Tobago is the smaller of two islands known as the twin-island state of the
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The most southerly of all of the
Caribbean countries, Trinidad and Tobago is at the foot of the Windward Island
archipelago which stretches from Venezuela to Martinique in the
Tranquil Tobago: luxuriantly
forested with an abundant water supply and mountainous terrain providing
numerous opportunities for waterfalls and pools along the courses of
its many small rivers. Protecting Tobago's coastline is mile after mile of
coral reef harbouring a wide variety of marine life which feeds on the fertile
convergence of two seas. The mean annual temperature is 30 degrees C with an average rainfall of 200 cm (40 inches). Dry season is
from January to May and wet season from June to December. The Caribbean
hurricane season spans from July to end October, but due to its southerly
location close to the mainland of South America, Tobago manages to avoid most of
the bad storms and is considered outside of the danger zone. Many boats
choose to anchor in Trinidad during the active months.
Schizophrenic Tobago: lashed
to windward by the Atlantic Ocean, lapped to leeward by the (mostly) more placid
waters of the Caribbean Sea. Equally diverse is its culture, once founded
on a thriving Amerindian society, now largely African in a uniquely West Indian
sense. The names of its towns and villages reflect the fortunes of
long-forgotten European wars when France, Holland and England lost and captured Tobago on 31 separate occasions. Today the traveller can
pass through Auchenskeoch, Louis d'Or, Bon Accord, l'Anse Fourmi, Scarborough, Plymouth,
Goodwood, Argyle and Pembroke - names to conjure with.
A drive around Tobago is a safe
and rewarding adventure. A succession of
delightful images from the flat coral plain of the south west with its tourism
bustle, to the almost forgotten Charlotteville in the north, hidden on the far
side of the Main Ridge hills and laid out like an amphitheatre round the
magnificent Man o' War Bay.
calendar of annual events in Tobago includes Goat Races at Easter, Carib
International Game Fishing Tournament (April) Angostura Yachting World Regatta
(May), Tobago Heritage Festival (July), powerboat Great Race from Trinidad
to Tobago (August), Open Golf tournament (August and September), Malta Carib
International Cycle Classic (October).
Tobago invites the sporting enthusiasts to enjoy
a wide range of activities including diving, golf, bird watching, fishing,
mountain biking, nature tours, horseback riding and other marine sports.
Visit Tobago and you will succumb to the healing energy of the place, letting go of the tensions of life
in more fast-paced societies where your spiritual needs can be overlooked.
Slow down the pace! Come to Tobago and re-discover who you really are....
BUYING REAL ESTATE
Look at the
"nitty-gritty" before you make any decision to buy!
- Citizens of Trinidad and Tobago
are permitted to buy property freely.
- Under the Foreign Investment Act of
1990, foreign nationals are
currently permitted by law to buy up to one acre (one parcel only) for a private dwelling house
and up to five acres for commercial purposes - but you must first apply
for a license to purchase if you are buying in Tobago. This need for a licence
in Tobago (not Trinidad) was introduced
in February 2007 but the finalized regulations and
application procedure were only introduced in October 2009. Under
the terms of this Order, an automatic licence (subject only to proof of good character) will be granted on application for all
purchases by foreign nationals within Designated Development Areas. Purchases
outside of these areas will be discretionary and dealt with on a case by case basis.
Application forms are available online from the Ministry of Finance and
applications can be made through your real estate Agent or your local
- The Designated Development Areas
will be precisely defined by maps prepared by Town & Country Planning
Division and posted on their website. Those areas were broadly
described in the 7th September 2009 Budget Presentation as follows, but the
actual boundaries must be verified on the maps. DDAs will
include : Englishman's Bay Estate, Culloden Estate, parts of
Arnos Vale, parts of Grafton, Mount Irvine Estate, Buccoo Estate, Golden
Grove Estate, Lowlands Estate including Tobago Plantations Resort, Diamond
Estate including Indigo Bay Resort, parts of Bacolet Estate. The
list may be amended from time to time.
- If you are a foreign national who purchased
property in Tobago prior to the licensing order of Feb 2007, you have
nothing to worry about in terms of the legality of your ownership. The
T&T law will continue to recognise your good title and Government
will not be making the need for a licence retro-active. If the
property is not located within the newly-defined Designated Development
Areas however, you may only be allowed to sell on to T&T nationals when
the time comes.
- Should you inherit a property in Tobago, you
have one year to apply for a licence to own it, or to put it on the market
- Foreign nationals wishing
to invest in larger properties of over five acres can apply for a
through the Tourism Development Company (TDC). Again, your real estate
Agent can help you deal with TDC who will facilitate all
applications and advise on matters such as fiscal incentives for hotel and
- Foreign nationals must purchase in
an internationally-traded foreign currency and proof of transfer of funds is needed by
the Ministry of Finance. Your attorney will handle this along with
registration of title.
