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Legal formalities     

How to buy real estates in St-Barths
St-Barths is now an Overseas Collectivity (Collectivité d'Outre Mer or COM). France has 5 overseas collectivities: St Pierre and Miquelon (off the Canadian costs), French Polynesia (Tahiti), Wallis & Futuna (both in the Pacific Ocean), Mayotte (in the Indian Ocean),  and St Martin and St Barthelemy (in the Caribbean). Most of French law apply, each collectivity having its specificities.

 There is no restriction for a US or any citizen to buy a property in St-Barths. 

All transfer matters are handle by a Notary (Notaire). 


A "Notaire" is a law trained individual who gives titles of ownership in the name of the State for any property. He is the one that does research on titles, mortgage, ownership... He is a licensed, bonded, sworn in professional.

Notary handles wills as well. Some notaries' offices have records that date from the middle ages. Notary handles matters that are very often handled in the US by lawyers.

 They collect the transfer taxes (roughly 8 to 10% of the value of the property) which include their own fees. The time factor involved for their work is about 60 to 75 days.

IMPORTANT NOTE: There is no property tax in St-Barths!

When you buy a property in St-Barths, you generally put 10% down when you sign a promise of sale. Those 10% are paid in the escrow account of the Notary. When Notary has finish clearing titles, the remaining 90% is paid to him. He then dispatches the money to the seller and to the realtor. 


The realtor is also a bonded licensed professional. He is the only professional authorized to sale properties under French laws. 


Bank loan
Bank will loan 50% of the value of the property to a non French buyer  -the reason is they only mortgage the property in St-Barths-. We can arrange to introduce you to a major French bank if needed.


If you want to use a lawyer, there is on St-Barths a US lawyer who  specializes only in real estate. Though she is an independent professional, we recommend her. Her fees should be discussed on a one to one basis.


Other professionals
Because of our extensive local knowledge, we can also direct you towards architects, engineers... 

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