Catching Up With The Jays in Barbados

It’s been a while since we checked in with the Jays. Back in January, they visited Barbados to formally take possession of their new home, before heading back to the UK to pack up and make a permanent move.

A couple of weeks ago, they came back and started the process of making the house into a home and adapting to their new life in Barbados. That involved things like finding contractors to handle renovations, buying a car and discovering the delights of trying to get things done.

Minimalist  Barbados

In addition, they now have their own blog, titled Minimalist, where they chart their discoveries following downsizing and relocating. It makes great reading. Check it out for tales from the bureaucratic front, up to date pricing for furniture and food,  and lots of interesting anecdotes on the local culture and lifestyle. Check it out – and we’ll have occasional updates, too.

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Don’t miss the other posts in the series following the Jays’ move to Barbados:

  1. Move to Barbados – Meet the Jays
  2. The Jays Search for Barbados Property
  3. The Jays Move to Barbados: Choices, Choices
  4. The Big Decision: What Kind of Community?
  5. The Jays Brave the Bank
  6. The Jays: A Chequered Tale
  7. The Jays Move to Barbados – Special Delivery
  8. The Jays Move to Barbados – The Legal Bit
  9. The Jays Move to Barbados – What Will it Cost?
  10. The Jays: A Piece of the Rock

And see how we made our move in the From the Ground Up series.

The Jays: A Piece of the Rock

“We now own a fine piece of Bajan real estate! On the down side, we are now paupers and will be living on fish scraps,old fruit and road kill.”

The Jays: A Piece of the Rock

This was the update from the Jays in the middle of December, about 5 months after originally viewing the property.

As I write this, the Jays are on their way to the island to formally inspect the home and ensure that the previous owners have left all that was agreed.

But that’s not the end of the Jays’ story. They still have to accomplish the move (currently scheduled for the middle of 2014) and complete the process of getting their residency status approved. We’ll continue to follow their story as that happens.

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Don’t miss the other posts in the series following the Jays’ move to Barbados:

  1. Move to Barbados – Meet the Jays
  2. The Jays Search for Barbados Property
  3. The Jays Move to Barbados: Choices, Choices
  4. The Big Decision: What Kind of Community?
  5. The Jays Brave the Bank
  6. The Jays: A Chequered Tale
  7. The Jays Move to Barbados – Special Delivery
  8. The Jays Move to Barbados – The Legal Bit
  9. The Jays Move to Barbados – What Will it Cost?

And see how we made our move in the From the Ground Up series.

The Jays Move to Barbados – What Will it Cost?

When buying a home in Barbados, you need to think about costs. Some of these happen before the purchase. For example, the Jays wisely paid a quantity surveyor to check the property out before the purchase and he identified an area of damp. This helped with negotiations.

The Jays Move to Barbados – What Will it Cost?

 

Photo credit: Mark Morgan

Then there are there are utilities. Here’s how transferring works for electricity:

  • transfer service into new home owner’s name by sending a letter, and including a clear copy of your picture ID, contact information and a service charge of $23.50.
  • if a non-national, pay a deposit of $1,000/3 months’ billing.
    As I recall, there was a similar arrangement in place for the phone service. This can certainly add up.

And finally, you need to think about how much you will have to spend when you’re in the island. Here are some typical costs for running a 3,000 sq ft home housing a family of four:

  • Electricity – BD$250 per month
  • Water – BD$45 per month
  • Car insurance – BD$2000 per year (Ford Focus)
  • Home insurance – BD$3000 per year
  • Land tax – BD$3000 per year
  • Telephone/internet – BD$120 per month
  • Television package – BD$100 per month
  • Car tax – BD$430 per year
  • Food – BD$1000 per month

You can adjust upwards or downwards for the expected size of your home and the number of people living in your house.

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Don’t miss the other posts in the series following the Jays’ move to Barbados:

  1. Move to Barbados – Meet the Jays
  2. The Jays Search for Barbados Property
  3. The Jays Move to Barbados: Choices, Choices
  4. The Big Decision: What Kind of Community?
  5. The Jays Brave the Bank
  6. The Jays: A Chequered Tale
  7. The Jays Move to Barbados – Special Delivery
  8. The Jays Move to Barbados – The Legal Bit

And see how we made our move in the From the Ground Up series.

The Jays Move to Barbados: The Legal Bit

Buying a home in Barbados is similar to buying a home in other places, in that there are a few steps you need to go through.

The Jays Move to Barbados: The Legal Bit

 

It usually goes something like this:

  • view the home and make an offer via the agent
  • hire an attorney and make an official offer
  • if accepted, get a draft purchase agreement in place
  • pay a non-refundable deposit of 10% of the purchase price
  • pay the balance and complete the sale, usually within 3 months.

But things are never completely straightforward, are they? If you’re in a different country, you probably also have to:

  • arrange finance, perhaps by selling another property as the Jays did.
  • send lots of paperwork back and forth
  • get that paperwork notarised, which can end up being very costly.

For the Jays, the process started smoothly. In contrast to getting the cheque book, it just one week to get a draft agreement in place with their lawyer. And a week later the agreement was in their hands. But then the UK proved that Barbados isn’t the only place to experience postal delays. More than once, the sale paperwork for their UK property was lost in the post. That could have caused problems at the Barbados end but luckily it didn’t.

By the end of September, just under three months after viewing the property, here’s where things were:

1. Agreement signed in front of Commissioner for Oaths and returned to Barbados.

2. Deposit paid (which the Jays describe as “an adventure in itself”). It turned out that although the deposit money was in the Jays’ bank account, there is no provision for inter bank internet transfers in Barbados. Though if you know the right people, it can be done in a few minutes.

3. Finance arranged for balance and exchange rate fixed.

Then it was a waiting game, but it wouldn’t take much longer.

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Don’t miss the other posts in the series following the Jays’ move to Barbados:

  1. Move to Barbados – Meet the Jays
  2. The Jays Search for Barbados Property
  3. The Jays Move to Barbados: Choices, Choices
  4. The Big Decision: What Kind of Community?
  5. The Jays Brave the Bank
  6. The Jays: A Chequered Tale
  7. The Jays Move to Barbados – Special Delivery

And see how we made our move in the From the Ground Up series.