If there’s one real estate investment trend every investor should know about, it’s that the 21st century is the perfect era for making property investments on islands like St Maarten. If you’re interested in making similar investments, here’s everything you should know about buying properties in St Maarten.
About St Maarten
If there’s one island in the world that’s known for its diversity, luxury, entertainment, and celebration for all cultures and ethnicities, it’s St Maarten. Despite being the smallest island in the world, St Maarten is home to people from more than one hundred nationalities living in harmony on the island.
Located at the northern end of the Netherlands and the southern half of the French overseas, the island is the perfect amalgamation of multiple cultures, serving as an excellent location for foreigners looking to take some time off and enjoy the island. If you’re about to visit St Maarten, you’re in for a ride—the most stunning beaches, gourmet meals from premium European restaurants, duty-free shops throughout the island, and a one-of-a-kind nightlife.
According to most visitors in St Maarten, this island is the best one for people who are all about discovering new cuisines, spending quality time at beach bars, and experiencing a vibrant nightlife by the beach. These are some of the many aspects that set this island apart from other tropical destination in the world.
If you’re planning to visit or invest in a property in St Maartens, it’s ideal to know the following things about the place;
The climate in St Maartens is warm, temperate, and sunny throughout the year. However, you can expect some cool winds on the island, especially during the nighttime. The island’s average temperature is 80°F during winters and a bit warmer than during the summers. Apart from the temperature, the climate on this island is humid, with rainfall of up to 45 inches.
It’s crucial to understand how currencies work in St Maarten because it’s a rare island that’s administered by two governments. As a result, three currencies are applicable here. On the Dutch side of the island, the applicable currency is ‘Florin,’ while the currency is Euro on the French side of St Maarten. However, it’s good to visit the island with US dollars because more shops, hotels, and recreational avenues accept US dollars from visitors on both ends of the island.
The legal drinking age in St Maarten is 18 years.
The Real Estate Market in St Maarten
Considering how appealing and luxurious the island is, whenever people visit St Maarten, they often wonder what the real estate environment is like in this region. It’s safe to say that real estate in St Maarten is more active and busy than it has ever been in decades. An increasing number of real estate firms continue to set up their operations on the island and stay busy during peak months such as December, January, and February. In fact, many homeowners and real estate professionals have experienced record-setting sales on the island recently. Apart from being an excellent place for business among brokers, St Maartens is also the perfect island to buy and sell properties.
There are various reasons why the real estate market in St Maarten is booming. One of them is that people instantly get impressed by the place as soon as they set foot here. Many of such visitors are attracted enough to invest in residential and commercial properties on this island for multiple purposes, including a brighter and safer future or luxurious residence on one of the most charming spots in the world.
The real estate economy in St Maarten has gone from being stable to highly successful in just a few years. Many factors play a key role in this process. The first one is that the tourism traffic in the Caribbean continues to increase by 3.7% every year. As a result, people from all over the world continue to visit the island and discover its potential for increased returns on investments. In fact, the island was visited by 528,000 tourists in 2017, and the number continues to rise. Another significant factor contributing to the real estate success in St Maarten is that it stays busy throughout the year. Whether you’re looking at hotels and Airbnbs, or private yachts or jets, the overall economy continues to benefit from a higher influx of tourists without any breaks.
As far as the real estate markets on either side of the island are concerned, it’s safe to say that they’re thriving on both ends by attracting buyers from regions like North America and Europe. If you go to the French side of St Maarten, you’ll see some of the most impressive houses in the Terres Basses area. Similarly, Orient Bay is worth investing in on the other side.
Why Invest in a Property in St Maarten
Simplified and Effortless Buying Processes
One of the biggest reasons why investing in properties in St Maarten is a good idea is that the purchasing process in this region is a lot easier than any other real estate market in the world. This, combined with some of the most profitable real estate opportunities, makes the island the perfect place to make viable real estate investments.
Unlike other regions throughout the world, investors are likely to face a very less number of restrictions while buying properties. It’s because the island is open to people from all over the world. In other words, the properties in this area can be owned by anyone, regardless of their nationality and background.
Furthermore, if you decide to invest in a property in St Maarten, you won’t be required to pay annual property taxes or any taxes related to the profits you make on the island. Whether you’re looking to buy property in the name of your business or solely for personal use, you can buy it in St Maarten. Investors are free to open their personal or corporate bank accounts in the Caribbean. They can always reach out to the leading real estate firms in the area to seek further support.
