A Guide to Buying Property in Bonaire for Foreign Buyers
Small, quiet, beautiful and friendly, Bonaire is a wonderful place to own a second home.
If you are currently considering investing in real estate in Bonaire but you are wondering “where are the best places to buy property in Bonaire?” or “how do I go about owning property in Bonaire as a foreign buyer” then this guide is for you.
Our guide takes you through the process of buying property in Bonaire from beginning to end, including an introduction to the real estate market, the buying process and the taxes you will need to be aware of.
The small island of Bonaire is situated in the Southern Caribbean Sea just off the coast of South America. The warm waters surrounding the island are famed for their spectacular reefs which have been protected since the 1970s and are designated a national marine park. Besides the marine life, there are over 200 species of bird, including pink flamingos which outnumber the human population of 15,000. The diverse marine life and birdlife combine to make Bonaire one of the Caribbean’s top eco-tourism destinations, one of the world’s premier diving destinations and a great real estate investment location for second-home buyers with a love of the natural world.
Although commonly grouped with neighbouring Aruba and Curacao as the ABC Islands, Bonaire is actually legally defined as a special municipality of the Netherlands in the same way as St Eustatius and Saba. Dutch is therefore the official language and the legal and educational systems are based on the Netherlands.
With a high standard of living, excellent diving facilities and charming restaurants and shopping around the capital Kralendijk, Bonaire real estate is popular with American and Dutch vacation home buyers. Property for sale in Bonaire ranges from the affordable to luxury beachfront homes.
Can foreigners buy property in Bonaire?
Yes, foreigners can buy property in Bonaire and the island welcomes investment from overseas buyers. There are no restrictions on foreign buyers acquiring real estate in Bonaire. Foreign buyers can purchase both freehold property land and lease land which is common in Bonaire. Lease land is owned by the government and offered on a long lease in return for an annual fee. Unlike other destinations in the Caribbean, foreign buyers do not require any kind of license or permit to purchase property on the island.
Buying property in Bonaire is a relatively simple process, which typically involves the following steps:
- Begin your property search.
- Find your perfect property and submit an offer. Offers can be made verbally or in writing and typically include the proposed price, proposed date of transfer and details of the proposed deposit/down payment.
- Once an offer has been accepted, the terms of the offer are considered binding on both the buyer and seller.
- A written agreement should then be drawn up.
- Once the agreement has been concluded, you will be required to pay a 10% deposit which will be held in escrow by a Notary.
- Ownership of the property is normally transferred within 6-8 weeks, at which point you will sign the deed and transfer payment of the balance.
- Pay all required taxes and fees.
Buyers are required to pay a 6% Transfer Tax and cover the Notary fees.
There is a 1% annual property tax in Bonaire.
As specialists in luxury Caribbean property, we can introduce you to a wide selection of the finest residential property in Bonaire.
Homes for Sale & Condos for Sale
Land for Sale
You can also browse undeveloped land. Purchasing a lot of land provides you with a blank canvas and the opportunity to build your dream home in Bonaire.
Whether you are looking for beachfront land or a centrally located lot, we’re here to help you find the perfect lot of land for sale in Bonaire.
For larger parcels of land for commercial development, please see our commercial real estate listings.
Hotels for Sale
Searching for hotels for sale in Bonaire? Browse hotels, B&Bs and guests houses right here.
Finding the Perfect Property for Sale in Bonaire
Discover the most sought after real estate investment opportunities and benefit from unrivaled insight into the market.
To find your perfect property in Bonaire, search our Bonaire real estate listings.
Discover Belnem – Read our guide to buying property in Belnem.
Discover Kralendijk – Read our guide to buying property in Kralendijk.
Discover Sabadeco – Read our guide to buying property in Sabadeco.
Discover Waterlands Village – Read our guide to buying property in Waterlands Village.
How long can a foreign citizen stay in Bonaire?
Citizens of the EU, EEA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and several other countries may stay in Bonaire for up to 3 months (90 days) without a visa. Dutch and American citizens may stay in Bonaire for up to 6 months (180 days) without a visa.
Do I need a visa to live in Bonaire?
Non-citizens wishing to live in Bonaire are required to apply for a Residence Permit. Residence permits are issued for a period of 1 year and can be renewed thereafter.
How do I become a resident of Bonaire?
Individuals who have legally resided in Bonaire with a temporary residence permit for at least 5 years may apply for a permanent residence permit which is valid for an indefinite period.
How do I become a citizen of Bonaire?
If you have lived continuously in Bonaire for 5 years with a valid residence permit and have a good understanding of Dutch you may apply for Dutch citizenship by naturalization.
Looking for financing to fund the purchase of property in the Caribbean?
Contrary to popular misconception, it is possible for foreign nationals looking to invest in Bonaire real estate to apply for a mortgage.
Our partner – a very well respected international financial organization – offers mortgages for qualifying non-residents buying, building or improving a second home in Bonaire.
For more information, see our page on: Caribbean mortgages.
You could save money when investing in Bonaire real estate by using a foreign exchange expert to get the best rate for your property purchase. We have partnered with Halo Financial, a specialist in foreign exchange, to help you get the best exchange rates when making one-off or regular international payments for a property purchase in Bonaire. To see how you could save money, read more: Foreign Exchange.
There are regular flights to Bonaire from Amsterdam, the USA and from Dutch Caribbean sister island Curacao.
From North America, fly with Delta from Atlanta or with United from Houston or Newark.
From Europe, either fly with KLM from Amsterdam or fly to the USA and get a connecting flight.
Alternatively, fly to Aruba or Curacao and take a connecting flight to Bonaire.
Amsterdam to Bonaire: 13 hours 11 mins
Aruba to Bonaire: 35 mins
Atlanta to Bonaire: 9 hours 15 mins
Curacao to Bonaire: 25 mins
Houston to Bonaire: 11 hours 15 mins
Newark to Bonaire: 11 hours 20 minutes