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Invest in the Undiscovered Charm of Bequia

by Sarah Halloran

Property In Grenadines

From the very moment you arrive in the Grenadines, you’ll know that you’re going to experience something a little bit special.  Perhaps it’s the sweet steel drum music that heralds your arrival or maybe the hospitable and generous nature of the people that help you to your holiday destination.  This and the laid back lifestyle, sensational weather, and magnificent scenery will ensure a smile is planted firmly on your face and there it will stay for the remainder of your visit.

One of the things that stays with you after a holiday in the Grenadines is the friendliness of the people.  Nothing is too much trouble and it’s hard not to make some good friends during your stay.  Whether you choose to spend your vacation diving the beautiful crystal clear waters or simply soaking up the sun, you’ll feel your worries wash away within hours of arriving.

Bequia – The Little Big Island

The Grenadines is a Caribbean chain of over 32 islands in the Windward Islands.  The largest of these islands is Bequia which forms part of the country between Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.  However, Bequia is still a tiny and exclusive island, home to fewer than six thousands inhabitants, and you too will feel at home the moment you set foot on the glistening white sand of this beautiful hideaway.

If you have dreamt of living on the perfect Caribbean island with pristine sandy beaches, an azure blue ocean, and dramatic sunsets, Bequia fulfils these needs and so many more.  Here in Bequia, there are no crowds, no traffic jams and you’ll be hailed with a warm and friendly hello wherever you go.  If you have a love of sailing, the island’s rich heritage and strong connection to the sea ensures you will always find somebody willing to share their marine knowledge and traditions so that you get the most from sailing around the Grenadines.

By day on Bequia, you can experience the real meaning of doing absolutely nothing, but those looking for adventure won’t be disappointed.  Bequia offers so many activities, from chartering your own yacht to kayaking and windsurfing.  Water sports here come into their own on this wonderful island where equipment is in plentiful supply and the waters are safe and tranquil.  Bequia also boasts many art galleries and craft boutiques where you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon browsing and perhaps investing in some wonderful souvenirs and items to take back home.

Whatever you choose to do here, you will have the time of your life.  There are no schedules or routines, and you can leave your cares and worries far behind you.  Get to know the island on land or water with relaxing coastal walks along the golden sands, or exhilarating diving, sailing or fishing trips.  If you fancy exploring one of the neighbouring islands, there is always a friendly soul to help you get there.

The warm tropical nights mean nightlife takes on a world of its own.  Sharing cocktails under the stars whilst your seafood banquet is cooked on the barbecue is pure unadulterated bliss.  And then later, you can enjoy a sun downer in one of the many beachside bars as you watch the sun gently sink behind the horizon.

Ssh, Don’t Tell Everybody…

Whilst Bequia is always going to be a popular holiday destination, more and more people are starting to think about property investment on this delightful and pristine island getaway.  Property development on Bequia has taken place on a smaller scale than other islands in the region and as a result the island retains much of its beautiful lush rainforest, dramatic waterfalls and spectacular coastline.  Imagine stepping onto your very own private beach every morning and being the only living soul for miles.  It’s all possible and with properties more affordable than on the more established islands, you might find your investment sooner than you think.

If you are searching for a slower pace of life amidst lush tropical surroundings, then Bequia island life is for you.  Whilst property prices on the Grenadines may have risen in the last three years, they still represent a real bargain when compared to comparative properties on neighbouring islands.

Invest with Confidence

Buying property in the Grenadines is very similar to buying property in the UK and therefore there should be no nasty surprises along the way.   In fact, the only challenge you may face is making a choice between the fabulous properties on offer.

Average Costs:

Buyers Legal Fees – Approximately 1% of the Purchase Price

Stamp Duty – Approximately 5% of the Purchase Price

Land Holding – License Approximately 6% of the Purchase Price

Mortgage Down Payment – Usually a minimum of 10%, but could be as low as 5%

Mortgage Repayment Period – Up to 30 years or by the time the buyer reaches the age of 65

Mortgage Interest Rate – Between 7.7% to 9%

It’s a great time to invest in property on Bequia.  Economists visiting the island have observed the island is in the early stages of a 10 year economic boom.  The Grenadines is growing in popularity every year with both tourists and those looking to secure themselves a nest egg in one of the most beautiful regions of the world.  The developing tourist industry together with a boom in international trading has helped to improve Government development policies and general welfare facilities on the Grenadines in general.

