Where to buy in the BVI?
- November 29th, 2015
- in PROPERTY
Photography courtesy of Renata Macrelli
Last BVI HomeSense feature, we looked at compelling reasons to invest in property in the BVI. Once you have decided to invest here, the next big decision is where to buy in the BVI. The communities and neighborhoods on each of the islands have so much to offer. Here we provide a brief overview of the islands themselves and some of the locations that you could be calling home.
Tortola is a mountainous island 21.5 sq miles in area. Formed by volcanic activity, its highest peak is Mount Sage at 1,750 ft and there is a population of approximately 24,000. With the ferry dock at one end of the island and the airport at the other, there has been residential development across the breadth of the island.
Historically, investors seeking to buy a residential property tended to gravitate to the West End and North Central areas of Tortola. Here, you will find many of the famous beaches of the BVI ,including Long Bay Beach, Smuggler’s Cove, Cane Garden Bay, and Brewers Bay.
Key residential locations include Belmont, Shannon, Green Banks, and Luck Hill; they all have views out across the beaches and the ocean beyond.
As a general rule, local and long term residents who mainly work in or around Road Town and/or have young families, have tended to concentrate their search in the central areas of Tortola which allow for an easier daily commute to town and schools.
Along the south coast, there are a number of lovely residential areas such as Nanny Cay on the waterfront, Havers with excellent views across the channel, McNamara located just above Road Town and Kingstown, Brandywine Bay, and Hodges Creek, all just a short drive from town.
On the north side, new communities have developed over the last 10 years at Trunk Bay, Cooten Bay, and Rogue Bay. Entrepreneurial investors have created unique properties on the mountainsides and shoreline in these previously untouched locations. With new subdivisions coming on stream, the East End of the island is now opening up and attracting those seeking to build new homes. In short, there is no part of Tortola that does not offer a great choice of residential property.
Virgin Gorda is only eight square miles and has a population of approximately 3,900. The tranquility makes you feel as if you are somewhere time has forgotten. There is a village feel with everyone finding the time to say hello or wave as you pass by. Virgin Gorda is positioned at the eastern extremity of the Virgin Islands and is divided into three areas:
- The Valley: a mainly flat area at the southern end of the island where the majority of the population resides in Spanish Town. As well as the level terrain, the attraction is the spectacular beaches which include The Baths and Spring Bay. The rock formations of The Baths are striking and many home owners have incorporated these ancient structures into the architecture of the buildings themselves.
- Nail Bay / Mahoe Bay and Savannah Bay: Nail Bay is located below Gorda Peak, the highest point on the island, which rises to 1,370 ft above sea level. Development—mainly holiday and second homes—has been restricted to the coastal areas, including Mahoe Bay and Nail Bay on the west coast, again surrounded by wonderful beaches.
- North Sound: North Sound has long been known as a yachting centre but in recent years it has undergone a significant transformation and has forged an identity as a luxury destination which competes with the best in the region. Residential developments around North sound include Oil Nut Bay, Blunder Bay, and Leverick Bay. At the far end of North Sound, you find Mosquito Island, which had a limited number of lots for sale, all of which are now sold.
Jost Van Dyke
At roughly threee square miles, Jost Van Dyke lies about five miles to the northwest of Tortola and can be accessed via ferry /boat from Tortola. It has a growing population of around 300 and like many of the neighboring islands, it is volcanic in origin and mountainous. The highest point on the island is Majohnny Hill at just over 1,000 ft.
The island is a true, unspoilt beauty and the most frequent destination is Great Harbour which has a beach area lined with small bars and restaurants.
Located a short distance away is White Bay with a stunning beach and a growing array of bars, restaurants, and guest cottages. Among its well-known bars is the Soggy Dollar Bar, appropriately named because it is a common practice for boaters to anchor off the beach, swim ashore, and then pay for their drinks with wet money. With great bars, great food, and great music, this is a magical island with some fantastic properties available for purchase.
This is an island for boat owners as there is no ferry. Great Camanoe is a small, privately-owned island which at 2.5 square miles is completely unspoilt. Living here is a bit like being shipwrecked apart from the fact you are living in luxury and are only a short boat ride away from restaurants, shops, and bars – it is simply idyllic. It has two residential areas: Indigo Plantation Estate and Privateer’s Bay Estate.
Indigo Plantation is a secluded residential estate which offers complete privacy and designated dock space within the estate’s protected marina. Privateer’s Bay Estate is an established estate of 28 properties and includes a boat dock and a community area with a tennis court, beach, deck area, and boat yard workshop.
The island is completely yours to explore. Residents use golf carts to move around, visiting one another for cocktails or to access two private beaches. Lee Bay is on the western side and has beautiful waters for swimming and snorkelling. Cam Bay is a National Park lending itself to lazy days with picnics and a good book. Although there are no commercial facilities on Great Camanoe, the island is close to mainland services including restaurants and a wide variety of amenities on Tortola and Beef Island. The Beef Island International Airport is only a few minutes away. Nearby are also Marina Cay, The Last Resort, and the new development of Scrub Island with its marina, restaurants, and shops.
Anegada is the most remote and the northerly of the British Virgin Islands, located approximately 13 miles north of Virgin Gorda. The island has an area of approximately 14 square miles and is a flat coral atoll with the highest point rising only 28 ft above sea level.
The island is famed for Horseshoe Reef, which extends offshore to the east and which is the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean. This unique landscape gave Anegada its name which means ‘drowned land.’ Spectacular white sand beaches, clear waters, and the snorkelling are second to none. Island life is about fishing, diving, and enjoying the tranquility – and the famous lobster. There are a limited number of properties for sale but new opportunities do arise from time to time.
Other BVI Hideaways:
The BVI archipelago has an abundance of remote cays and uninhabited and private islands, but there are a few other remote locations that offer residential opportunities. Scrub Island—just off the eastern tip of Tortola and overlooked by Great Camanoe—is a resort island with a select number of homes and condominiums for sale.
Cooper Island, located approximately five miles to the south east of Tortola and accessible by boat has a boutique beach club situated at Manchioneel Bay on the North West coast of the island. Apart from the club, there are four private residences overlooking Manchioneel Bay.
…so the choice belongs to you. One thing is sure – where ever you base yourself in the BVI, it will be beautiful. You will be surrounded by wonderful people and life does not get much better than that.
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