A Dream Home in Paradise: Real Estate in Turks and Caicos
A Dream Home in Paradise: Real Estate in Turks and Caicos
Moving to the Caribbean may sound like a pipe dream, but there are some islands with options that are accessible to many. Have you ever considered moving to Turks and Caicos?
This stunning set of islands has wonderful opportunities for those looking to have a home in the Caribbean. With a broad array of Turks and Caicos real estate opportunities, exquisite beaches, and a full slate of the sorts of activities you’d expect to find in the Caribbean but at another level than most, you’re sure to become very comfortable with calling this place your home.
Where are the Turks and Caicos Islands?
If you look at the southeast end of the Bahamian island chain, you will find another group of islands: Turks and Caicos. A British overseas territory, this often overlooked archipelago is made up of 40 small islands (only 8 are inhabited) and cays.
From mostly uninhabited West Caicos island to the busier Providenciales, Middle and North Caicos islands to unspoiled South Caicos, Turks and Caicos cover a little over 230 square miles. The nation is part of the Caribbean region but, technically, the chain of islands is in the Atlantic Ocean east of Cuba and north of the Dominican Republic.
The entire population of Turks and Caicos is around 35,000 people, most of whom can be found in Providenciales with a population of about 25,000 people. The rest of the population is quite spread out giving almost any place the old-time Caribbean small-town feel that many other destination islands have lost.
What Makes the Turks and Caicos Islands a Great Place to Live?
Turks and Caicos real estate is popular because of the pristine condition and undeveloped nature of many of the islands and also because of the great things that people are able to do and enjoy while they’re there. There are tons of little things that make the Turks and Caicos Islands a great place to live.
For those with assets to protect, Turks and Caicos is one of the best places for you to consider moving to. It’s a tax haven; there are literally no taxes – no income tax, property tax, capital gains tax, corporation tax, or inheritance tax.
The only mandatory payments that you’re going to need to deal with are related to the National Insurance (Social Security, Pensions, etc.) and the National Health Insurance Plan. You pay your part, you’re covered by insurance, and you’re ready to go. The rates are fair and it makes it simple for you to get needed care.
Another reason that people gravitate toward the Turks and Caicos Islands (“TCI”) is because of the low crime rate. The nation has one of the lowest crime rates in all of the Caribbean, and most crimes are due to opportunity and not planning. So, as long as you pay the typical amount of attention to your possessions and money, you’re much less likely to be a victim of crime here.
Like many Caribbean islands, the TCI have a calm, slow-paced lifestyle. Older adults and/or people who may be trying to slow down their lives are going to enjoy the atmosphere and everything about what Turks and Caicos have to offer. You may have a hard time finding a high-rise penthouse condo, but you will appreciate that time moves slower – it’s great for health and wellness.
What is There to Do in Turks and Caicos?
Before you move to Turks and Caicos, you want to know what you can enjoy while you’re living there. Obviously, you aren’t just going to spend all day and all night forever in a Turks and Caicos condo or villa, right? Instead, you’re going to want to get out there and enjoy everything that these tropical paradises have to offer.
If beach life is for you, then you’re in luck. Any number of beaches on any of the islands are considered exceptional places to visit and live. The most well-known and popular beach is Grace Bay Beach, which is found on the island of Providenciales (also referred to as Provo), which beach lovers call the very best in the world.
Due to how many beaches are located throughout these small islands, there are limitless opportunities to enjoy water sports of all types, from busy Turtle Cove on Providenciales to exploring the less frequented waters off of South Caicos.
Some of the most popular sports you’ll see residents and visitors enjoying include windsurfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, kiteboarding, sailing/boating, and parasailing, among others. If you’re into fishing, there are also beautiful oceanfront spots for fishing, including Long Bay/Long Bay Beach, Parrot Cay, and areas throughout Grand Turk, Middle Caicos, and South Caicos.
On top of that, you’re right next to the third biggest coral reef system in the entire world. So, if you’re someone who is really into snorkeling or scuba diving, then you are sure to have a wonderful time and see some pretty cool sights.
Just because there are lots of beaches doesn’t mean that you can’t keep your feet on dry land to have fun, either. If you’re in love with nature, then you’ve also got some opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors without the need for a towel. Many of them aren’t far from Grace Bay Beach and other beaches, either.
For example, there are plenty of trails throughout every inhabited island for cycling, horseback riding, and hiking. Those same trails have plenty of seating for observing the beautiful birds and other wildlife that live throughout the area. There is also one 18-hole golf course on the islands.
The tourism industry is big in the TCI, as you may expect. Because of that, their tourism site is quite robust and filled with information regarding what there is to do for both visitors and residents.
What Does Transportation Look Like Throughout Turks and Caicos?
Island travel is always interesting, whether you’re getting around on the islands or traveling back to your home country. As you would expect, many of the inhabited islands have ferry services so that you can easily get from one to another. On smaller islands like Salt Cay, your feet will do just fine.
Most of the inhabited islands also have some sort of road system, but certain roads are better than others. Since Turks and Caicos is a British Overseas Territory, you will be driving your vehicle on the left side of the road. The most complex road system in the islands is in Providenciales and includes the well-known Leeward Highway.
Public transportation is limited. Several of the larger, inhabited islands have taxi systems that can help you to get from place to place (including the Leeward Highway and other major roadways). These may be cars or minivans and should be clearly labeled for use in this manner.
The Providenciales International Airport is the main transport hub with numerous, regular flights scheduled to the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Several small airports dot the other islands for domestic travel.
