Private Island Budget
As a general rule, private islands cost about 20% less than mainland waterfront property in the same locale. But with 360 degree views, that’s 50% more waterfront for your dollar.
Developed tropical islands with a home, close to mainland amenities, with good weather and a stable government will cost more than undeveloped islands in emerging markets. If you’re looking for a deal, don’t rule out islands off the beaten path in more moderate climates. If you trade a sandy beach for some pine trees and the call of the Loon, you will probably pay less for your private island. Canada has literally millions of islands, selling for 1/3 the price of their American counterparts and 1/10th the price of Caribbean private islands.
You need to think about how you’re going to spend your maximum budget. Do you want to blow your whole budget and get the best island for your money? Unless you have a good income stream, you’ll need to set some of your budget aside for improvements and maintenance. If income isn’t a problem, buy the best island you can and worry about development later. Private island projects are often years in the making unless you purchase a turnkey private island with all infrastructure in place. You may have an idea of your budget, but there are many variables to consider. If you spend your entire budget on an island, without any forseeable income for maintenance and future improvements, you could run into trouble.
If you aren’t able to spend time on your island before purchasing, make sure you visit the island before you sign the dotted line. You need to walk around the island to assess if it’s what you want. You can look at the all the photos in the world and read the brochure, but there is no substitute for visiting the island you hope to buy. Your agent might never have set foot on the island or spent any time there, so they might not be a reliable source. If your broker is familiar with the island, you will want him or her to accompany you on the visit to benefit from their knowledge and expertise.
Private Island Development Costs
Islands may be 20% cheaper than the mainland, but it can cost 50% more to build on an island versus the mainland. If you’re building a home from scratch, renting a barge to move workers and materials to your island can cost thousands of dollars a month. Island building materials need to be more durable and of better quality, therefore, more expensive. Installing a simple septic system and power generator can cost up to $100,000. These costs add up quickly, so do your research before you purchase and include these items into your budget. With private islands, it’s not just the cost of the island, you need to factor in the cost but to make your island habitable.