FAQ

Answers to your questions…

 

 DESIGN PROCESS

Given its gentle island breezes, open terrain, and perfect location, the tropical climate of Turks and Caicos (TCI), while hot, is a lot more pleasant than most others in the Caribbean. So, although all our villas are equipped with effective & efficient A/C systems, they’re also specifically designed not to need that A/C any more than necessary.  For example, our villas have roofs with a generous cantilevered all-around overhang and full height sliding doors that open on every side, so that, in the daytime, the shaded interior will naturally be cooler than outside. (And you can continue to enjoy our around-the-year warm tropical breezes while you sleep, courtesy of the secure ventilating windows in the bedrooms.) We also use environmentally friendly spray foam insulation throughout and use only glazing that is both tinted and infused with low-e insulation. 

Basically because, until recent times, while glass was great for looking through it did a poor job of keeping out the heat or cold, and also presented a weak link requiring special protection in the event of heavy storms. As a result, homes – including those in our tropical island paradise – were generally built with solid exterior walls with an occasional bit of glass now-and-then to look out of (in much the same way that medieval castle walls were made with big thick stones and an occasional slit to fire arrows through).  In recent years, though, modern glazing technology has brought about a revolution in glass strength and performance capacity. And while residential home builders generally have been a bit slow in catching on to the implications of this technological advance, we’ve designed our villas to fully embrace it. Flipping the script, we design our villas with glass walls unless a solid wall is preferable for some particular reason. Maybe we’re crazy, but we believe that when someone travels to (or lives in) one of the most visually beautiful places on earth, they want to feel like they’re a part of it rather than isolated from it.

For a couple of reasons, really. First, because we think they look really, really cool: there’s just something wonderfully smart and unpretentious about treating a building’s lid as, well … a lid, rather than some kind of faux church spire or Big Top tent. And second, because a flat roof eliminates about 1/3 of the air space inside the villa – space that no-one ever really uses (unless you like to fly your drone indoors) but would otherwise need to be cooled & maintained.  And since all of our villas have ceilings that are from 9 to 13 (yes, 13) feet high, it’s not like there’s any chance of anyone will feel cramped by them – even if your favorite NBA All Star comes down to TCI for a visit.

It’s a fact that typical North American redwood decking doesn’t age well in the tropical ocean environment. So instead we only use the tropical hardwood Tigerwood for ours, which you will be able to inspect (along with most other finish materials) during the pre-transaction process.

Properly treated before installation, and with only a modest amount of maintenance, our Tigerwood decks should last a lifetime. And, what’s more, tropical hardwood decks like ours not only age well, they’re also stronger and more beautiful too.

The first thing to understand about hurricanes in the Turks & Caicos is that we get plenty of warning of them coming. As a result, on the rare occasion when one comes pretty much everyone on island takes it as an excuse for a ‘much-needed’ shopping trip junket to NYC, Miami or Toronto. The second thing to know is that TCI has never in living memory experienced a significant hurricane storm surge – which is statistically the main cause of actual hurricane damage. (Moreover, even if it did, our developments are at a higher elevation than the largest storm surge ever recorded on earth.)  Thirdly, our villas – with frames of integrated steel &/or rebar-reinforced concrete sealed with triple-pane glazed walls that meet or exceed Miami-Dade’s exacting storm-force standards – are specifically engineered to withstand hurricane force winds. So, while we’re always respectful of the potential for Mother Nature’s occasional wrath, we’re also confident that our fortified villas would be among the most resistant structures on the entire island in that event. (And, tbh, we’d much rather take our chances in our villas in TCI than in our former high-rise homes in ‘quakey San Francisco!)

 

Our intention is always to create finished villas that map as closely as possible to our buyer’s needs & values, so we are acutely interested in, and responsive to, our buyer’s ideas for customizing the designs. Sometimes those ideas have cost-implications, and sometimes not. But the bottom line is that everything within reason is up for discussion and a welcome part of our process. And who knows, maybe we’ll steal your brilliant ideas to use in our own future designs as well!

Some do and some don’t. Personally, we love them, but whether you decide to add them for your own villa will be your decision to make.

Access roads are paved, while our villas typically have curbed gravel driveways and parking areas (for that delicious crunchy sound when you walk and drive on them).

All of our villas have more than sufficient space to construct a carport – and our Karaya Blue villas are also designed to accommodate an energy-generating carport courtesy of Renu TCI.   

 

 BUYING PROCESS

One of the many benefits of buying pre-construction is that this sort of design choice is generally up to you. We have designed (and priced) our pools at 3 – 5 feet, but will be happy to accommodate your particular requirements. (And there’s really no need to heat your pool here in TCI, where even the ocean water temperature doesn’t get below 79 degrees, even in the winter.)

We’ve made an easy-to-follow infographic for this, click here. Basically, once the buyer has chosen the parcel and the preferred design, they can secure it with a deposit of 10% of the land value until the deal is closed. That is effected by executing two separate agreements: one for the land, and one for the construction.

Mortgages are available and there are many other ways to leverage the purchase of your villa. 

Yes – you will have plenty of time to go over all of that in as much detail as you wish before closing on the transaction. And remember, under our pre-construction process, you will also have an opportunity to propose changes to those plans during that time.

A Quantity Surveyor will fully inspect and certify the villa before you take possession, but in addition we warranty all and any defects that may appear for a full year after that (and hold in escrow more than sufficient funds to do so). Keep in mind too, that we are not some big, anonymous corporate developer: we are an independent company that sincerely cares about its reputation for excellent service. Also, our principals live just down the road from your villa and use all the same restaurants and shops!

