Seven Beautiful Properties Minutes From The Ocean in The Bahamas

Consisting of 700 islands, there are tons of sumptuous spots in this former British colony which still retains Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch, where silken sands and sparkling seas come as standard. It may be stunningly beautiful, but it’s not just the scenery which is alluring, the country’s competitive tax regime is one of the real draws, attracting the super- rich from all over the world. Alongside championship golf courses, marinas and private estates, the wealthy appreciate the fact that The Bahamas is ‘tax neutral’ and has been named by the International Monetary Fund as the ‘fourth largest offshore financial centre’ in the world.

Edward de Mallet Morgan of Knight Frank says the enduring appeal of The Bahamas is partially down to the multiple tax advantages on offer.

“It’s extremely attractively set up as anyone buying here doesn’t even have to spend a single day here to qualify for relief if they don’t wish to. This can be of real benefit if they aren’t really seeking a new home but are simply looking for somewhere to park their cash,”

he explains.

Most international buyers stick to the islands’ key areas. Nassau has something for all tastes including both new developments and historic estates but The Bahamas tends to attract an older clientele and many homes veer towards the traditional rather than contemporary. Albany, where parts of the James Bond movie Casino Royale were filmed, is increasingly popular with today’s buyers.

“There is now a lot of interest in Albany where there’s a golf course and a super-yacht marina. Buyers like the security and services that come with being on a development with all amenities on hand,”

says Mr de Mallett Morgan.

Most agents and developers across the islands report a recent surge of French buyers.

“At the moment the wealthy in France do not feel comfortable with the government so they are seeking alternative residences,”

he continues.

“Pre-election, the UK potentially faced a similar scenario but that has now resolved. Many wealthy owners would have left, had the Conservatives not got back into power.”

Cosmopolitan clientele

But The Bahamas isn’t exclusively French and British, the cosmopolitan mix of clientele includes Russians, Americans, Canadians and Australians as well as South American investors. Another attraction is the ease of the buying process as there are currently no restrictions on foreigners buying freehold property. Legal fees range from 1.0% – 2.5% of the property purchase price and there is no inheritance tax, Capital Gains Tax (CGT) or wealth tax to pay. Foreign owners can apply for residency status – preference for permanent residence is given to investors and qualified owners of residential property with a value of over $500,000.

President of Graham Real Estate and Savills associate Greg Graham says that the mid to high-end property market is booming.

“Second home buyers from Europe, Canada and the United States are snapping up everything right now. The main island of New Providence where the capital Nassau is located is the main market. It offers superb infrastructure, 400 offshore banks, lifestyle, restaurants, a huge social life and top schools surrounded by warm climates and stunning waters and beaches.”

Apartments with water or waterway views start from $700,000, waterfront houses range from $2.5m to $10m but currency fluctuations can make a big difference to your budget whatever level you are at. Marianne Gilmore, commercial director at foreign exchange specialists, Moneycorp, advises,

“For those thinking about investing in an idyllic Caribbean property in The Bahamas, it is important to keep an eye on the exchange rate you will secure when purchasing your property. The current exchange rate of the pound against the US dollar is close to a 2015 high of 1.57, meaning a property purchase worth $300,000 will cost you £191,082.”

Ms Gilmore finds that few buyers are aware that the Bahamian dollar is pegged to the US dollar; the two currencies have a fixed exchange rate, with 1 Bahamian dollar worth 1 US dollar. The amount of Bahamian dollars you get for your sterling is influenced by the strength – or weakness – of the US dollar.

“Last July, we saw the US dollar depreciate significantly against the pound to just above 1.71. However, in recent months the greenback strengthened to a rate of $1.46 against the pound, notched up in April of this year,”

she says. That level was seen only briefly as sterling rebounded sharply following the UK’s general election.

“The current rate available certainly looks attractive as the buying power of those spending pounds has increased since the start of the year,”

Ms Gilmore adds. Buying an overseas home is exciting but she warns buyers to always consider their financial future.

“Currency exchange rates fluctuate and even the smallest movement can have a knock-on effect to your property budget. It’s a good idea to speak to a currency specialist to make sure you get the best rates when transferring the significant sums, such as for your property purchase.”

Cascarilla House

This 11,000 square foot residence is a superb example of individuality in architectural design. The expansive one-acre grounds feature a circular drive, bordered by palm trees, orchids and tropical flowers. Its Spanish-style courtyard leads to an inviting terrace with open and covered lounge and dining areas overlooking the 75-foot lap pool, 18-hole golf course and ocean beyond.

Impressive interiors feature soaring cathedral ceilings, limestone and coral stone flooring and a timeless neutral palette. They include a spacious kitchen and living and dining rooms which offer a sea view backdrop and open up to the terrace for relaxed entertaining. Upstairs, four en suite bedrooms have incredible ocean views and are easily accessed by an elevator; while the fifth bedroom downstairs is ideal for a housekeeper or guest.

