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My Father's Country: The Bahamas

Mrs. Fox, aka cmoneyspinner, former civil servant, now self-employed; engaged in multiple online endeavors, including freelance writing.

1973: A Very Good Year For The Bahamas

The Bahamas: a nation consisting of hundreds of islands, islets, and cays (pronounced "keys") in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of Florida and north of Cuba. It was once an ideal location for buccaneering, a refuge for illegal pirates, and a “more bootie for the crown” hot spot for government-sanctioned privateers (legal pirates given a “license to plunder” by the king for God and country).

It was settled by the British in the 17th century and became an independent member of the British Commonwealth on July 10,1973.

(Interesting. July is a popular month for independence days. America’s Independence Day is July 4th; France’s Independence Day is July 14th, Colombia’s Independence Day is July 20th; Argentina's Independence Day is July 9th; The Bahamas is July 10th. There must be something about a hot summer month. People rise up! I’m HOT! I’m not gonna take it any more! ).

For one considering investing in real estate in The Bahamas, below is a quick overview of the various locations where prime real estate can be found. (Notice: I said “prime”, not “bargain”. May not be cheap but it’s worth every penny!)

There are many lighthouses in The Bahamas.

There are many lighthouses in The Bahamas.

How well do you know Bahamian history?

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What was the original name of San Salvador?
    • Watling Island
    • Guanahani

Answer Key

  1. Guanahani

Interpreting Your Score

If you got 0 correct answers: Child please! The original islanders probably said "Who you looking for? We don't know any Watling!"

If you got 1 correct answer: The natives called their home Guanahani. Christopher Columbus called it San Salvador because if that land had not been spotted, his crew was gonna kill him!!! They wanted to go home!!

People-to-People Cultural Exchange Program

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism sponsors a People-to-People program year-round.

Via the People-to-People Program, as a guest, visitor, vacationer or potential investor, you will be teamed up with a friendly Bahamian ambassador who will explain Bahamian traditions, customs, culture, etc., and show you a genuine, informal, up-close view of the island life and Bahamian hospitality. The goal is for you to take part in a memorable, one-of-a-kind vacation experience. Most program participants have nothing but praise for this cultural exchange effort. [See video below.]

Remember. Two Laws make it easy for non-Bahamians (foreigners) to invest in real estate in The Bahamas:

  • The International Persons Landholding Act of 1993, amended
  • The Bahamas Vacation Plan and Timesharing Act, 1999

Hope you will enjoy this brief Introduction to the Islands of The Bahamas

Island of New Providence*

*Birthplace of my late father.

  • Home to Nassau, Paradise Island and Cable Beach

The island of New Providence is referred to as the “crown jewel of The Bahamas”.

  • Nassau, the nation's capital, is the central location for government, industry, commerce and communications in the Bahamas. The city blends the charm of the old world and the modern conveniences of the new with exciting attractions and activities plus duty-free shopping. Some of the priciest real estate in Nassau is found in Lyford Cay, home to Sean Connery.
  • Paradise Island, linked to Nassau by a bridge, is a harbor resort with picturesque scenery, and exciting recreation for the entire family.
  • Cable Beach is famously known for its magnificent yet peaceful beaches, crystal clear turquoise water and glorious white sands. It is a favorite spot for celebrities and commoners alike.

Freeport / Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island

Grand Bahama Island is the second most popular tourist destination after Nassau.

Freeport, which is located in the center of Grand Bahama, some say is “The Hong Kong of the Americas”. Before I did the research I had never heard that expression. But I suppose it’s an apt description. In the early 1950s, American businessman, Wallace Groves, partnered with British financier, Sir Charles Hayward, to obtain the Bahamian government’s approval to build the City of Freeport. What a profitable adventure it has turned out to be.

Lucaya takes it name from the inhabitants known as the Lucayan Indians, a well-organized community of peaceful citizens, given to hospitality, whom Christopher Columbus stumbled upon. Today, “Lucaya is a bustling waterfront collection of hotels, restaurants and shops next to a saltwater pond on the island's southern shore.” (Source: "Port of Call Spotlight: Freeport/Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island - OrlandoSentinel.com." )

Click here to review Grand Bahama’s 1st Newspaper.

The Abacos

The Abacos is third largest in the Bahamas island chain, and Marsh Harbour is the largest town on Great Abacos Island.

