Caribbean Living

Emigrating to the Caribbean: is the region value for money?

Edited by Linda Jackson

Is Caribbean living tempting?

The Caribbean islands are steadily recuperating from the recent damages caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria last September. Due to the natural disasters, it has scared away many tourists and those looking to emigrate, that’s why residential prices have gone down significantly. If Caribbean living is tempting, now could be a good time to take action.

Meanwhile, islands that were minimally affected by the hurricanes have seen a surge in traffic. For instance, Antigua – a popular yachting center in the Caribbean – is getting rentals from people who were originally supposed to stay in St. Maarten or the British Virgin Islands.

Sales of Caribbean luxury homes up in Jamaica

Jamaica also remains unscathed, which is why its housing market is still going strong. Sales of luxury homes on the island are up by 25 percent from last year, thanks to the increasing interest of foreign buyers. The reduction of mortgage interest rates and increased loan limits has also caused a high demand for homes priced around $200,000 and below.

Even with the threat of natural disasters, the Caribbean has long been a popular choice for vacationers and retirees. Who can resist the promise of white-sand beaches and breathtaking mountain ranges? Also, because of the region’s many recreational opportunities, the Caribbean is an ideal destination for a family adventure. One such popular destination for retirees is Bonaire due to its status as a mecca for diving and watersports.

However, the cost of living can be unbelievably high in some Caribbean countries. Bermuda for one, has a 95 percent higher cost of living than in the United States. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant would cost around $30, while the average price per square meter of an apartment in the city center settles somewhere near $6,200.

Copyright ABC News Active Caribbean emigrating article Discover Homes Miami

Image credit: ABC News

In contrast, the Dominican Republic offers affordable housing and cost of living.

The average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment in the heart of Santo Domingo is $415 a month, while apartments outside of the central districts are cheaper.

Because of its low cost of living and numerous leisure facilities such as affordable yet beautiful golf courses like Playa Grande, the Dominican Republic attracts a large number of expatriates from all over the globe.

Compared to other regions, the Caribbean’s real estate prices rank somewhere in the middle. Countries in Central America have cheaper costs of living, and are popular choices for expats as well.

The neighboring Nicaragua in Central America offers a healthy lifestyle, great food, and fantastic beach living for lower costs. You can enjoy a complete meal with wine for only $16. As for housing, one-bedroom apartments go for $300 a month.

In Costa Rica, $500 a month will get you a furnished condo, while the price for a dinner for two would range from $15 to $20.

Coral Gables Copyright Discover Homes Miami - Active Caribbean emigrating article

Image credit: Discover Homes Miami

In the US, Miami is usually what comes to mind for retirement living.

Like the Caribbean, Miami boasts beautiful beaches and many recreational activities. Coconut Grove is one ideal neighborhood for retirees because of the excellent dining and shopping options. Although, its housing prices are significantly higher than both Caribbean and Central America real estate prices.

To understand this better, the area’s median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $1,800. Coral Gables, which is also a popular destination for emigrants, has a median rent of $4,092. The neighborhood is one of the most peaceful and beautiful communities in Miami, so to a certain extent, residents still get value for money.

Many Americans are looking to retire outside of the US, largely due to the high housing prices, which can take a significant portion of their savings for senior years. Thankfully, a lot of the neighboring countries provide comfortable housing for less.

It would be great to spend the rest of your life in the Caribbean, as long as it’s on an island with a low cost of living. If you’re planning to check out the islands soon, remember to read up on Caribbean travel tips and advice.

Header image on this sponsored Caribbean Living article page is copyright of Linda Jackson, Editor – Active Caribbean