Q: Do I need to be a resident or do I need to obtain a special permit to purchase property in St. Maarten?
A: Anyone can purchase property on any side of the island. There are no special laws or restrictions that apply to foreigners who own property on St. Maarten / St. Martin.
Q: What kind of Deed will I get?
A: There are three types of Deeds in St. Maarten:
- Fee Simple
- Government Long Lease
- Private Long Lease
All deeds are transferred at an appointed notary, and registered at the Kadaster Office (Island registry)
Q: What is the closing procedure, and how much is closing cost?
A: Title is transferred through the office of an appointed Notary. All notaries on island are of legal backgrounds and they serve as a neutral party for the buyer and seller. The Notary is responsible for making sure title is transferred free and clear. Total closing cost is approximately 5% on Dutch side and ranges from 9 to 11% on the French Side (this includes all transfer fees, Notary cost and title search).
Q: Do I have to be physically present on the island to buy or sell property?
A: No, you can assign power of attorney to someone to sign on your behalf; this applies to both buyer and seller.
Q: Do I have to buy the property in my name?
A: On the Dutch side it is possible to purchase in the name of a local corporation, or an offshore corporation.
Q: How long does it take for ownership to be transferred to my name?
A: Most transactions require between 4 to 6 weeks for ownership to be transferred. On the Dutch side it is possible to close within 1 or 2 weeks if no financing is required.
Q: What about taxes?
A: On the Dutch side you are only subject to the one tine closing costs. THERE ARE NO ANNUAL PROPERTY TAXES AND NO CAPITAL GAIN TAXES!! However if you are using your property for rental purposes you are subject to turn over tax and profit tax (it’s advisable to consult with an accountant for more details on this matter). On the French side there are annual taxes as well as capital gain taxes.
Q: Is financing available?
A: Yes, most banks on island will offer financing to locals and foreigners. Typically they will finance between 50 to 65% of the transaction.
Q: Can I get Hurricane Insurance?
A: Yes, you can get full coverage. A typical policy that covers you in most ever circumstance will cost you between 1 – 2% of reconstruction cost.
Q: Can I rent my property when I am not using it?
A: There is a great market for vacation rentals on both sides of the island. Rentals may range from about $1000 a week to well over $50,000 per week. The peak season for rentals is between December 15th to April 15th.