Many assume a criterion to owning your own private island is being among the elite one percent. However, that is not necessarily true. There are a number of islands that are less expensive than $1 million and definitely less expansive than $100,000 for those who cannot withstand the urge of owning a piece of land in the middle of vast waters. Bear in mind, you still need extra cash and time to invest in travel expenses as well as the project at hand.
Becoming an island owner is much like becoming a homeowner; you have to consider what is important to you. Reflect on flight time from your main home to the desired location. You should also determine if you want an island you can visit all year long or during the summer months. You should also consider whether or not you want to be miles off from the mainland or complete isolated from the rest of the world. Once you’ve made a decision, your next question is where does one bargain shop for his or her island? According to Farhad Vladi, president of brokerage Vladi Private Islands, one should shop for an island in areas that are not in high-demand. As Vladi told CNN, when you are bargain shopping for an island the best deals exist in America, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden and Canada.
An island can be purchased in two ways. The first is a freehold option. This means you 100 percent own the island; it is also the most common option. However, you can also lease an island as well. A leasehold basis means you will only have the rights to the island for a period of time. A leasehold island is also significantly cheaper than a freehold option as well as more feasible for those of who are not part of the exclusive one percent. If you plan to go the leasehold route, make certain you are not paying the price of a freehold island. People will try and take advantage of your lack of knowledge.
Once you’ve considered the aforementioned essentials, it is time to think about the island’s foundation. Is there general infrastructure such as backup generators, propane refrigerators, and mobile communications? Are you purchasing an island with an already built home or will you build your property from scratch?
In addition, determine the host country’s requirements. Can you, a foreigner, legally purchase an island? For example, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries in the Pacific Ocean, foreigners are not permitted to purchase freehold islands/land. Other regulations such as a restricted market, allows foreigners to purchase land if they have a government sanction.
For those looking to become an island owner for the first time, Vladi has created a checklist. The list is as follows:
- Ensure medical services are within a 90-minute radius of the island
- Ask yourself if you can live with indigenous animals on the chosen island (mosquitoes, sand-flies, etc.)
- Get familiar with trees and plants. Find out if there is poisonous vegetation. Also, studying the island will give you an idea of what kind of ground water is on the island. Experts can read from the vegetation how much ground water is available and determine if the island is self-sufficient.
- Consider the host country’s crime level
Currently, there are a number of islands in Canada, the U.S. and Ireland that are on sale and significantly cheaper than $100,000. On Private Islands Online, for example, in Nova Scotia there is an island starting at CAD$ 29,500 ($22,610.91).
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