THINKING OF RETIRING IN THE CARIBBEAN? HOW TO BUY ST. MARTIN REAL ESTATE
Perhaps the best beach town in the Caribbean, Grand Case is a classic French fishing village on Saint Martin. Our village is located right along Grand Case Beach. This side of the island is sheltered from the trade winds. So, from the calm waters of our beautiful beach, we enjoy a beautiful view of neighbouring Anguilla to the north.
The food and wine are good, and the locals are friendly. Grand Case is such a special place that many of our visitors come back every year. Since so many people have fallen in love with Grand Case, we thought we would explain how to buy property on St. Martin.
WHY BUY PROPERTY IN GRAND CASE?
Simply put, Grand Case on St. Martin is one of the most interesting and beautiful places in the Caribbean. Located on the “French side” of St. Martin, Grand Case is actually part of France, and therefore part of the European Union.
The small fishing village of traditional wooden homes is populated with a mix of French expats, local islanders, and, most importantly, the best variety of gourmet restaurants in the Caribbean, if not the world.The village of Grand Case lies along an a gorgeous stretch of beach. At the north end of the beach is our very own Grand Case Beach Club.
The fascinating mix of compelling culture and cuisine, and beautiful intimacy make Grand Case is a great place to make long-term plans.
THE ISLAND OF ST. MARTIN
Divided between a “French side” (St. Martin) and a “Dutch side” (Sint Maarten) our island is loved for its blend of Caribbean and European charm, gourmet food and friendly people. We’re also loved for our astounding variety of beaches.The Dutch side is generally regarded to be quite developed (think fast food and casinos) while the our French side is much quieter with placid beaches and truly stupendous food and wine. There are no border controls when crossing from one side to the other. While English is the main language of the Dutch side of the island, French is the lingua franca on our side.
EU ISLAND SUBSIDY BRINGS A TOUCH OF FRENCH CULTURE TO THE CARIBBEAN
There’s one little secret that any expat considering settling on Grand Case should know:Thanks to a European Union subsidy for island territories, there are regular cargo flights to SXM airport that deliver French produce… and wine! This makes Saint Martin an island where you can experience the best of both the Caribbean and France itself!
QUIET, SAFE, SUNNY AND WARM
Since Grand Case Beach Club is located on the French side of the island, for expats considering buying condos we can only recommend what we know best: Grand Case.
We know that Grand Case is quieter than the Dutch side—much quieter—with low crime, and, most importantly, warm and sunny weather. The temperature hovers at 80 degrees for much of the year. Early fall is “rainy season,” but the rest of the time Grand Case is pure heaven!The weather is especially dry and temperate between December and April. The winter season is typically when most of our visitors experience St. Martin and Grand Case for the first time. And for everyone who has ever stayed with out, Grand Case is love at first sight.
THE AMAZING BEACHES OF SAINT MARTIN
The beaches of St. Martin are not only beautiful, but plentiful. With 37 beaches, you’re sure to find one that you can call home for the day. Our Grand Case beach resort on St. Martin offers two beautiful beaches just steps from your condo.There are also a number of bays that make ideal venues for water sports, swimming and snorkeling. You may even stumble upon a secluded cove and enjoy a private retreat like no other.
FRENCH SIDE OR DUTCH SIDE: WHICH HAS THE BEST BEACHES ON ST. MARTIN?
We often get asked the question “what are the most popular St. Martin beaches?” It’s hard to choose, of course! Generally speaking, the eastern Windward side of the island, since it is exposed to the blowing trade winds, is more suitable for body surfing and windsurfing.
The Leeward, western end of the island tends to enjoy calmer weather and more placid seas.
One thing’s for certain: there are beaches here for everyone. Here are a few of the best beaches near Grand Case on the French side of the island (aka Saint Martin).
One of the great things about living on the island was the hundreds of eating establishments—Saint Martin is often called the “culinary capital of the Caribbean.” From fish kebabs to barbeque and sushi, there is something for every taste on our island. If you like good food, this is the place to be. It has been said that there are so many restaurants on St. Maarten/St. Martin that you can eat in a different one every night and never eat in the same one twice. And since half of the island is part of France, the wine here is pretty good, too.In fact, there are more than 67 restaurants set up in typical Creole houses along Grand Case Boulevard, just a short walk from our beautiful Caribbean resort.It’s said that St. Martin’s combination of relaxing Caribbean lifestyle (and perfect climate) and European sensibilities acts as a lure to attract top chefs and creative restaurateurs who just want to drop out, get away from it all, and concentrate on their art, which happens to be making the world’s best food. Check out our popular guide to St. Martin restaurants here.
TRAVELING TO ST. MARTIN
Located at the northern end of the Antilles island chain, St. Martin, French West Indies is a Caribbean gem… that can be a little hard to find on the map!
Located east of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and to the north of St. Kitts, St. Martin is an interesting blend of European sensibilities and native Caribbean culture. St. Martin (aka Sint Maarten, or SXM for short, aka “the most famous airport in the Caribbean“) is regarded as a prime destination by most of the world’s major airlines, which makes planning a flight to St. Martin simple and convenient.
IMMIGRATION AND VISA
It can be challenging to determine how to emigrate to the island of St. Martin. The island is divided between France and Holland; France is part of the European Union and follows the EU’s immigration rules; the Dutch side does not.
VISITING “THE FRENCH SIDE” OF ST. MARTIN
Tourists from the US, Canada and the EU can enter St. Martin with a passport and stay for up to 90 days. Citizens of other countries may require a tourist visa.
PLANNING A LONG-TERM TERM STAY ON ST. MARTIN
The requirements for obtaining a long stay visa in St. Martin are similar to those in effect for France. The visa must be applied for at the French consulate in the current country of residence. In addition to general documents, applicants must provide proof of sufficient funds for the stay in St. Martin or proof of income from a pension or retirement plan.
The Dutch part—Sint Maarten—is part of the Netherland Antilles and is not part of the EU. This means the only people with an automatic right to reside and work on the Dutch side are holders of Dutch or Netherland Antilles passports.For retirees considering purchasing a vacation property on St. Martin, however, this is not going to be a huge issue if you do not plan to stay for longer than your tourist visa allows.
HEALTHCARE ON ST. MARTIN IN THE CARIBBEAN
There is a large, modern hospital in Marigot, the largest city on the French side of the island. There is also a hospital in Philipsburg, on the Dutch side of the island. Both hospitals provide good quality medical care. However, the services are limited due to the small size of the island. Serious medical conditions often require an air lift to another island or even back to North America or Europe. For this reason, it is a good idea for people who retire in Saint Martin to have medical insurance that covers air evacuation.
HOME OWNERSHIP ON ST. MARTIN
There are no restrictions on the purchase of real estate by foreigners. Notaries are generally used in the transaction instead of attorneys. Closing costs differ depending on the type of property—please contact Grand Case Beach Club for more information.
Saint Martin is an overseas collectivity of France, so people who buy real estate here enjoy all the legal protections of the French Republic and the European Union.As in France, a “notaire” or notary represents both buyer and seller. The notaire is a lawyer with special government authority to perform many functions pertaining to civil law, and makes sure both parties – the buyer and the seller – are treated fairly. Learn more.
BUYING REAL ESTATE AT GRAND CASE BEACH CLUB
Grand Case Beach Club is a privately-owned Caribbean resort. While we’re popular a destination for families and couples, we also provide anyone in the world with the opportunity to own condos on our secluded stretch of beach in St. Martin, West Indies.