Buyers FAQs

St. Maarten/St. Martin is the smallest island in the world to be divided between two different nations. The Island is split between the Dutch and French government. The two cultures have lived peacefully for 350 years on 37 square miles of land. In fact, the Island’s inhabitants are quite proud of their three centuries of peaceful co-existence.

Both sides of the Island offer the culture and lifestyle of both the Dutch and French. There are approximately 35,000 inhabitants on each side of the Island, and about 82 nationalities represented. Located 18.5 North and 63.5 West, in the heart of the eastern Caribbean, this dual nation has been a prestigious and sought after tourist destination for years.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What documents do I need?

A buyer may have added income using the property as a holiday rental. High season rentals run from $1,500 per week depending on the quality and size of the rental. Low season rates are 30% lower.

When buying real estate in St. Maarten/St. Martin (vVilla, condo, land, etc.) inyour own name, you must present your passport or other pictured identification.

If buying in a company name, you must present articles of incorporation and other documents (requested by the Notary) related to the company, showing that the company is in good standing. You don’t need to become a resident to own property on St. Maarten/St. Martin and there are no restrictions for foreigners to own property.

What kind of title property is issued?

A buyer may have added income using the property as a holiday rental. High season rentals run from $1,500 per week depending on the quality and size of the rental. Low season rates are 30% lower.

When buying real estate in St. Maarten/St. Martin (vVilla, condo, land, etc.) inyour own name, you must present your passport or other pictured identification.

If buying in a company name, you must present articles of incorporation and other documents (requested by the Notary) related to the company, showing that the company is in good standing. You don’t need to become a resident to own property on St. Maarten/St. Martin and there are no restrictions for foreigners to own property.

There are three basic types of deed transfers for real estate on St. Maarten on the Dutch side.

  • Fee simple: Land is owned by the seller. A notarial deed only is passed.

  • Government long lease: Normally 60 years

  • Private long lease: Are typically 50+ years.

All deed types give registered ownership to the buyer. Properties in protected subdivisions are usually fee simple (same as U.S.). Properties are always closed using the European system where the Civil Law Notary, appointed by the Queen of Holland, is responsible by law to both parties and is obligated to execute do a proper title search to insure a clear title transfer, thereby protecting both the buyer and seller.

What taxes and fees must I pay?

A buyer may have added income using the property as a holiday rental. High season rentals run from $1,500 per week depending on the quality and size of the rental. Low season rates are 30% lower.

When buying real estate in St. Maarten/St. Martin (vVilla, condo, land, etc.) inyour own name, you must present your passport or other pictured identification.

If buying in a company name, you must present articles of incorporation and other documents (requested by the Notary) related to the company, showing that the company is in good standing. You don’t need to become a resident to own property on St. Maarten/St. Martin and there are no restrictions for foreigners to own property.

There are three basic types of deed transfers for real estate on St. Maarten on the Dutch side.

  • Fee simple: Land is owned by the seller. A notarial deed only is passed.

  • Government long lease: Normally 60 years

  • Private long lease: Are typically 50+ years.

All deed types give registered ownership to the buyer. Properties in protected subdivisions are usually fee simple (same as U.S.). Properties are always closed using the European system where the Civil Law Notary, appointed by the Queen of Holland, is responsible by law to both parties and is obligated to execute do a proper title search to insure a clear title transfer, thereby protecting both the buyer and seller.

A transfer tax is included in the closing costs. On Dutch St Maarten there are no annual property taxes. On French St Martin there are assessed annual taxes. If you own a property that you use as short term rental property you are responsible for income and profit tax. However, deductions can be taken on some expenses such as maintenance, insurance, improvements, etc. There are no capital gain taxes in Sint Maarten.

 Closing costs on the Dutch side are around 5%. On the French side they vary from 9 to 11 %. The value of furniture and fixtures can be deducted from the purchase. On the Dutch side there is a one-time payment covering the government taxes and notary fees.

Ownership in another name?

If there is a question from the IRS or another country’s tax system regarding a sale, the Dutch side has a non-disclosure law.

It is more complicated on the French side. It is part of the European Community, so those rules and regulations of France apply. This includes annual living taxes and real estate taxes. We recommend that foreign investors do so through a private real estate holding company, Societe Civile Immobiliere. This will make the estate secure.

What about part time usage?
A buyer may have added income using the property as a holiday rental. High season rentals run from $1,500 per week depending on the quality and size of the rental. Low season rates are 30% lower.

More questions ?