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Island Broker Blog

Your Island Vision

March 12th, 2009

Soaring palm trees, perfect white sand beaches surrounded by clear blue water loaded with coral and an abundance of wildlife. This vision, however, is sometimes outside the budget. But don’t let that stop you; we can help!

Our first contact with island shoppers is always exciting. Within a few conversations we usually find ourselves fully immersed in the client’s vision of their ideal island environment. It’s so cool!

The plans range from a personal estate to a mega resort system involving several islands. Oh, and we can’t forget the people wanting to start their own countries! Brilliant ideas like “Stonerland” or “Make-love-not-war-topia”. Uh, yeah… give it up. The point is, everyone’s idea is so personal that it’s impossible to make blanket statements about which island is best. It’s just not that simple.

It’s during this stage that we get some important information. The initial questions we ask are easy: Why do you want to buy an island? Where are you looking? What do you intend to do with it? What’s your budget?

The answers to these initial questions will narrow down the search considerably. From there we can get down to the real details. How far from the mainland? How often will you be there? What features of an island are most important to you? Snorkeling? Easy access to the mainland? Close to the cruise ships? Total isolation? Etc…

There are no wrong answers to these questions and most people have some very specific features they feel are most important. While one client might think an island must be isolated to be truly exclusive and private, the next will feel comfort in having neighbors nearby for those times when they need to borrow a cup of sugar!

We’ve found that very few people end up buying the island they originally focused on when their search began. The reason is simple, yet difficult to grasp until you are there on site; the most beautiful island today may not be the right island for the project. Once all aspects of development are carefully considered, it may be better to start with an island you had previously eliminated.

Some aspects of an island you simply can’t change; like its proximity to a particular reef or mainland town or the quality of snorkeling just off shore. But the land itself can always be improved. The degree of change is just a question of budget and time frame.

Often times an island in need of filling and landscaping can be a much better long-term investment, than just buying the prettiest island today. So we’ll always try to help you focus on the vision of the project and then match the island to this vision.

Our next installment will cover the suitability of the island and over the next several weeks, all the topics below.

  • Suitability of the island. Can it support the project?
  • Timing and budget and return on investment.
  • Obtaining permits
  • Filling methods; what is sand?
  • Dredging
  • Drag Line
  • Small scale dredge and trash pumps
  • Hand filling
  • Excavating the island’s own material
  • Barging in sand
  • Rocks, tubes, and other natural sand gatherers
  • Landscaping
  • Sea walls

Categories: island development

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