Grand life, Grand Bahama

Grand Bahama Island, the northwestern-most island in the Bahamas, is also its second most popular tourist destination.

Characterized by long stretches of pristine beaches, charming hotels, and boasting world-class scuba diving operations, the island is a classic postcard for paradise. Grand Bahama is also an ecological Mecca, home to three national parks: the Peterson Cay National Park, The Rand Nature Centre and the Lucayan National Park, which boasts of one of the longest underwater limestone cave tunnels anywhere in the world.

Dazzling features such as these make Grand Bahama's real estate some of the most sought after in this hemisphere, according to Daniel Lowe, president of Future Properties & Investments. "Once you get off the plane or off the boat and place your feet firmly on the fine sands of Grand Bahama, you'll never want to leave," says Lowe, a Bahamian who has strong connections to Canada.

"Visitors keep coming back year after year, and most of them decide to buy a second home or just relocate altogether. Who could blame them, wouldn't you want to live in paradise?"

The free port of Freeport

The city of Freeport on the island of Grand Bahama has been known by= many names over the years: Hong Kong of the Bahamas, Singapore of the Atlantic and Gateway to the Americas, to name a few. It is more than a city; it is also a major free-trade zone, which attracts investors from all over the world.

The reason: The Hawksbill Creek Agreement was signed in 1955 establishing a city and free-trade zone on the island with the intent of promoting economic development - an area free from taxation on income, capital gains, real estate and private property until, initially, 1985 - a provision that has since been extended to the year 2054.

Freeport has become a favoured international port of call not just because of its tax-free environment, but also for its strategic location.

Freeport Harbor is the nearest offshore port to the U.S., and it's just 30 minutes by plane from Florida.

Its centrality on the trade routes also makes it a favourite stopover and a hub for international commerce and easily within reach of the transshipment traffi c that passes through the Panama Canal.

Not only is Freeport clean-lined and well-planned, it's also good for the spirit, says Lowe. "Freeport invites its residents to relax and enjoy its many amenities," he says. "There's a vast array of things to do and to see in Freeport and its surrounding areas," says Lowe, whose company offers a number of real estate services including sales agency, buyer agency, rental and leasing services, property management and development/ investment consulting.

"Many of the individuals and families who invest in Freeport real estate do so not because of its free-trade zone, but because of its natural beauty and the high quality of life that it offers."

For the full article explaining what you need to know about investing in Bahama Island pick up a copy of the December issue, on newsstands Nov. 8.

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