Posted on 22 Dec
If you have the flexibility to work from anywhere, why not do so from the pristine shores of Turks & Caicos? The island archipelago is in high demand, as travelers and buyers head south for the winter to enjoy the clear blue waters, white-sand beaches and endless outdoor recreation. We recently highlighted the Top 10 Reasons to Live Your Best Life in Turks & Caicos. Below, we feature insight and advice from our own Sean O’Neill, Managing Director of The Agency Turks & Caicos, on what to know and consider before you buy.
Choose A Location
Before making an offer, do your research by exploring the islands to find your ideal location. While you’re never more than a 20-minute drive from anything on Providenciales, you want be sure you’ve identified your ideal setting, whether seeking proximity to the beach, shopping, dining, tennis or other amenities. Many people choose to visit the location of their prospective second residence three or more times before making an offer.
Rely on Local Knowledge
There is more to buying a second home abroad than searching for properties online. Buyers can miss out on opportunities and time by not seeking the advice of a local real estate agent. A second home is an investment, and it’s important your interests are always protected. An experienced local agent can introduce you to lawyers, engineers, contractors and electricians who will help you with the purchase, construction and inspections. One of the most important things your agent can do is give you the history and background of the property and neighborhood, so you’re completely confident with your purchase.
Consider Your Why
Why do you want to purchase a property in Turks & Caicos? Are you looking to simply enjoy the lifestyle and scenic beauty? Are you looking to hold land in an appreciating area? Do you want an income-generating property? Perhaps a mix of the above? Historically, villas and single-family homes outperform condominiums on their rate of investment return, but these properties and their independence come with additional costs for the owner, such as maintenance and upkeep. Likewise, land purchases and intended development use are guided by the best fit for the property—an under or over-developed parcel can pose different challenges when it comes time to sell. Always rely on your local advisors for advice on how the market is performing and what best suits your wants and needs.
Save Your Dollars
Among the benefits of buying in Turks & Caicos—the US Dollar is the local currency, and as a British Overseas Territory, Turks & Caicos is under a British-based legal system and has an easy-to-understand land registry system. If you are coming from Canada, Europe or other countries outside of the U.S., you must consider the foreign exchange rates and what effect that may have on your offer and closing. It’s also important to understand that the lending market operates differently here than in many parts of the world. Bank loans require significant due diligence and the banks often have limited categories to consider for lending, which change depending on market conditions. They will often cap their loans at a 50 or 60% debt-to-equity ratio. Private Trust companies and lenders also operate and are swift in their decision-making process, but their rates are typically 2-3.5% higher than the commercial banks. These lenders play an important role in the process, allowing purchasers to complete the acquisition and refinance with a commercial Bank in the future.
Enjoy the Process
Buying a second home in Turks & Caicos certainly has its perks. While shopping around, you’ll be viewing incredibly beautiful properties, set amongst white sands and crystal-clear, turquoise waters. Be picky, as trying to view 10+ houses a day will tire you out. Hone in on the properties that speak to you and rely on your local advisor for input. Good advice is key.