Combining island chic and luxury beachfront living in San Salvador, Bahamas, this ultra-private, 35,000-square-foot property boasts 400 feet of private white-sand beach.
“This home, feels like a private get away,” says listing agent Margaret Glynatsis of Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty.
“From the keyless entree pads, remote-controlled air conditioner and lighting system and the positioning of the home — with slight elevations allowing for most rooms to look out into the horizon — no thought or detailed was overlooked.”
With 3,200 square feet of living space, this home features an open-concept floor plan with 12-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, two beds, two baths and a master bedroom with a floating bathtub, shower, double vanity, walk-in closet, office space and balcony looking out into the turquoise ocean.
“My favorite room of the home is the master bedroom as it includes 1,500 square feet dedicated to pure luxury and comfort,” says Glynatsis. “The really unique and stunning feature here is the stand alone tub in the center of the room with views of the never-ending ocean.” The home, listed for $1.499 million, is complete with a wrap around deck just steps away from the beach. “This beachfront oasis is perfect for someone looking to live off the grid, but still have access to every day modern amenities,” says Glynatsis. “San Salvador itself is a hidden gem that most people have yet to discover — the land is full of undulating hills, beautiful beaches, numerous salt water lakes, and amazing reefs that surround the greater part of the island.”
Every year we select locations to highlight as Markets to Watch. This year change is underway and we take a look at some top performers, others that are beginning to transition, and a handful of under-the-radar locations that are emerging.
On track for another record with sales up more than 3 percent, Austin’s luxury patina shines ever brighter. In October, the medium home value in Barton Creek increased to $1.02 million, making it the city’s first million-dollar neighborhood. Austin’s charms include no income tax to win over newcomers, but music and tech might be tops.
Bozeman might seem like a sleeper on this list, but with ranches, the Yellowstone Club and Big Sky country it’s an under-the-radar hangout for demi-billionaires and billionaires.
Brooklyn, New York
No longer second best! Buyers are making Brooklyn a first choice. Median prices in the most expensive neighborhoods hit the $1 million mark. Israelis, Chinese and Western Europeans also gravitate here. It’s no surprise this New York City borough is No. 2 on Urban Land Institute’s Markets to Watch.
By August, the Chicago area recorded as many luxury sales as in all of 2016 or 2017. Sales of $1 million-and-up properties set a record in the third quarter with a 19-percent increase over 2017. According to RE/MAX, luxury is booming in the west loop area. Upscale suburbs trail the city. Lots of new condos and stunning new buildings open doors to more urban opportunities in a market that hangs in the balance.
Few cities have charted a post-recession course as strong as Dallas and the city remains Urban Land Institute’s No. 1 location for overall real estate prospects in 2019. But the dramatic post-recession price increases are over, say economists. Moderating prices and adjusting inventories are positive indicators that that a move back to a normal market is underway.
Real estate’s Rocky Mountain high isn’t over yet. Denver continues to rank in the top group on many lists. In the upscale bracket, a shift toward balance is underway with the inventory of $1 million-plus homes at about seven months. Year-over-year prices are up on average 9.29 percent. Boulder remains a sweet spot for luxury, ranking 10th among cities and towns with at least 10 neighborhoods considered million-dollar.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Projections call for appreciation as high as 10 percent this year. Nevada was the fastest growing state, with new platinum communities; forward-looking, innovative architecture; and spectacular views capturing the attention of buyers looking for lifestyle and tax relief.
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Coastal South Carolina and Georgia are ground zero for demographic shifts and the growing ability among the affluent to live wherever they want — a trend just taking off. New developments including Palmetto Bluff add to demand for the Hilton Head region.
Moving toward balance. A long-awaited uptick in homes on the market is one of several hints of a market shift. Median prices reached a record high this fall, and homes still sell quickly. Still the inventory of homes for sale is one of the lowest in the country. Upper tier and move-up brackets are less competitive.
D.C. continues to be in the top group on watch lists but Amazon’s recent announcement makes real estate in Northern Virginia much more interesting. What the prospect portends for current homeowners is uncertain, but sure to make this a market to watch in 2019.
Park City, Utah
No longer just a ski hangout, this Salt Lake neighbor is luxury’s newest player. The most desirable neighborhoods see a shortfall of inventory. Land prices increased by 25 percent with the highest number of sales occurring at Promontory. Opportunities abound: new projects at The Canyons, a large expansion of Deer Valley, a $4 billion renovation of the Salt Lake airport and a bid for the 2030 Olympics.
