The Insider's Guide to Buying Property in Trinidad & Tobago
Trinidad & Tobago: Urban Energy Meets Island Serenity
Trinidad & Tobago, a dual-island nation in the Caribbean, offers a rich tapestry of experiences for property buyers, blending urban dynamism with tranquil island charm. As diverse in their appeal as they are in their landscapes, these two islands provide an array of opportunities for second home buyers and commercial investors seeking a rewarding venture in the region.
Trinidad, the larger and more populous of the two islands, boasts one of the strongest and most diversified economies in the Caribbean. Fueled by a powerful energy sector and vibrant urban centers, Trinidad presents a lively environment for those looking to invest in real estate. The bustling capital, Port of Spain, is a hub of commercial activity, featuring modern office spaces, prime retail locations, and land for commercial development.
In contrast, Tobago is a serene paradise, offering pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and world-class golf courses. This idyllic island is perfect for those seeking a second home by the beach or a peaceful retreat overlooking the fairway. With its crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, Tobago is also a haven for eco-tourism, making it an attractive option for investors interested in sustainable resort development.
The diverse cultural landscape of Trinidad and Tobago adds to its allure, with a rich history that is reflected in the islands’ architecture and cuisine. The country is famous for its annual Carnival, a lively celebration of music, dance, and color that attracts visitors from around the globe.
With a dynamic and diversified economy bolstered by a vibrant lifestyle, this cultural melting pot features a real estate market brimming with opportunities for residential and commercial investors alike. From luxury apartments and classic Caribbean villas to commercial land for resort development, the islands cater to a wide spectrum of tastes and investment goals.
In summary, the unique blend of urban energy and serene beauty found in Trinidad & Tobago creates an irresistible draw for property buyers seeking a distinctive Caribbean experience. With a flourishing real estate market and a diverse array of investment opportunities, Trinidad & Tobago stands out as a truly unique destination in the Caribbean.
“With a dynamic and diversified economy bolstered by a vibrant lifestyle, this cultural melting pot features a real estate market brimming with opportunities for residential and commercial investors alike”
Stable democracy with one of the largest economies in the Caribbean.
Ideal location outside the hurricane belt offering proximity to North America, South America and the Caribbean.
Strong rental market driven by increased airlift from key gateway cities and growing tourism arrivals.
Relatively straightforward purchasing process for residential property buyers and incentives in place for commercial investors.
An unspoiled landscape with beautiful beaches, pristine rainforests, waterfalls and vibrant reefs.
An ideal destination for all kinds of activities such as diving and snorkeling, watersports, bird and turtle watching and golf.
A unique cultural meting pot famed for its heritage including one of the world’s most well known carnivals.
Buying Process, Fees & Taxes
- Can foreigners buy property in Trinidad & Tobago?
Yes, foreign nationals can buy property in Trinidad & Tobago.
According to the Foreign Investment Act of 1990, non-citizens are permitted to purchase up to 1 acre of land (1 parcel) for residential purposes or up to 5 acres of land for commercial purposes.
Tobago – License Application
In Tobago, according to a Cabinet Order of February 2007, foreign nationals are required to apply for a license.
Purchases in Tobago’s Designated Development Areas
Licenses are typically granted almost automatically for property in Designated Development Areas. Designated Development Areas include: Englishman’s Bay Estate, Culloden Estate, parts of Arnos Vale, parts of Grafton, Mount Irvine Estate, Buccoo Estate, Golden Grove Estate, Lowlands Estate including Tobago Plantations Resort, Diamond Estate including Indigo Bay Resort and parts of Bacolet Bay.
Purchases outside of Tobago’s Designated Development Areas
Purchases outside of Designated Development Areas are dealt with on a case by case basis in other areas and license applications typically take up to one year to be approved.
Foreign nationals investing in over 5 acres of land for commercial purposes need to apply for a development license.
- Buying process
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.
- Fees & taxes
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.
Latest Real Estate Listings in Trinidad & Tobago
Residency & Citizenship
- 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 you 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 you 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.
Mortgages in Trinidad & Tobago
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.
How to Get There
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 50m
- Miami to Port of Spain 3h 55m
- New York to Tobago 5h 00m
- New York to Port of Spain 5h 10m
- Houston to Port of Spain 5h 50m
- London to Tobago 10h 45m
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