Jacob Osborn

How to Buy Your Own Private Island | Man of Many

It might come as a surprise, but the private island market is quite similar to the regular commercial or residential real estate market. That is to say, each island is listed by either an owner or agency, perused by potential buyers, and then legally transferred upon completion of purchase.

How Do You Buy an Island?

As you can probably guess, no two islands are exactly the same. Along similar lines, different people buy islands for different reasons. Before you put in that offer, consider the following:

Important Considerations

Some solitary island in the middle of nowhere might sound like a getaway dream come true, but it can present a number of obstacles. Unless you’re a billionaire with endless travel means, you’ll want something relatively close to the mainland.

1. Proximity to the Mainland

Figure out how you’re going to get basic services such as water and power before closing the deal. Most islands rely on generators or submarine cables for electricity.

2. Utilities

Local regulations and construction laws will affect your ability to develop the land, so check in with all governing bodies and regulatory agencies. If you plan to rent out the island for profit, you’ll want to make sure that’s permitted as well.

3. Permits

Are you comfortable with the local culture? What’s the weather like? How accessible is the mainland? These are some questions you should be asking yourself.

4. Region

Numerous factors affect property value and that goes for individual homes and massive private islands alike. Perform your due diligence to make sure you’re paying a fair price.

5. Asking Price

Private islands range wildly in terms of both size and cost. For those on a budget, a 2.7-acre island in Nova Scotia recently listed for under US$60,000. On the flip side of that coin are sprawling private islands like Little Bokeelia (off the coast of Southern Florida), which sold for US$14.5 million back in 2015. Price tags can easily go up from there.

How Much Does an Island Cost?

The market for buying a private island might be narrow in size, but its global in scope. Here in Australia, private islands for sale tend to come at a mark-up, but they do exist. Meanwhile, the South Pacific is but one amongst a number of choice regions. Let’s take a look at the world’s best regions for private islands.

Top Private Island Locations

With its tropical climate and proximity to water, Florida is home to some of the world’s most coveted private islands. Alaska, New York, Maine, Michigan, Washington, Massachusetts, and certain parts of Canada are also prime island destinations.

1. North America

From Fiji to the French Polynesian isles, the South Pacific offers plenty of exotic real estate. As we said before, there are private islands for sale in Australia, but the privilege of owning one will usually cost you.

2. South Pacific

Here’s a region that pretty much speaks for itself, and anything of value will be predictably expensive. In fact, some private islands in the Caribbean go for as much as US$100 million.

3. The Caribbean

If you’re not quite rich enough to buy an island in the Caribbean, perhaps something off the coast of Panama will suffice.

4. Central America

Often limited in terms of supply, the Asian market is both highly competitive and super expensive. On the other hand, who wouldn’t want a private island in places like Thailand or Malaysia?

5. Asia

Like North America, Europe runs the full gamut in terms of climate, culture, geography, and price point. The Mediterranean Sea is home to some of the world’s most sought-after private islands, many of which are off the Greek coastline. Buying property in the British Isles will likewise cost you a pretty penny. Over in Scandinavia, private islands are often quaint, charming, gorgeous, and comparatively affordable.

6. Europe

A number of well-known figures own (or have owned) private islands, including the following celebrities:

Celebrities Who Own Private Islands

No stranger to extravagant purchases, Cage dropped US$3 million on a private island in the Bahamas back in 2006.

1. Nicolas Cage

What did star Eddie Murphy have to do to get some privacy back in 2007? Spend about US$15m for the island of Rooster Cay, apparently. Located in the Bahamas, it holds over 15 acres of land.

2. Eddie Murphy

In 2004, Gibson paid around US$15 million for a private island in Fiji. The previous owner was a Japanese corporation.

3. Mel Gibson

DiCaprio boasts an impressive real estate portfolio, which includes the island of Blackadore Caye in Belize. He’s been developing the island as an eco-resort for a number of years, overcoming various setbacks in the process.

4. Leonardo DiCaprio

The country legends own a private island in the Bahamas, on which they built their dream home. Getaways to the Caribbean don’t get more luxurious than this.

5. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill

According to the UFC president himself, White has secured a private island off the coast of the USA. Where exactly is anyone’s guess, but Dana White’s Fight Island is apparently a real thing. The news is that White will be flying in competitors to his UFC Fight Island for events, which sounds exactly like the plot of the 1995 film Mortal Combat.

6. Dana White

Look, buying a private island of your own isn’t exactly easy or cheap. There are a number of considerations you need to address before you sign on the dotted line. Think about it. We don’t even like cleaning our two-bedroom apartments, we couldn’t imagine the upkeep on an entire private island. Maybe it’s best to leave that to the Nicolas Cages of the world.

Buying a Private Island of Your Own

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