The Wide World of Real Estate October 4, 2023

Coldwell Banker Around the World: October 2023

Sam Shalom   Oct 2, 2023

If the days getting shorter and brisker have you considering where you might go to get away this winter (for those of us who do NOT have 360 days of sunshine a year), we encourage you to read our October selection, featuring the Coldwell Banker Real Estate Turks & Caicos office. General Manager Louise Peterson paints a picture of a gorgeous tropical island where you enjoy near constant tropical climes, with plenty of outdoors activities and beautiful scenery to explore. Of course, you could also just relax and enjoy the fresh seafood as well.

“After a busy day of work and school we get into our bathing suits and head to Grace Bay Beach by Coral Gardens Resort.  There we put on our snorkel and mask, swim out to the reef where we can enjoy the warm ocean and look for colorful tropical fish,” states Peterson. “We can do that each and every day of the year.  There aren’t many places in the world where that’s possible.” As Peterson notes, there are very few places where this is possible. Read on to discover many of the potential reasons to visit, move, or invest in the beautiful Turks & Caicos Islands (or TCI, as the locals refer to it).

Where do you live? Coldwell Banker Real Estate Turks & Caicos has an office in the heart of Grace Bay at the Caicos Cafe Plaza on the island of Providenciales (or “Provo”) within the British West Indies.  We enjoy about 350 days of warm sunshine each year and spend a lot of time outside walking the beach, snorkeling, kitesurfing and spending time with friends and family.

What is the perfect weekend day like? TCI enjoys a tropical climate tempered by trade winds and the average year-round temperature is about 82 degrees. A perfect weekend day would be to head out on the water to look for JOJO the dolphin, our most famous resident.  JOJO is an Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin who swims freely in the water off Grace Bay in Providenciales. He was first spotted in the early 1980’s and was declared a National Treasure by the Government in 1989.  The water surrounding these islands is spectacular, we are so fortunate to be able to live in a country where we can enjoy such a healthy lifestyle.

What are the common modes of transportation there? Drive cars or hire a taxi.

Tell us about the foods your area is known for. The food in TCI is strongly influenced by several cultures including African, Jamaican, Bahamian, Spanish and Lucayan. Traditional dishes such as Boiled Fish and Grits, Johnny Cake, Conch fritters, Hominy and Crab, Jerk Chicken or Fish, Peas and Rice are all extremely popular. Fishing is a large industry here as well. We do like spicy food and eat a lot of fresh fish and lobster.  If you are a foodie, you would love our restaurants as we have some of the best chefs in the world living right here in our backyard.

What is your favourite meal, at home or at a restaurant? At a restaurant or at home, both are great.  My favorite is Conch (pronounced KONK), it’s fished locally.  Anything with conch is delicious, conch salad is my favorite and so healthy!  It is made from conch (diced), green and red pepper, sweet onion, Habanero pepper, fresh squeezed orange and lime juice, salt and pepper.  It can also be enjoyed as conch fritters, cracked conch, stewed conch, jerk conch but the best is a fresh conch salad!

Where do you recommend someone vacation in your region and why? If you are coming to TCI for the first time, then a vacation in Providenciales would most likely be your first choice.  The hotels are amazing, the restaurants superb, and the beaches stretch for miles.  The best part is getting out on the water.  Deep sea fishing, boating, kitesurfing, snorkel excursions, scuba diving, kayaking through the mangroves – there is so much to see and do.  Providenciales is the most developed island and home to luxury beachfront condos, estates and villas.  North and Middle Caicos are a short 20-minute ferry ride from Providenciales.  Not as much development as Providenciales and a slower-paced lifestyle.  On North and Middle Caicos, the beaches are spectacular, and you often find you have them all to yourself.  Salt Cay, known as The Island That Time Forgot, is a special island in TCI.  It’s 2.6 square miles, the smallest island in the TCI and oh-so-quiet and peaceful. Hundreds of years ago, we had a thriving salt industry that was based on South Caicos, Grand Turk and Salt Cay.  Salt Cay is a very popular “whale-watching” destination from January until late March each year as the whales pass through the Turks Island Passage. Salt Cay is like traveling back in time with the older style traditional Caribbean homes painted in bright colors with pretty wood shutters.  A leisurely bike ride around the island, a visit with the donkeys and an afternoon siesta in a hammock would be the perfect day. Salt Cay is one of the quietest places I have ever been to, just the sound of the ocean waves and a light breeze.  The permanent resident population in Salt Cay is about 65 people.