Wikimedia Commons / Don Lavange
Beaches and skiing, does it get any better than that? Hipsters meet old money here. Ranked among the top 20 for entrepreneurs, the city has a growing tech industry and one of the best foodie scenes in the Northeast. Look for more new construction. Prices will continue to ease upward as more people discover this hidden gem.
Santa Barbara, California
Opportunities for buyers in many California locales continue to increase as markets shift. Median prices in Santa Barbara in November were down more than 25 percent, which is good news for buyers. The area remains a prized luxury refuge and lower prices open the door for newcomers to enjoy one of the most unique locations in the U.S.
The city’s iconic waterfront is being reimagined with a vision to increase cultural programming and urban amenities. Median prices have been increasing steadily, up 25 percent since 2014. New construction means more inventory with more on the horizon. Agents report steady and growing interest in individuals from high tax states.
Happier times are ahead for buyers in Seattle with active listings up by 41 percent. Even though inventories are still slim, it’s a good indication the frenzy is over. Closed sales in November were down 28 percent. Homes continue to appreciate but the increase has slowed to 5 percent. For buyers and sellers this is definitely a market to watch. The city still is in top groups in many rankings, but the frenzy is over.
Wikimedia Commons / Jeff Gunn
Canadian Baby Boomers and Millennials came together and turned up the heat on the luxury condos in 2018; single-family home sales decreased by as much as 44 percent. While the foreign buyers tax has reduced sales to overseas buyers, it’s also opening new opportunities for locals. Local buyers will continue to drive demand for condos here.
Luxury’s top performers in 2018. Not only are residences in demand, but new resorts are raising the bar for luxury and reinvigorating current markets. New developments in Turks and Caicos, including the ultra-indulgent Gansevoort Villas, turn up the heat on interest in the Caribbean. Easy reach from the U.S. and private enclaves generate new interest in the Bahamas. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is seeing new resorts and other regions along the Sea of Cortez are seeing new development. Mandarina in Nyarit is the site of One & Only’s first collection of private homes. Owning a private island continues to be an ultimate purchase and the Bahamas is ground zero.
Austin Board of Realtors
Michael Saunders, Founder and CEO Michael Saunders & Company
Anthony Hitt, President and CEO, Engel & Völkers Americas
Aleksandra Scepanovic, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Ideal Properties Group
National Association of Realtors
Northwest Multiple Listing Service, Kirkland, Washington
This story originally appeared in the Winter 2019 issue of Unique Homes Magazine.
Usually, getting to a destination is the most difficult part of a trip; at The Abaco Club, an international sporting club on Winding Bay in the Bahamas, the hard part is leaving.
“Welcome to Paradise” is how David Southworth, founder and CEO of Southworth Development, greets newcomers here. Even before you reach your residence, via a personal golf cart, you already feel the sense of being in paradise building.
The setting is relaxed with low slung buildings and iconic Bahamian architecture surrounded by lush vegetation. In the background, turquoise waters sparkle and flashes of rose red can be spied as Bahamian parrots streak through the trees.
No matter your vision of paradise — golf, tennis, boating, cave diving and snorkeling excursions or just relaxing on two miles of pristine beach — this club has it all. The golf course, consistently rated No. 1 in the Bahamas, is a true Scottish-style links course set hard by the sea with classic links features including pot bunkers and sloping greens. Pros such as PGA champion Darren Clarke often use the extensive practice facility to perfect their short game.
The club setting, which restricts the number of visits from non-members, adds to the overall laid-back ambiance. Real estate offerings include cottages, estate homes and cabanas. Two new condo buildings are planned. Also, in the works is a second members’ clubhouse and dedicated boat slips at Little Harbour.
Divers worldwide come to Abaco to explore the blue holes and potentially the most extensive island underground cave system in the world.
Our visit to the island included a winding trip through a pine forest with the Friends of the Environment to visit Dean’s Blue Hole, the second deepest in the world. Another day, we explored the cays and harbors around the Sea of Abaco, where we swam with turtles and met the swimming pigs of No Name Cay.
Along the Winding Bay beach, the club’s waterfront director has a range of water toys including kayaks, paddleboards and snorkels at the ready, and special events are planned every day.
Whether in the open air at Flippers Beach Bar or taking in the panoramic views from the relaxed elegance of the Cliff House, dining often turns into a convivial experience. It’s no surprise that Flippers’ signature drink is the Island Smile. Fish tacos at Flippers and fresh lobster at the Cliff House are favorites.
The last night of our visit was ribs night, one of the special events at Flippers, with live Shake ‘n Scrape music and a surprise visit from the island’s Junkanoo troupe.
