Interview with Bahamas Realtor George Damianos
George Damianos is something of a doyen when it comes real estate in The Bahamas. A realtor for over four decades – dating all the way back to the birth of the modern, post-independence Bahamas – he has acquired a wealth of experience and knowledge that makes him the go-to guy for advice about buying property in this idyllic country.
During our visit to The Bahamas in July, we sat down with Mr Damianos in the palatial environs of Déjà Vu, one of the most prized properties currently on the Bahamas real estate market, and he was illuminating on all manner of topics, including the financial incentives for people considering purchasing property here.
“We have a lot of benefits with taxes,” he told us. “We don’t pay any income taxes, or any capital gains taxes on real estate, and we have no inheritance tax. So basically you don’t need to pay any additional costs when you sell the house or even if you pass away.
“The income tax is really advantageous for people who reside in the Bahamas, so it can be quite a savings and a way to preserve wealth f you set up residency in the Bahamas.”
He continued: “The Bahamas offers three types of residency when you buy a home. The first is a home-owners card, which enables you to stay as long as you own the property in the Bahamas and come and go immigration wise, freely.
“The second is an annual residency which is basically renewed every year and that allows you to stay in the Bahamas as long as you have your residency. And the third is a permanent residency, and by buying a property over $1.5 million dollars you are entitled to apply for accelerated permanent residency and so you can get that within six months of application.
“That is not the same as being a citizen but it gives you all the rights to stay in the Bahamas as long as you like.”
So as a Bahamian native, what are the key factors that Mr Damianos believes makes this country so special.
“Apart from the climate I think it’s the Bahamian people,” he said. “They’re warm they’re friendly, and it’s easy to get to know people. There’s a lot of interesting people in The Bahamas. We’re in a small pond and I think it makes the people more accessible.
“Also the waters are beautiful, and if you really like the outdoors, boating, the ocean and beaches, in this area we’re second to none.”
You can watch the full video interview with Mr Damianos above this article.