Dominica

Christopher Columbus discovered the tree-covered island on a Sunday and named it after the Latin word to create Dominica.
Land Area: 
290sq miles
Population: 
73,000
Language: 
English
Capital: 
Roseau
Location: 
Halfway between Guadeloupe to the north and Martinique to the south

What he discovered was a mountainous island covered in rainforest with an abundance of waterfalls, lakes, rivers and springs. The coastline was full of little bays and coves and off the coast there was coral reef brimming with marine life. In a way not much has changed in modern times although sperm whales are now the island’s most popular tourist attraction outside its immense natural beauty.

Most of the commercial and real estate development of the Caribbean has escaped Dominica and for may of the local people this is the way they prefer it. Tourism is welcome and so are new inhabitants, but they have to have an appreciation of the ecological and natural assets of the island to be truly accepted. There are many facets to this culture and the business of making it economically viable is one of the country’s biggest challenges. With so many natural assets there has to be better use many of the fruit and plants that grow in abundance in a world that places so much emphasis on healthy living and a green culture. The natural assets of Dominica are huge, but making them profitable and conserving the environment at the same time is the challenges that Government and businesspeople much overcome for a stronger economy going forward.

The population is around 73,000 and there are only two sizeable urban areas at Portsmouth in the north-west and Roseau, the capital, in the south-west. Outside the two main towns the population is spread over the island in small villages and hamlets where the properties vary from immaculate and well-preserved villas to basic wall and roof shells.

Buying or renting property is straightforward although dealing with the right professionals is very important. For the casual observer property prices on the island will look cheap compared to properties on neighbouring islands, but this is largely because of low demand and limited development to create an over supply. Dominica has some development but nothing on the scale of the other islands. An Alien Land License is required to purchase and there is a Citizen Purchase Program offered by the Government to encourage investment in real estate.  

There are a small number of real estate agents, but Safe haven in Roseau offers a complete package for sales and rentals and both experience and expertise in the business. They also offer an in-house lawyer, which is invaluable when covering all the considerations involved in an overseas purchase. 

(Photos courtesy of Colin Lees).

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