Dominica Property & Dominica Real Estate by Caribbean Land & Property. Search for land, or a home, house, or investment property in Dominica. Buy, sell or invest in real estate, land, or commercial property in Dominica, with Caribbean Land & Property experienced in Dominica Real Estate & Property.
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Dominica Property - A Guide to Buying Property in Dominica
Dominica Property Purchase Procedure
Buying property in the Caribbean is not as well regulated as buying property in the USA or Europe and offers many pitfalls for the unwary. Therefore anyone buying a property in Dominica is well advised to use the services of a recognised and licensed real estate agent, even if they find a property themselves which is for being privately offered for sale by an owner.
The first step to secure a property is for the buyer to provide the real estate agent with a written offer. This offer is then put to the seller and if accepted, the broker should then send the buyer with a letter of acceptance and a Statement of Account, showing the purchase price and all the associated transfer fees.
Once the buyer has agreed to the Statement of Account, an agreement will be prepared by the lawyer and a valuation made of the property by a surveyor, as the transfer fees are payable on the sale value, or the surveyors valuation of the property, whichever is the higher.
It is also a good idea to have the boundaries checked and marked by a licensed surveyor, as typically most properties in Dominica are unfenced and it is not always possible to locate the boundary markers. A surveyor will also need to be employed by the buyer to prepare a new survey sheet when applying for a change of the title and usually the same surveyor will provide both the valuation and survey.
To secure a property, buyers typically are asked to pay a deposit of 10% of the total purchase price. This payment is usually made upon signing the purchase agreement, which will also state when the balance of the fees need to be paid. The deposit should be made to the real estate agent, or a lawyer, and held in trust on behalf of the buyer. This allows the deposit to be refunded to the buyer, if the lawyer finds any problem with the title of the property, that would prevent the sale from proceeding. To complete the sale, the balance of the fees need to be paid within the time stipulated in the agreement. At this point the buyer becomes the owner of the property and a Memorandum of Transfer is drawn up by the lawyer and an application made for the title to be registered to the new owner.
Dominica Property Transfer Fees
Transfer fees for foreign nationals are payable by the purchaser and total 20.5% made up as follows :-
10% alien landholders fee
4% stamp duty
2.5% judicial fees
1% assurance fund
3% legal fees
The buyer will also need to pay a licensed surveyor to prepare a valuation and issue a new survey for the property in the name of the new owner. Allow US$1,000 for the survey and valuation of properties up to US$100,000 in value.
The vendor has to pay 2.5% stamp duty on the market value of the land being sold.
Dominica Alien Land Holders License
Under a revision of the law in April 2008, all foreign buyers are required to pay an Alien Landholding fee of 10% of the property value to the Dominica government. Foreigner's buying more than 1 acre of land for personal use, or more than 3 acres of land for business purposes, are also required to apply to the government for an Alien's Land Holding License, which can take several months to process.
The Dominica Alien Landholding License is a license issued for the purchase of a specific piece of real estate by a specific owner and is non-transferable. The license can only be applied for, once a deposit has been placed on a property. The application for this license must contain :-
a. particulars of the ownership, location and current value of the real estate to be acquired
b. the purpose for which the property is to be utilised
c. a plan prepared by a licensed surveyor, delineating the land
d. a receipt for payment of the license application fee
e. any other information required by the Minister
If the land is to be used for any building estate or development project, with the exception of any agricultural development, the application needs to contain an approval for the development from the Planning Division.
Dominica Building Costs
Building costs in Dominica are lower than most other Caribbean countries. The actual cost of construction will of course vary depending on the type of building constructed, location, condition of the building site and the quality of the finishes used. However taking an average property, the average cost per square foot for construction (2008) is as follows:
Concrete buildings with 2 or more storeys :- US$110.00 psf
Concrete building on a single level :- US$100.00 psf
Wooden buildings with 2 or more storeys :- US$65.00 to US$85.00 psf depending on the type of wood
Wooden buildings on a single level :- US$50.00 to US$75.00 psf depending on the type of wood
A small swimming pool constructed in concrete will cost between USD$13,500 - USD$16,000 depending on type of finish
Add US$10 psf to the above figures for a Project Manager, if you will not be available throughout the construction period to check daily on the progress and quality of the works.
Click her to learn more about: Economic Citizenship in Dominica
Email or call us, if you have any questions about construction in Dominica, as we have expert knowlege on architectural and construction matters.
Dominica Property Investment Opportunities
There are a number of different reasons for the purchase of land:
Investing in the protection of the global environment by purchasing prime rainforest for the future
New business opportunities for overseas investors through the development of tourism projects, which can be supported by the Government of Dominica
An opportunity to have a second offshore home in the most beautiful island in the Eastern Caribbean a World Heritage Site, where building costs are one third of those in other EC countries.
A retirement home
Green Globe 21 Certification - this is in the process. As Dominica becomes the Caribbean's environmental leader, property and land will become an extremely valuable investment
Some of the land that is becoming available for expatriate investors is farming land, some of it is rainforest from the lower slopes of the mountains and coastal hillsides, and some is village plots sold by senior member of families who need to maintain their livelihoods in Dominica.
The controlled sale of this Dominica real estate, will bring foreign exchange, new jobs, expand tourism and encourage immigration from those willing to invest in a personal as well as a financial future.
Building and zoning regulations are limited and are not currently enforced. This can result in bad and dangerous building practices, and relies on each individual owner to design and build responsibly.
There are regulations in place to control the purchase of land by aliens. A Land Holders Licence must be granted to each expatriate wishing to make an investment in Dominica. There are taxes to be paid by the purchaser and these vary according to the type of investment made, whether for private or commercial use and the number of acres purchased. Government issues good title documentation for land, but this is best verified by a local representative to ensure proper legal transfer for purchased land.
There are a few architects, engineers and developers available in Dominica, as well as in other parts of the Eastern Caribbean. There are almost no project managers on the island, and on larger private or commercial projects built anywhere in the Caribbean in a hurricane and earthquake zone, a project manager becomes a necessity.
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Dominica Real Estate Agents
Caribbean Land and Property have offices in Dominica and are registered real estate agents for Dominica. We also work closely with several other real estate agents to offer the widest possible choice of property. Contact us by Clicking Here or phone us in Dominica on + 1 (767) 449 0599
Please note that the information on this page is subject to constant change and revision and may not be fully up to date. Users are advised to verify any information that could effect their decision on buying a property, visiting this country or any other matter of importance.
Copyright 2008 - 2010 Caribbean Land and Property Limited
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