Real estate broker claims ideal options in GB market

Donna Laing

The real estate market is enticing at the moment.

Such is the conviction of a noted real state associate. On Thursday during the regular meeting of the Rotary Club of Freeport, guest speaker Donna Laing-Jones said that now is the time to invest in the market.

Laing-Jones, a part time broker with Keys Bahamas Realty, said that there is still a great deal of opportunity in the local real estate market because it is a biased market.

“We have a lot of persons who want fixer uppers, now is the time to buy those fixer uppers. I  cannot determine if those properties will be available in the next six months. The market is in dire need of rental properties like efficiencies and one to two bedroom apartments.

“There are a lot of apartment buildings that are out there, persons need to buy those apartment buildings, renovate those and put those on the market for rent,” she said.

She added that there are also many four bedroom condos persons can get a good deal on.

“We have lots of condos on the island for sale from efficiencies to four-bedroom canal front units. You can spend from $30,000 to $250,000, depending on what you want,” she said.

She added that there are four four-bedroom units available for sale in Waters Edge now that could easily be rented to companies for $3500 to $4500 per month for contractors coming on island.

“Three years ago, Raymond who turned 30 yesterday and Kiara 25, your fellow Rotarian bought an efficiency in Kings Bay for $30,000, they’ve fully renovated it and converted it to a 1-bedroom unit at a cost of $12,000,” she said.

The unit was rented to a doctor for $750 per month and sold to a Canadian for $70,000. Almost a 50 percent return.

Keys Bahamas Realty was birthed out of that sale in March, 2016 and has not looked back. Laing-Jones openly expressed her gratitude to Kiara for Pushing Keys to make the move to start the real estate company.

“Lots of industrial partners are looking for rentals for clients, contractors coming on the island,” she said.

Laing-Jones furthered that many people visit Grand Bahama and are taking advantage of these properties, but it is important for locals to do the same.

“We are encouraging our local people to jump in, get their feet wet, take the risk and invest on Grand Bahama,” she said.
She informed that there are many single family homes, priced up to $150,000.

“We have first time buyer homes available from $110,000 to $130,000. We have many middle class homes from $225,000 to $325,000. For $350,000 to $400,000, I can find you a home in a gated, beachfront community,” she said.

These same homes could be used as an investment and rent for $2,500 to $4,000 per month to companies in the industrial areas.
For the savvy investor, we have many deals on the canal and beachfront from $500,000 to $1,500,000.

“There is an overabundance of vacant lots, be it single family, multifamily or commercial lots for sale. You can buy a lot with full utilities for as low as $15,000 in a decent area. You can buy a canal lot for $25,000 in Derby, $50,000 in Bahamia and $60,000 in Fortune Bay now,” she said.

Laing-Jones recommended that persons who are interested in purchasing a property should hire a realtor, contact a realty company and get connected with a bank for pre-approval and then a further walk through the entire process.

With regards to the currently closed Grand Lucayan property, Laing-Jones noted that the island needs the hotel to reopen, but instead of the Government trying to take over the property. She said she Hutchison Whampoa should be held accountable.

“They own the Harbour, the Airport, the Container Port so they’re making money on one side. We know that they’re losing on the other side but they need to put a stake in the property,” she said.

The broker revealed that she visited the property and determined that there is no reason why portions of the property cannot be reopened.

“People want to come to Grand Bahama,” she said.

However, the rooms are simply not available.

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