How do you successfully buy an island? How do you go about buying an island? As some of the not-so-many people to have achieved this, we feel at that we have some authority on this kind of thing.
Much like moving abroad seems daunting to those that have never done it, buying an island can throw up the same kinds of fears. But the reality is that buying an island is no different (in many jurisdictions) than buying typical real estate on the mainland. You essentially look for real estate listings, reach out to an Agent, schedule an appointment, go look at islands, pick the one you want, negotiate the price and buy it. Simple enough right? Well, this is where location, quality, climate, and jurisdiction come in.
The very simple answer to this no, you cannot just buy an island in any country. The Philippines for example, is one of the best countries for islands. But if you want to buy an island in the Philippines you need a local Filipino who must own at least 60% of the property. There are legal loopholes that some people exploit to get around this requirement this, but it is not an enviable situation and adds complications where there really shouldn’t be any.
This obviously ignores the fact that if you are a Filipino, then the Philippines (link to Mailaipo island) is a very easy place to buy an island – and we recommend it if you have the means! This is working on the theory of buyers who are looking outside their country(s) of citizenship.
Other great island-having countries, such as Thailand and Cambodia, cause similar issues.
The easiest place to buy an island is in the Caribbean. English common law dominates many Caribbean islands, which tends to be easier to navigate than French or Dutch laws. The other major factor is that many countries in the Caribbean allow foreign people or companies to fully own their land.
Much of what we did was unique, but we were certainly not the first people to try pooling funds to purchase a private island from a large group of likeminded investors. We were merely the first to succeed.
In our mind, we know why we were successful, and we also plan to replicate this model at a later time, so we won’t be sharing all of our secrets with you. Sorry! But we will share a couple of tidbits…
Many people think with the internet that “if you build it they will come”. Sadly, life isn’t Field of Dreams. You need an existing community. From our side we started with a group that were mostly connected through travel. Namely through Young Pioneer Tours. This created a network of friends, which followed with friends of friends. Within no time we had enough people to make the project work. Starting from scratch would have proved difficult.
One of the mistakes many people make and indeed we made is in thinking that it will be easy, and everyone will help. We have more than 75 investors, but in reality we have had 3-5 people working solidly to make this successful. You have to respect that many investors don’t necessarily want to, or have time to be as helpful as you would like.
So in short, you need to work hard (very hard) to make it a success. We were the first, but we in no way own this concept and perhaps others will follow in our wake. Our project might not be perfect, but at least we are not a bunch of crazies claiming the desert lands of Bir Tawil.
You also have to be prepared for the “haters”. Surround yourself with good people and don’t be scared to make the tough calls.
To learn more about how you can own part of our island click here and get involved! Or feel free to start your own project…