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10 Tips – Layman’s Guide to BVI Property Purchase

Virgin Islands Property and Yacht Showcase Dec/Jan 2010

Fort Recovery Waterfront Villa - featured in BVI Property and Yacht Dec/Jan 2010/2011

10 Things to Help You Buy the BVI Property of Your Dreams

1) Review Comparable Properties

For a comparable property, you are looking at similarities in size, condition, location and amenities – such properties should be listed at a similar price. In this exercise, exploration of both recently sold properties as well as properties currently on the market is advisable; the benefit of the latter is you can visit the home and get a more tangible comparison.

The most effective and rewarding tip in this exercise is to examine properties that are similar in attributes to the property you’re seeking, but were taken off the BVI Property market. It could be that they were removed because they were overpriced, giving you leverage in your negotiation for a fair price.

2) Research Current Market Conditions and Appreciation Rates

Here is the standard question you want to ask. Have prices been increasing or decreasing on property in the area? Subsequent to the answer, you have to ask ‘why?’ This can be taxing, but it’s a worthy exercise. You want to consider, mortgage rates, general economy and employment rate in the area, crime stats, history as the price peak or trough could be related to an on-going situation that has only just taken effect today.

Frenchman's Lookout - featured in BVI Property and Yacht April 2012

3) Make Sure the Property is Priced Correctly and Fairly

It’s highly unlikely that this will be an issue with a property seller who has an agent, but for those buying a FSBO (For Sale By Owner) property, it is important to make sure you are getting a reasonable price.

4) Gage Predicted Appreciation for the Area

Under this heading, you want to think about the following: ‘Are there future developments for big building construction in the area?’

If there is a huge mall coming into town, more road construction or a successful company moving in then the prospects of the area look promising.

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What you don’t want to suddenly learn is that businesses are closing down in the area or worse, they’re building Fentom’s Detention Center for Young Offenders in the area.

The above 4 points are about helping you personally get a feel for the price of the property and whether it is fair to your preferences.

Rhumb House - featured in BVI Property and Yacht March 2012

5) Real Estate Agent Opinion

Hiring a Real Estate Agent is considered a standard and wise move in situations like this unless you are a professional.

6) Get a BVI Lawyer to Assist in the Purchase

This is standard protocol unless you are sufficiently experienced in these matters and know what you are doing on a professional level.

Captain's House - featured in BVI Property and Yacht July 2011

7) Submit Your Offer with a 10% Earnest Deposit – Test the Grounds

It is feasible to present a counter-offer to the selling price after you have utilised the first 6 points of this guide. The tips prior to this will give you a solid idea of what is fair – take the plunge, make them an offer with your reasoning and see if you can get a better price. The BVI is currently a buyer’s market so it could be worth it. Granted your offer is accepted, you will enter into an ‘Agreement for Sale and Purchase’ with the seller.

8) BVI Non Belonger Procedure

If you are not from the BVI, the sale of the property must be publicised in the local media to give any local person a chance to purchase the residence on the same terms specified.

Sol Y Sombra - featured in BVI Property and Yacht April 2011

9) Non Belonger Holder’s License

If permitted, your BVI property law representative representative will aid your application and acquisition of a Non-Belonger’s Land Holding License – this documentation provides permission for you to own the property sought.

10) Transfer of Title and Completion Usually Takes 30 days After BVI Government Has Signed Your License (this time frame is a rough guideline)

 

Erin Paviour-Smith

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