Aruba house hunt: three bedrooms and a pool for $1.1 million

A three bedroom villa in northern Aruba $1.15 MILLION (2.05 MILLION ARUBAN FLORINS) This contemporary style Villa overlooks an 18-hol...


This contemporary style Villa overlooks an 18-hole golf course in the gated community of Tierra del Sol on the northwest coast of Aruba.

Built in the late 2000s in the Noord area, the three-bedroom, four-bathroom home has a terra-cotta tile roof, a large covered patio and a 700-square-foot swimming pool on nearly 1000 square feet of landscaped grounds. a quarter of a field. acre. The 3,197-square-foot single-story home has sleek, modern furnishings included in the asking price, said Edwin Hekman, broker and owner of Keller Williams Aruba, which has the listing.

A flagstone path through a pebbled courtyard with palm trees leads to arched wooden doors opening onto the villa’s tiled entrance courtyard, decorated with vases and carvings. Double wooden doors open into a foyer connected to a sunny open-plan living area with high ceilings. Floor-to-ceiling pocket glass doors open from the living room to the large covered terrace and swimming pool.

The main living area features a chef-style white kitchen with stainless steel countertops and appliances, including a Thermidor refrigerator. An island with a breakfast bar can accommodate four people. The kitchen has a pantry and a hallway accessing a guest bathroom.

Adjacent to the main living area is a large master suite with a sitting area, spacious walk-in closet and large double doors opening onto the pool terrace. The floors are bamboo. The bathroom has a double vanity and a glass-enclosed rain shower with a bay window overlooking a small private courtyard with sculpture.

Next to the entrance hall are two more bedrooms with bamboo floors, large closets and en-suite bathrooms with glass-walled showers. The house has a laundry room and a pump room.

The pool deck features a pergola with an outdoor kitchen and BBQ for outdoor dining, as well as a hot tub and outdoor shower. There is off-street parking for two cars.

Set on nearly 600 acres in upmarket Malmok, Tierra del Sol Resort & Golf offers a Robert Trent Jones II-designed championship golf course, restaurant, bars, spa, fitness center and guest rooms. tennis courts. Boca Catalina and Arashi beaches, popular with divers, are nearby. The Palm Beach area, with supermarkets, restaurants, a mall and high-rise hotels, is a 12-minute drive away, Hekman said. The Aeropuerto Internacional Reina Beatrix, just outside Aruba’s capital, Oranjestad, is about 30 minutes away by car, he said.

The pandemic has helped boost the housing market in Aruba, the 69-square-mile island territory of the Netherlands, largely because it lies outside the hurricane belt in the southern Caribbean Sea and has a relatively arid climate.

Although Aruba does not publish official price statistics, the housing market had achieved some stability before the pandemic began in March 2020, after several years of stagnation following the 2008 financial crisis, said Muna Habash, broker and owner of MPG. Aruba Real Estate. (As of mid-2019, the median price of a home in Aruba was around 580,000 Aruban guilders, or about $321,000, according to the Central Bank of Aruba.)

“It was holding steady, but after the pandemic started it started to increase and properties sold very quickly and mostly at asking price,” she said.

Edith Coupland, broker and owner of RES Realty Development and Decor, said when Aruba emerged from Covid lockdowns after the first few months of the pandemic, her brokerage went into overdrive, ultimately selling more homes in 2020 than it did. any previous year. This breakneck market continued through January 2022, resulting in an estimated year-over-year increase in home prices of around 4%.

“Many properties are sold within a day, which is very unusual for the Aruba market. In the past, it was common for houses to sit for a year or more,” Ms Coupland said.

Mr Hekman said he believed that in the Noord area, the most popular part of the island with foreign buyers, house prices may have risen by more than 10% as supply increased. is tightened.

“Particularly for homes priced between $400,000 and $500,000, three bedrooms with pools, a lot of Americans and Canadians have bought them over the past year,” he said. “In this price range, it’s a bit difficult right now to have a decent house.”

Ms. Habash said a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home near hotels and a beach can now sell for $500,000 to $750,000 in Aruba. Among Caribbean nations, the island has relatively few properties on the beach, so they command a premium, brokers said.

“As far as beachfront properties go, the last one in Arashi was sold for $6.5 million and is in need of a complete overhaul,” Ms Habash said.

This relative dearth of beachfront and hilltop properties has contributed to Aruba’s reputation as a cheaper alternative among luxury Caribbean destinations, but recent weather patterns may be a game changer. , Mr. Hekman said.

“In recent years, after the great hurricane in Saint Martin, a lot of people sold their house there and bought something here, or in the neighboring islands of Curacao or Bonaire, so the prices in Saint Martin are not as high as ‘here,’ he said. noted.

North Americans dominate among foreign home buyers in Aruba, although the island receives many buyers from European countries, including Germany, Russia, France and Italy, brokers said. Aruba is one of three Caribbean islands belonging to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, with curacao and Saint-Martin, so Dutch buyers are also numerous.

Aruba is only about 18 miles north of the Venezuelan coast, but the large number of Venezuelan investors once active in the real estate market have largely disappeared in recent years, in part due to the economic situation there. “We hardly get Venezuelans – they’re mostly sales people,” said Charlotte Bochardt, team manager at Keller Williams Aruba. “It didn’t cause us any problems in the market. Canadians have basically replaced them, as many of them have become buyers here.

Up to 90% of Aruba’s private homes are on land leased from the government, officials said. The leases last for 60 years, with an annual lease fee of $1 per square meter ($0.09 per square foot) of land, Ms. Coupland said. They are usually renewed upon expiration.

There are no restrictions on foreign home buyers in Aruba. Notaries handle all property sales, charging around 2% of the home’s sale price, brokers said. The transfer tax is 6% on the most expensive homes, Ms Habash said.

The broker’s commission, usually around 5%, is paid by the seller, Hekman said.

While most customers during the pandemic paid cash, mortgages are available for international buyers. Banks in Aruba are currently lending to nonresidents at a 40% cut and an interest rate of 6.5 to 7%, Ms. Coupland said.

Dutch, Papiamento (Aruban Creole); Aruban guilder (1 guilder = $0.56)

The annual lease fee for this house is around 2,000 florins ($1,110). Annual property taxes are about 0.6% of the home’s value, Mr. Hekman said.

Edwin Hekman, Keller Williams Aruba, 011-297-592-2506, kw-aruba.com

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