How To Buy A Private Island For Sale

How To Buy An Island: From Dream To Reality

Samantha Bryant6-Minute read
March 08, 2022

Ever dream of owning your own island? You’re not alone. It may seem extravagant, but buying an island is possible, even for those of us who aren’t billionaires.

As with any real estate purchase, however, it's important to know the right steps to make your dream come to fruition.

How Much Does It Cost To Buy An Island?

As they say, location is everything when it comes down to cost. You’ll need to take into consideration if the island has already developed land or if you’re looking for a clean slate with no existing development.

The going price of a developed island in Panama is $403,000 U.S. If you want a developed property with 110 acres in Thailand, it will set you back $160,000,000 U.S. An undeveloped island in Nova Scotia is $87,000 U.S., while an undeveloped island in the Bahamas recently went for $62,000,000 U.S.

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How To Buy A Private Island

In order to buy a private island, you need to consider all aspects of the buying process. As glamorous as it may seem, you’ll need to figure out the logistics to make sure this is the right move.

1. Decide How Much You Want To Spend

Once you have a number in mind, you'll have a better idea of what you can look at and how much bang you can get for your buck.

Of course, some islands will be very expensive, while others will fit your budget. It’s important to factor in additional expenses beyond the island itself. You must calculate the cost of building a house on the land should you need to do so, getting power and water arranged, cost of transporting supplies, and buying a boat to get to and from the island.

2. Pick A Location

We have islands right here in the U.S., but many dreaming of an island retreat might have a picture in their mind of a Caribbean breeze. Or they want a getaway island somewhere near the hustle and bustle of a big city. It all depends on how far away from civilization you want to be.

Every location will have its own set of rules and regulations when it comes to purchasing property, and you must keep that in mind. The same could be said about budget, as some locations may be more desirable and expensive than others.

Additionally, you need to consider the weather. When is the rainy season? Is it on the path of tropical storms and hurricanes? How accessible is it to land where you can get supplies from an area grocery store or home store? These are all questions you’ll need to consider when moving forward with your island-buying plan.

3. Know How You Plan To Use Your Island

To find the island that's the right fit for you, you must start by determining the purpose of your island. It comes down to the question of business or pleasure. You might be searching for a second home for yourself and your family, or this might be more of a permanent situation whether that be a retirement dream or the perfect remote working location.

You may also wish to monetize your island life by renting it out on Airbnb or starting a vacation retreat to share with others. If this is the case, you’ll need to understand the area's development laws. You’ll also need to think of logistics and how accessible your island will be for potential visitors.

4. Figure Out How You’ll Get To Your Island

Don’t forget that living on an island means that you need a way to get to your island. Do you own a boat or a plane? If so, make sure your island has the infrastructure to accommodate that mode of transportation. Planning on relying on existing transport? You’ll need to focus on islands with an established means of transportation to and from the mainland.

5. Contact An Experienced Real Estate Agent

To move forward, you’ll need to get the lay of the land (or should we say island?). The best way to do that is to find an expert source.

A simple Google search will reveal many real estate agencies that specialize in island sales. It’s very important to work with a trusted real estate agent who is experienced in private island sales. They’ll know the ins and outs of the island buying process.

They’ll also know the local laws, the various locations, and whether you’re getting the best deal or overpaying. Basically, a good agent can be your guide for all things island buying. Find an agent who is experienced specifically in island sales, as they’ll have this helpful insight to offer.

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The Bottom Line: Buying An Island Can Make Your Dreams Come True

If buying an island is your dream, it might be time to take the steps to make it happen. Rocket HomesSM agents may not specialize in island sales, but our experienced real estate professionals can help you find a tropical retreat of your own in a place like Hawaii!

Samantha Bryant

Samantha Bryant is a freelance writer covering all topics related to lifestyle and homes. Samantha attended the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication. In her spare time, she loves to travel and globetrot the world with her family.