Want To Buy A Private Island? Here Are 9 Things You Need To Remember

hammock beach island reading

Photo: Jeremy Vandel/Flickr

Most U.S. cities are becoming pretty crowded. That means jam-packed sidewalks, roads, and public transportation.If you’ve had enough and need an escape—and are uber-wealthy, to boot—what better place to go than your own private island?

We talked to island broker Doug Ingersoll, owner of Private Islands Online, about what it takes to purchase a private island.

Apparently, it isn’t that much different than buying a house. You just need to know what you want.

Know your price point right from the beginning

Do you want a remote island away from all civilisation, or one a little closer to the mainland? Every decision is going to cost you, so set a firm budget and stick to it, advises the wikiHow guide to buying a private island.

And before you even contact a broker, make sure you're actually committed to the goal of purchasing your own island, said Ingersoll.

Have a firm idea of what you want from an island

Once you're positive you want an island, make sure you know what you want. It will help narrow down your search.

'Without hearing a bunch of requirements, it's hard to rule in or our any particular property,' Ingersoll said.

The wikiHow guide to buying a private island suggests that you narrow down criteria such as what size you'd like the island to be, inspect the water supply, and decide whether you want white sandy beaches or mountains on your island.

Use the professionals at your disposal

After you decide what you want, make an appointment with a broker to start touring available islands.

Take climate into account as well

Islands off of northern Europe, Canada, and the northern United States are bound to be cooler than islands in the Caribbean.

The location and climate of the island will also affect weather patterns. During your scouting expedition, be sure to ask locals, especially fishermen, about the area's average weather.

Think through every possibility, no matter how small

Is the island already developed? If so, are the buildings up to local code?

Is the island securely anchored? If not, you might have a hard time getting on or off the island.

Do you have reliable caretakers to tend to the island in your absence?

WikiHow suggests speaking with architects, island brokers, locals, and the local government to iron out every issue before purchase. Create a list of questions and be prepared for entering any transaction.

Remember, you're dealing with a different country

When visiting your future island, remember that you probably aren't in the U.S. anymore (unless you're buying on American soil, of course).

'I think the first thing people need to understand is that it's a foreign country,' Ingersoll said.

And respect that country's laws and business practices

You need to play by new rules when buying an island.

In his experience, The Philippines won't allow foreigners to own land, Ingersoll said. So alternate routes need to be used.

Be aware that universal contracts that cover every possibility aren't the norm.

In Belize at least, 'each contract is drawn up from scratch,' Ingersoll said.

Learn to relax

And the term 'island time' isn't just a cliche.

It's a way of life in most areas. So don't freak if things don't go according to schedule.

While the process for getting titles and insurance is similar to what buyers will see in the United States, it will take much longer.

Foreign governments tend to move slower and the distance between the buyer and the island hinders the process

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