Purchasing a second home away from the mainlandis an exciting adventure—one with many thought-provoking decisions to make before signing on the dotted line.
First, consider the type of climate you’re seeking and how far you’re willing to commute to a vacation home. Then visit geographic locations, and spend as much time as possible at each one. Is exotic Hawaii an option? How about a beachfront abode in the Bahamas? Perhaps you’d like to venture to real estate hot spots such as Malta, the Philippines, or Portugal.
“Algarve is the most touristy placein Portugal. There’s warm weather all year long, amazing beaches, and tons of things to explore. It’s also known as the best golf destination in the world,” says Miguel Poisson, managing director of Portugal Sotheby’s International Realty in Algarve. He also cites Lisbon and Cascais as popular with second-home buyers.
Aside from considering proximity to your main home, climate, lifestyle, language, and security, when evaluating locations look at countries that offer investment-based citizenship and residency programs. For example, Portugal and Malta are attractive to second-home buyers since, depending on the amount invested in a property, they offer Golden Visas. “A Golden Visa is a residency permit offered to people who invest in a country,” explains Kathleen Peddicord, author and publisher of the website Live and Invest Overseas.
Based on certain qualifications and investment requirements, the Philippines allows foreign property buyers to reside there indefinitely, under a Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV).
Once you’ve chosen your dream location, retain experienced professionals. “Work with well-known and established real estate companies,” Poisson cautions. “There are a lot of different people and companies in the real estate business and some of them don’t have the capability of delivering a good customer experience.”
And with varying foreign-ownership laws, special permits, plus title and transactions costs, make sure you work with a savvy real estate attorney from the get-go, Peddicord says.
Lastly, she says, once you’ve made your purchase it’s imperative that you retain a caretaker to look out for your property when you’re not there. After all, you want your home away from home to be safe and sound, all year round.
Harbour Island, Eleuthera - The Bahamas
Located on Harbour Island’s famous Pink Sand Beach, this five-bedroom, seven-bathroom estate is an idyllic tropical retreat situated in one of the Bahamas’ most coveted locations. As one of only five homes located in a private enclave on the grounds of theexclusive Dunmore Beach Club, this Dunmore Estate recalls the traditional colonial architecture of a bygone era and offers more than 6,000 square feet of living space. The estate features three structures: The Main House, the Pool Cottage and the Beach Villa. Owners have use of all the resort amenities, concierge, and estate management services, and they can also choose to participate in the resort’s rental program.