We continue our How to Move series with a look at the luxurious Turks and Caicos islands, most famous for the tony island of Providenciales and exclusive private islands like Parrot Cay. So what’s it like to move there? And how do you go about doing it? To learn more, CJ talked to Katherine Baryluk, broker/owner of Regency, the Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Why should I move to the Turks and Caicos?
Providenciales was named “Top Ten Islands of 2015” (as voted by travelers) by TripAdvisor, and also received the company’s accolade for “Second Best Beach in the World” in both 2014 and 2015. A British Territory, the Turks and Caicos Islands compose a tax-free, offshore jurisdiction that is virtually crime free. The economy trades in USD currency and the average temperature ranges from 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit year round. Additionally, world-class hotels, spas, and restaurants delight, as do the famous stretches of sparsely populated beaches (due to low population density) and vibrant coral reefs.
Can I live there? What are the residency laws, etc.?
With a $1,500,000 investment in real estate, one receives permanent residency status in the TCI on Providenciales. Visitors are granted entry for up to 90 days, and this can be renewed one time. The TCI archipelago consists of 40 plus islands and cays, however only eight are inhabited.
How much does the average home cost?
In the condo-resort market, the average cost is $1,500,000.
What are the advantages of living permanently versus part-time?
The Turks and Caicos Islands offer a truly amazing lifestyle for both permanent and part-time dwellers. The surrounding barrier reef—the third largest in the world, spanning nearly 400 miles— offers clear, Cyan blue and shallow waters outlined by soft peach sand. The TCI also offer a variety of culinary experiences with a bevy of restaurants and shopping venues. A prosperous country, the TCI care for the local population and indigenous peoples. The local population mixes harmoniously with a large expatriate community including those from the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, France, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Scandanavia, giving the islands an international influence and unique culture. For a Caribbean island nation, the TCI are at the beginning of a development life cycle, offering permanent residents a chance to invest at this early, more profitable stage of buying real estate.
How much does a beachfront condo cost?
I have quoted based on a five-star condo-resort: five-star resorts located along the world-famous Grace Bay Beach may cost approximately $1,300,000 to $1,500,000 for a two-bedroom unit; $3,000,000 for a three-bedroom unit; and up to $7,000,000 for a penthouse suite.
How much does it cost to build a home?
Building a home costs approximately $200 per square foot and up, depending on amenities and quality of finishes. A new luxury property can cost between $200 and $500 per square foot. The cost per square foot is dramatically increased on private islands, largely due to building logistics. Building codes reflect those of the State of Florida, with regards to hurricane-grade construction, poured concrete and steel made to withstand Category 4 hurricanes.
What are the real estate taxes like?
After payment of a one-time stamp duty charge payable to the Turks and Caicos Government on the purchase of property, no further tax burdens relating to the property exist. Stamp duty ranges from 6.5-percent to 10-percent, and this is a one-time land transfer tax, based on price and location of the property. No capital gains, estate or inheritance, corporate, or other tax burdens hinder the buyer from the point of sale forward.
What are income taxes like?
No income tax exists in the Turks and Caicos.
What’s health care like?
The TCI’s modern hospital system comprises two, state-of-the-art medical centers managed by InterHealth Canada: Cheshire Hall Medical Centre on Providenciales and Cockburn Town Medical Centre on Grand Turk. Health services provided at the centers include emergency care, dental, dialysis, internal medicine, surgical, orthopedic, obstetric and endoscopic procedures, physiotherapy, and diagnostic imaging. Numerous private general practitioners provide health care services in Providenciales, and all of the other islands operate community clinics. The TCI have a national health insurance program available for all citizens, as well as high quality emergency medical evacuation services, on call 24-hours per day, with services to Miami. The government also plans to soon introduce tele-medicine to improve inter-island healthcare.
What’s it like for kids?
The TCI offer a wide variety of family and child-friendly activities, including great restaurants that cater to children of all ages. Also, unlike many island destinations, the ocean water is very shallow and calm—due to the protective reefs—which makes for very safe and secure swimming experiences for children, and resorts typically host designated swimming facilities for children and families. Reputable and affordable child-care services are also prevalent. A sampling of family-friendly activities enjoyed include miles of pristine beaches, water parks, clear bottom boat excursions, parasailing, jet skiing, water skiing, sailing, kite boarding, wind surfing, snorkeling, diving, hiking, and exploring scenic caves.
Can I bring my car? What’s the duty?
Yes, you can bring your car. Duty is between 33-percent and 45 percent of the value of the car, depending on engine size.
For more info, contact Katherine at email@example.com.