Buying Real Estate in St Martin/St Maarten
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 sides of the island. What’s more, you are protected by Dutch and French law.
Q: What about title searches, closing, etc.?
A: All European Notaries are of legal backgrounds, they must first be lawyers. They are representing Federal laws when passing a property from Seller to Buyer. The Buyer is made aware of the type of deed. The Notary also insures free and clear title; if a mortgage is involved, the Notary will register the mortgage instrumental as well as the Deed with the kadaster (Land Registry Office.) Title insurance is not necessary. Closing costs on Dutch St. Maarten are about 5%. On French St. Martin, they vary from 9% - 11%.
Q: What type of Deed does a Buyer receive?
A: There are three (3) types of ownership:
1) Fee Simple
2) Government Long Lease
3) Private Long Lease
All ownerships are a Deed registration and are transferred by the appointed Notaries. Again, title insurance is not necessary.
Q: What kind of tax would I expect to pay as a property owner in St. Maarten / St. Martin?
A: Transfer taxes are included in the closing costs. As far as real estate taxes on Dutch St. Maarten, there are no annual property taxes unlike most other countries. The French side does assess an annual property tax. However, if you own a property that you use as a “rental property”, you would be responsible for an income or profit tax. The good news is that you can deduct expenses, such as maintenance, insurance, improvements, etc., and in most cases deductible expenses will offset income.
Q: What capital gains taxes do you pay when you sell your St Maarten property?
A: There are no Capital Gains Taxes on Dutch St. Maarten.
Q: What about ownership other than in your own name?
A: A property can be held in a corporation or offshore company’s name. We will be able to give you more detailed information.
Q: Our intentions are to be here only part time or perhaps longer after retirement. What are our alternatives?
A: An investor can realize added income from using the property as a “vacation villa rental” when not in residence. During “high season” (December – April), short-term villa rentals are priced from $1,200.00 USD to $10,000.00 USD per week – even more for larger beachfront or luxury villas; approximately 25% less during the remainder of the year.
If you decide to rent your home, we are property managers and can arrange all of the details for you and your vacation renters. We will meet guests at the airport with keys to their rental cars and escort them to their vacation home, which awaits them with fresh cut flowers and refreshments! Our host will acquaint the guests with the villa, maid, and the services that we provide, everything from private gourmet chefs to whatever their hearts desires!
Q: Tell me more about property management.
A: We, as property managers, become your owner representatives. We look after the payments of bills and all matters pertaining to the maintenance of your property. Because of our years of experience, we have a vast network of service agencies at our disposal to ensure that your investment is adequately protected. We tailor our management program according to your specific needs.
Q: What about buying furnishings, decorating items, renovating materials, etc.? Can we find it on the island or will we need to ship everything to the island?
A: You will be pleased to know that you can find almost everything you will need here on the island. We have numerous agency services and suppliers at our disposal and we will be happy to make them available to you.
Q: What about building and remodeling?
A: Our Associate Architect can not only design your new home or your remodeling plans, but advise and supervise from beginning to end your construction needs.
Q: Do I need a residency permit to live on St Maarten?
A: In order to live in St. Maarten permanently one has to be a resident and therefore there are standard immigration procedures.
A none-working residence permit can be requested for persons seeking no employment by simply proving of a sufficient income from abroad to assure an independent living standard.
For persons wanting to open a business and therefore seeking a working residence. Please contact legal representation.
Visiting vacation - there is a 90 day maximum permission to visit. For more details to the above, please contact the immigration department or seek legal advice.