Has anyone built 10-20m houses at St Kitts island?

5 Replies

Hi BPs. A week ago I was invited by my friends to St Kitts island, my friends are building a house there. The house that would sell for 2m maybe in the Twin Cities located in a good area, they are building for 20M. The house is 5000 sq ft 2 story without basement, Californian style.

Of course, my friends chose all expensive finishes they could possibly choose, but still even with the cost of land at 2m that they paid for, building a 5000 sq ft house seems too much for me. They told me that there were only  2 builders at St Kitts and they estimated their margins at 30-50%

Please share if anyone built houses in Caribians and what was a typical cost per sq ft to build a super high end house.

I understand that all materials are shipped to St Kitts from Miami and it adds to the costs, but still prices of new construction houses acceed American costs by 10-20 times.

Why?

There would be many challenges associated with building a high-end home on a Caribbean island. I spent a few weeks on St. Thomas and St. Johns a few years ago, and the biggest challenge I saw with construction was the lack of materials and the lack of qualified labor. Everybody moves much slower on the islands. They call it "island time". Figure it would take at least twice as long to build any sort of structure there. Another costly hurdle would be the engineering, design and materials required in the region where hurricanes are common. I'm sure insurance isn't cheap either? 

That's just my two cents worth...

Everyone in the islands is a real estate investor and trying to sell a deal. 

Last time I was on Cayman I was dragged to another $5m spec house to have drinks on the back porch as lots were pitched to me. 

Not saying don't get involved, just remember that if only two guys on an island are doing something their is a reason. I'm sure money can be made but I doubt its as easy as it seems.

YMMV

Thank you guys for your comments. I can send my lead carpenters there to oversee a project and we can ship materials from Miami

Planning to start by the end of the year assuming everything goes well.

The best part is that there are no income taxes in St Kitts :) for individuals, only businesses pay taxes, but if you pay yourself high salary, business shows a very small profit that is taxable :)

I suspect there are a lot of barriers to entry for home builders. By barriers to entry I mean gigantic bribes to the local politicians and building departments and inspectors.

That's typically how it works outside of the US, pay to play. 

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