Life’s a beach! in Sint Maartin

Vacation rental condo shopping

A year after the big hurricanes of 2017 and Sint Maartin is back in business.  Sint Maartin is the Dutch side of the island, and post hurricane, the vast deference between the the Dutch and French sides has grown very apparent.

Irma damage

The last major hurricane to hit the island was about 22 years ago. The Dutch side of the island decided to use the damage as an opportunity to upgrade. They chose to invest and upgrade the electric supply by burying the electric lines.  Because of this, there was electric back on the Dutch side within the week. The entire island is still in a state of repair and clean up, but much more of the Dutch side is open for business than the French side.

Talked to several residents who were on island for the most recent hurricane, and a few who were there for the previous. They are very proud of the the Dutch government for supporting and choosing to invest in the future of the island. They have various opinions and rumors as to why and what has caused the stall in recovery on the French side, but what became crystal clear, is that if I want to run a business on St. Maartin, my only choice is the Dutch side.

Purchasing Property

A proud local

As for purchasing property on the island, there is a lot of information on the web about the differences between the Dutch and French sides. In general, the Dutch side is more attractive with approx. 6% transfer tax, no land tax, and no capitol gains tax. Financing must come from a local ST Maartin bank. A 35%-50% down payment will be required (Some of this may come from a USA loan, and will be factored in your loan application). Working with a good local realtor and bank is a must!

Went on a wonderful property tour with a fantastic Realtor from the Island Real Estate Team. The island does not have a common MLS, but a good Realtor will know what is available and where. All of the properties we visited had no damage from the Hurricane.

Condo at Oyster Bay

This is a two bedroom, two bathroom condo located within the Oyster Bay Beach Resort, with views of Captain Olivier Marina. The condo looks out over the marina at the French side of Oyster Pond. Pre-Hurricane Irma, the ferry from St. Martin to Saint Barthélemy (St. Barts) departed from this Marina. One year later, there is still much clean up and repair needed. The ferry will run again someday.

spinnaker infinity pool

The Real Estate listing for the “Spinnaker Condo”.

Captain Olivier Marina

There is an infinity pool, shared by the Spinnaker units that is also overlooking the marina. There is a patio and outdoor grill as well. The owner of the condo and their guests also enjoy full access to all the amenities of the Oyster Bay Beach Resort.

This quaint property is very attractive. I would love to sit on the balcony and watch all the boats come and go from the marina with the picturesque French architecture on the hillside beyond. There is potential of increased property value as Oyster Bay Resort makes their improvements and opens their property. The marina was not operational during our visit, but Oyster bay will repair it’s portion, opening up the opportunity to purchase a boat slip to compliment the condo.

Oyster Bay Resort had very nice reviews pre-hurricane, and includes hotel and time share units. There was a lot of repairs and construction underway while we visited the property. The 2019 season reviews will say a lot about their progress.

Indigo Bay Villa

Indigo Bay 1

Indigo Bay is a planned development in its early stage of build out. We toured a new construction two bedroom and a three bedroom villa that are located next door to each other.  The architecture is very clean, modern European, and incorporating amenities to withstand the next Hurricane.  In addition to the build quality of the villa, the Ocean vista views are lovely.

Indigo Bay 2

Indigo Bay is under construction. The planned development will incorporate various levels of residential, commercial, and retail properties. As a long term investment, there is wonderful potential, but currently, there is not enough built to be there without a car. Click this link for further information about investment opportunities at the Indigo Bay development, and they also have a nice summery of reasons to purchase in Sint Maartin.Indigo Bay 3

Coral Shores Town Home

The three bedroom townhouse has an oversize, ocean front terrace with waves lapping at the coral shore just below. Coral Shores is in the Pelican Key Community with lush landscaping, a community pool, sun deck, and ocean access. Coral Shores Town Home ocean accessThe location is close to shops, restaurants, casinos, and night life. The town home has been completely renovated with vacation rental in mind. The improvements and amenities are clean and modern. The property is turn key and ready for vacation renters.Coral Shores Town Home

Sapphire Beach Club, Beachfront Villa

Sapphire Beach Club is a property that includes condos, hotel, timeshare and villas. At the time of our visit to the Villa, the Sapphire Beach Club was not open, but repairs were under way. At this time, I am unable to find a dedicated web site for the property and their Facebook page has not been updated in many months. My local contact says that a section of the hotel is supposed to reopen in December 2018, and the rest of the inventory will be available in different stages over 2019.

The Villa we visited was lovely and did not get damaged during Irma.

Sapphire Beach Club Beachfront Villa pool deck leftSapphire Beach Club Beachfront Villa pool deck right

The Sapphire Beach Club and Villa is located in the desirable Cupecoy area, close to restaurants, beaches, the golf course, and the French border. There are some very nice new developments under construction in this area as well.

The villas are located below the resort, along the sea shore. There are approx. 14 villas in all.  Sapphire Beach Club Beachfront VillasAccess to the small beach is convenient, and each unit has a small plunge pool on the first level balcony. The ocean view is beautiful, and with the architecture walls between unit balconies, the feel is very private.Sapphire Beach Club Beachfront Villa beach leftSapphire Beach Club Beachfront Villa beach right

As part of the Sapphire Beach Club, property owners and guests have full access to the amenities of the property which include a pool, fitness center, business center, etc. The potential for a really good vacation is there, but…traveler reviews of the Sapphire pre-hurricane were less than favorable. It appears that the property was in dire need of updating and repair even then. I will be watching for future updates and reviews.

New Construction at Mullet Bay

Pre-construction pricing of a new high rise development in a very desirable area of the island. Famous Mullet Bay adjacent to the golf course!Beach at sunset

Would you like to tour property during your next vacation? Please let me know if you have any further questions or comments!

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Thank you!