What is the difference between buying on French and Dutch St.Martin?
Real Estate Purchases require Buyers to be knowledgeable and understand some of the details involved in order to be successful in finding and purchasing their dream home. As experienced professionals we will assist you and guide you through the process in order to increase your market savvy in finding the perfect piece of paradise.
Dutch St. Maarten Real Estate
With the recent real estate boom, St. Maarten real estate investment opportunities have never been better. There are very few restrictions when investing. If buying a private residence or lot in your own name, you must present your passport or other pictured identification. If buying in a company name, you must present articles of incorporation and a statement showing the company is in good standing. You do not need to become a resident to own property on St. Maarten.
Personal or business accounts can be opened at local banks as off shore accounts not restricted to local foreign exchange taxes. Dollars can be moved freely from one country to another.
There are three basic types of deed transfers for real estate on St. Maarten: Fee Simple, Government Long Lease, and Private Long Lease. All deed types give registered ownership. Properties in protected subdivisions are Fee Simple (same as in U.S.). Properties are always closed using the European system where the Civil Law Notary, appointed by the Queen of Holland, is responsible by law to both parties and is obligated to do a proper title search to insure a clear title transfer. The responsibility of clear title is with the Notary, thus title insurance is not needed. Closings take place on St. Maarten, in English, within the time frame set by the Sales and Purchase Agreement. Closing costs are minimal, there is a one-time government transfer tax of 4%, plus the Notary's fee with the total of both amounting to no more than 6% of the gross sale price. These costs are the Buyer's responsibility.
Long lease and fee simple deeds.
- Approximately 6% transfer fees; includes notary stamp and all fees.
- No land taxes what so ever.
- No capital gains tax.
- Offshore companies and investors welcome.
- Building permits and zoning are routine.
French St. Martin & St. Barthelemy Real Estate
The French St. Martin & St. Barthelemy real estate market is somewhat different than Dutch St. Maarten. Laws on developing land are different and there are some property taxes. However, French St. Martin & St. Barthelemy have some of the finest real estate values in the entire Caribbean. For the discriminating that are interested in beach front or ocean view real estate, the market has many options.
Real estate transactions are always handled by the Notaire (Notary). The Notaire is responsible for preparing the final deed and obtaining all relevant searches about the property. The Notaire must check that each party has full capacity or the right either to sell or purchase property. Like on the Dutch side of St. Maarten, the Notaire is responsible, by law, to both parties and is obligated to do a proper title search to insure a clear title transfer. A personal attorney is not necessary.
- Land lease and fee simple deeds are available.
- Approximately 10% transfer fees; includes Notary and taxes.
- Land tax is applicable. Call or e-mail us for more information.
- 33 1/2% capital gains tax.
- Offshore companies are welcome, but with restrictions.
- Land speculation is limited. Build within six (6) months or additional taxes apply.
- Building permits and zoning require some local knowledge.