We are happy to connect you with a local landscaping contractor

You will have plenty of time to see our spec sheets and make your selections during the process.

Essentially, it’s like a condo-resort but with villas instead of condos. It has an HOA, security measures, management services, and restrictions designed to ensure a high quality of life experience – but does so while fully preserving your sense of freedom and privacy.

 

TCI LIFE

TCI’s slower paced relaxed attitude and perpetually warm tropical weather allows for the ultimate “flip- flop lifestyle.” In addition, TCI has a well-earned reputation for attracting affluent visitors and residents (including many celebrities and senior politicians) from all over the world. People are generally warm and friendly, activities are plentiful, and investment opportunities abound.

You certainly can but if you buy one of our Karaya Blue villas it comes with a Polaris Gem electric vehicle (EV) which will not only take you to and from the beach but is also street legal for going to the stores and restaurants, etc. Another alternative is to upgrade to a Tesla Model 3. Both vehicles can be charged with your villa’s Tesla Powerwall solar system. In addition, if you keep your own car on-island you can use the resident valet service offered by the folks at Grace Bay Car Rental, who will keep your car safe while you’re off-island and then collect it when you drop it off right across from the airport entrance, and deliver it to the same place when you come back. (They will even have it serviced for you and provide a complimentary wash and interior clean.)

Despite being a British territory, TCI’s official currency is the US dollar, with all real estate therefore priced in US dollars (which for non-Americans can serve as a useful hedge against other currencies).

TCI offers all the activities that a world-class tropical island affords – such as swimming, fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, boating, whale-watching, kayaking, paddle-boarding, jet-skiing, sailing, windsurfing, and kiteboarding, on (or in) the water, as well as golfing, horse-riding, biking, dining, shopping, reading, relaxing, and even ATV riding, back on dry land. In some of these activities, such as kiteboarding, TCI is recognized as a world leader. You can find a wealth of information about these activities (and TCI more generally) here: http://turksandcaicostourism.com/

Although TCI is distinctively not North American, and its cultural diversity means many languages are spoken there, the official language English is spoken everywhere, with everything from real estate contracts to road signs in English. This makes it easy to communicate with healthcare professionals, government officers and merchants.

The minimum drinking age is 18 and, as far as we know, there’s no maximum drinking age 😉

No. But we do see harmless nurse & reef sharks when diving as well as the occasional manta ray.  Dolphins too, but mostly it’s just turtles and tropical fish.

Providenciales, where our villas are, is free of Cruise Ships!  Grand Turk island (a 30-minute flight south) is the only island of the TCI with a cruise port.

Providenciales, where our villas are, is free of Cruise Ships!  Grand Turk island (a 30-minute flight south) is the only island of the TCI with a cruise port.

TCI offers a host of watersports, including swimming, fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, boating, whale-watching, kayaking, paddle-boarding, jet-skiing, sailing, windsurfing, and kiteboarding. You can find more information about these activities (and TCI more generally) here: http://turksandcaicostourism.com/.

The fall, but it really doesn’t vary that much year-round – between 2 and 4 inches per month. An excellent source for all things related to TCI weather can be found here: https://www.visittci.com/about/weather 

 

Providenciales is a relaxed destination rather than what you would call a ‘party place’ (thankfully). But it does have some loud late-night bars, and dance places, if you look hard enough. For those of us who are mostly young-at-heart, we tend to be happier relaxing until late at one of Provo’s many excellent restaurants. (See also this article for more information “5 Best Restaurants on Providenciales.”)

At time of writing, nonstop flights to and from TCI’s international airport (PLS) were as follows:

  • Air Canada – Toronto and Montreal
  • Southwest – Ft Lauderdale (with great connections from many others
  •  American – Miami, Philadelphia, Charlotte, DFW, JFK
  • United – Newark, Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C.
  • Delta – JFK, Atlanta
  • Jet Blue – JFK, Fort Lauderdale
  • WestJet – Toronto
  • British Airways – London Gatwick (direct flight with a stop in Antigua)
  • Intercaribbean offers flights to many islands in the Caribbean

TCI’s main hospital is run by a Canadian healthcare company. In addition, its National Health Insurance Program coordinates with other Caribbean nations to ensure that patients with urgent conditions can be sent to the best hospital in the region to treat their particular condition. There are also numerous private U.K.-trained GPs, dentists, and optometrists. (See also: (http://turksandcaicostourism.com/about-turks-and-caicos/medical-services)

There are no direct taxes in the TCI; including no property, income, capital gain or estate tax. There is a one-time tax (called ‘stamp duty’) on the purchase of real estate but, for Latitude 22 villa purchases, that stamp duty is levied only on the value of the land purchased and not on the value of the villa itself – resulting in very substantial savings of > $100,000.

Yes. Unlike many Caribbean destinations, TCI has a sophisticated and well-functioning supply chain, with several cargo ships arriving weekly. Visitors and residents are therefore able to grocery shop at well-stocked supermarkets like Graceway Gourmet. (See here for example: http://www.gracewaysupermarkets.com/graceway-gourmet)

TCI is on US East Coast time.

“Terx & KAYkoss.” (Or if you really want to sound like a local, try “Terx ‘n kay-coas.” 

In late summer and early fall.  The most active month is September.

As noted above: any day with a “Y” in it! 

In TCI, warm tropical weather is the norm year-round, with average temperatures of 80+ degrees Fahrenheit, and average ocean temperature an equally impressive 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Rain tends to fall mostly at night, and daytime showers typically stop as quickly as they start. Because of its location and topography, TCI is also less humid than most other Caribbean destinations.

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