A Guide to Buying Property in Curacao for Foreign Buyers
With a high standard of living, high-income economy, progressive culture and welcoming people, Curacao is a wonderful destination with so much to offer.
If you are currently considering investing in real estate in Curacao but you are wondering “where are the best places to buy property in Curacao?” or “how do I go about owning property in Curacao as a foreign buyer” then this guide is for you.
Our guide takes you through the process of buying property in Curacao 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.
Located in the Southern Caribbean Sea just 40 miles north of the Venezuelan coast, the 171 sq mile (444 sq km) island of Curacao is, in many ways, unique. Like other Caribbean islands to the north, Curacao offers plenty of golden sand beaches and excellent diving. However, Curacao also shares many similarities to its sister islands Aruba, Bonaire, St Maarten and Saba, all of which were formally members of the Netherlands Antilles (Dutch Caribbean) until its dissolution in 2010. All share a common language (Dutch) and strong historical, cultural and social connections.
Today, Curacao is an independent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands with a population of 152,000 and a strong economy fuelled by the oil and financial sectors. With 40 golden sand beaches, golf courses and the beautifully preserved historical capital Willemstad (a UNESCO World Heritage site), tourism plays an important role in the economy too, attracting 429,936 stop-over tourists in 2018.
With a large rental pool to tap in to, the Curacao real estate market is growing and attracts American and European buyers: both buyers looking for a vacation home on the island as well as those looking to retire in Curacao. Property for sale in Curacao ranges from affordable villas to luxury vacation homes in locations including Blue Bay, Coral Estate, Jan Thiel, Jan Sofat and Santa Barbara Plantation around Spanish Water east of Willemstad.
Can foreigners buy property in Curacao?
Yes, foreigners can buy property in Curacao and the Government of Curacao welcomes investment from overseas buyers. There are no restrictions on foreign buyers acquiring real estate in Curacao and foreign buyers enjoy the same rights as citizens. Foreign buyers may purchase either freehold property land or lease land which is a very common means of property ownership in Curacao. Furthermore, foreign buyers do not need to become a resident in order to buy property in Curacao.
Buying property in Curacao is a relatively simple process, which typically involves the following steps:
- Begin your property search.
- Find your perfect property and make an offer.
- Once a Sale / Purchase Agreement has been concluded, the buyer is typically required to pay a 10% deposit which will be held in escrow by a Notary.
- The Notary process typically takes 6 to 8 weeks and Notary fees amount to approximately 1% of the purchase price.
- The buyer will be contacted by the Notary to sign the deed and make the final payments.
- Pay all required taxes and fees.
Upon closing, buyers are required to pay a 4% Transfer Tax in Curacao.
There is also an annual Property Tax which ranges from 0.4% to 0.6% depending on the value of the property.
In addition to the property purchase process described above, there is a second route to property ownership in Curacao which is relevant to lease land.
In the case of a lease land, the property is leased from the government of Curacao typically for a period of 60 years in exchange for the payment of an annual fee.
For the duration of the term of the lease, the lessee may treat the property as if he/she were the actual owner (subject to any restrictions or conditions imposed by the government).
Once the period of the lease comes to an end, leases are typically renewed by the government.
If the government is unable to renew, the owner is compensated at the current market rate for improvements made to the property.
This is a common route to purchasing property in Curacao and many non-residents have purchased property in this way.
As specialists in luxury Caribbean property, we can introduce you to a wide selection of the finest residential property in Curacao.
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 Curacao.
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 Curacao.
For larger parcels of land for commercial development, please see our commercial real estate listings.
Hotels for Sale
Searching for hotels for sale in Curacao? Browse hotels, B&Bs and guests houses right here.
Finding the Perfect Property for Sale in Curacao
Discover the most sought after real estate investment opportunities and benefit from unrivaled insight into the market.
To find your perfect property in Curacao, search our Curacao real estate listings.
Discover Blue Bay – Read our guide to buying property in Blue Bay.
Discover Coral Estate – Read our guide to buying property in Coral Estate.
Discover Jan Sofat – Read our guide to buying property in Jan Sofat.
Discover Jan Thiel – Read our guide to buying property in Jan Thiel.
Discover Spanish Water – Read our guide to buying property in Spanish Water.
Discover Willemstad – Read our guide to buying property in Willemstad.
How long can a foreign citizen stay in Curacao?
Citizens of the USA, EU, Canada and many Caribbean and South American countries may stay in Curacao for up to 3 months (90 days) without a visa.
Do I need a visa to live in Curacao?
Non-citizens wishing to stay in Curacao for longer than 3 months (90 days) are required to apply to the Immigration Department for a Residence Permit.
How do I become a resident of Curacao?
In 2014, Curacao introduced an “Investor’s Permit” which offers foreign investors with sufficient funds to support themselves the opportunity to apply for residency.
To qualify, applicants are required to make an investment into a business or real estate such as a private home.
To apply for residency in Curacao, applicants also need to provide:
- Proof of income
- Proof of ownership of a home in Curacao
- A valid passport
- Declaration of good conduct / behaviour
- Copy of original birth certificate
- Medical certificate
- Proof of health insurance
Successful applicants investing a minimum of 500,000 Guilders (US $280,000) are entitled to a 3-year renewable residence permit.
Successful applicants investing a minimum of 750,000 Guilders (US $420,000) are entitled to a 5-year renewable residence permit.
Successful applicants investing a minimum of 1,500,000 Guilders (US $800,000) are entitled to an indefinite residence permit which does not require renewal.
Family members can also receive a residence permit for the same period as the main applicant which will need to be renewed at the same as the main applicant.
How do I become a citizen of Curacao?
If you have lived continuously in Curacao 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 Curacao 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 Curacao.
For more information, see our page on: Caribbean mortgages.
You could save money when investing in Curacao 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 Curacao. To see how you could save money, read more: Foreign Exchange.
There are direct flights to Curacao from various cities across the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Flights arrive at Curacao International Airport which is located on the eastern coast of the island, north of the capital Willemstad.
From the USA fly with AA from Miami, with Continental from Newark, with JetBlue from New York or with Delta from Atlanta.
Air Canada operates a flight to Curacao from Toronto.
From Europe, either fly with KLM from Amsterdam or fly to the USA and take a connecting flight.
Alternatively, various airlines operate flights to Curacao from across the Caribbean and Central/South America, including Avianca (Colombia), Copa Airlines (Panama), Divi Divi Air (Bonaire), InselAir (Aruba, Dominican Republic, Curacao, St Maarten), and LIAT (Trinidad).
Amsterdam to Curacao: 10 hours 05 mins
Atlanta to Curacao: 6 hours 15 mins
Miami to Curacao: 3 hours 00 mins
Newark to Curacao: 8 hours 35 mins
Toronto to Curacao: 7 hours 55 mins