It’s “Paradise”, it’s “Better in the Bahamas”, it’s a synonym for a break from reality and the stress of everyday living. You might know of The Bahamas as one or all of these things, but did you know there’s a lot more to The Bahamas than many people realise?
It’s a common misconception that The Bahamas is Nassau, it’s capital, and nearby Paradise Island, home of some of its major resorts.
In reality there are 17 “significantly inhabited islands” in The Bahamas outside of the island of New Providence, where Nassau is located. These are: Grand Bahama, Andros, Abaco, Bimini, Eleuthera, Long Island, Exuma, the Berry Islands, Acklins, Rum Cay, San Salvador, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Ragged Island, Inagua, Mayaguana, Long Cay. In fact, there are 700 islands and 2,000 cays in a territorial area the size of the U.S. state of California. “Significantly inhabited” can mean a population range of just over 17,000 people to as few as 72 people! Here’s a run down of a few reasons you might want to choose to buy or live in an Out Island, also known as a Family Island:
With such small populations, it is easier for a resident of these islands to become a member of the community. Many visitors remark that Bahamians who live in the Out Islands are even more open and welcoming to outsiders than in Nassau. It’s only natural: Nassau receives the vast majority of all visitors and sometimes it’s just harder to have time for them all! Spend time sitting on the front porch of a home in the Family Islands and you might spend a lot of time greeting passersby, as that’s pretty much the done thing. Many Out Islands have almost non-existent crime rates, with residents regularly leaving doors open and unlocked.
It’s one of the reasons why Out Islands have a high visitor satisfaction and return rate: in 2014, 91 percent of all visitors to the Out Islands were reported to be “likely to return” while 97 percent said they would recommend the destination to friends once they headed home.
Like to combine a dose of island getaway with a spot of clubbing? Hitting the casino? Sating your appetite with a wide variety of culinary experiences? All while having access to a selection of medical or educational institutions for your kids to attend? Nassau’s your place…
If the idea of being the only person on a beach, going off the grid, and generally feeling like a bit of a Robinson Crusoe appeals more, head to the Out Islands. Nothing beats them for sheer escapism – the chance to leave your worries and reminders of the stress of everyday living behind.
The government has traditionally sought to incentivise development in the Out Islands, knowing that it can be more of a logistical challenge to develop property in these farther flung locales. With legislation like the Family Islands Development Encouragement Act and the Hotels Encouragement Act it has eliminated duty on the importation of building materials for projects in the islands, potentially saving you a lot of money when you set about building your dream home or investment property.
Less exposed to the mass tourism that Nassau caters to, the Out Islands can be like stepping back in time: life is in many ways similar to how it has been for generations. Each island and the community within it is often thought to have its own distinct character, even in some cases, its own way of speaking!
That’s not to say you can’t also find luxury and the modern amenities that make life easier in many Out Islands. Developments have sprung up throughout the archipelago that combine the tranquil and laidback style of living that they’re best for with the creature comforts you may be used to back home.
- Price tag
Still undeveloped in comparison to New Providence, the Out Islands’ remoteness often comes with an added benefit: a more desirable price tag. Following the economic downturn that began in 2008, there was a significant fall in property prices in the islands, making now a great time to invest.
Bahamas Waterfront Properties offers a wide selection of properties, both developed and undeveloped, in the Out Islands. Consult us today to discuss which property could suit your purposes.