Is Eleuthera The Best Caribbean Island
For Building A Second Home?

Let's talk to Brad from Canada. In search of the best Caribbean island, he and his wife Amy found Eleuthera for building their future island home.

In our interview below, Brad is going to tell us why they selected this particular island.

Amy and Brad

Brad is a professional builder and a highly experienced sailor. Amy has a degree in urban planning.

Interview With Brad

Interviewer: Brad, you own a sailboat and you have toured the Caribbean waters for many years. When did you start sailing while looking out for the best Caribbean island?

Brad's answer is just below the map...

Caribbean map

Brad: My first trip by sailboat to the Bahamas was in the winter of 1982/83 and my most current one was in March 2006. So, over a 23 year period, Amy and I have spent almost a year exploring the Caribbean by sailboat and looking out for the best Caribbean island to build on.

Map of The Bahamas

Out of the 14 inhabited islands in the Bahamas, we've been to the 12 most important Bahamian islands.

From north to south these islands are...

  • Grand Bahama
  • Abaco
  • Bimini
  • Berry Islands
  • Andros
  • New Providence, where Nassau is located
  • Eleuthera
  • Exumas
  • Cat Island
  • Long Island
  • Crooked Island
  • Great Inagua

... And so, we have a pretty good idea of the climate and how the Bahamas are structured.

The Caribbean Islands

Map Lesser Antilles

Brad: We have also visited the following 10 Caribbean islands...

  • The British Virgin Islands
  • The American Virgin Islands
  • Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • Trinidad
  • Guadeloupe
  • Grenada
  • Jamaica
  • Puerto Rico
  • the Dominican Republic

Even though we enjoyed all of these island, we found that when considering buying property, many of them fall by the wayside for a variety of reasons.

Interviewer: Please tell me, what some of these reasons are.

Brad: Well, we dropped the Dominican Republic from our list because of too many armed soldiers and police walking the streets, plus the first language is not English.

Trinidad didn't feel that safe to us. Port of Spain is a big sprawling city and there has been an increase lately in armed robberies of yachtsman in the boating center of Chaugaramus.

We liked Grenada, but things got quite ugly after the recent hurricane with expatriates and yachtsman having to band together to protect their properties from looting.

Jamaica is another place which seemed like a powder keg to us with lots of racial tensions and too much violence.

We found Puerto Rico too big and...

...the US Virgin Islands too built up and too familiar.  If we wanted to be immersed in a North American culture, we would simply be looking in Florida for a winter residence.

We liked the Brithish Virgin Islands and Guadaloupe but discarded them because they are much farther away from the continental US than the Bahamas are. 

The problematic logistics also apply to St Lucia and Nevis which we found lush and beautiful. Had it not been for the long distance from the U. S., these islands would have been high on our list for best Caribbean Island.

Why Focus on The Bahamas?

========== Sidebar ==========

For in-depth information about investing in the Bahamas, I recommend you read my interview with the author of a step-by-step e-book entitled "How To Buy & Sell Real Estate In The Bahamas"

Bahamas impressions

Interviewer: So, you decided to look for your best Caribbean island in the Bahamas?

Brad: Yes, we decided to focus on the Bahamas for the following reasons...

  • The language is English
  • The laws are British based
  • The Bahamian government has a friendly policy to foreign ownership
  • The Bahamas - a country made up of about 20 inhabited islands - are close to mainland USA
  • The Bahamian people are delightful and friendly the Bahamian Out-Islands are safe
  • The surrounding waters are most beautiful. The unique sandy bottom of the shallow seas results in the most spectacular shades of turquoise and blue. They are so beautiful that I'm running out of adjectives trying to describe them!

Why Eleuthera?

Ten Bay Twin Beach Caves Club Med Beach
Famous Ten Bay on the Caribbean side in Central Eleuthera, just south of Palmetto Point. Double Bay on the Atlantic side is in the background. Twin Beach on the Caribbean side in the Rainbow area north of Governor's Harbour airport. Club Med Beach just across from Governor's Harbour, on the Atlantic side of Eleuthera.

