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Style At Home: Buying Vacation Property Abroad

August 17th, 2010

This month, is helping readers learn what to consider when buying vacation property abroad through a focus on Serenity Point.

Serenity Point Main Entrance

Read the full article: Style at Home, “Buying vacation property abroad” by Lauren McPhillips.

Buying vacation property abroad

Summers in Canada are associated with cottage life and living by the water — but what happens when summer turns to winter?

A minority of us plow cottage roads or winterize our summer houses, but many of us do a few jaunts to sunny destinations throughout the snowy months, and a growing number of Canadians are actually buying second properties abroad.

The planned community [at Serenity Point in Abaco, Bahamas] is nothing short of fabulous — buying a property here would make anyone feel like they are on an eternal vacation. So whether you’re buying the land for a winter escape or as a retirement property, Serenity Point is a place of relaxation and island-living — a nice departure from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Create your dream home on the beach

Customization is a priority for home owners, and it should be no different for your vacation home.

One of the great things about the homes at Serenity Point is that they are custom designed to your liking. The developers have combined forces with Chancey Design Partnership to allow buyers to design their dream home on the beach. Whether you have a budget or want all the luxuries they have to offer, the designers create a space that works for your lifestyle.

Home Design by Walt Chancey

Equally important when considering buying vacation property abroad is access to amenities.

Serenity Point, a 40-acre gated community on Schooner Bay Beach, offers miles of pristine beach, tennis courts, a club house, a neighboring village full of restaurants and other services, plus all the amenities of home.

Style At Home writer Lauren McPhillips rightly recommends that readers research things like water treatment, internet access, air conditioning, and other needed amenities. Many islands have less than favorable services, but Serenity Point offers all the necessities and plenty of luxuries — personal chefs, bone fishing, pre-arrival shopping service, private golf lessons, and a maid/butler service to name a few.

McPhillips’ 5 Things to Consider When Buying Vacation Property Abroad include:

1. Chose Your Location.
Off the beaten path, with plenty of activities, Abaco is only a 50 minute flight from the coast of Florida, making it a quick escape.

2. Research amenities.
Know what home utilities are available, including internet access, but also consider your day-to-day needs. Abaco’s international airports, international banking services, hospitals, gas stations, markets, and schools make Abaco one of the top 20 global real estate markets.

3. Understand the culture.
For example, on Abaco there is an intense respect for natural resources, “a factor that the Serenity Point developers have taken into consideration through working around vegetation and natural sand dunes when building.”

4. Work within your budget.
Vacation property on Abaco ranges in value on the island from $200,000 USD to $1 million plus. As a luxury property, Serenity Point prices depend on the home site location: beach front, ridge, or hilltop.

5. Maintenance.
Be sure to take into account year-round maintenance care, including the costs of gardening, lawn care, housecleaning and damage control.

Read the full article at for all the details.

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The Abaconian: Serenity Point Holds Grand Opening

March 25th, 2010

Serenity Point’s opening was recently covered by The Abaconian. The article was written by Jennifer Hudson, one of our blog contributors.

Serenity Point Holds Grand Opening
By Jennifer Hudson
Monday March 15, 2010

Serenity Point…officially opened to prospective buyers at a gala celebration on March 6.

Invited guests…gathered on Serenity Point’s incredibly beautiful beach to enjoy a selection of refreshments with an island flavour and to learn more about this new development.

On arrival, guests were driven by golf cart along the impressive royal palm lined drive to the highest point of the property where they were offered a celebratory glass of champagne. The view from this point was already spectacular but the opportunity was offered to climb a lookout which gave an even more breathtaking view of the entire bay with its white sand and water which deepened from a light aquamarine to an intense azure highlighted by the pure white spume of some gently rolling waves. This is the view which will be enjoyed from the second floor of the homes to be built on the site.

A welcome to the development and an introduction to the Nihon family was given by Gustav Hernqvist, Senior Sales and Marketing Director for Serenity Point.

“This area is really starting to take off,” he said. “We have 24 lots available now and Phase 2 will be opening up very soon. This private community is right next door to the 220-acre development of Schooner Village which will be a self-contained community with 50 retail establishments, a clinic and a school and will be an excellent neighbour for Serenity Point.”

Hudson also mentions that one of the guests that she spoke to, an architect from Nassau who owns a second home in Treasure Cay, said that he would be interested in owning a home in Serenity Point. “The development has everything going for it – remoteness, being able to get away from it all, small size of the development and beautiful beach,” he stated.

Download the Full Article (PDF)

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Serenity Point and Schooner Bay Village

February 16th, 2010

Dining Out in AbacoSchooner Bay Village

Great Abaco will soon be getting an exciting new town. Construction is under way for Schooner Bay Village – a harbour village on the Atlantic side of South Abaco, designed with the character of a traditional Bahamian town.

Situated on 320 acres of land, the charming, walkable village is built around a world-class harbour and will include marina facilities, extensive retail and amenities, and abundant green space, designed to preserve the tropical parrots’ local habitat.

As an environmentally conscious, mixed-use, high-density lifestyle community, Schooner Bay Village will be a model development for the future growth of Abaco.

Community and Commercial Vitality

The village will focus on community and commercial vitality. The Schooner Bay harbour and marina function as the center of the community and will be surrounded by shops and restaurants. The area also encourages community gathering, with a continuous promenade curving along the edge of the water, as well as a central plaza overlooking the marina.

Light Developmental Footprint

Light Environmental Footprint

The village is also being built with an environmental focus. Sixty percent of the total area is dedicated to green space, with a central, 50-acre north/south greenway that preserves the habitat of the Bahamian parrot, which feeds and migrates through the area annually. A buffered area along the beach also preserves the natural dunes and vegetation.

Landscape, architectural design and technology will all go into making the community environmentally friendly.

Technology like Photovoltaic (solar) Power, OTEC (ocean thermal energy conversion) and other alternative energy sources will be used to cut energy consumption by 40%. Shading devices and geothermal cooling are among the strategies.

Schooner Bay is also exploring District Seawater Cooling system pumps to produce the chilled water needed for centralized air-conditioning. In addition, stormwater and wastewater management strategies are underway, along with plans for greywater reuse, catchment and storage.

All daily needs are intended to be met by foot, bicycle, or golf cart to create walkable (zero-emission) neighborhoods.

Buildings Follow Tradition

Walkway in Hope Town

The buildings and streets follow traditional Bahamian towns with the buildings structured primarily as cottages, bordering the street with small masonry walls, hedges and fences.

Other features will include:

  • A marina with available dockage, a fuel dock, a marina service/maintenance area and boat dry storage
  • An excellent variety of small unique boutique shops, restaurants, bakery and Farmer’s Market
  • Service and retail oriented businesses, including a hardware store, insurance, flower shop, and liquor store
  • A public library, plus fire, police and medical services
  • A world-class, high-end, boutique condo/hotel with a spa facility
  • Beach clubhouse
  • Harbour island luxury spa and villas
  • Equestrian facilities
  • 50-acre park and parrot habitat with equestrian and pedestrian trails
  • Blue water and back water fishing club
  • Rental amenities, including golf carts, boat and kayak rentals
  • Community pool and tennis courts

View a video of the artist’s conception of the village.

Fishing and Agriculture

CC BY 2.0

Abaco’s world-class fishery provides fresh, local sources of food to visitors and the community at large. Black Fly Lodge’s marina, fly shop, restaurant and bar add to the diverse activities available to the community.
About Black Fly Lodge.

“The Commons” is an agricultural program that, along with the fishery, provides local sources of food through organic farming, as well as education on sustainability and health. Chinese investment and local supporters are also discussing the need for food processing of local crops. The Commons program will be hosted at Schooner Bay’s Community Centre.

Serenity Point, Schooner Bay Beach

Walt Chancey Home Design: Richards rearview

Serenity Point, an exclusive neighborhood comprising 24 single-family home sites with oceanfront or hilltop views, is situated on Schooner Bay Beach adjacent to Schooner Bay Village.

Home site owners will have the benefit of the village, marina, boutiques and restaurants in addition to the privacy of an exclusive community.

Serenity Point opens March 6, 2010 (request details).

Real Estate Development on Abaco

The new town at Schooner Bay Village and the luxury property development at Serenity Point are just two of the key developments currently contributing to growth on the island.

Despite the current state of the global economy, the Bahamas has continued to be a stable base for investment. Abaco, in particular, is the fastest growing out island in the Bahamas.

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