PROPERTY: The things to know before buying an island

Becoming an island owner is a real choice of life. Here are some things to consider to make such an investment.

It is estimated that there are about a thousand islands for sale around the world. Contrary to popular belief, their price is not necessarily proportional to their rarity. As with all properties, their value is assessed according to natural factors, typology, surface area, location, infrastructure and amenities. For example, the price of an island in Canada varies from 30,000 to 5,000,000 euros, while in some parts of the Pacific and Asia it can exceed 100,000,000 euros.

The nature of the investment, such as the creation of a legacy, sometimes determines the location and type of purchase to be made. Depending on the country in which it is located, you may acquire the exceptional property by freehold (full ownership) or leasehold (by long-term lease).

On the American continent as well as in Europe, the islands are often sold by freehold. While these two continents allow individuals to own property and regardless of nationality, this is not the case everywhere. In the Philippines, for example, a foreigner cannot buy an island.

The leasehold grants a long-term lease, generally between 10 and 99 years. In Asia and in the South Pacific countries, which practice this type of contract, legislation also tends to limit the right of ownership, particularly for foreign buyers. It is always advisable to bring a lawyer with you before investing abroad.

A place that suits you...

Buying an island is always synonymous with a change of life. Whether your choices are wilderness or a built islet, island life is synonymous with tranquility and harmony with nature.

There are islands for sale all over the world, in Canada or in Florida, in the Caribbean, in South America, in Africa, in Asia, in Greece, in Scotland, in France and more particularly along the Breton coast... Do not fantasize about a simple photo. The property must be located in a geographical area that suits you and to which you will be able to adapt without difficulty.

Evaluate the distance between your main home and the island to make the most of your vacation. Also make sure that the climatic conditions and the course of the seasons are compatible with your periods of permanence on the island. Finally, it is important to meet the local population to get to know the country before settling in and making connections.

For a smart purchase

Even Robinsons at heart need to eat and sometimes consult a doctor. Take into account the proximity to other islands, the mainland and main amenities. The accessibility of the island is also important: by boat, if the environment allows it, or by plane if the terrain allows it. Finally, is the island serviced with water and electricity? Underwater connection for electricity or local generator, water treatment... these installations are essential.

An island is not an independent land and complies with the laws and regulations of the country to which it is attached. In France, for example, the Coastal Law prohibits any construction within 100 metres of the shoreline at the same time as it provides for a public right of way along the coast. In Croatia, the islands are for the most part unbuildable, so it is preferable to choose one that is already habitable.

Buying an island is a commitment that requires considering many parameters, some of which have been mentioned here. If some doubts persist, many islands are available for rent. Renting a small oasis may be the best way to experience island life.