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Which Island Would You Choose?  


Having decided that the BVI is place for you to invest in real estate, now the fun really starts.

Which island will be best for you and your family?

Tortola is the hub for all transportation connections, banking facilities and major schools.  Virgin Gorda offers a far more laid-back lifestyle with the charm of a sleepy island.

Have you fallen in love with one of stylish homes on the market or do you want the challenge of building your dream home? Whatever your preference, Coldwell Banker BVI can guide you through the decision making process and provide you with some excellent choices of both land and existing homes.

When choosing the ideal home site for your Caribbean home, you should begin with the two main considerations: do you want a waterfront location and easy access to the beach, or a hillside plot with panoramic views?


If sunsets and island vistas are on your wish list, then Lot 73 at Nail Bay is a strong contender.

Nail Bay is an exclusive residential resort on the north-western coast of Virgin Gorda. Lot 73 covers half an acre and boasts some of the best views in all of Virgin Gorda, looking out over Nail Bay Beach, Mountain Trunk Beach, Long Bay Beach, Mountain Point, the Dog Islands, and west to Tortola and the US Virgin Islands. This home site has already been cleared, a topographical survey completed, and has utilities already brought to the lot edge.


Nail Bay Estate boasts excellent infrastructure with concrete roads, underground electricity with backup generator for the entire estate, desalination plant, water distribution system, and underground phone lines. Nail Bay also features the very popular Sugar Cane Restaurant, a communal swimming pool, and tennis court. Lot 73 is listed for sale at $199,000.

We also have a considerable selection of beachfront real estate such as the lots at Sandcastle Estate on Little Bay, Tortola. Little Bay is a beautiful and very secluded beach on the north-eastern shore of Tortola featuring nine stunning lots, three of which border the idyllic white sandy beach. You cannot get closer to the beach than this. The three beachfront lots at Sandcastle Estate range in price from $650,000-$800,000.

Once the hillside versus beachfront dilemma has been settled, the next decision is what to build. Consider carefully what the main use of your property will be. Are you planning to relocate to the BVI? Or will you use the home as a vacation getaway? Will this be the dream home to be passed down through the successive generations? Or might you view it as an investment to be sold on when necessary? The answers to these questions will greatly determine what you should build.

The dramatic landscapes of both Tortola and Virgin Gorda are the perfect backdrop for flamboyant houses to match the extremes of colour and texture of the tropical landscape. Building a house in this environment can be an excuse to let your creative processes run riot. An excellent example is Whale Rock House on Virgin Gorda. Situated in a 2-acre lot bordering the Baths National Park and with views out to Fallen Jerusalem and beyond, Whale Rock House has three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms spread over 4,500 square feet of interior space and a distinctly adobe-style feel. Looking out over the cacti and boulders, you could be forgiven for thinking you were the only house on the island. Your privacy at the home is complete.

The granite boulders that surround the property fashion an integral part of the design and construction of the house, in many cases forming a wall of a bedroom and providing the shape for the pool. Pillars shaped like tree trunks and curved walls and roof add to the unique character of Whale Rock House. The neutral colours of the interiors combined with the rich woods of the windows and doors, do nothing to detract from the piercing blue of the sky and ocean outside. Deep roofed porches, stone terraces, and large teak decks offer lounging areas for any time of the day whether you wish to soak up the sun or retreat to the breeze-cooled shade. Several prime building sites remain open on the lot should additional accommodations be required. Whale Rock House is listed for sale at $2,950,000.

If a more traditional style of house is more to your taste and the possibility of renting or reselling is in your future, then you should consider a property such as Outer Banks at Brewers Bay.

Outer Banks is a traditional West Indian home that has been discerningly renovated to incorporate modern conveniences and amenities in keeping with the heritage of the property. The residence has been designed with vacation rentals in mind and features a master bedroom and four additional bedrooms of equivalent size and comfort, a valuable asset in a vacation rental villa.

The main house at Outer Banks contains three bedrooms with a further two bedrooms in the adjacent guesthouse. Traditional verandas with comfortable furniture can be enjoyed outside each bedroom, offering views across Brewers Bay and the neighbouring island of Jost Van Dyke. The state-of-the art kitchen and open plan indoor/outdoor living area provide a focal point for pre-dinner cocktails and alfresco barbecues. The terracotta hues of the floor tiles and dark wood furniture, contrast perfectly with the ultramodern bathrooms. For large families or couples alike, the property has something for everyone: a pool surrounded by fragrant tropical gardens, access directly to the ocean below and a magical position on the water in peaceful Brewers Bay.

Every room opens to the sea, blurring the distinction between indoors and out; sunset views are guaranteed. Outer Banks is listed for sale at $3,250,000.

Turtle Bay House at Nail Bay in Virgin Gorda is another example of a home that has been designed to accommodate short-term rentals and potential for resale.

Situated within the grounds of Nail Bay Resort, Turtle Bay House has an enviable hilltop position with direct access to the stunning Mountain Trunk Beach below and all of the excellent Nail Bay facilities.

Once again, neutral colour schemes and subtly luxurious bathrooms ensure that the views of sea and sky are never overpowered by unnecessary embellishment. Four bedrooms and five bathrooms, all within the same building make Turtle Bay House an ideal family home and outstanding vacation rental. A pool and several comfortable outdoor lounging areas complete the wish list for your ideal Caribbean home. Turtle Bay House is listed for sale at $2,750,000.

There is a wealth of both unique and also traditional homes in the BVI ready for purchase and requiring little to no remodelling prior to your taking possession. However, if you enjoy the challenge of the building process and wish to own a BVI home that has your own unique style, think carefully about your game plan for the property. Will you design it exactly to your needs and personal tastes? Or is it possible you may need to resell or rent at a future date?

We encourage you to take your time looking at the other properties in the market before taking your ideas to the architect.

At Coldwell Banker BVI, we have been guiding buyers through this decision making process for over 10 years. We have excellent relationships with architects, project managers, construction companies, and artisanal craftsman.  Call us today and let us start planning your perfect Caribbean home.

Lot 73 Nail Bay


Property ID: CS926

Price: $199,000

Lot: 0.51 acres

Location: Virgin Gorda

Location Type: Ocean View

View: Truly breath-taking ocean island and sunset views

Water: Not Applicable

Sandcastle Estate, Little Bay

Property ID: JO926

Price: $2,300,000

Location: Tortola

Location Type: Beachfront

View: Gorgeous views out to White Bay & Guana Island

Water: Not Applicable

Whale Rock House




Property ID: CS603

Price: $2,950,000

Beds: 3

Baths: 3.5

Approx. ft2: 4500

Lot: 2 acres

Location: Virgin Gorda

Location Type: Waterfront

View: Stunning ocean and island views

Water: Cistern & Town

Outer Banks



Property ID: CS766

Price: $3,250,000

Beds: 5

Baths: 5 1/2

Lot: 0.83 acres

Location: Tortola

Location Type: Waterfront

View: Spectacular beach, ocean and island views

Water: Cistern

Turtle Bay House


Property ID: CS765

Price: $2,750,000

Beds: 4

Baths: 5

Approx. ft2: 3000

Lot: 1.619 acres

Location: Virgin Gorda

Location Type: Beachfront

View: Simply spectacular ocean, island, beach and sunset views

Water: Cistern & Desal.

Photography courtesy of Coldwell Banker BVI

Chris Smith
Chris arrived in the BVI in 1992 to work for Sir Richard Branson on Necker Island. After several great years on Necker, Chris moved to Virgin Gorda and became involved in real estate sales and development, and vacation villa rentals and management as managing broker of Coldwell Banker.
Chris Smith

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