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Guidelines for Purchasing Real Estate

Key to your own million dollar homeAny person who desires to own a piece of this island in the sun may do so. There are no restrictions and therefore if you are a non-national who would like to purchase a vacation home, retirement retreat, or investment property you are welcomed with open arms. With regards to expenses there is no differentiation between nationals and non-nationals.


All financial arrangements such as mortgage, purchase price and deposit should be in place prior to entering a binding agreement.

Financing is available for non-nationals and several banks provide flexible and convenient mortgages to individuals, local or foreign companies, trusts or other entities. Mortgages may be provided for periods of up to 15 years at competitive rates of interest. We will be pleased to direct you to experienced consultants for professional advice and guidance.

Click here for an online mortgage calculator.

Key to your own million dollar home

Legal Fees

Purchasers must obtain the services of a registered local attorney who will have to search the register and establish title to the property prior to the completion of sale. Property passes by conveyance of title, evidenced by the recording of the deeds and certified survey plans at the registry of title.

Purchaser's legal fees for property transfer are legislated in the range of 2% to 3%. There is VAT of 17.5% payable on these fees. Both buyer and seller are responsible for their own attorney fees.

Fund Registration

Funds brought into the island from overseas should be registered with the Central Bank as a formality. You should instruct your attorney or banker to do so with the Exchange Control Division of the bank. This ensures that your funds are protected as a foreign investor which facilitates repatriation of these funds should you sell in the future.


Key to your own million dollar home

A deposit in the amount of 10% is required on signing the sale agreement with the remaining balance due on the transfer of deeds. This deposit is a binding contract which the seller's attorney holds. The period between payment of deposit and completion is likely to be at least 3 months. The balance of the sale price must be paid to the seller's attorney on completion the purchase.

Property Transfer Tax

Buyers do not have to pay Property Transfer Tax for existing buildings. The vendor however must pay 2.5% of the purchase price.

Property Tax

An annual Property Tax is charged on the property based on an assessment of the improved value, or if undeveloped, on the site value. Valuations are made by the Government and are reviewed every three (3) years. These taxes are rated as follows:

Key to your own million dollar home

Improved Property (House & Land)

  • 0% on the first Bds$125,000
  • 0.1% on Bds$125,001 to Bds$350,000
  • 0.65% on Bds$350,001 to Bds$850,000
  • 0.75% on Bds$850,001 and over

Unimproved Land

  • 0.60% on unimproved value of the land

Improved Property (Commercial)

  • 0.65% on every parcel of land which is not a residence

Purchaser Expenses

The expenses incurred by a Purchaser (there is no distinction between National or Non-National purchasers due to recent amendments to the Barbados legislation) will be as follows:

It is necessary for a Non-National purchaser to remit the purchase price to Barbados in foreign currency, after which it will be converted into Barbados currency and registered with the Exchange Control Authority of Barbados to facilitate a subsequent repatriation. Exchange Control Authority permission is also necessary for the purchase itself. This is usually readily obtainable once the purchase monies have been registered.

Legal Fees are legislated as follows:

Key to selling a million dollar home
  1. Up to $25,000 - $750
  2. On the next $75,000 - 2.5%
  3. On the next $100,000 - 1.5%
  4. On the next $300,000 - 1.25%
  5. Thereafter - 1%

VAT of 17.5% is payable on legal fees

Currency Transactions

An approximate exchange rate guide is as follows:

Currency Converter

Please note that these rates are just rough estimates and the bank will provide you with accurate exchange rates leading up to the sale.