Barbados has established a well-deserved reputation for a comprehensive selection of real estate opportunities and location choices, from studio apartments to luxury villas and magnificent plantation homes, lifestyle resorts, golfing and polo estates and everything else in between. The popularity of secure or gated communities has driven a sharp growth in these developments; many have different phases planned and include a broad range of community facilities on site.
The price of real estate - land, property or both - varies considerably according to location. Beachfront anywhere on the island is at a premium and prices will reflect this, especially on the West Coast where a luxurious villa directly on the beach could set you back well over $10 million in US currency. The high demand for oceanfront views has resulted in a large number of new condominium developments, some of which can be picked up for around just under $1 million. There are more affordable opportunities to invest with studio beachfront condos on the South Coast starting at $175,000; there are also several projects planned to build luxury oceanfront apartments in Christ Church. Some residential developers are offering purchasers all-inclusive packages that include land and house, taking some of the guesswork out of building your own home.
There has recently been a resurgence in the popularity of country estates and plantation homes, as an alternative to beachfront living; depending on the size of the estate, prices can start at under a million US for a stand-alone plantation house that needs some work to rise considerably for a well-restored country estate luxurious outfitted from the furnishings to the fittings. Traditional Barbadian-style homes in residential areas can start from around $200,000 for a 3 bedroom in St Philip to $650,000 for a 4 bedroom in St George.
In terms of building your own home, be prepared to pay anywhere from $150-300 per sq ft depending on the finishes; don't expect to be able to start building until at least May 2007, as the current building boom together with the frenzy of projects driven by the impending Cricket World Cup have the majority of construction companies fully booked until then.
Whatever your reasons for purchasing, once the sale is complete it is necessary to consider the many options in the market for property services. Most of the main real estate companies have been property managers for over twenty years and have a great deal of experience; the best are recommended by word of mouth and will have a complete package of services, including a rental program and dedicated management staff.