Purchasing on Bonaire?

Bonaire is a beautiful destination, and a great place to purchase a second home. Purchasing real estate on Bonaire is a good investment decision based on a variety of reasons including our geographic location, which gives owners pretty consistent weather, yet virtually no risk of hurricanes. Bonaire’s political status as a “township” of Holland means you are investing in a location with a strong legal system and political stability. Current real estate values are at the most affordable levels in 8 or ten years, so now is good time to make your purchase decision. The local economy is growing, and that growth looks to continue as tourism improves worldwide over the next few years.

Thinking about taking the plunge and really living the dream? Knowing a few basic ground rules can make the process of purchasing a home in a foreign land a little less daunting. The following information will be helpful in the buying process. Most importantly, there is no restriction on the sale of real estate to non-residents/foreigners. The legal protections for you as an owner are very strong and similar to property rights in North America and most of the countries in Europe.

If you found a home and decide to make a purchase the first step is to make an offer to buy. Once you made the offer on a home or real estate, you will negotiate the price and terms with the seller until you both come to an agreement. After this, a sale/purchase agreement with the owner of the property will be made and will be signed by both parties. The agreement contains the basic terms and conditions applicable for the sale/purchase of the property and the seller is committed to sell the property to you, and you are committed to buying after you both sign this agreement.
A security deposit of 15% of the agreed purchase price will be required in most cases, and is usually non refundable. You will pay the security deposit amount into the escrow account of the official island notary, called the Notaris. It is the Notaris that holds the funds from the buyer and processes all of the paperwork, to make sure that the deed transfer is completed correctly. This means the Notaris will check for any existing liens or debts on the property. At the time of the deed transfer, the Notaris must satisfy or clear all existing liens before the property is transferred to the new owner. They also handle attaching the new mortgage to the property in the event the buyer gets financing from a bank or other lender. The Notaris serves the same function as a title insurance and closing company does if you were purchasing property in the US or Canada.The Notaris requires various documentation from you, including a copy of your passport or other legal ID as proof of identity, in order to process the sale/purchase agreement. The paperwork process may take 6 – 8 weeks, and the charges vary.

You will be contacted by your real estate agent or the notary office for the appointment to sign the Deed of Sale/ Purchase at the notary office. If you can’t be present, you can arrange this through a certified power of attorney.

Final payment is expected prior to that appointment date. Buyers should allow a minimum of 5 working days for an international money transfer to go through. The financing needs to be in place by the time the official Deed of Sale/Purchase and Transfer of Property are signed at the Notary’s office.

If you have more questions about the process of buying real estate on Bonaire, feel free to contact us!

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