Once the Anguilla real estate sale is completed, don't think you are done.
This is not your "typical North American transaction." Anguilla real estate sales take a bit more work.
In other words... we are not done. We have merely left a deposit on the land.
Now it's time to get to work.
Our first task?
Secure the Outline Planning Permission. Normally, this is done in less than a month.
You need to hire a professional, usually an architect or surveyor, to prepare a submission showing a site plan of your land, its dimensions, the setbacks, and the approximate areas for your house and septic system.
It's pretty simple, but...
TIP: Ask to receive a copy before it's submitted.
I get a little preoccupied at times and didn't follow-up as tightly as I should have. The wrong dimensions had been submitted and accepted. Luckily, it's a small matter to re-submit.
So this did not go as smoothly as I'd hoped. Regardless, three months later (end-November, 2005), I received notice that we're done! Outline plan has been approved.
We are officially one step closer to completing the Anguilla real estate sale! :-)
Bottom line... If you are in a hurry, stay on top, check, and push the process along gently. If you are not, check in from time to time. But this seems like a "hard to do wrong" step.
I have a feeling that the next step, the Alien Land Holders License application, is not going to be the same piece of cake. So I'm going to find the best of Anguilla attorneys to do this for me. It's a rather involved application.
It's going to take more time and perseverance than I can give it personally. During this time, I'm going to let an Anguilla attorney handle and push it for me. My main job will be to do my main job back here in Canada... and console myself with my favorite view from our Anguilla land if I grow impatient.
View From The Shore
I picture myself walking along the fringe reef in the photo above, collecting a bag full of whelk and maybe even find a lobster. The whelk are there, I've seen them. Who knows, maybe a lobster will snap on the toe of my reef shoe!
If you think about it, land like this with a fringe reef, a wonderful inbound trade wind, great wave action, a view of St. Martin, St. Barts and the open Caribbean...
It doesn't get better than that. The more I think of it, the more I'll be happy to go to any nearby sandy beach when I want to swim in the ocean. In exchange, the house won't be sand-blasted daily by the inbound trades, a major maintenance issue. How do I know?
So, looking ahead, where to you learn about building a home in the Caribbean?
First, I've printed out every page of the "BeachShack" Web site.
And here are two indispensable books about building homes in the Caribbean...
Blueprint For Paradise, by Ross Norgrove
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Mcgraw-Hill (May, 1983)
Caribbean Home Ownership: A Dummies' Handbook, by John O'Toole
Paperback: 140 pages
Publisher: Pooka Pub. (January, 1997)
I've researched books on building in the Caribbean extensively. These are your two "desert island" books on the topic. Outstanding. They are both out of print. You can find used copies, though, at Amazon or through eBay for $100 and up!
Yes, someone should write a new book on the subject of building in the Caribbean! There is obviously a market for it, given the price of used books. But the information in these out-of-print books is evergreen and the education invaluable.
Key lesson for this step: When you buy your piece of Anguilla paradise, make sure you make time provisions for filing your Outline Planning Permission and your Alien Land Holders License. Delays happen.
Next Step? Find good anguilla attorneys who have done this before. I know just the chap to ask for a referral! And then...
Complete the preparation of the Anguilla Alien Land Holders License Application and send it to the Anguilla attorneys to handle.
Oh yes, one more step that I'll be doing right now...
Prepare rum punch, heat lamp, and pretend I am there.