“Abaco is a large and varied place and there is real estate available here ranging from palatial beach homes to undeveloped acreage and farm lands. There are entire cays for sale and 150 year old cottages dating from the days of the Loyalist Settlers.” (Source: "Abaco Bahamas - Real Estate." Your Guide to Abaco in the Bahamas . Web. 25 June 2011.)


Andros

Andros is noted for its extraordinary natural wonders such as the “mysterious blue holes”. The buzz is that this island has immaculate virgin properties, i.e. unspoiled, untouched - just waiting to be developed. There are several companies advertising Andros real estate. Just GOOGLE “Bahamas Andros real estate” and take your pick.


Acklins / Crooked Island

  • Acklins is not as well known as the other islands in The Bahamas, but it’s just as much a paradise as any of the other islands. Its largest settlement is a place called Snug Corner.
  • Crooked Island is quiet and remote, but a great place for commercial real estate, along with excellent beachfront property and vacant land. Colonel Hill is its main town.

Bimini

Once the home of the great writer / fisherman Ernest Hemingway and for that alone, people want to make Bimini their “island in the stream”. Investors can buy condos there with boat slips in the $600K range. If you own a yacht, that’s a valuable real estate tip. Bimini also has fast-growing residential and vacation communities.


The Berry Islands

Prized for its sport fishing, the gem of The Berry Islands is called Great Harbour Cay. The original vision of Great Harbour Cay was to create a hideaway for the privileged few – like Cary Grant, Bridgette Bardot, the Rockerfeller elite. When they refer to Great Harbour Cay as “undiscovered” that just means it’s not a tourist trap. These days, it is becoming very popular as a second home investment. There is also a Little Harbour Cay, unspoiled and secluded. So if you’re looking for a private island, start there.


Cat Island

Another island jewel not contaminated by tourism. A common real estate investment is a timeshare property. There’s vacant land, cottages, commercial property and residential income properties.


Eleuthera / Harbour Island

Did you know that the name Eleuthera comes from the Greek word for "freedom"? This island is famous for its pink sand beaches. Many celebrities vacation here and there are a number of homes for sale. Vacant lots start at $20K but real estate property prices have doubled within the past six months. At the beginning of 2011, it was predicted that Eleuthera was poised for a boom period because local developers and wealthy investors have renewed their interest.

Harbour Island, a 3-mile island on the northeast side of Eleuthera and you can only get there by boat. Word is if you purchase a piece of Harbour Island real estate you will have absolutely no regrets. 3 Ps describe this location – perfect pink paradise.

The Exumas

The two primary islands, Great Exuma and Little Exuma, are extremely important to this area’s tourism and commerce industries. The Exumas and Abacos are the better known of the Bahamian Out Islands. They both have major resort developments and beachfront lots for sale, comfortable private villas with gorgeous ocean views. On a list of the Top 10 islands rated best in 2010 for considering real estate values, ease of immigration, expatriate community, and quality of island life, Great Exuma, Bahamas was number 6. Little Exuma is not to be discounted however, as it also as stunning beachfront properties.


Inaguas

A natural habitat for a diversity of birds including pink Flamingos,Great Inagua Island is the 3rd largest island in the Bahamas and also the hottest and the driest. Matthew Town is the only settlement on Inagua. The Morton Salt Company is based there. There is Little Inagua and Great Inagua. If you just want to get away from it all, GO THERE! It is the real simple life you can retire to and it bears no resemblance to “The Simple Life” of Paris Hilton.


Long Island

Long Island is where Columbus anchored the Santa Maria when he discovered the island in 1492. Many people considered it the “hidden magazine”. But it’s no longer hidden since Islands Magazine named Long Island one of the best islands in the world to live on. In the world? With this kind of endorsement, investors are shopping around and they’re looking at property in Stella Maris, Cape Santa Maria or Deadman’s Cay. But don’t worry. One can find a perfect Long Island property outside of these communities as well.


Mayaguana

Mayaguana is the most isolated major family island in the Bahamas. No one lived there until Turks Islanders migrated there in 1812. But this is 2011 and you can buy property there now. Mayaguana has three main settlements: Pirate's Well, Abraham's Bay, and Betsy's Bay. Most residents make their living fishing or farming. Like the Inaguas, it’s another place to get away from it all.


