A Guide to Buying Property in Trinidad & Tobago for Foreign Buyers
Comprising faster-paced Trinidad and the more laid back, tranquil Tobago, this dual island nation has a diverse real estate market spanning city pads, country estates and coastal escapes.
If you are currently considering investing in real estate in Trinidad & Tobago but you are wondering “where are the best places to buy property in Trinidad & Tobago?” or “how do I go about owning property in Trinidad & Tobago as a foreign buyer” then this guide is for you.
Our guide takes you through the process of buying property in Trinidad & Tobago 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.
Situated less than 7 miles off the northern coast of South America, the twin-island nation of Trinidad & Tobago is one of the wealthiest nations in the Caribbean. While the much larger Trinidad is famous for its spectacular carnival and as the birthplace of the steel pan, the smaller Tobago is better known as a sanctuary for over 6,000 species of wildlife, from spectacular coral to rare birds. The twin-island nation is a melting pot of cultures. Over the years, large communities of Europeans, Africans, Chinese and Indians have settled in Trinidad & Tobago, each making their mark on the country’s food, culture, and music. The most well known and celebrated annual event is the Trinidad Carnival, which is the Caribbean’s biggest party, attracting 40,000 overseas visitors – one-tenth of the total number of annual visitors in 2014.
With the tourism industry providing property owners with a rental market to tap into, buying property in Trinidad and Tobago can be a wise investment. Property for sale in Trinidad and Tobago includes condominiums in high-quality residential developments in its cosmopolitan capital Port of Spain and luxury homes in Tobago where you can enjoy relaxing by the pool, a stroll on the beach or a round of golf on either the Mount Irvine Bay Golf Course or the Tobago Plantations Golf Course.
Can foreigners buy property in Trinidad & Tobago?
Yes, foreigners can buy property in Trinidad & Tobago and the Government of Trinidad & Tobago welcomes investment from overseas buyers. Non-citizens require an Alien Landholding License to purchase more than 1 acre of land for residential purposes or more than 5 acres of land for commercial purposes in Tobago. Licenses are typically granted almost automatically for property in Designated Development Areas but are dealt with on a case by case basis in other areas. Foreign nationals investing in over 5 acres of land for commercial purposes need to apply for a development license through the Tourism Development Company (TDC).
Buying property in Trinidad & Tobago is a relatively simple process, which typically involves the following steps:
- Begin your property search.
- Find your perfect property and make an offer.
- Once your offer has been accepted, the buyer will typically be required to pay a 10% deposit which will be held in escrow.
- You should seek the advice of an attorney who will draw up a sales agreement. The agreement should only be entered into subject to the Alien Landholding License being granted.
- Thorough due diligence should be conducted.
- Pay all required taxes and fees.
Buyers are required to pay stamp duty which varies according to the value of the property as follows…
- Properties valued up to $850,000: Exempt
- Properties valued at $850,001 to $1,250,000: 3% on the difference
- Properties valued at $1,250,001 to $1,750,000: 5% on the difference
- Properties valued over $1,750,000: 7.5% on the difference
- Properties valued up to $450,000: Exempt
- Properties valued at $450,001 to $650,000: 2% on the difference
- Properties valued at $650,001 to $850,000: 5% on the difference
- Properties valued over $850,000: 7% on the difference
We would recommend you seek the advice of an independent lawyer to represent you throughout the buying process.
Legal fees typically amount to 1.5% of the purchase price.
Real Estate Tax
There is also an annual 3% real estate tax on residential property.
As specialists in luxury Caribbean property, we can introduce you to a wide selection of the finest residential property in Trinidad & Tobago.
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 Trinidad & Tobago.
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 Trinidad & Tobago.
For larger parcels of land for commercial development, please see our commercial real estate listings.
Hotels for Sale
Searching for hotels for sale in Trinidad & Tobago? Browse hotels, B&Bs and guests houses right here.
Finding the Perfect Property for Sale in Trinidad & Tobago
Discover the most sought after real estate investment opportunities and benefit from unrivaled insight into the market.
To find your perfect property in Trinidad & Tobago, search our Trinidad & Tobago real estate listings.
Port of Spain
Discover Port of Spain – Read our guide to buying property in Port of Spain.
Discover Trinidad – Read our guide to buying property in Trinidad.
Discover Tobago – Read our guide to buying property in Tobago.
How long can a foreign citizen stay in Trinidad & Tobago?
Citizens of the USA, Canada, UK, and many countries in the Caribbean are permitted to remain in Trinidad & Tobago on holiday without a visa for up to 90 days.
How do I become a resident of Trinidad & Tobago?
Individuals looking to stay longer than 90 days in Trinidad & Tobago can apply for an extension.
The spouse, parent, grandparent of a resident or citizen, a former resident or citizen or an individual working in Trinidad & Tobago under a Work Permit for 5 or more continuous years can apply to the Ministry of National Security (MNS) for Resident Status in Trinidad & Tobago.
How do I become a citizen of Trinidad & Tobago?
Individuals who have lawfully resided in Trinidad & Tobago with Resident Status for 5 years (in the case of Commonwealth citizens) or 8 years (in the case of non-Commonwealth citizens) can apply for 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 Trinidad real estate or Tobago 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 Trinidad & Tobago.
For more information, see our page on: Caribbean mortgages.
You could save money when investing in Trinidad & Tobago 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 Trinidad & Tobago. To see how you could save money, read more: Foreign Exchange.
There are direct flights to Trinidad & Tobago from the USA, Canada, Europe and various other Caribbean islands.
International flights arrive at Piarco International Airport in Port of Spain, Trinidad, as well as at A.N.R. Robinson Airport on Tobago.
From North America, fly with American Airlines from Miami, with United from Houston or Newark or with Caribbean Airlines from Toronto.
From Europe, British Airways operates direct flights from London to both Trinidad and Tobago. Condor operates direct flights from Frankfurt to Tobago.
Barbados to Tobago: 0 hours 50 mins
Houston to Port of Spain: 5 hours 50 mins
London to Tobago: 10 hours 45 mins
Miami to Port of Spain: 3 hours 55 mins
New York to Port of Spain: 5 hours 10 mins
New York to Tobago: 5 hours 00 mins