to specific geographic areas. For example, in Nicaragua, foreign buyers cannot purchase land within 5km of the international borders and require a waiver permit to purchase land 5-15km from the borders.
  • In some destinations foreign buyers need approval to purchase property. For instance, in the British Virgin Islands, non-nationals must obtain a Non-Belonger Land Holding License to buy property. In Tobago foreign buyers are must apply for a license to buy property which tends to be automatically granted for buyers purchasing up to 1 acre for a private dwelling or up to 5 acres for commercial purposes within Designated Development Areas but is dealt with on a discretionary, case by case basis outside these areas.

It is therefore important to research regulations carefully for each location.

How to Buy Property in the Caribbean

Purchasing property in the Caribbean as a foreign buyer involves navigating some unique legal and regulatory considerations as the buying process differs from location to location. For example, in the French Caribbean including Martinique, St Martin and St Barts, the buying process mirrors the process in France.

In contrast, in the English-speaking Caribbean such as St Lucia, Antigua and Barbados, the buying process has been influenced by English law.

Some key considerations:

  • Seek guidance from a local real estate attorney. An attorney can explain regulations, required documents, ownership structures, and provide representation.
  • Be prepared to establish a local corporation or entity to take ownership if required. This involves legal fees and taxes.
  • Factor in taxes such as stamp duty, VAT, and property transfer taxes which also differ by location.
  • Expect a lengthier closing process than in the US or Canada. Timeframes range from 30 to 90+ days.
  • Review closing costs carefully.

To learn about the buying process in each location, head to our destination guides.

Caribbean Ownership Structures

The means of property ownership varies by jurisdiction.

  • Freehold title – full ownership – this is the most common form of property ownership in the Caribbean.
  • Leasehold – rights granted for a fixed period, this is a common form of ownership in locations such as Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.
  • Corporation/Trust – some countries require establishing a local entity to purchase property.
  • Condominium – common for apartments, involves shared common spaces.

It is critical to understand the form of ownership being offered before entering a purchase agreement. Your attorney can advise on ownership implications.

Luxury Caribbean apartment for sale

Financing & Mortgages in the Caribbean

While cash purchases are common, foreign buyers can also secure mortgages, developer financing, and owner financing in some cases. Getting pre-approved by a lender familiar with Caribbean real estate is recommended. Weigh the pros and cons of financing versus an all-cash transaction for your individual situation.

As you would expect, qualifying for a mortgage is subject to meeting the lender’s criteria.

To find out more, take a look at our page on Caribbean mortgages for non-residents.

Managing Your Caribbean Property Investment

Owning a vacation home in the Caribbean that you only use part-time requires careful property management to protect your investment when unoccupied. We highly recommend engaging one of our trusted partner property management companies to oversee your asset year-round.

Professional Caribbean property managers can handle virtually every aspect of caretaking for your home. Services typically include regular maintenance, repairs, housekeeping, landscape upkeep, utility bill payments, hiring staff if needed, and addressing any issues that arise. Having a reliable manager provides invaluable peace of mind that your property will be well-maintained in your absence.

In addition to basic maintenance, many managers also offer rental programs to generate income from your property when not in personal use. As vacation rentals are in very high demand across the Caribbean, this presents an excellent opportunity to offset costs and maximize your return on investment. Top managers have established networks and online platforms to market your property and keep occupancy rates and rental income high.

Of course, costs and taxes should factor into your calculations before opting into a rental program. But for most owners, the benefits of earning substantial rental revenue and having an experienced manager oversee everything far outweigh the costs. Let us connect you with the ideal property management company to care for your new Caribbean haven. With the right partner, you can truly relax knowing your property is in good hands year-round.

Property maintenance

Moving to the Caribbean

Purchasing property can provide a pathway to residency or even full citizenship in many Caribbean nations.

Residency by Investment

Residency by investment is offered by several Caribbean destinations including Anguilla, Aruba, Barbados, The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, and the Turks & Caicos Islands.

For example, in The Bahamas non-nationals purchasing property valued at $750,000 and over can apply for Permanent Residency status, while buyers investing in property valued at US $1.5 million and over may benefit from Accelerated Consideration for a Permanent Residence certificate.

To discover more, take a look at our destination guides.

Citizenship by Investment

Investing in real estate can, in certain select destinations, also come with an added benefit: a second passport.

Several Caribbean islands operate Citizenship by Investment programs which offer eligible applicants the opportunity to apply full citizenship in exchange for an investment in real estate.

Currently the islands offering second citizenship programs include: Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts & Nevis and St Lucia.

To explore the details, take a look at our page on Caribbean Citizenship by Investment.

Moving to the Caribbean

Find Out More About Buying Property in the Caribbean

Would you like to find out more about buying real estate in the Caribbean?

Explore our website to begin your property search or contact 7th Heaven Properties, the Luxury Caribbean Property Specialist, for any additional questions.

We are ready to help make your Caribbean real estate dreams come true and would be delighted to talk through your options and answer any questions that you may have about buying property in the Caribbean.