Rum Cay / San Salvador

NFL Hall of Famer Warren Moon acquired property in Paradise Is Mine of Rum Cay, Bahamas. Paradise Is Mine, a company that specializes in creating and promoting real estate marketplaces around the world. Numerous NFL players have followed in Moon’s footsteps. NBA players too! Apparently, it’s not just a great place for the players but for the wives and kids. A place named “Rum Cay”. Who would’ve thunk it?

CockburnTown (pronounced Co-burn) is the main settlement of San Salvador. Incredible real estate opportunities exist in San Salvador from secluded beachfront villas to luxury residences to vacant land to commercial real estate. At present, real estate property prices are being described as “affordable”. Just because they’re not poised for a boom like Eleuthera doesn’t mean a boom won’t happen anyway!


For some islands some specifics about real estate were readily available. For other islands the background information is enough for any savvy investor to know why buying the island property in The Bahamas would be a wise investment.

No Guessing!

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Who is the most famous Bahamian American known nationally and internationally?
    • Sidney Potier
    • Calvin Lockhart
    • Harry Belafonte
    • Al Roker

Answer Key

  1. Sidney Potier

Interpreting Your Score

If you got 0 correct answers: Wrong answer. But thanks for stopping by!

If you got 1 correct answer: Academy award winning actor who launched his career by responding to a newspaper ad.

Pigs don't fly in The Bahamas.  But they do swim!  Even pigs can't resist those inviting turquoise blue waters.

Pigs don't fly in The Bahamas. But they do swim! Even pigs can't resist those inviting turquoise blue waters.

© 2013 Treathyl FOX

Hope You Enjoyed This Intro to My Father's Country. Comments?

Sylvia from Corpus Christi, Texas on August 19, 2014:

mmm...You made me feel as if I was there. What a beautiful page!

Tolovaj on August 16, 2014:

Bahamas are on my dream list for years. Although it is possible I will never visit this beautiful country, I enjoyed in this virtual visit. Thanks!

Treathyl FOX (author) from Austin, Texas on May 22, 2014:

@dis-cover - Hi! Apologies for the late reply. Multi-tasking on several projects and have been busy. Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

Nikolic Predrag from Serbia, Belgrade on April 01, 2014:

As I was a kid, my dream was to visit the Bahamas. Unfortunately, I'm on the opposite side of the globe. But your beautiful article brought me to the Bahamas directly. I still hope one day I will visit this amazing place.

Treathyl FOX (author) from Austin, Texas on February 27, 2014:

@ologsinquito - Thanks for commenting. AGAIN! :)

ologsinquito from USA on February 22, 2014:

I really liked that link that you had to the Bahamas on your online publication. That was so interesting. It seems like a fascinating and beautiful place.

Treathyl FOX (author) from Austin, Texas on January 07, 2014:

@fastfreta - Thanks for leaving a comment. My husband only took me to Nassau. I too would like to see the other islands. He helped me writing the HUB.

Alfreta Sailor from Southern California on January 02, 2014:

I really enjoyed reading this article. I've always wanted to visit, you've made it difficult for me to choose which Island, because you made them sound so interesting. Voted up, useful, interesting and Pinned.

Agnes on December 11, 2013:

What a lovely place... I always wanted to visit. I hope someday I will!

Treathyl FOX (author) from Austin, Texas on September 27, 2013:

@ologsinquito - Sadly, I have not been able to visit in a while for several personal reasons. So I write about it and dream! :)

Sorry for the late response. Thanks for commenting.

ologsinquito from USA on September 19, 2013:

What an interesting heritage. Do you get to visit the Bahamas often?

Treathyl FOX (author) from Austin, Texas on August 08, 2013:

@BahamasFinder and @bodylevive - Great comments!

Thank you both for visiting my HUBs.

BODYLEVIVE from Alabama, USA on August 08, 2013:

I've enjoyed the read. I have never been to the Bahamas but always wanted to go. After reading your article, I feel like I've been there. Very good and informative. Thank you for sharing.

Eric Smith from Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas on August 05, 2013:

Great info about the Bahamas and little bit of the history too! Thanks so much for sharing this! Yes I agree that the People to People is a great asset that Bahamas has.

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