The Insider's Guide to Buying Property in Saba

Once a haven for sea captains, today the tiny island of Saba is one of the region’s top “under the radar” destinations offering a relaxing lifestyle and a unique property market.

If you are currently considering investing in real estate in Saba but you are wondering “where are the best places to buy property in Saba?” or “how do I go about owning property in Saba as a foreign buyer” then this guide is for you.

Our guide takes you through the process of buying property in Saba 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.

Aerial view of Saba and its red-roofed cottages Traditional Saban style cottages

Overview - The Saba Real Estate Market

Ever since a group of shipwrecked Englishmen landed on the shores of Saba, the tiny island, which was subsequently settled by the Dutch, has had an association with sailors. The red-roofed cottages with white gingerbread trim and green shutters that are traditional to Saba have been home to pirates and ship’s captains.

Today there are under 2,000 residents who enjoy a laid back, quiet lifestyle surrounded by the magical natural beauty of the “Unspoiled Queen of the Caribbean.”

Traditional Saban cottages are built into the island’s hills, offering magnificent views of the 887m peak of Mount Scenery, as well as the island’s woodland, dramatic cliffs and the deep blue sea.

Owning a home on Saba offers the opportunity to enjoy the tranquility of this tiny island and is also the ideal base for exploring the unique landscape and the reefs that lie off its coast. Home to about 150 species of fish, healthy coral, turtles and lobster, Saba is an exceptional diving destination.

Besides its fascinating history and colorful landscape, Saba offers much more to those considering investing in real estate. With a population of under 2,000, Saba is safe and friendly with no crime. The island benefits from the stabilty that comes with being a special municipality of the Netherlands. Like fellow Dutch Caribbean islands Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and St Maarten, Dutch is the official language, but English is the main lingua franca. A bonus for North American buyers, the US Dollar is the official currency.

Property for sale in Saba ranges from parcels of hillside land with stunning sea views to charming cottages with private pools tucked away in areas such as Windwardside, Zion’s Hill and Hell’s Gate.

“Once a haven for sea captains, today the tiny island of Saba is one of the region’s top “under the radar” destinations offering a relaxing lifestyle and a unique property market”

Why Invest?

1 / 7

Peaceful and quiet – the ideal location to completely relax and forget about all your worries.

2 / 7

Safe and secure as a special municipality within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

3 / 7

38 official dive sites which are home to about 150 species of fish, healthy coral, turtles and lobster and offer some of the best diving in the Caribbean.

4 / 7

Saba benefits from the political and financial support of the EU.

5 / 7

Almost no crime whatsoever.

6 / 7

English (the main language) and Dutch (the official language) both widely spoken.

7 / 7

The US Dollar is the official currency.

Buying Process, Fees & Taxes

Can foreigners buy property in Saba?

Yes, foreigners can buy property in Saba and the island welcomes investment from overseas buyers. There are no restrictions on foreign buyers acquiring real estate in Saba. Unlike in other destinations in the Caribbean, non-citizens purchasing real estate in Saba do not require a license or permit of any kind.

Buying process

Buying property in Saba is a relatively simple process, which typically involves the following steps:

  1. Begin your property search.
  2. Find your perfect property and make an offer.
  3. A notary will oversee the legal transfer process from seller to buyer and ensures free and clear title. The closing process can take up to 8 weeks.
  4. Pay all required taxes and fees.
Fees & taxes

Transfer Tax

Buyers are required to pay closing costs / Transfer Tax amounting to approximately 6%.

Property Tax

There is no annual property tax on Saba.

Best Places to Buy

Windwardside & Hell’s Gate

The quaint village of Windwardside (together with the suburb of Booby Hill) and Hell’s Gate are the most popular locations for investing in Saba real estate. There are a number of red-roofed cottages for sale built in a traditional Saban style from native volcanic rock. With a selection of restaurants, bars and shops real estate for sale in Windwardside and Hell’s Gate offers privacy and seclusion as well as access to conveniences when needed.

Residency & Citizenship

How long can a foreign citizen stay in Saba?

Citizens of the EU, EEA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and several other countries may stay in Saba for up to 3 months (90 days) without a visa. Dutch and American citizens may stay in Saba for up to 6 months (180 days) without a visa.

How do you become a resident of Saba?

Residence Permits

Non-citizens wishing to live in Saba are required to apply for a Residence Permit.

Residence permits are issued for a period of 1 year and can be renewed thereafter.

Permanent Residence Permits

Individuals who have legally resided in Saba 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 you become a citizen of Saba?

If you have lived continuously in Saba for 5 years with a valid residence permit and have a good understanding of Dutch you may apply for Dutch citizenship by naturalization.

Find out more: Immigration Department at the RCN (Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland)

Mortgages in Saba

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 Saba 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 Saba.

For more information, see our page on: Caribbean mortgages.

How to get a mortgage in the Caribbean

How to Get There

Saba’s Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport is reputed to be home to the shortest commercial runway in the world.

From Europe or North America, fly to St Maarten and then take a connecting flight with Winair on to beautiful Saba.

  • St Maarten to Saba 12m

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Local weather

27° Precipitacion0.09%
Sat 26° | 28°
Sun 26° | 28°
Mon 26° | 28°
Tue 26° | 28°
Wed 26° | 28°
Thu 26° | 28°
Fri 26° | 28°

Local time

10:46AM Saturday 16th Oct 2021 (AST)
Sat 26° | 28°
Sun 26° | 28°
Mon 26° | 28°
Tue 26° | 28°
Wed 26° | 28°
Thu 26° | 28°
Fri 26° | 28°

Fast facts

  • Population 1,933
  • Capital The Bottom
  • Language Dutch, English
  • Currency US Dollar
  • Time zone GMT-4 | ET