Real Estate Reference Bahamas Real Estate Guide to Permits, Residency and More
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  by Ester Napoli

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  White sand beaches, clear blue waters, tax breaks, real estate and property; the Bahamas never looked so good. And yes, I said real estate. Bahamian real estate is hotter than ever.

In 1993, the International Persons Landholding Act was put into motion to encourage foreigners to purchase a second home in The Bahamas. And it couldn’t be simpler. If a foreigner buys a single family dwelling or vacant land to be used in the construction of such a dwelling, then he no longer needs to obtain a permit from the Government prior to the purchase. He only needs to register the acquisition later with the Investments Board. Permanent residents of the Bahamas and foreigners who inherit property in the Bahamas don’t have to obtain a permit before acquiring land but must register afterward.

However, there are cases where a permit will be needed for Bahamas real estate. First, if the property is undeveloped land and of five acres in size or larger. Secondly, if the property is not a private residence, or it is not intended for development as such, a permit is needed.

In dealing with mortgages, the act is not meant to be a road block. In fact, it provides that licensed banks, trust, and insurance companies who acquire an interest in or take possession of property under a court order must register that acquisition. An acquisition by way of foreclosure under a mortgage or of land acquired by an authorized foreign state will not require a permit but must be registered.
 
     
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