Yes, you read the headline correctly! Buying real estate in The Bahamas is very similar in many respects to buying real estate elsewhere in the world, with one glaring exception, and that is the requirement of seller disclosure of known defects in a property. Our market is governed by "Caveat Emptor", or "Buyer Beware", and, as a result, the buyer must take all reasonable precautions when purchasing a new home. Banks do not typically require a home inspection, only an appraisal.
I want to be clear as to not misrepresent the market, because in many cases owners will take necessary steps to correct problems before placing the property on the market. In other cases, the seller will point out the property flaw and use a discounted price as a way to negotiate through the defect. In both instances, there is a level of transparency between the buyer and seller. In order to mitigate any risk I always recommend a home inspection by a qualified property inspector who is familiar with the Bahamas real estate market and the acceptable construction standards that exist. A reputable building inspector will have a comprehensive checklist of areas that need to be tested or inspected, such as the plumbing, electrical, structural and mechanical systems of the property. The inspector will be able to bring to light any minor or major problems with the property, which provides an opportunity for the owner to rectify those problems. The property inspection also gives the buyer a greater level of comfort with the knowledge that the property has been given a "check up" and what potential issues may arise in the near to distant future.
Although not required by law or by lenders, it is always a good idea to have that dream property looked over by a professional property inspector, especially when purchasing real estate in The Bahamas. For more information on what you need to know before buying Bahamas real estate, call or email anytime! I am happy to guide you through the process from the beginning to the final closing details!