The Dutch side of the island Sint Maarten is leading the strong real estate market. Around the coast, new luxury developments are being constructed. There are new gated communities with waterfront access, boat slips and world class amenities. Taller buildings with comfortable condominiums are becoming more common as well.
American buyers seem to prefer the Dutch side at this time, because on the surface there are similarities to life in the US: English is the common language, power is 110 Volts, the currency is the US-Dollar, the supermarkets carry a large selection of American products, the typical fast food restaurants are ever present, US cable TV is standard. Most importantly: many of the properties have been designed with the American buyer in mind.
St Maarten is an independent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands since October 10th, 2010.
There are no restrictions for foreigners to own real estate and there are no property taxes. Real Estate closings will be performed in English, with a Notary appointed by the King representing both seller and buyer and covering all aspects of title search and title insurance. Typically, buyer and seller are not represented by their own counsel. A notary in the European legal system has a highly honorable position and only the most accomplished attorneys will achieve this status.
There are disadvantages to investment on Dutch Sint Maarten: The cost for electricity is very high - as much as three times more than on the French side. This will be a factor for home owners who feel the need for around-the-clock air conditioning. Also, traffic can be a bother, especially in the Simpson Bay area, where the afternoon rush hour is competing with the jams to be found in many major cities. In general, the Dutch side is less groomed than the French part and has a few more shabby corners.
Several large projects have been completed and sold successfully in the past few years. A good track record is giving us the confidence to recommand developers such as the Maho Group.