Finding a Home in Turks and Caicos
The first step in moving is exploring Turks and Caicos real estate. There are so many options available on the island, and buying a home can actually be a path toward helping you to get permanent residency, which we’ll discuss more of later in this article.
There are multiple categories of different Turks and Caicos property types that you can choose from including residential real estate, commercial real estate, industrial real estate, and land.
Now, of course, there are subcategories within those broad categories.
Land, for example, can be vacant and undeveloped, early developed (farms, ranches, etc.), or be vacant but prepared with the infrastructure needed for building (utilities, septic, etc.).
Obviously beachfront land and beachfront condos or villas (basically, anything with an ocean view) are going to be in a different price category than inland options.
Whatever type of real estate listings in Turks and Caicos is of interest, you’re going to want to explore all of the available options. The internet has made this process much simpler by giving anyone the ability to gain a true picture of a specific real estate opportunity with virtual tours of luxury homes, gated communities, general luxury real estate options, beachfront property designated for development, or affordable single-family homes that could make for profitable vacation rentals.
Sometimes, if you’re persistent about it, you might be able to find homes and land for sale that has been foreclosed on or has been abandoned for whatever reason. The costs of these options will be lower, of course, which can be particularly helpful for developing vacant land and getting it ready for use.
There are even private islands for sale!
No matter what type of home or property you want to purchase, be sure that you confirm what type of residential status is either required or will be granted to you upon your investment. It’ll make it a lot easier to go through the residency process later on.
Snowbird or Full Time Resident?
From scenic Sapodilla Bay on popular Providenciales near Chalk Sound to exclusive, privately owned Pine Cay to the remarkable unspoiled vistas found on South Caicos, there is a lot of choices involved with Turks and Caicos real estate.
Whether you buy one of the beachfront villas Turks and Caicos has to offer or you prefer a condo or home further inland, you do have to decide whether or not you want to live in Turks and Caicos year-round, for the winter season, or just want to visit one or two weeks of the year.
If in the market for vacation real estate that you’ll make short visits to, you’ll probably want to explore investment properties with good prospects for rentals.
For those looking to spend months or all year on the islands, figuring out if living the life you want to lead can be accomplished. Will you have to travel a whole lot to make a business or lifestyle work? Will you be happy and comfortable living life out of an island home?
If you decide to snowbird for the winter months, you want to be sure that you don’t go all out your first year in Turks and Caicos. Spending the first year as a trial run is frankly very good advice. You’ll need to figure out if the idea is going to work out and if the Turks and Caicos Islands are right for you.
If you’re going to have a home that’s sitting idle for part of the year, your best way to stay on top of things is to make sure that you go electronic with all of your bills. That way, you can take care of them online and you don’t need to pay exorbitant fees to get a paper check to the right place. Finding a good property maintenance firm or purchasing a villa in an organized community that takes care of that aspect of homeownership will be necessary as well.
Finally, if you’re able to make your snow birding home feel like a second home, then do it! You deserve to feel like you’re in your own home rather than someone else’s. It’ll make the experience a lot better and you’ll have a lot more fun with it.
Climate and Weather Concerns
One of the main reasons that individuals decide to invest in Turks and Caicos homes is because they want to retire there. The climate and weather of the region are some of the best.
The weather is consistently pleasant, without any real difference between the four seasons like you’d find in the United States, the UK, and Canada. Temperatures range from 24 degrees Celsius (75 degrees Fahrenheit) to 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit). On average, it’s around 27 degrees Celsius (78ish degrees Fahrenheit).
Starting in May and going through October, you’re going to experience the hottest months of the entire year. November through April, on the other hand, are somewhat cooler. While there is only a difference of around 10 degrees Fahrenheit between the two seasons, the humidity makes a big difference, and most people don’t do a lot of physical activity during the “summer” months.
Rain is uncommon, except during hurricane season. Drizzles are even unlikely during your time there. Many residents claim that there are 350 days of sunshine, and that’s not an exaggeration!
Planning Your Move to Turks and Caicos
Before you can even buy Turks and Caicos real estate, you’ll need to get some legal paperwork in order. Residency is the most important part of this process.
There are 3 different ways in which you can become a resident of the TCI.
Apply for a Work Permit
An employer is permitted to hire a non-resident of Turks and Caicos if they are performing a real job and if the employer has tried their best to hire a current resident of the TCI.
At that point, they are able to seek elsewhere and apply for a hired non-resident to get a work permit, as per laws set by the Turks and Caicos government. Families and spouses can be covered by these permits, as well.
Obtain a Temporary Residency Permit
You need to be able to invest in a business or home in Turks and Caicos in order to get this permit. If you’re investing in Providenciales or West Caicos, the required dollar amount is $500,000. If it’s any other island, it’s $250,000. Temporary residence permits need to be renewed annually at $1,500 per renewal.
Achieve Permanent Residency
If you’ve lived in Turks and Caicos for 10 years under one of the other permits, you can spend $10,000 and apply for permanent residency. If you’re investing (as you would for temporary residency), you need to invest $1 million on Providenciales, or $300,000 on any other island.
No matter what avenue you take, you need to show that you’re in good health, that you have a clean police record, and that you are going to be able to support yourself financially when living on the TCI. A local attorney can help you to sort that out.
Also, be sure that you understand the laws around moving to the TCI. When you’re moving there permanently, you can take as much as you need, one time, without stamp duties. After that, you’ll need to take care of things like stamp duties and other duties if you’re bringing more than $400 worth of items onto the island.
Finding the Best Real Estate in Turks and Caicos
There are so many opportunities for real estate that anyone who would like to live in this part of the world has a myriad of choices to explore. Explore the real estate opportunities in Turks and Caicos – you won’t be disappointed!
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