Buying in Barbados

By: Anthony Defrietas

The reality of buying property in Barbados is simple: you will need some legal representation. Purchasing property anywhere, local or otherwise it is always smart to get some legal advice. Buying property in Barbados has a fairly set structure and follows a specific series of steps that ensure that the sale is taken care of legally and in good faith. Let's have a look at the different steps and how they are completed.

Agreement For Sale - This is the first step that occurs after negotiations have come to a close. This agreement is prepared by the seller's legal representation, signed in duplicate by the buyer and delivered to the sellers representative along with the deposit. The whole package is then sent back to the buyers legal representative and this step is concluded.

Investigation Of Title - Much like any other area, home sales in Barbados have to clear title before the transaction is complete. This search is typically done by the buyers attorney to ensure that the seller has clear and valid title to the property and that there are no encumbrances, liens, or judgments against the property that could affect the smooth transfer of ownership.

Completion Of Sale & Purchase - Once title has been cleared the seller's representation then prepares the means of conveyance (usually a mortgage) as well as the previous titles.

Closing Costs - There are a variety of closing costs involved in the sale and purchase of a Barbados home. Sellers are responsible for the stamp duty and property tax. The taxes are respectively 1% of the consideration for the sale and 2.5% in the case of land without any buildings and 2.5% on the amount by which the greater of the consideration paid or value of the land exceeds $125,000.

Retaining Legal Advice & Council - This is a required step in purchasing property in Barbados. There are several aspects of the purchase or sale process that can only be dealt with by a proper legal representative. There are several areas of concern for first time Barbados buyers such as absence of title insurance, the great amount of unregistered property, and some particular conveyance laws make legal assistance a necessity.

Legal Fees - Legal fees are largely dependent on the value of the home being purchased, as defined by the Barbados Legal Profession Rules, 1997. As well, the minimum scale fee may be adjusted by an attorney to reflect their years of experience and the intricacy of the transaction. There is also a 15% value added tax that is payable upon the attorney's fees.

Financing - Financing is a different story in Barbados as in-country financing is available only to Barbadian nationals. If you are a non-national who is thinking about buying a property in Barbados, then funding must be secured out-of-country. Essentially all foreign financing must be overseas or arranged through overseas institutions.

Keep in mind that purchasing overseas will be quite different than purchasing a home in your own country. There are different processes and laws that apply to real estate and you should be sure that you understand them all before jumping into a purchase. When considering a home in Barbados it is essential that you get legal representation and tax advice long before you start signing papers.

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