- Permission to buy land does
not confer residency. Buying a commercial property does not
confer the right to work (earn an income) in Trinidad and Tobago. Work
permits are needed for any work that lasts longer than 30 days.
- If you are intending to live
in Tobago, foreign nationals should contact the Trinidad & Tobago High Commission
in their country for information on immigration and/or work permit requirements.
- If you are planning to come on
holiday to enjoy your new property, a non-resident is usually allowed up to three
months in T & T, with or without the need for a visa, which depends on
the country of origin. Discretionary extensions can be applied
Once you have found a house
or land to buy, here are the basic steps toward purchasing:-
- SeaJade will negotiate a
price on your behalf and then draw up
a Sales Agreement stating the terms of the contract. This draft agreement
should be checked by both parties (or their attorneys) prior to
signing. On signing the
Agreement, the purchaser pays a 10% deposit that is normally held in a special
“escrow” account by SeaJade until completion, or by an attorney
approved by both parties.
- Once a Sales Agreement is signed
and deposit paid, the buyer must instruct their local attorney to search the seller’s
title to the property and to draw up the Deed of Conveyance or Deed of
Assignment in the case of Leasehold land. SeaJade can assist with the selection of
- Once good title to the property
is established, the buyer is free to complete the purchase by paying the 90%
balance of the agreed purchase price. Typically, this is done ninety (90)
days from signing the Sales Agreement, but can be done as soon as the search
is complete. Completion can be done in person or by arranging for the
conveyance documents to be couriered to your own country where you can sign
in front of a Notary Public or equivalent who will attest to the
authenticity of your signature/identity. All funds can be
wire transferred to T&T to your attorney for completion.
- On completion of the purchase,
the buyer must pay via their attorney certain fees and duties called “closing charges”. These
are legal fees, registration fees, stamp duty, and fire insurance in the case of a house purchase.
Stamp Duty is based on the purchase price of the property and the government's Valuation Division
has the right to challenge that valuation as a basis of calculating Stamp Duty.
The threshold for Stamp Duty is currently TT$850,000.
- Your purchase is registered officially
at the Red House in Trinidad by your attorney, and all purchases by foreign nationals are
further notified to the Ministry of Finance, using bank transaction slips as proof of purchase
in a foreign currency, and of course via the application for a land licence.
- Mortgage financing can be arranged but only
in a foreign currency, most typically US dollars.
The reality of building in any foreign
country can be daunting. When your purchase is complete, SeaJade will be
happy to put you in touch with one or more contractors as well as property management
specialists and villa rental agents. Note that there is a 20% withholding
tax on all rental income of owners resident outside of T&T.
During 2010 the Government of T&T will introduce a new property tax that
will impact all property owners.
SELLING YOUR PROPERTY IN TOBAGO
If you have a property of any type
in Tobago which you want to list either exclusively or non-exclusively
for sale, we can feature it on our international web page, erect signage on it if appropriate and
advertise it in our local classified and/or
display advertising via national media and periodic tourism publications.
your property with SeaJade:
- Call us with initial information
on yourself and the property.
- Follow up with copies of your
title deed, the latest land tax receipt and a survey plan or cadastral.
- Show us, or allow us to view
your property and to recommend a selling price based on our professional
knowledge of the Tobago market. We will then jointly sign a contract stating
the terms of our agreement and the commission rates, selling price etc.
- SeaJade will actively promote,
and advertise your property, bringing to you all offers received and/or market
feedback. When an offer is accepted by you, SeaJade will negotiate and draw
up a Sales Agreement, accept the 10% deposit into our client account and facilitate
the purchaser’s attorney until completion of the sale. We will stick
with you to the end!!
- For the foreign seller, repatriation of
proceeds of sale are freely permitted in T&T.
INVESTMENTS IS ONE OF ONLY FOUR TOBAGO-BASED MEMBERS
OF THE NATIONAL
ASSOCIATION OF REAL ESTATE
AGENTS (AREA). We are exclusively Tobago!
of listing exclusively with SeaJade Investments :
- You deal only with SeaJade. We
handle all third party agents interested in viewing the property.
- Seajade co-brokes with all other
agencies in T & T.
- SeaJade is one of only four real estate
Tobago which are members of the professional association “AREA”.
- We are guided by a strict Code of Ethics and
Standards of Practice.
- We have a dedicated client account or escrow
account for handling of deposits.
- Every exclusive listing is registered
with AREA and circulated to the full membership within fourteen days.
- Every exclusive listing will appear also on
the website of the Association in addition to Seajade's website.
- All national media advertising
is done under AREA’s professional banner.
- SeaJade is supported professionally
by its Association and allied members. In the event of dispute, AREA
will act as mediator.