£6.52m / €9.1m / $9.95m
Christies International Real Estate +1 242 322 11041

Deep Water Cay

This is not only The Bahamas’ oldest and most legendary fishing lodge but also a family-friendly resort with abundant water sports, ultra privacy, and renowned service. The island has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation and is soon to announce that a world-renowned hotelier will be managing it. There is an on-island 4,000 feet runway as well as on-island customs clearance and every home is waterfront. These range from turnkey, fully-furnished houses, and pre-designed cottage packages to private custom home sites.

Deep Water Cay has activities for every interest but what it’s best known for is superlative flats fishing. The island boasts access to 250 square miles of bonefish and permit flats, with ecosystems ranging from saltwater lakes and mangrove shorelines to hard-packed sand and turtle grass.

Homesites from £325,600 / €444,000 / $500,000
Waterfront homes from £602,380 / €821,300 / $925,000
Deep Water Cay +1 (242) 353 3073

Ocean Club Estates, Paradise Island

Beachfront estate in the gated community of Ocean Club Estates with fabulous views of Salt Cay, Athol Island and the sea. It includes a home theatre, elevator, two offices and spacious living and family rooms, each with exquisite marble floors and Venetian plaster enclaves. Other features include an indoor exercise pool and Jacuzzi.

The dining room is serviced by a spacious chef’s kitchen complete with state-of-the-art appliances and expansive marble counters. There is also an adjoining breakfast room with beautiful ocean views. The second floor has three bedrooms, an office, a lounge and master bedroom suite opening on to the balcony. There is also a heated pool, three-car garage and one-bedroom guest cottage.

£12.1m / €16.85m / $18.5m
Damianos Realty +1 242 424 9699

Orchid House, Lyford Cay, New Providence

Orchid Estate is a beachfront property comprised of 2.7 acres with two residences, Orchid House and Little Orchid, just a minute’s walk from the Lyford Cay Marina. Set around a central courtyard, the four-bedroom main residence brings the outdoors inside from nearly all angles. It has four en suite bathrooms and three additional half bathrooms plus maid’s quarters. The two-storey second residence, Little Orchid, includes four en suite bedrooms plus half bathroom and a private pool, making it perfect for guests.

Lyford Cay is a private residential enclave and home to the internationally renowned Lyford Cay Club. Members enjoy the use of a world-class Wilson designed golf course, 12 tennis courts, a full service marina, first rate dining facilities, a spa, beauty salon and half mile long beach.

£12.9m / €17.99m / $19.75m
Savills Residential International +44 (0)20 7016 3740

Exuma Cays

This 75-acre private island has endless possibilities to enhance it to the owner’s personal taste. Located in the heart of the Exuma Cays in the famed Bock Cay Archipelago, Lignum Vitae Cay is one of the most stunning natural cays with unspoiled beaches, lush vegetation and stunning views.

Located at the southern end of the Exuma Cay chain and protected by neighbouring islands and sand banks, the Exuma Cays have sandy beaches and the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, home to a number of rare and exotic birds, reptiles, fish and flora. Proximity to Great Exuma provides the ideal playground for cruising, fishing, sailing and scuba-diving in this 365-island archipelago.

£9.17m / €12.75m / $14m Knight Frank +44 (0)20 7861 1097

Nassau, New Providence

Elegant, European style home on the prestigious Eastern Road with an acre of lush landscaped grounds, a beach with 100 foot sea frontage and a private 80 foot pier. On the inside, almost every room captures the most breathtaking ocean vistas imaginable. Hardwood floors and high ceilings complement the downstairs living space. Two rooms on this level are ideal for his and her home offices or two additional bedrooms.

Upstairs there is a private movie theatre complete with surround sound, plus five bedrooms including four en suites. The master suite brings the outdoors in with a wall of glass windows as well as a Jacuzzi and separate shower. An outdoor deck provides views over tropical gardens, the pool and beyond to the sea.

£1.4m / €2m / $2.2m Christies International Real Estate +1 242 322 11041

Paradise Island

Custom designed villa in a private beachfront setting on the exclusive western end of Paradise Island, amid a collection of properties that span the full width of the island from beachside to harbourside. Featuring exquisite interior décor, tropical landscaping, splendid water views and a private pool, it also has access to five-star amenities. These include a professional chef, concierge, housekeeping and laundry services, ground maintenance, as well as a private dock and gym facilities. Accessible via a private water taxi, this ultimate retreat is in one of the most sought-after destinations in the Caribbean.

£5.1m / €6.97m / $7.75m
Christies International Real Estate +1 242 322 11041

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