Interviewer: Why have you decided that Eleuthera is the best Caribbean island for building your house?

Brad: Eleuthera - which is about 100 miles long - seems to have the right mix of infrastructure and amenities while retaining its "Out-Island" feel. Many of the other islands are fascinating to visit, but quite small, and with a limited mix of activities to engage in after the initial exploration is finished.

Thinking about spending several months in one place is quite different than flying in for a week when everything is new and exciting.

Interviewer: What do you like about Eleuthera's topography?

Brad: Eleuthera has a much more varied topography than many of the other Bahamian islands. There are many rolling hills. And the east coast - known as the Atlantic coast - has some of the most beautiful sandy beaches. But that coast also has wild and rugged parts.

The shallow west on the Caribbean side of Eleuthera is calm and tranquil... at least in the prevailing breezes. This is particularly pleasant during winters.

Interviewer: What other reasons are there that made you want to own a house on Eleuthera?

Brad: I am a builder. Eleuthera has quite a good infrastructure to support the building and maintaining of a house.

Amy and I want to build rather than buy an existing house so as to utilize our accumulated skills. Amy is the executive director of a construction association.

Another advantage on Eleuthera is the fact that you can call in a ready-mix concrete truck when you need to pour cement, rather than mixing everything on site.

It's also an advantage to have power nearby, and in some areas, municipal water. Not needing a well or a cistern to obtain potable water is cheaper and more convenient. And municipal water greatly simplifies opening up and closing down the house, making it much easier for family or friends to borrow the house.

Having local lumber yards in Spanish Wells, North Eleuthera, Governor's Harbour, Palmetto Point and Rock Sound is also a big advantage. If everything must be shipped from the US or Nassau, and something is missed, huge delays can result.

Climatic Considerations

Interviewer: What do you think of Eleuthera's climate in comparison with other islands in the Bahamas?

Brad: First, let me tell you that Amy is into organic gardening. She likes the fact that Eleuthera has some soil. Many of the farther Bahamian Out-Island seem to be mostly rocky. Sand and scrub vegetation prevail.

Eleuthera is our best Caribbean island because it is far enough north that it gets more rain in the winter. Many of the cold fronts - which bring rain - don't reach the islands farther south. This makes the vegetation and gardens more lush on Eleuthera than on other islands of the Bahamas.

Eleuthera is also far enough south, that those same cold fronts don't make it too cold. And that's one of the main points to make it our best Caribbean island.

The Abacos for example - another group of Bahamian islands - are not that much farther north, but they can see temperatures in the fifties in the worst cold fronts. And those fronts would likely result in temperatures in the low sixties on Eleuthera.

Interviewer: Considering the summer temperatures, do you still think that Eleuthera is your best Caribbean island?

Brad: It is possible to live on Eleuthera in the summer without it being impossibly hot for a person with northern blood. Farther south it can be difficult to manage without air conditioning which we would like to avoid.

Interviewer: Thank you Brad, for your view on Eleuthera's climate and infrastructure in comparison with other Bahamian and Caribbean islands. You have made it very clear why Eleuthera is the best Caribbean island for you. I wish you good luck in building your home in Central Eleuthera, where most winter residents have their homes.

--- End ---

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Our Best Caribbean Islands Are Anguilla & Eleuthera  
Of all the Caribbean islands we have visited, Anguilla is, I think, most similar to Eleuthera . In fact, it can reasonably be described as a cross between …

Saint Lucia was my
Best Caribbean Island
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I stayed in St Lucia for three months. This was by far the best Caribbean Island I have been to. Mainly because of the ease of living and relaxed environment. …

My Best Caribbean Island Is Jamaica Not rated yet
I love Jamaica and the music of Bob Marley, the late Jamaican singer, song writer and musician. To me Jamaica is the best Caribbean island. I mean food …

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