Exceptional Property Values
The island consists of various natural wonders on both ends. Therefore, choosing to invest in a property in St Maarten is a win-win choice. It allows you to ensure guaranteed ROIs without significant risks, which is what every investor ideally looks for.
How to Buy a Property in St Maarten
As mentioned above, buying a property in St Maarten is incredibly simple. It essentially consists of four critical processes. They are as follows:
Searching for the Right Property
Skim through both ends of the island to learn how the properties are and how much they value. The homework you do on properties on the island will allow you to make a wise investment decision that addresses your investment needs and offers guaranteed returns.
Finding the Ideal Property and Making an Offer
Once you’ve completed your property search, the next step is to pick the property that resonates with your interests the most. If you’ve found what you’re looking for, you must instantly make an offer. Properties are high in demand in the Caribbean. Therefore, it’s always good to offer a higher price to get its possession and ensure a successful property investment.
Choosing between Simple Fee or a Long Lease
The next step is to choose between a simple fee or a long lease. In other words, you can buy a property through your private funds or government assistance as per your requirements on both ends of the islands.
Preparing the Legal Documents
The last step is to prepare the legal documents to transfer the title of property’s ownership. You don’t need a real estate attorney for this because a civil law notary performs all such actions.
Considering how simple the property buying process in St Maarten is, your transaction is likely to be completed within four to six weeks.
Residence in St Maarten
There’s no reason why you should invest in St Maarten for permanent or temporary residency. The luxurious environment and buzzing nightlife make this island a dream location for people of all ages to live in. Whether you’re retiring soon or are a young individual looking to make the best use of your youth and life, St Maarten is an excellent place to get started.
However, residence in St Maarten requires you to understand some rules, regulations, and prerequisites. Here are a few of them.
Residency on the Dutch Side
Applicants looking to acquire residency on the Dutch side of St Maarten first need to apply for a residence permit with the Immigration and Border Protection Services. The government issues these permits according to the applicants’ status.
Applying as an Investor
If you’re an investor looking to not only buy property in St Maarten but also reside there, you must apply with the Immigration and Border Protection Services and make an investment of at least NAF 900,000. You can either invest in a residential property or a business as per your discretion.
Applying as a Pensioner
The process of applying for residency in St Maarten is the same for retired individuals or pensioners. However, such applicants will receive their residence permit if they’re able to show proof of sufficient income to the Immigration and Border Protection Services.
Becoming a Citizen in St Maarten
Applicants who have resided on the island for five or more years with their residence permit are eligible for citizenship. They may apply to become citizens in St Maarten after learning Dutch sufficiently.
What Foreign Buyers Need to Know
Flights to St Maarten
Flying to St Maarten is easy. The island has an international airport (SXM) that allows people from various parts of the world to fly to the island for vacations, investments, and more. In fact, some of the common regions with direct flights to St Maarten include the UK, US, Canada, and other European countries.
How Long You Can Stay
There are different duration of stay for people visiting St Maarten without a visa. If you go to the Dutch side of the island with no visa, you can stay there for as long as a month. However, the stay duration can be up to 90 days for nationals from countries like Japan, Australia, Canada, and the EU when they don’t have a visa. Furthermore, citizens from the US or Netherlands can reside on the island for 180 days.
The Need for a Visa
If you plan to reside on the island for longer than the allowed duration of stay mentioned above, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit with the Immigration and Border Protection Service.
Sending Money to St Maarten
Making property investments doesn’t necessarily require foreign nationals to visit St Maarten. They can also send money by working with a foreign exchange expert who can help them make viable investments.
Now that you know the ABCs of investing in a property in St. Maartens, you may be looking for the best options that’ll help you enjoy the Caribbean and benefit from a viable real estate investment. If you’re looking for the best real estate agency in the Caribbean, the experts at BrightFuture Realty can help!
BrightFuture Realty is a full-service Real Estate firm in the Caribbean, specializing in providing investors, families, and foreigners with a golden opportunity to purchase or sell homes for sale and properties for rent. You can now count on our professional realtors to buy property in St. Maarten or meet any real estate goal, including finding an apartment for rent. All you need to do is reach out to our real estate agents to get started. Furthermore, you can also visit our website to check out our real estate listings to find the perfect St. Maarten home for you!
Get in touch with the best real estate agency in the Caribbean for the move you’ve been waiting for!