Archives for posts with tag: Exuma

Check out my latest listing, its luxury, its future investment, its the most prestigious estate on the market in the Beautiful Abacos.

 

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HG Christie has finally launched a new website portal that allows you to view listings by area and see their exact location and pricing.  It is kind of interesting and somewhat eye opening, if for instance one zooms into Marsh Harbour or Treasure Cay and views how many properties are currently for sale in a specific area.  There are few little kinks to work out but overall a great tool.  Check it out here:

http://hgchristiebahamasrealestate.bs

 

(Apologies for my last post, I wrote it and then it got lost when publishing and wordpress posted it to FB and LinkedIn before I realized the post was blank.)

A few weeks back everyone was talking about a recent video shoot for a new music video that Pitbull shot in Staniel Cay, Exuma.  It shows some great images of the mesmerizing waters of the Exuma Banks, and some shots of the whimsical Staniel Cay Yacht Club.  Staniel Cay is definitely one of those places in the world that should be visited at least once in your life.  It is a magical place, the location of the cave scenes in James Bonds ‘Thunderball’ movie.  At the dock, nurse sharks hang out all day and keep you company.  Personally I don’t think the music video does the cay and the area justice, but it is worth a look:

In other news there is a rumor that Miley Cyrus may be spending time in Treasure Cay, Abaco.  Reports are unconfirmed though.  Treasure Cay is home to a fabulous beach and I’ve taken on a new home for sale, sited right at the end of the point, with the best location and positioning in all of Treasure.  ‘Casa Bella’ is the kind of home dreams are made of and indeed made in.  Endless memories will be created in this stylish beach home.  Check it out click on the photo below for more details:

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Recent happenings of note in the Bahamas include the Bahamas Speed Week which was another success but still lots of growing pains.  The participants say it is one of the most striking places they have raced their cars.  Hope Town held it’s annual Boxcart Derby (racing on a completely different level but just as fun) and despite inclement weather was another huge success – Once again I endeavor to enter a cart next year.  We will see if I can pull it off.

Upcoming event – the 242 Colour run in Hope Town on the 28th December.  This should prove to be an exciting event, where you run/walk/crawl a 5k and get covered in colourful paint?  (?? Seems interesting, maybe I’ll try it out)

I would also mention that New Years in the Abacos is lots of fun.  Very family friendly and each of the cays does it a little differently, but there is always great fireworks, usually some Junkanoo and great entertainment across the island.  Pete’s Pub is often a low key but fulfilling atmosphere to ring it in.  Book early though as all of the rental homes get booked solid for the New Years holiday.

Schooner Bay is now functional, with gas dock, marina, several different villas to stay in, the Blackfly Lodge is open for business and there are now 2 options for eating out plus a newly opened general store which is bound to expand and grow.  Be sure to make plans for an afternoon relaxing by the harbour.

Otherwise in real estate news, it seems 2013 is finishing up on a low note, but signs are pointing to a very much improved 2014.  Florida’s real estate market is 30% up year over year, and has steadied out with inventory dropping significantly.  Typically we see spill over in the Bahamas from 6 months to a year later, so I anticipate we will see some big improvement in our local market in Abaco from around spring time through the summer.

That said, there is still a high inventory of real estate here in Abaco at 620+ listings, and over 230+ of those are single family homes.  Homes are continuing to sell much faster than undeveloped land or multifamily properties.  It is now the perfect time to buy, before the almost guaranteed upswing coming next year.  Things have been improving in market but at a subdued rate over the past 2 years.  Most brokers and agents I speak with around town all agree that there will be significant gains next year.

On the other side of the coin though, Abaco Beach Resort and Treasure Cay are both in need of a fresh injection of energy and would really benefit from new owners.  If these to anchor properties in Abaco were rejuvenated it would have a profound effect on the rest of the Abacos.  Both resorts could be an option for the right investor with the right vision.  Send me a proposal if you are interested.  In other news, there has been some recent activity in the commercial market in Abaco, with some significant properties looking to have new owners in 2014.  All good signs but still fairly muted at the moment.

Newly redeveloped projects are doing extremely well – I mentioned Schooner Bay already, other places to check out are Firefly Resort, The Hope Town Inn and Marina, and Bakers Bay is setting new standards in Abaco.  The Bluff House and the Green Turtle Cay Club are both undergoing improvement works and they’ve recently dredged the channel to White Sound to accommodate larger vessels.  All good news and good things happening around the cays.

Finally, take a look at recent video I’ve shot of a beautiful home on Gillam Bay, Green Turtle Cay.  This is almost the perfect home…http://youtu.be/W0yxqA3XWlc

Now in closing can I ask all my readers to please cross your fingers and send positive vibes that the new Marsh Harbour airport terminal will be finally opened and functioning in January 2014 as has been recently promised.

This may be my last post before the end of the year – Happy Holidays, Happy Christmas, Happy New Year, may 2014 be another wonderful year to add to the memories.

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This post will hopefully save some of my fellow real estate colleagues some grief, and may even helps some other business persons around the Bahamas as well.  It is about how the Bahamas is  large collection of scattered islands with travel infrastructure that is not like hopping on the London Tube or the New York Subway.  It takes time to get from one place to the next and one island to the next.

I have a friend and fellow sailor (who happens to be the head of the Abaco Rage sailing syndicate right now), Stafford Patterson.  He has a boat rental business (www.seahorseboatrentals.com) and he also takes folks out on charter day trips snorkeling or swimming or fishing or stopping at a few of the many eating establishments around Abaco (http://www.captplug.com).  Stafford is a great guy with good sense of humour.  He has shared a few tales about inquiries he receives from potential clients and it goes like this:  They are staying at the big resort Atlantis for 5 days and want him to pick them up form the beach there one morning, go to Harbour Island for lunch, Exuma Sound and perhaps check out Mount Alvernia on Cat Island, maybe a quick run to San Salvador to see the Columbus monument and drop them back by 5pm.  The problem is it would take about 5 days in a super fast boat and really really calm seas to make all of those stops and return to Paradise Island and Atlantis.  Or, even if you had a seaplane it would still take you at least 2 whole days and some good weather.

This request is like calling up a tour company in the US and telling them you wan to see Liberty, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Arches National Park all in one day and be home for supper at 7pm.  IT is not physically possible at least until we figure out teleportation (hello Startreck fans?? Help please?)

If only people visiting the Bahamas would spend a little bit of time doing some homework, we Bahamians would have a little bit less exasperation in our lives.

All the time, pretty much every week I get an inquiry from someone who wants to view some property (can you tell I’m in real estate yet?) in Abaco and the want to see one or two on each of the cays, a few in Treasure Cay, a few in Marsh Harbour and then a couple down south in Casuarina, Bahama Palm Shores and Schooner Bay.  And everytime i have to explain the logistics of ferrys or water travel and time and distances between all of these places.  To do all of the spots I mentioned above including the main outer cays (being Green Turtle Cay, Man O War Cay, Great Guana Cay and Elbow Cay) we are talking about a travel distance of about 100 miles.  That 100 miles would include a few hours of driving at 50+ MPH, round trip on 4 different ferries and another possible hour plus of driving on rough unpaved roads (BPS, Casuarina, Schooner Bay).  As you can see it is impossible to do in one day.  Ideally one would need a week to really get to see all the key settlements and areas of Abaco and make an informed decision.

Please people – Do some homework, look at a map, check out the ferry schedules (Found here: Green Turtle Cay http://www.oii.net/Information/Ferry.html Or the ferry schedule for the other cays (Guana, MOW & Elbow) is here:  www.alburysferry.com/schedule.html

To help you out a bit here are some approximate travel times form various areas, assume you are driving at 55mph on the highway:

Marsh Harbour to Treasure Cay – 35 minutes

Marsh Harbour to Green Turtle Cay including ferry ride – 1 hour but work around the ferry schedule, they will leave you on the dock if you are 5 minutes late.

Marsh Harbour to Schooner Bay – 50 minutes

Marsh Harbour to Hope Town, Elbow Cay – 25 minutes

Marsh Harbour to Guana Cay – 30 minutes

Green Turtle Cay to Hope Town – 9 am ferry from GTC, plan to get the 10:30 ferry to HT and arrive at 11, so 2 hours.

Now for travel among the islands of the Bahamas because I have people asking about real estate in Abaco and also want to look at Exuma and Eleuthera and perhaps check out GRand Bahama too just for good measure.  It makes sense to cover all your options and make an informed decision when you are spending hundreds of thousands or even a million or two a home in paradise.  But plan accordingly.  With a few exceptions all the commercial flights use Nassau as the hub so you typically need to fly through Nassau to get form say Abaco to Exuma or Exuma to Eleuthera.  Unless of course you have your own plane or charter a plane to take you around.

Hopping in a decent 6 or 8 seater charter plane is probably one of the best ways to see the Bahamas.  It will cost you but you will love the experience, there nothing quite like flying only 800 feet over some of the most beautiful unspoiled tropical beauty we have to offer.  Check out the facebook page for outislandflyer, he’s got some neat pictures.

Anyway, back to the point,  if for instance you want to visit Abaco and Exuma you would plan to fly to Nassau, then onto Marsh Harbour. spend a night to two in Abaco and then plan to take the better part of a day to layover in Nassau and then get a connecting flight onto Exuma International.  There are no flights directly between MHH and Exuma, sorry.

There are select flights directly between Marsh Harbour and North Eleuthera on Fridays and Saturdays with Cherokee Aviation.  And there is a company that flies direct from Freeport to Marsh Harbour but all other routes go into or out of Nassau International Airport.

There, now we have it clear as mud, come visit the Bahamas, but plant to take your time to enjoy the trip and explore a little.  There are some wonderful places to visit here, like Deans Blue Hole or Hole in the Wall Lighthouse.

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Above: A beautiful 7 bedroom home on Treasure Cay’s world famous top ten beach.  It is a stunning property with lots of toys.  Contact me for details or check out more pictures at http://www.hgchristie.com/details/abaco/treasure-cay/house-as11990

Thanks for reading.

Another Monday morning after another wonderful weekend.  Ho hum well time to get back to work.  Once again I find myself delinquent of not meeting my personal goal of one post every week – Oh well, goals are made to be set and broken right?  In any event due to my lazy posting I find myself in a situation of having too much to write about.  Some might say that is not a problem but a blessing.  It is not a blessing when you have too much to do and too little time to get it done, especially for a Monday morning.

First off, while most of western world was watching the ever entertaining Super Bowl, the Bahamas once again ponied up for an advertising slot and aired a very nice commercial promoting the islands.  It focused on the Exuma Cays natural beauty, but it speaks for most of the Bahamas as there are little hideaway spots like these hidden all over the archipelago.  If you missed it you can see it here either on youtube or the Caribbean Journal site:

Bahamas Airs Super Bowl Ad Featuring Rick Fox and David Copperfield

or

http://www.caribjournal.com/2013/02/03/bahamas-airs-super-bowl-ad-featuring-rick-fox-and-david-copperfield/

It is nicely done and does show off the Bahamas’ hidden “backwaters” well but I must admit I personally found it a little boring and i had no idea why it was felt that David Copperfield should be included…  “my 2 cents”  as we say around here.

What else happened recently?

Well on Saturday Pete Johnston turned 50 for the 19th time.  It was a great time had by all, being a perfect family friendly party, fundraiser and celebration at Pete’s Pub.  There were dozens of kids and families running around the sand and beach or mashing down on the pig roast or jerk smoked chicken which enhanced their usual menu of fresh caught fish.  The day was a fundraiser which successfully raised funding for a young local man in Cherokee (I believe) who has cerebral palsy.  Pete is also a recent grandfather.  I was chatting Pete’s son Greg about the day and we remarked about how the event has changed dramatically over the years – It certainly was not family friendly 19 years ago when Pete first turned 50.  My daughter has a blast and really enjoyed her lunch too.

The weekend before, 26th and 27th of January:  this is another extremely busy weekend for me.  It is a wonder I ever get any of the ‘honey do’ list done at home.  Friday, Saturday & Sunday was the Bahamas National Trust’s   “Art for the Parks”  art show.  I went and had a look at some of the promising and/or talented exhibitors there and our Rotary Club held out 4 the annual Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival fundraiser which beautifies the sidewalk along the marina docks near the art show tent.  it raised $3,000 and is also a competition among artists.

The following day on Sunday, the wife Sheree, the daughter Clara and I got up early and hopped on the 9am ferry to Hope Town.  We had a mouthwatering chicken souse at “On Da Beach” at Turtle Hill.   This is a local staple for folks living in Abaco, our friends Matt & Lindsey have had souse there just about every Sunday for almost 7 years.  Chicken Souse is a bahamian dish for breakfast and is a wonderful recovering meal after a long night ‘plying the party waters’. Which incidentally is on the market for sale if you know anyone interested, details can be found here:  http://www.hgchristie.com/details/abaco/hope-town-elbow-cay/business-as11549.

Then Matt & I headed out to the crystal clear waters off of Hope Town to join the Hope Town  Sailing club for one of the winter series sailing.  We had 14 sunfish on the start line which is great size for a racing fleet.  Several of the racers were in the 10-16 age group, a couple of which nearly beat me to the finish.  It was one of those days of sailing racing that makes living here so perfect.  The winds were NE over the north end of Elbow Cay blowing 8-12 knots.  This made for inconsistent but constant wind shifts.  I was the only one who brought a compass out to track the wind shifts and just beat out Dave to take first place on a tie breaker.  It was some really tight sailing with all boats finishing within a couple of minutes of each other and it could have been anyone’s race.  The HT sailing club is very keen and always a great resource.  I must thank them and especially Dave & Carol Pahl for handling the thankless task of running race committee.  If you want to get involved or learn to sail check them out: www.hopetownsailingclub.com.   And thanks to them for this photo of me sailing:

 

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