Regretfully, we had to leave the next morning, but we carried with us the last exuberant notes of that night. — Camilla McLaughlin
Photos courtesy of The Abacos Club; Left bottom photo courtesy of Home ©Aaron Usher III
Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty
242.359.7216 | sales@CBBahamas.com | www.CBBahamas.com
Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty, the real estate powerhouse that stretches throughout the Bahamas. We have an international reach, and superior local knowledge of the Bahamas.
The Bahamas offers International Buyers the opportunity to apply for permanent or annual residency status with purchases in excess of $500,000, with accelerated residency status available for investments over $1.5 million. Our tax-neutral environment (which applies to individuals as well as resident corporations, partnerships and trusts), our close proximity to the US, ideal climate and lifestyle, modern infrastructure and being a major financial center with over 400 banks and trust companies, makes The Bahamas a consistent top choice for foreign investors.
Listing by Robert Arthur
HARBOUR ISLAND, BAHAMAS
Beachfront Home | MLS #9052
When you think of the Bahamas, what comes to mind? Do you envision the white, sandy beaches of the Exumas? Or do you see Nassau’s happy nightlife? Did you run away to the Bahamas to escape the frigid temperatures of the winter and enjoy the warm sun of the Bahamas? Whatever your experiences, the Bahamas has provided a perfect vacation spot for you and your loved ones.
By Abby Drexler
Hotel Life — Is It For You?
If you come to the Bahamas every once in a while, then staying at a hotel may be a good fit. However, if this is one of your regular vacation destinations, such lodgings may become undesirable. One thing that might make this living paradise more complete would be your very own vacation home.
Think about it — no one will tell you when you can check in or out because it is your own home! Anyone who is in your abode will be completely vetted by you. You won’t have to worry about the quality of a hotel because it will be your house.
If you want to own a house in the Bahamas, congratulations! As with any enterprise, research is imperative. Here are five tips to help you accomplish your goals.
Knowledge is Power!
Before you go into your Bahama Real Estate Adventure, do some preliminary research of the properties. Window-shopping will enable you to investigate the various communities. Find out about the availability of retail stores, schools, law enforcement, demographics, patterns of weather, religion — anything you may want to know about the area. You can also check on what is required to buy a home in the Bahamas. Knowing what to expect can prevent the adventure from any mishaps.
That villa in Abaco is your dream! But if it is on four acres of land, costs $750,000 and you can only afford a home on one acre for $250,000, then you may want to rethink your villa! Buying your home is just one aspect of obtaining it. You have to have enough money to pay for the fees, taxes and moving costs to name a few. So yes map out your bedrooms, baths and kitchens of your dream house. Just make sure that you have enough currency to cover it.
- Know Your Taxes and Fees
Part of managing your expenses relies on knowing how many taxes and fees you have pay for purchasing your new home. This includes the VAT (Value Added Tax), the stamp duty, the annual real property tax and the government tax, just to name a few. Some fees include registration, legal, the real estate agency, permits, appraisal of property, surveys and closing fees. These are just a few items to look out for when buying your new home.
- Real Estate Agency and Lawyer
This advice should be a no-brainer but there are plenty of people who want to do everything themselves and get into plenty of trouble for their efforts. While it is good to be proactive and do as much as you can in acquiring your vacation home, you will need professional help eventually. Unless you are proficient in Bahamian law and how to buy a house there, procuring a lawyer and real estate agency will help you get the best deal for your money.
- Rental Property
Living in the Bahamas can be quite costly. After you finally buy your house, keeping up with the costs of it can be a challenge — especially if you aren’t there all the time. One way to offset the cost is to make your property a rental. Non-Bahamians who lease their homes get a tax break.
Another advantage is your living quarters will have someone to watch over your investment. Even if you were to visit your place for ten weeks out of the year, who will tend to it during the other forty-two weeks? Leasing your dwelling will ensure that a trusted tenant will take care of your home during those times that you are away. An added benefit of this type of arrangement would be in the form of receiving rent money.
Abby Drexler is a contributing writer and media specialist for Holowesko Realty. She regularly produces content for a variety of travel and realty blogs.
Dreams of a tropical sanctuary are realized in the home featured on our cover — a beachfront estate at The Abaco Club, a 500-acre private enclave in the Bahamas.
By Camilla McLaughlin
Surrounded by more than one-and-a-half acres of palm trees, gardens and tropical foliage, the property is an oasis of privacy, but still a short walk or golf cart ride to everything The Abaco Club offers.
