This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

On Island Time

Scipio Caye, Belize
Photo: Private Islands Online
We've all had that moment when a tropical vacation turns sour.

There's the waiting with the hordes to be seated for dinner, getting a faceful of sand from unleashed dogs on the beach and competing for prime lounge chairs at the pool.

If you're tired of the routine at the same old crowded getaways, there is another option.

Join the ranks of Marlon Brando, Ted Turner and the Du Pont family and vacation on your own private island.

Island ownership offers an unparalleled experience: "One feels a sense of independence and the ability to create his or her own reality," says Renee Redmond, director of operations at Private Islands Online .

Since 1990, Private Islands Online has catered to both those looking for exclusive retreats and others seeking to fulfill the dream of island ownership. The three hundred islands the company currently has available range from just $25,000 in Nova Scotia to $45 million in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

For the most part, private islands are used either as a deluxe haven for family and close friends, or developed into resorts. In either case, they offer potentially good investment returns.

While those who sell islands offer no guarantees on long-term returns, Redmond notes that natural islands are a limited, finite resource.

According to Cheyenne Morrison of Offshore Real Estate and Investments Quarterly, prices on some Caribbean islands increased by 300% between 1990 and 2000.

Before You Buy

While some islands are sold with homes -- and amenities like electricity and running water already in place -- be prepared to work to make your personal kingdom habitable.

Redmond notes that an average home will cost $150,000 to build (offshore construction costs are higher than those on the mainland); securing a septic system, water and electricity will be at least another $100,000.

Expect to shell out about $10,000 for yearly maintenance, Redmond cautions the potential island buyer. Though the exclusive $39.7 million Ilsa de sa Ferradura (listed with Vladi Private Islands ) off the coast of Spain comes with a private access road and luxury home, most islands are only accessible by boat, helicopter or seaplane.

Furthermore, Redmond recommends potential island owners consider three factors when purchasing an island: access, security and communication.

Docks and landing strips will cost additional money to build.

If you won't be living on your island full time, security is an important consideration -- you may want a caretaker for international properties, in order to guard your investment from thieves and vandals.

And although people retreat to private islands to escape the outside world, in the case of an emergency, ensuring outside communication is essential.

Photo: Private Islands Online

Not surprisingly, those who own private islands tend to be adventurous individuals who enjoy privacy and don't mind getting their hands dirty. Not sure if you fit the bill? Try this quiz .

Life on an island can be lonely, but the joy of undisturbed time with family, friends and yourself rewards in ways a traditional vacation just can't.

Chris Krolow, executive director of Private Islands Online, says of his island near Toronto, Ontario, "When I spend a weekend there, it feels like I've been gone an entire week ... islands buy time. And with my busy schedule, that's priceless."

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
OEH $10.88 0.65%
HOV $3.20 0.00%
TOL $36.80 0.00%
AAPL $130.28 0.00%
FB $81.53 0.00%

Markets

DOW 18,080.14 +21.45 0.12%
S&P 500 2,117.69 +4.76 0.23%
NASDAQ 5,092.0850 +36.0220 0.71%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs