Ah St. Martin! Breathtaking views, sunshiny days and real estate opportunities of a lifetime! There are two sides of St. Martin. You have the French side, Saint Martin, and you have the Dutch side, Sint Maarten. There is no border patrol or fences between the two sides of the islands but the differences are quite great.
In Saint Martin, the french side, there is more access to beachfront property. Here the luxury home market starts at $1.5 million and can escalate as high as $17.5 million for cliff side property on five acres sporting 11 bedrooms and 11 baths. On the Dutch side, Sint Maarten, prices top out around $5 million. It has been said that the Dutch side, Sint Maarten, has condominiums, town homes and single family homes and is "more vibrant" than that of Saint Martin. However, Saint Martin, is what island life is all about: unspoiled nature, beautiful beaches and a laid-back attitude.
Although the American dollar is widely accepted throughout both sides of the Island, in Saint Martin the euro is the main currency and in Sint Maarten the Netherlands Antillean guilder is the main currency. To give you an idea of what that means when purchasing real estate on this awesome island, 1 euro is equal to $1.06; and 1 Netherlands Antillean guilder is equal to $0.56. In Saint Martin an 8% transfer tax is levied on the purchase price while in Sint Maarten the transfer fees run about 6%. There are no property taxes, but there is an income tax charged if the property is rented out. This applies to both sides.
A flight from New York is only around 4 hours, so come take a look for yourself. Spend a month on the island and soak in the laid back island beach lifestyle of Saint Martin and the variety of city life, casinos and activity of Sint Maarten and then find your dream island retreat!