Finding the Perfect Grenadines Retreat

Properties often have their own private beach and occupy one of the most exclusive locations in the Caribbean.  One such property is this Prime Front Line Villa, currently on sale, and located between two of the most voted for beaches in the world.

If you are looking to invest in the Grenadines, this property offers an impeccable example of the style of property you can hope to make your own.  Featuring signature wooden floors, high wood ceilings, and immaculate fittings this property commands stunning ocean and mountain views.

Take the First Step

If you would like to find out more you can get expert advice on investing in property in the Grenadines and details of available properties from Grenadine Escape Ltd.  Contact Lara Cowan on +44 203 468 5592 or Lucille Cozier on +784 496 0654 for more details about this fabulous opportunity.

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Rental Gold – Renting Out Your Property During the London Olympics

by Sarah Halloran

Holiday rentals aren’t just reserved to country cottages and beachside retreats.  If you have a property in London or the surrounding area then you could be in for some rental property opportunities during the Olympic 2012 season.  Thousands of tourists will be hitting our shores and with hotel rooms at a minimum or those that are left available at premium prices, these people will be looking for somewhere to stay.

If you have a flat or house available in Stratford or close to the Olympic Village then it could be a “nice little earner” for you next year.

But will your mortgage lender allow you to rent out your home or the rooms within?  Will you need special insurance?  What will demand be like?

Online holiday rental website predicts that many homeowners will use their website in order to cash in on the 2012 visitors.  Potentially, renting during this period could generate an average of £4500 over the 16 day-long event.  1 million visitors are predicted to visit from overseas destinations alone and this doesn’t factor in those travelling from other parts of the UK.

Let’s take a look at the mortgage issues when renting out your home to tourists.  A spokesman from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), said: ‘If borrowers want to make any changes to their mortgage, because they want to rent out their property short term for example, they need to contact their lender to discuss the request as their contract is unlikely to cover this. ‘They would also need to contact their insurer as they would potentially not be covered in the event of a claim.’

One mortgage lender, Lloyds TSB said they would allow their customers to rent out rooms within their property or their whole property subject to a number of conditions.

A spokesman for Lloyds TSB, said: ‘If customers do wish to offer accommodation at the time of the Olympics, they can rent a maximum of two rooms to a maximum of two lodgers.  In this circumstance, we do ask that the customer let us know. In order to rent out their entire property to a tenant rather than a lodger, we require that this is done as an “assured short hold tenancy”, which protects the tenant, the homeowner, and the lender; the minimum legal time from for this arrangement, however, is six months. Customers should speak to their lender and consult legal advice if they are unsure of what action to take.’

Every mortgage lender is different so it’s important to contact your lender way ahead of time so that the necessary paperwork and arrangements can be made.  This will also ensure you have ample time to advertise your property for rent.

You will also need to arrange additional insurance. You’ll need to let your insurer know of your intentions as most standard buildings insurance won’t cover letting out your home and therefore won’t cover any loss or damage resulting from such an arrangement.  Even those living in flats and covered by their landlord’s insurance policy will need to seek additional advice and assistance.  It’s the worst case scenario, but if your house burns down and you don’t have the relevant insurance, your insurer will probably refuse to pay out.  Direct Line is one insurer launching temporary cover for its home insurance policies to ensure customers are clear on what is and is not covered if they do decide to rent their home out to Olympic tourists.

There is also the subject of tax.  If you want to rent a room whilst you stay in the property you can earn £4,250 tax-free.  However, if you are also cooking dinners, handling laundry or providing any other service then this will be seen as running a business and you will be subject to paying tax.  If the Inland Revenue suspects you are not declaring rental income whey may launch an inquiry and this can lead to substantial penalty charges.

If you think your property has good rental potential then this could be a great way of making some money in 2012.  Make sure you let all relevant parties know and choose a good website for advertising your rental property.

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