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Buying a Villa in St. Barts

Posted by Guillaume on Jan 9, 2024 5:03:41 PM

In Luxury villas, Villas, Real estate

In the heart of the Caribbean lies St. Bart’s, a rare and timeless diamond glistening with extraordinary elegance. Here, the allure of world-famous beaches meets the sophistication of a culture unlike any other, giving a glimpse into a realm of unparalleled luxury. St. Barts harmonizes exquisite cuisine, stunning architecture, and beachfront villas so completely breathtaking that they seem to be conjured from the wildest of dreams.

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St. Barts Real Estate Market Overview

To own a beautiful villa in such an exclusive and private area is a true luxury. Without hesitation, we can confirm this to be true. Imagine waking to the sweeping ocean breeze of the French West Indies rustling the palms in the early morning hours. The sky–an explosion of radiant orange and red and purple dancing into the distance as you greet the sun from your balcony. As the day unfolds by the pool with plenty of sunbathing, quiet reading, and sensational moments of true bliss, the night brings phenomenal food, laughter, quaint cocktail bars, and fast car rides perpetuated by the whir of the wind under the star-studded night sky. To be a part of the luxurious atmosphere that is St. Bart’s is to live like the very few truly do.

hugo allard © Villa Ocalm-5-2

 

Despite the global economic challenges over the past few years, St. Barts hasn't missed a beat in market growth as the French island continues to demonstrate a beautiful resilience and a steadily growing real estate market. The potential to generate impactful rental income on your future charming villa property can be significantly lucrative as the island is a haven for elite travelers who crave the finer things in life. Because the ideal location of St. Bart’s is known for its desirable weather year round, your investment choice in buying such a perfect property provides tremendous value and growth potential. Think of it as a real luxury win-win.

The French island is currently experiencing a more balanced market dynamic and the sharp price increases over the last year or so are beginning to stabilize making the perfect time to look at properties. After experiencing a high demand with very little supply in prior years, the market has made a shift that is more in favor of the buyer than before. With a variety of prestigious properties for sale on the island–which includes a selection of hillside villas with stunning panoramic views, beachfront properties staring straight at the Atlantic Ocean, and contemporary homes infused with a unique modern touch–there is certainly something for every type of buyer.

 

Factors to Consider Before Buying

While you make your decision on your ideal property, we’ve come up with a few factors to carefully consider before buying in St. Barts to ensure your investment aligns with your goals and preferences. First, carefully determining your budget upfront will put you in the best position to navigate what’s possible and what might be a bit out of reach. Beyond the price of the property, you should consider allocating a budget for a one-time transfer tax, legal fees, insurance, and maintenance.

Villa-CR-OCM-StBarth-3

Next to consider is location. St. Barts offers a diverse set of locations, each with a unique overall experience. The neighborhoods are all incredibly safe and because the island is small yet pulsing with charm and wonder, you really can’t go wrong with this incredible gem. Plus, you’ll never be too far from whatever it is you desire. Whether it's a beachfront villa, a hillside retreat, or something in the heart of bustling Gustavia, you must consider proximity to the beaches, amenities, and the level of privacy you wish to have with your new property.

How you will use the property will also be hugely important. Do you plan to live in the villa full-time? Might you leverage it solely as an investment property? Or will you air on the side of balance and reap the benefits of the best of both worlds?

That brings us to the most pivotal point of finding a trusted real estate agent. When you’re about to invest your money in such a spectacular property you certainly want to be sure your agent is completely devoted to seeing that your needs are met. Real estate experts should be extremely knowledgeable about the aspects of local law, equipped with effective negotiating skills, and most of all, your agent should be able to empathize with your needs as if they were his or her own. Having resources and a network of lawyers, contractors, and inspectors will ensure that your agent is there for you at every step of the buying process. Beyond what one would normally expect from a real estate agent, ours are here to forge a long lasting relationship while providing ongoing support and advice even after the transaction is complete.

Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent

When buying any property, choosing the right real estate agent that fits your unique journey is at the foundation of an exceptional experience. At Corcoran St. Barth, our agents are highly skilled in the entire process and can help empower our clients to find their perfect property.

It’s highly important to make sure your agent’s professional values align with yours, and that they will go above and beyond to meet your needs. No one likes to be just another number, and having a tailored and personalized buying experience can really make all the difference when buying a property.

Navigating the Buying Process

As you navigate the buying process, here are the general steps you’ll want to be aware of as you get closer and closer to securing your dream villa:

  • After meeting and selecting your agent, they will help review listings and set out to visit these villas to determine which are most suitable.
  • Keep in mind, St. Bart’s property market is rather small and exclusive. If the perfect property isn’t available at the moment, the agent will diligently work with to check what’s new on the market and regularly check in with the client. At Corcoran, should the client be abroad, our team will work tirelessly to conduct virtual tours and go through the property with the client missing no details.
  • After we identify the beautiful villa of your choice, then comes the fun part—putting in an offer and negotiating price to create the best possible outcome for our clients.
  • The offer letter will be a page document that, once everything is set, the client signs and the seller(s) countersign. The agent will draft this document that includes the main information of the offer, notably the price and any contingencies.
  • Buyers will sign a preliminary contract prepared by the notaire which sets out the sale terms and conditions. The goal of the pre-agreement is to formalize the agreement between both parties. Once agreed upon and signed, a 10% deposit will be held into the notaire’s escrow account until closing.
  • Your agent will do their thorough due diligence and conduct a detailed status check of all things legal to make sure matters flow smoothly and no hiccups or unexpected surprises arise. This means we will ensure there are no liens on the property or disputes, and we will then arrange for a professional property inspection of the villa to make sure it meets all requirements.
  • Our favorite step and quite probably yours too: Acte de Vente, which just means singing the final deed. Expect anywhere between two and four months from the pre-agreement process to the acte de vente, depending primarily on if there if a financing contingency or not. Exciting!
  • Ownership of the property is then transferred over and executed in the presence of a notary.
  • Next we have our registration (approximately 6.5% of the offered price) and taxes which allows us to register the deed with the local land registry and any relevant taxes and fees will be paid.
  • After the above steps are complete, the utilities will be transferred into your name and you can then consider management services if you wish to rent out the villa for investment purposes.
  • Lastly, we will consult with legal experts to provide you with St. Barts property laws. This will also go over any inheritances and further items to be aware of including tax implications both local and in your home country.

To make matters easier and more fluid for the client, the agent will also take care of translating all the documents with an accredited translator. Also, if the our client happens to be abroad during any part of the process, it is certainly possible to execute a Power of Attorney.

While some of these steps can seem complex and cumbersome, having an expert real estate professional by your side can make all the difference.

 

 If you have any questions or thoughts that you would like to discuss, you can get in touch with one of our experts HERE at any time.

Our Villas Selection in Saint Barthelemy

Here is our selection of villas to buy.

 

Conclusion

Owning a villa in such a beautiful location is truly an experience like no other. As you may know, it’s not just an investment in property, but an investment of a lifestyle that offers unparalleled luxury and tranquility. When you make your decision on buying a villa here, you’re initiated into an elite world that shares common interests with the finest things that life has to offer. Corcoran has a select few prestigious properties that will be sure to captivate your heart and soul. We can assure you that your villa hunting with Corcoran will be seamless, informative, and quite frankly, fun. Visit our available listings on our website to find your villa in paradise.

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