Buying a Home for Both You and Your Boat

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					     AT H O M E I N T H E C A R I B B E A N


          Buying a Home for Both You and Your Boat:
          Upscale Developments on the Rise in the Caribbean




          From the air: Yacht Haven
          Grande residences in St. Thomas


          BY CAROL M. BAREUTHER, RD
                                                                                                          Cayman Island’s Deckhouses include
                                                                                                          access to Ritz Carlton amenities


          A growing number of folks are combining their love of land and sea by buying an
          upscale residence in the Caribbean with a boat slip attached. One of them is Ralph
          Gregory of Boulder, Colorado.
              “We don’t own a boat currently, but we charter all over the world,” says
          Gregory, who has purchased a four-bedroom residence on Scrub Island, in the
          British Virgin Islands. “I love being out on the water and exploring the islands by
          sea. But, in the end, living on a boat is still a bit like camping. That’s why my wife
          and I decided to by a residence on Scrub Island where we’d have a second home
          ashore and still get to walk right out, jump in a boat, and island hop.”
              Historically, many desirable and successful communities have been connected
          to water, says Mike Ryan, owner and developer of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman,
          whose development, The Deckhouses—19 five-bedroom, five-bath gated single
          family homes on a private island and with full access to the services and amenities                Joe Brown, vice president of sales for Mainsail Development
          of The Ritz-Carlton—is planned for completion in 2009. “I just returned from                   Group’s (MDG) Scrub Island development, where 90 residences, a
          Singapore where there are several communities that incorporate water. It’s very                full-service marina and amenities such as $2-million state-of-the-
          difficult to do unless you are doing it at the luxury level. It is, however, the ultimate in   art spa; eight swimming pools with waterfalls; restaurants; and
          desirability. In most communities, where are the most expensive homes? They are                shopping village are near completion, agrees and adds, “The trend
          on the water, whether it’s Palm Beach or Amsterdam or Venice. People at the leading            is that those individuals that can afford to own a yacht want a place
          edge of resort design are finding ways to incorporate water and the high-end                   to keep it. Hence, developments with marinas tend to be very
          market is responding.”                                                                         attractive. This is true in the Caribbean and all over the world.”



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          In the Lesser Antilles, adds Kerstin McConnell, owner/broker of Sea Glass Properties, which represents       get to know the marina management; they have
     Island Global Yachting’s (IGY) Yacht Haven Grande residences on St. Thomas, “The opportunities for                someone they can trust looking after their asset. It
     boaters to have a residence at a marina have, heretofore, been very rare, although the desire to have a           also becomes an exclusive group which for many
     land base near the boat slip is a near-universal one.”                                                            owners is very important.”
          An essential appeal factor in properties such as this, says Darline Hillard, IGY’s director of sales, “are       Sea Glass Properties’ McConnell adds another
     ease of accessible by boat or air, to live for short stays or long term and have the opportunity to venture       plus, “The condominium apartment is as trouble
     out and explore the islands. This is possible at our St. Thomas and Anguilla properties.”                         free as a housing product can be in that it
          St. Thomas’ Yacht Haven Grande features 12 waterfront residences, each 2,000 square feet with three          allows one to come and go without dealing with
     bedrooms, three and a half baths, and signature amenities such as a custom-made plunge pool off the               the one-off issues of security, maintenance, and
     master bedroom. Dedicated slips that the residence owners enjoy accommodate vessels up to 70 feet                 management that a stand alone home demands.”
     in length. At the Altamer Resort on Anguilla, there are three luxury beachfront villas and six additional             A prospective buyer doing their homework can
     villas set for completion by the end of 2009; each comes with an owner’s slip.                                    overcome disadvantages. The Deckhouses Ryan
                                                                                                                       says, “You need to make sure that the value doesn’t
     What do prospective buyers need to know?                                                                          deteriorate because the project is going in the
     First of all, says The Deckhouses’ Ryan, “Prospective buyers have to love the property because it’s a place       wrong direction. You need to make sure that the
     that will be a spot to relax and enjoy time with your friends and family.”                                        quality is consistent. You need to make sure that you
         Sea Glass Properties’ McConnell adds to this thought, “Proximity to one’s yacht implies a yacht harbor,       are in a jurisdiction where you don’t have problems
     a community, something along the model of the Mediterranean seaport with all the bustle and activity              with titles. I believe that you should also make sure
     and ‘action’ that implies, and a prospective owner ought to decide first that that is what they want and          that you are buying into an established market. You
     not isolation and tranquility that is not part of a seaport setting.”                                             will want to buy property in a place that will remain
         Beyond this, MDG’s Brown, says, “Buyers need to find out if the slip is included? Can they purchase it?       desirable, whether it’s Mayfair in London, Central
     Or, can they rent it? Also, what facilities are available at the marina? Full-service can mean many things. Is    Park South in New York, or along the coastline in
     there a dry dock area nearby when hurricane season approaches? All of these items are a consideration             certain sections of Palm Beach. Remember that
     when purchasing a property with a marina.”                                                                        the ‘newest, latest, greatest’ thing may simply be a
         Other than these points, says IGY’s Hillard, “It’s very much the same as purchasing a condominium or          passing fad and values can decline rapidly.”
     residence in the US. There are certain local requirements that buyers must meet depending on the jurisdiction,        Lastly, adds MDG’s Brown, “Cost can be a
     however, we will work with our buyers and their counsel to satisfy any requirements that may exist.”              disadvantage. Because of the limited nature of
         Advantages to owning this unique type of property are many. “Walking out of your home and                     this type of real estate product, only so many
     right on to your boat is the obvious advantage,” says MDG’s Brown. “Clients want convenience. Their               homes and marina slips, when they’re gone…
     personal time is very limited and they want/need to have easy access to services like a marina. They              they’re gone.”




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