Buying - Bonaire

Different procedure Bonaire

Buying real estate on Bonaire might work a little different then for example in the US. On Bonaire you do not use an attorney in the process, there it is the real estate agent and the notary who together will do the job. You find the property you like to buy, and agree to the purchase and conditions. Be aware that on Bonaire both the written and a verbal agreement is binding. The real estate agent draws up a contract called “koopovereenkomst” which needs to be signed by both the buying and selling party to confirm the deal.

This document will be handed over to the notary (on Bonaire a choice of 2; Mr. Arends or Mr. Schouten) who will do the title search and check all that is needed at the Land Registry called “Kadaster”. You do not want to buy a house that is not free of any running mortgages or has any other pending issues. So the due diligence on this side is all done by the notary. You yourself (or your own home inspector) on the other hand have to make sure the build is good, no termites nor other surprises of any other kind off course.

The notary will handle the financial part; the payment is done to them and they take care of the right distribution of the funds. If the seller has a mortgage on this property then this will be settled by the notary, as is the cost/commission of the realtor. Unlike in the US where the procedural cost are often negotiated, on Bonaire the realtor is paid by the seller, and the notary by the buyer of the real estate. The cost of the Kadaster will be invoiced to the buyer via the notary.

In case you need a mortgage your bank might insist on certain securities too; in most cases they like to receive a formal valuation of the real estate (like $350), and insist on certain property insurances on your new house. Foreign banks are not always keen on a mortgage for a house abroad, for example Dutch banks are just not interested. So rather than the +-2% interest rate in Holland, you have to negotiate with the Bonaire banks who are at the +-6% interest rate right now. As just mentioned, you have to do your homework before you verbally agree to buy!