Buying Real Estate in St. Maarten/St. Martin
Buyer's most frequently asked questions...
Q: Can a foreigner own real estate in St. Maarten/St. Martin?
A: Yes. Anyone can own on both/either sides of the island. In addition, property owners/renters are protected by Dutch and French law.
Q: How are title searches, closings, and other details arranged?
A: All details of buying property are handled by European Notaries that have achieved legal credentials; in other words, they must become lawyers first because they have to adhere to specific Federal laws when transferring a property from a seller to a buyer.
The notary also:
Decides the type of deed for a buyer’s property and informs the buyer.
Insures the title is free and clear for new ownership for the buyer.
Registers both the mortgage instrumental and the Deed, if there’s a mortgage involved, with the Kadaster (at the Land Registry Office).
Title insurance isn’t required like in other countries. Closing costs are about 6% on the Dutch St. Maarten side of the island and 9-11% on the French St. Martin side.
For personal assistance with buying or selling, or for property management assistance, call Artsen Realty at 721-580-5059 or email.
Q: Do buyers receive a deed for ownership of their property?
A: Yes, on St. Maarten/St. Martin Island, there exist three different types of property ownership:
Fee simple ownership
Private long-lease ownership
Government long-lease ownership
Deed registration is required by owners and the property must be transferred by an appointed notary. Title insurance is not necessary.
Q: As a property owner on St. Maarten/St. Martin Island, what taxes will I have to pay?
A: Transfer taxes are included in the closing costs and must be paid. Unlike other countries, on the Dutch side (St. Maarten) there are no annual property taxes. The French side assesses an annual property tax.
If you own a property that you use as rental property, income tax or profit tax must be paid. But, owners can deduct various expenses (e.g., maintenance, insurance, and property improvements that were made, etc.). In most cases, these expenses are deductible so they will offset the owner’s income.
Q: When selling my St. Maarten property, are there any capital gain taxes I’ll have to pay?
A: Capital gain taxes are not required on the Dutch side of St. Maarten Island.
Q: May I own property without using my name?
A: Yes, a property can be owned using the name of your corporation or offshore company’sname. We can give you more detailed information.
Q: We’d like to live on the island only part time, maybe longer after we retire from working. What are our options?
A: Your owned property can become an income-making property if your rent it as a “vacation rental” when you’re not residing there. High season months (which are December-April), allow your property to become a short-term villa rental. Prices for short-term rentals are between $1,200-10,000 per week (large beachfront or luxury villas fetch higher rental rates); Weekly rentals are priced about 25% less per week during the remaining months of the year.
If you’d like to rent out your home while you’re not living in it, our property managers can arrange all of the details for you and your renters. Our services include:
Greeting guests at the airport.
Providing guests with keys to their rental cars all ready to go.
Accompanying guests to their vacation home.
Ensure the home is welcoming to your guests with flowers and some refreshments.
Familiarize your guests with your villa, the maid services, and all the other services we provide (e.g., private gourmet chefs, masseuse services, tour guides, or anything else the guests want).
Q: What is property management?
A: As property managers, we represent property owners in all matters. We make the payments of bills and coordinate everything pertaining to the maintenance of your property. Because of all our years of experience with properties, we provide owners with an extensive network of service-type companies we use to ensure that your investment is sufficiently protected. We design our property management program according to your specific needs.
Q: Can I purchase furnishings and decorating items for my home on the island or do I have to ship them to the island?
A: You can find almost everything you need on the island! We have a network of companies, service providers, and suppliers we typically refer our clients to for everything from decorating to renovating. There is no need to ship items from elsewhere!
Q: What about building and remodeling?
A: We can refer you to builders, architects, and construction companies we’re very familiar doing business with on the island that can:
Design your new home.
Make all remodeling plans.
Advise and supervise all construction from beginning to end.
Q: Do I need a residency permit to live on St Maarten?
A: To live permanently in St. Maarten, you have to be a resident and go through standard immigration procedures.
If you’re not employed, a non-working residence permit can be requested by anyone who can prove sufficient income from other countries to ensure the owner has the means for independent living.
If you want to open a business and prefer a working residency permit, you’ll need to contact legal representation.
For visitors who are vacationing -- there is a 90-day maximum permission to visit the island.
Tax requirements change from time to time, it’s best to consult your tax advisor or notary for up-to-date tax information.
Whether buying or selling St Martin real estate or for property management assistance, give Kennedy Artsen a call at Artsen Realty, 721-580-5059 or email.