The architecture, a superbly articulated blend of transitional and contemporary styles with a Bahamian flavor, is uniquely suited to the setting. A stately entry with double mahogany doors and a coral stone staircase sets the stage; inside, a spacious vaulted great room transitions to a large dining space and a beautifully outfitted kitchen. The overall feeling invites relaxation, while a sense of understated elegance elevates the experience throughout the home.
Dynamic views of the turquoise waters of Winding Bay and miles of pristine white sandy beach form a backdrop in every room. Disappearing glass walls extend the living to a lanai and covered deck with outdoor dining organized around a spectacular pool. In the master suite, double French doors open to a very private outdoor shower surrounded by mahogany and coral stone walls. The ground level is devoted to ways to play with pool tables, a media room, guest suites and a workout room.
Few, if any, properties in the Bahamas match this singular combination of architecture, privacy, indulgent features and exquisite finishes paired with the services and amenities of an international sporting club.
“The Abaco Club is a desitnation where you can come and do nothing, or you can fill your day with biking, scuba diving, fishing and golf on what is considered the best course in the Bahamas,” shares Kristi Hull, director of sales for The Abaco Club, who is listing the home for $8.750 million. Best of all, limited access and an intimate club setting ensures that whenever you visit you feel like you are coming home.
By: Kelly Potts
Purchasing property in the Bahamas can be appealing for a variety of reasons: the proximity to the United States, the gorgeous environment and the low taxes can all be big factors.
“The luxury real estate market in The Bahamas is flourishing,” says Mario Carey of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate’s MCR Bahamas Group. Residential property of up to five acres may be acquired by foreign investors without prior government approval, though must be registered via the International Persons Landholding Act.
If you’re considering relocating, John Christie of H.G. Christie Ltd./Christie’s International Real Estate says that in order to become a permanent homeowner on one of the islands, “you will need to purchase and maintain a residence in the Bahamas at a value of $500,000 or higher.”
Christie recommends exploring a few different islands, explaining that each has its own ambiance. For example, Harbour Island, where the most expensive residence on this list is located, is known as a cosmopolitan island where celebrities relax, while others may be more secluded.
Superyacht Estate, Ocean Club, Paradise Island
A double lot features a British Colonial property with world-class architectural design, combining Island Style interiors with endless water views. Creative decor includes a pirate-themed theater.
Listed by Virginia “Ginger” Hornaday of Engel & Völkers
Beachfront Estate in Harbour Island
Designed by Thierry Despont, this 3-acre home combines modern elements with historic charm and offers soaring ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and open living spaces.
Listed by Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty
Orchid Estate, Lyford Cay
Orchid Estate sits on 2.4 acres with two residences: Orchid House and Little Orchid. The main residence offers four en suite bedrooms and a living room with direct access to the covered patio and ocean views.
Listed by Graham Real Estate
Casablanca, Clifton Bay
This oceanfront property on 1.3 acres of neatly manicured gardens offers a heated pool and a courtyard. The master suite features a private courtyard, a foyer and his and hers walk-in closets.
Listed by Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty
Ocean Club Estates Residence, Paradise Island
This iconic Venetian-style home offers a private dock, pool, Jacuzzi, spa and stone gazebo. Recycled glass countertops can be found in the custom kitchen and bar, and the pantry offers a 100-bottle Sub-Zero wine cooler.
Listed by Mario A. Carey of Better Homes And Gardens Real Estate
Villa Paradiso, Paradise Island
In the exclusive community of Ocean Club Estates, Villa Paradiso offers panoramic ocean views of Paradise Island. Villa Paradiso features a 40-foot pool, indoor and outdoor gourmet kitchen, an exercise room, a theater and office.
Listed by H.G. Christie Ltd.
Ocean Club Estates Home, Paradise Island
This villa, in the gated Ocean Club Estates community, offers a unique floor plan that exemplifies casual island elegance. The courtyard offers views of the sea and there is a guest pavilion with two bedrooms.
Listed by Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty
Ananda Estate, Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera
This estate unites luxury and utility on a tranquil beachfront setting with pink powder sand and clear waters. The estate offers designer Italian furniture throughout that will be sold with the property.
Listed by Rhonda Waton of H.G. Christie Ltd.
Casa DeLeon, Paradise Island
Casa DeLeon offers a large open kitchen featuring Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances and granite countertops, an atrium with breathtaking views and five bedrooms with a master bedroom offering expansive ocean views.
Listed by Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty
Beachfront Estate, Fortune Cay
This beachfront estate offers over 2.5 acres of landscaped property with serene ocean and beach views, a pool, 11 bedrooms and over 17,000 square feet of living space.
Listed by Coldwell Banker James Sarles Realty