What is your favourite recreational or leisure time activity?  Watersports are huge in TCI and if you like sandy beaches and ocean-based sports this is your place! Kiteboarding is also a favorite activity..  The beach at Long Bay (South-East side of the island) is a perfect location for kiteboarding, windsurfing and jet-skiing as it’s a shallow crescent shaped bay that has an almost constant breeze.  We spend a lot of time jet-skiing around Provo or taking the skis over to the other small islands like Pine Cay, Fort George, Dellis Cay and even as far as North Caicos.  To see the islands from the water is special for us.

Is there a specialty your area is known for? We have a very special event at the end of every year, and it’s called Maskanoo.  On December 26th each year we have a street festival celebration along the Regent Village area in Grace Bay.  The roads in the area are closed and everyone comes out to eat, shop, listen to music, dance, and celebrate. It’s one of TCIs’ biggest cultural events of the year sponsored by the T&C Hotel Association. The parade is amazing and if you are visiting us during late December do mark that date on your calendar.

Share a little known but interesting fact about the area/region: By total landmass, the Turks & Caicos Islands is one of the world’s smallest countries.  Most development in the country has taken place over the last 40 years. T&C is a Tax Neutral Jurisdiction and has an attractive tax environment. TCI has no property tax, no income tax, and no capital gains tax. No restrictions on foreign individuals owning property here, either.  The development here is low-density, there are no large buildings or towers allowed.  We enjoy the quiet relaxed pace of island life.

If you were to live in any other region where we have a Coldwell Banker presence, where would it be and why? I love it here, we live a very sporty lifestyle, always outside at the beach or in the ocean exploring the marine life.  I’ve travelled to many continents, countries and places in my lifetime, but I’ve never seen anything as special as Turks & Caicos.  We are blessed to live here. 

Territory Summary:

Turks & Caicos is a British Overseas Territory (UK).  We are located 575 miles south-east of Miami Florida.  Our Lat/Long position is 21.6940 degrees N, 71.7979 degrees W.  We are an archipelago of 40 low-lying coral islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The Turks & Caicos Islands are surrounded by 340 miles of barrier reefs.  Our reef is the third largest barrier reef in the world.  There are eight main islands comprised of two sets, the Turks Islands (Grand Turk and Salt Cay) and the Caicos Islands (West Caicos, Providenciales, North Caicos, Middle Caicos, East Caicos, and South Caicos). The Columbus Passage (also known as Turks Island Passage) separates the two sets of islands. The passage is 7,000 feet deep and 20 miles wide. There are three inhabited private Cays in the Turks & Caicos – Ambergris Cay, Parrot Cay, and Pine Cay. East Caicos and West Caicos are both undeveloped islands. Tourism, Financial Services and Fishing are the primary industries. Very strong tourism industry with hotels and resorts or vacation villa rentals.  Low lying islands south-east of Miami Florida; east of the Bahamas and north of the Dominican Republic.

Key Facts:

  • Population: 47,700
  • Language(s) Spoken: English, Spanish, French and Creole
  • Climate: Tropical
  • Currency: USD

Industry Facts:

  • Types of Architecture: British Bermudian Colonial and Modern Caribbean Contemporary
  • Average Sale price: Average Sales Price $1.5 Million USD;
  • Average Home Sales Price $3.8 Million USD (residential detached single family)
  • Average years in house/apt: 15 years
  • Types of Financing: Traditional Bank Mortgage; Private Bank Financing; Pre-Construction Staged payments during construction with balloon payment at completion.

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