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Living in paradise is a dream for many of us, and there’s no better paradise than a beautiful island in the Caribbean.

Made up of dozens of islands and located south of the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos is becoming more popular as a tourist destination and those looking to buy beachfront homes or condos.

If you live on your own or you travel a lot, you may be considering the option of a Turks and Caicos condo instead of purchasing an entire villa. Is it going to be worth the investment? Let’s take a closer look at some of the pros and cons.

What is a Condominium, Anyways?

A condominium, or “condo” for short, is a private, owned residential unit in a building. They differ from apartments because apartments are leased instead of purchased.

Condos can be townhouses or they can be in buildings that look similar to apartment buildings. Some have amenities such as swimming pools, fitness centers, entertainment areas, etc.

In the Turks and Caicos Islands (“TCI”) you won’t find the type of high-rise condo buildings like you would on the beaches of Miami. The condos you find in the more touristy Grace Bay beach area on the island of Providenciales might be 4 or 5 stories tall while the condos on the secluded beaches of South Caicos are more like 2 story homes with luxury suites.

Pro: You don’t need to worry about maintenance and upkeep

Condos are popular property types for people of all ages, but those of retirement age find them especially suitable. Why? Because you never have to deal with the maintenance, wear and tear, and whatever else may come along with the property as you get older.

This has a ton of advantages that many individuals don’t realize. You don’t need to call 5 contractors to see who is available to take care of your roof, and you don’t need to watch endless videos to figure out a DIY solution for that stuck window. You can just put in a request with maintenance and they’ll take care of things.

You don’t need to worry about lawn care with a beachfront unit on Grand Turk, Providenciales, North Caicos, or anywhere else on the TCI, but you do need to consider other grounds-keeping tasks that may need to be done. You also won’t need to worry about cleanup after a bad storm.

Pro: Tons of amenities

One of the biggest benefits of living in a condo community in the TCI is the availability of amenities that you may not have access to if you’re on a private island or building a house on an isolated sandy beach. Your fees (which we’ll discuss more in a bit) open an entire array of amenities for you to utilize and enjoy, without worrying about upkeep.

Many condo communities in Provo and the rest of TCI have at least one pool (if not multiple) available for use. Depending on the island and where the community is located, they may also provide equipment for watersports and/or a community clubhouse that you can rent out if you want to have a party or host a game night.

Some communities on the less populated islands are located near or as part of resorts, which pretty much provides condo owners all the benefits of a resort without the tourists.

This makes condos the perfect place if you want to make sure that you’ve got plenty to do and enjoy on a daily basis.

Pro: Perfect choice for a couple or an individual

Speaking of retirees and single persons, condos are the perfect option for someone like you. Not only are they easy to take care of and enjoy, but they are also just the right size. They usually have 1 or 2 bedrooms (some have 3), so you can have a guest room and/or an office, along with your main bedroom.

Most typical condo units in Turks and Caicos are in or near more populated areas on the island of Providenciales allowing individuals to bike or take a short walk to the “downtown” area for food, boutiques, and water sports, like snorkeling and scuba diving, aren’t far away, either.

Those looking for a more natural environment with fewer tourists are more likely to find what they want on the less frequented islands like Salt Cay or South Caicos.

Pro: Better security options are available for condos

Security is always important, even in a safe place like the Turks and Caicos Islands. Condo communities offer some of the best security that you can find anywhere. Most of the time, you’ll be looking at a gated community that requires a passcode so that you can enter.

Some communities with larger buildings and penthouses will have doorkeepers, concierge services, or security professionals that live on-site, adding another layer of protection for those who live there. Plus, instead of being secluded in a Turks and Caicos luxury home on a hill, you’ve got lots of people who live nearby and can help you if there is an emergency.

Pro: Appreciate at a similar value to Turks and Caicos villas

Around the world, condos are starting to outpace single-family homes when it comes to appreciation (the increase in value of your property). Granted, the divide is much larger depending on where you are located, so you need to be sure to research and see what the numbers look like on the specific island you’re considering.

The divide is smaller in Turks and Caicos than in other places, mainly because of the abundance of luxury homes and beach houses you’ll find throughout the islands. But, when compared to “typical” single-family homes and residences, condos appreciate at a similar value, if not better (depending on location and demand).

Pro: You can rent it out when you’re gone

Do you travel a lot, or do you plan on being a snowbird? If so, then a condo is a great idea. It’s a lot easier to rent out a condo versus a single-family home when you’re away. Whether you use it as a home share (think Airbnb) or you rent it out for a few months a year, you’re going to be able to make some money.

Condos are often more popular than entire homes when it comes to Turks and Caicos vacation rentals because they are easier to clean and they’re more affordable for getaways.

If the rental income from a vacation home is on your mind for a Turks and Caicos home, then a condo is a reasonable choice.

Neutral: Proximity to people

This can be a pro or a con depending on who you are and how you interact with people.

First, the positive: it makes it a lot easier for you to socialize. You’re more likely to make some friends and find people like you who you want to spend time with due to the common areas that everyone in your condo community shares.

But, there’s another side to that coin as well – it’s not great for privacy. Depending on the size of the building or community, some people know where you live and they’re easily able to come and knock on your door whenever they want or need to. So, if you prefer your privacy, condo living may not be what you’re looking for.

Con: You will need to pay fees for maintenance and upkeep

The condo management or homeowners’ association affiliated with your unit will require you to pay fees, which you wouldn’t pay with a stand-alone luxury villa. Condos in popular places like Grace Bay Beach and Leeward may have higher fees than others, too.

Those fees will cover the maintenance and upkeep of the outdoor space and any common areas and amenities that are being used, so you know where it’s going. But, it could be burdensome financially (depending on the condo association and their fee schedule).

sailrock south caicos ridgetop room 1

Con: Condos can be hard to sell

While condos are easier to rent as vacation rentals, they can be harder to sell as real estate. Families typically don’t want a condo – they prefer somewhere with additional outdoor space; the same is true for people with pets. And, only certain people are built for living in a tight-knit context with other people, so they’ll look at beachfront villas instead. This narrows the pool of potential buyers.

The other concern is related to the fact that your oceanfront condo has been previously lived in. Most people would rather move into an empty condo that hasn’t been remodeled or changed in some way by the previous owner. Empty units will get sold before preowned ones, so it could take a bit of time.

Con: Homeowner association concerns

Homeowner Associations (HOAs) are the organizations that deal with the fees and ensure that common areas are dealt with and that fees are used in a particular way. When they’re good, they’re fine – when they’re bad, it can make living in a condo a miserable experience. No amount of ocean views or white sand beaches can help that.

First, if they’re not managed well, the funds are going to be problematic. They need to be sure to split money properly and ensure that they have enough for regular upkeep, long-term goals, and emergencies. If not, then you could get extra fees later on, or your fees could increase.

You also need to live by the rules of management. You may only be allowed to have certain breeds of dogs (or certain animals in general). You may have to ask if you want to put together a conch garden or install solar panels. And the condo association has to approve it. Those extra rules could be burdensome, depending on the association.

Determining if a Turks and Caicos condo is right for you

As you shop around for a potential oceanfront home, you want to be sure that you look into all of your options and understand both the positives and the negatives of what may be involved. Whether you choose to invest in a Turks and Caicos villa or condo, you will likely find something perfect for your lifestyle and purposes.