The Buying Process in Bermuda

Mortgages

A Preapproved mortgage will give you the security of knowing when you find your dream home you can act quickly on the acquisition. It is a fast way to make your home buying experience easier from start to finish.

  • The mortgage is normally repaid by the time you are 65 years old.
  • Terms usually range from 10- 30 years
  • It is required that the property is adequately insured and the insurance policy be endorsed to the Bank.
  • Generally the Banks charge a onetime fee of 1% on the amount you borrow

Non-Bermudian

The rules governing the acquisition of property by non Bermudians were first set out in the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956. Under the Act, as amended, Bermuda manages foreign property ownership through government policies. The basic tool used by government to regulate land ownership is ARV (Annual Rental Value), a value assigned to every property in Bermuda and used by the Government as part of its Land Tax calculation. Only houses having and ARV of 177,000 and condominiums having an ARV of 32,400 can be available to non-Bermudians. Homes available to non-Bermudians typically start about 3.5 million. Non- Bermudians may only purchase condominiums that are within the designated developments, where prices typically start at approximately 800,000. Non- Bermudians may not acquire undeveloped land. Fractional Developments have become more popular form of ownership for non-Bermudians with 3 current developments and more on the way. Prices for Fractional ownership tend to vary between 95,000 and 400,000.

A non-Bermudian can only buy a Bermuda property if they have been granted a license to do so by the Minister of National Security. The license fee is 8% of the purchase price for a house and 6% for a condominium. The fees will change as at October 2014 to 12.5% for a house and 8% for a condominium. Unless the property is within a designated resort property in which case the condominium fee is 6.5%. There is no fee for the purchase of a hotel or commercial property. The fee must be received by the Minister before the license is issued and the license is required before prior to the closing of the transaction.

Applicants are required to complete a application the fee of which is currently less than 2,000.00 and is refunded when the license is granted.

Generally, a non-Bermudian will not be permitted to own more than one residential property at any one time. A non-Bermudian will be permitted to purchase a second property on the condition that he/she disposes of the original property within 12 months.

Non-Bermudian Trust

Government has approved Non-Bermudian purchasing by application in Trust subject to (a) locally licensed Trustee, (b) limited to one generation and (c) after death, the property must be sold within 2 years.

Permanent Residents

The laws concerning Bermudian status are stringent and grants of status to non-Bermudians are rare, save for applications that result through marriage. This conservative approach to status grants has resulted in a significant population of long-term non-Bermudian residents, who for many years were accorded no rights or benefits of citizenship under the law.

In 2002, steps were taken to correct this situation when the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment Act introduced the concept of the Permanent Residents’ Certificate (PRC). The PRC is not a means to acquire status. But it does offer certain benefits to qualifying candidates, defined as people who have been ordinarily resident in Bermuda prior to July 31, 1989 and who are at least 40 years old on the date of application.

The principal advantage of a PRC is that it offers the holder the right to live and work in Bermuda without the need for a work permit, and thereby provides increased security of employment and residence. People with a Permanent Residents Certificate are entitled to reside in Bermuda, but they are not citizens and there is currently no prospect of them being offered citizenship.

The right to reside and work in Bermuda sets a PRC holder apart from other non-Bermudians. There are also other, somewhat limited, benefits in terms of real estate. A Permanent Resident may not purchase property on the same footing as a Bermudian.

In all other respects, they remain on the same footing as other non-Bermudians. Like non-Bermudians, a Permanent Resident:

  • Must apply to the Minister of National Security for a "License to Acquire" a property; and
  • Must upon approval pay 4% for a house and 4% for condominium. The license fee will increase on 1st October 2014 to 6%.
  • Cannot subdivide the property;
  • Cannot purchase property with multiple ARVs; and
  • Cannot rent the property without ministerial consent.

Stamp Duty

For Conveyance or Transfer on sale of property.

  1. 2% on the first 100,000
  2. 3% on the next 400,000
  3. 4% on the next 500,000
  4. 6% on the next 500,000 or any amount over 1,000,000 but exceeding 1,500,000
  5. 7% over 1,500,000
  6. 6. 0% stamp duty for first time home owners for properties either house or condominium which cost 750,000 or under. This is part of a Government initiative to assist young persons and other individuals or families seeking to secure their first “piece of the rock; which was put into effect April 1, 2009

Education on Home Ownership

There are some people who feel that owning a Piece of The Rock is beyond their reach. Many people find the process of buying a home a little daunting and sometimes overwhelming. You are not alone. No two buying experiences are the same, but the home buying tips provide an idea of the different steps you may encounter when buying a property. At Century 21 Bermuda Properties we are very passionate about educating the community on Home Ownership. We are willing to meet with you one on one or in a group setting.

Mortgage Consultancy and Advice

Knowledge is power and for some people having some understanding of mortgage finance and structuring of loan facilities gives them the confidence to meet with their financial institution and discuss their needs in a manner that is comfortable for them. Century 21 Bermuda Properties has an experience staff member to provide you with the information you need before you meet with your financial institution.

[ TOP ]

CENTURY 21 Bermuda Properties, The Stables, 91 Reid Street, Hamilton, Bermuda HM 19
All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither broker(s), sales representative(s), shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation or misprints, and shall be held totally harmless. We are a real estate franchise company represented by brokers and sales representatives offering homes for sale and rent. ® and TM Registered trademarks used under license. All rights reserved. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated. (¹) Listed Amount was converted based on recent interbank exchange rates. We do not guarantee the accuracy of these amounts.
v1.000.502.209.62.1.170-101.C21CBB-O (stable)