Guide To Buying A Private Island
Who doesn’t love going on vacation on an island? You get the sea, the sand, and the scenery. Unfortunately, you also get the crowds. For some people, this can be a deal-breaker, especially if the family in the neighboring room or cabin has a brood of noisy kids. Have you ever dreamed of owning your own private island? Yeah, most people have.
Owning your own private island isn’t all that difficult and will certainly make every future holiday travel a lot more relaxing. You may think you’ll never have the finances to buy your own private island but there are plenty around that cost less than you think.
Before you start evaluating your finances, it’s good to know what you’re in for. Here are some tips on how to buy a private island so you don’t end up with a case of buyer’s remorse.
1. Check Out Online Real Estate Agencies
IF you’ve ever looked for a house to rent or buy, you already know that the first place to start when you want to purchase a property is to see what is available online. If there is a private island for sale, you can bet it is listed on a realtor’s website. The information will include the location of the island and how to get there. More likely though, you will need to visit the realtor and the island but if you enjoy traveling, this is all part of the fun.
2. Travel There First
While you can buy a private island without going there first, It’s not a good idea. The pictures you fall in love with on the realtor’s website have been taken from angles that sell. That handful of stunning shots may only represent a tiny fraction of the island and the rest may very well be uninhabitable or even unsightly to the eye.
Make sure you see what you are getting yourself into and take a travel camera with you to take as many photos as you possibly can. While you visit your potential island, it’s easy to be in honeymoon mode so capturing as much detail as possible with a camera gives you something you can examine more closely when you get back home.
3. Investigate The Location
You don’t need to just look at the private islands on offer that are part of the country you are living in. Part of the charm of owning a private island will be the fact that it is in a faraway and very exotic location. Some countries, while very exotic and beautiful also have a dark side of crime and corruption so make sure you check these out. It’s a good idea to invest in a travel wallet for some of these countries and preferably one that is an RFID wallet that will block anyone trying to skim your card details.
At this point you should also check and double-check with local authorities as to who can and can’t own an island. Some countries have restrictions on foreign landowners and you don’t want to invest your life’s savings only to find you will never own the island.
4. Follow Up With A Checklist Before You Sign Your Life Away
You would never buy a property locally without having a checklist and you certainly shouldn’t when buying a private island, especially if you are looking at one in a foreign country. It is highly recommended that you enlist the services of an attorney to undertake many of these checks for you, but you can do some yourself as well. Here is a short checklist of what you must look at:
Freehold Title – A freehold title means the owner has exclusive ownership of the island, which means you will have the same if you buy the island. There may or may not be a mortgage attached to the title and this is something you should also check for. If the island is currently under the mortgage, the financial institution will be looking at recouping their investment before handing a freehold title over to anyone, even the new owner.
Location – A remote island may sound idyllic and for the most part, it probably is. However, you still need to be within reach of help if you need it. How far away is the nearest emergency service? You may get bitten by a creature or injury yourself on rocks meaning you need medical assistance fast. If it takes hours for anyone to reach you, look for something closer.
Accessibility – How are you going to get to the island? Is there a harbor or another place that you can arrive by boat? If you can’t safely get to the island, you have a problem. The other thing you need to look at is whether or not you can travel inland on your island. Sure, you may want to build a holiday home close to the beach, but not all waterfront areas can be built on. If that is the case, you’ll need to find another location on the island for a house and you’ll need an access road or path to this location to deliver building materials and supplies if and when you are in residence.
Building Permits & Infrastructure – You may be able to buy your own private island, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be allowed to build anything on it. If you can build on it, what can you access in terms of infrastructure? Can you connect electricity and running water to your island getaway home? What about telecommunications and sewage? All of these may not seem all that important but if you plan on spending all of your vacations on your private island, you will start to want these utilities connected to your holiday house.
Your Surroundings – Sure, you may have the island to yourself, but what about the local wildlife? If you are terrified of enormous insects or snakes, you need to know if they are in large numbers. There is no point in having a vacation house on a private island if you spend all your time there locked indoors. The same applies to the vegetation. If you are allergic to a plant that is plentiful on the island you could find yourself sneezing in misery.