Below we will provide a selection of some of the most commonly asked questions for those who are curious as to what there is to do on the island of St. Maarten/ St. Martin, those who have questions on buying a property (whether it be villa, apartment, land, condo, or commercial space), and finally those who are selling can also find some answers in the following FAQ.
Q. CAN ANYONE OWN REAL ESTATE IN ST MARTIN / ST MAARTEN?
A. Residential and commercial properties are available to foreigners on both French and Dutch sides of the island and you do not have to be residents to purchase. Investors may also take the option to purchase land for future development. Buyers are protected under French law in St. Martin.
Q. CAN I GET FINANCING IN ST. MARTIN / ST MAARTEN?
A. Financing is available provided you qualify under local bank requirements.
Q. WHAT KIND OF DEED DOES ONE GET IN ST MARTIN / ST MAARTEN?
A. There are three types of deed transfers on the Dutch side: fee simple, government long lease and private long lease each of which is transferable without capital gain tax on the Dutch Side. French side there is only fee simple.
Q. WHAT ABOUT TITLE SEARCHES ETC?
A. All title searches, contract work, and closing procedures associated with a property purchase are carried out by a European Civil Notary, who will guarantee your title and will not transfer unless free and clear. They will also be responsible for registering mortgages and Deeds with the land registry also known as kadaster.
Q. ARE THERE REAL ESTATE TAXES ON ST MARTIN / ST MAARTEN?
A. Closing costs will include transfer taxes - approximately 5 to 6% on the Dutch Side and 10.5 % on the French side. French side St. Martin is subject to mainland French taxation, but on Dutch side St. Maarten, there are no annual real estate taxes. Rental properties will incur income taxes turn over tax though most of these are deductible such as maintenance costs.
Q. WHAT IF I DO NOT PLAN TO LIVE IN MY PROPERTY YEAR ROUND?
A. If you are planning to use your property only during certain periods of the year, you have the option of renting it out as a vacation rental to obtain added income. In these cases, your estate agent will act as property manager in your absence overseeing all aspects of your property maintenance, protection and payment of bills etc.
Q. WHAT ABOUT DECOR / FURNISHING MY PROPERTY?
A. The least of your worries! St Martin/St Maarten boasts some highly talented international interior designers and has some wonderful home decor stores with furniture imported from around the world.
Q: WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE THERE ON THE DUTCH SIDE OF ST. MAARTEN?
A: From Casinos to restaurants, the nightlife on the Dutch side of St. Maarten are limitless. Maho is the main strip of shops, clubs, casinos, and restaurants. A huge tourist attraction is watching the planes land and takes off right nearby! Simpson Bay also generates a lot of night activities with a plethora of restaurants and family friendly activities. Watersports and boat trips are located in this area as well.
Q: WHAT IS THERE TO DO ON THE FRENCH SIDE OF ST. MARTIN?
A: The French side of St. Martin is more serene and has the most exquisite beaches on the entire island. In the private gated community of Terres Basses, there are stunning beaches such as Baie Longue, Baie aux Prune, and Baie Rouge. Besides beautiful beaches, French Saint Martin has the only 5 star hotel, La Samanna, and other outdoor activities such as the Eco lodge, Loterie Farm. Lounging by the pool or zip lining is always an option for friends and family. The French cuisine is also undeniably the best cuisine on the island.