At Home in Sint Maarten – Dutch Side
St. Maarten is a dynamic blend of Caribbean exuberance and Dutch paradise, a sun-soaked tropical island where the skies are forever blue and having a good time is just a way of life. There are a large number of fascinating places to discover in and around this wonderful Caribbean Island.
From malls, fast food chains, theme restaurants, beachfront resorts and duty-free shopping to casinos and dance clubs – it’s all here in St. Maarten! St. Maarten is not exactly what you would call a tranquil, get-away-from-it-all, secluded island, but it does provide more than its share of fun and adventure!
St. Maarten Real Estate, Economy and Infrastructure
St. Maarten’s official currency is the Antillean Guilder. The American Dollar is accepted throughout the island. The exchange rate from dollars to guilders is fixed, one dollar being 1.78 Antillean guilders.
The economy of St. Maarten is almost entirely based on tourism. According to surveys, almost 90% of all employment on the island is directly or indirectly related to tourism. Aside from tourism, some of the other forms of major economic activity on the island are trade and financial services with other neighboring islands. The Caribbean Island of St. Maarten has one of the highest per-capita incomes in all of the Caribbean.
St. Maarten produces very little consumable goods and products. The government of the island is looking for new and better ways of diversifying the economy, especially with any industry that would uphold the main economic activity and would not harm tourism. The government is presently involved with zoning plans that will restrict an area of the island only for the manufacturing and light industry and another areas for heavy industry. Once this takes place, efforts will be made to attract other industries.
The St. Maarten real estate market offers a wide and wonderful selection of opportunities. The cost of residential properties starts at roughly $300,000 for a condominium and extends well into seven figures for lavish seaside villas. A luxury beachfront condominium perfectly situated on the Simpson Bay Beach, having a fresh water pool in a pool house and a barbecue area would cost you about $875,000. A beautiful fully furnished waterfront condominium on the shores of Simpson Bay would cost around $73,200.
Buying St. Maarten real estate is as easy as buying property in the United States. There are no residency requirements or any kind of legal restrictions that limit foreign home ownership, but you are required to obtain all the necessary legal documents and status for extended stays. On St. Maarten, you will automatically receive permanent resident status once you have completed ten years of living on the island. Until then, you must obtain temporary resident status by sending an application to the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, which is in Philipsburg.
St. Maarten has high profile real estate professionals and some excellent developers who completely understand the St. Maarten real estate market and will guide you through all the required steps during the sale or purchase.
One of the most sought-after destinations for Caribbean real estate investors to call home is definitely St. Maarten. The St. Maarten real estate market is booming as an increasing number of Europeans and Americans are choosing to make this Caribbean island their home. Drawn by its relaxed Caribbean attitude and sophisticated European lifestyle, who wouldn’t want to own a piece of land on this paradise?
Whether you’re seeking to become a St. Maarten real estate investor, part time resident or simply just a vacationer, the Caribbean island of St. Maarten offers a distinct European island flavor that is hard to resist.