House Hunt in Aruba: Three Bedrooms and a Pool for $1.1M


This contemporary style villa It overlooks an 18-hole golf course in the enclosed Tierra del Sol area on Aruba’s northwest coast.

Built in the Noord area in the late 2000s, the three-bedroom, four-bath house features a terracotta-tiled roof, a large covered deck and a 700-square-foot swimming pool on landscaped grounds about one-quarter the size. acre Edwin Hekman, owner and broker of Keller Williams Aruba, said the 3,197-square-foot single-story home has stylish modern furnishings that are included in the asking price.

A cobblestone path through a gravel courtyard filled with palm trees leads to arched wooden doors that open into the villa’s tiled entrance courtyard, adorned with vases and sculptures. Double wooden doors open into a foyer that connects to a sunny open-plan living area with high ceilings. Floor-to-ceiling glass pocket doors open from the living area to the large covered deck and pool.

The main living area features a white chef-style kitchen with stainless steel countertops and appliances including a Thermidor refrigerator. There is seating for four on an island with a breakfast bar. The kitchen has a pantry and a corridor leading to the guest bathroom.

Outside the main living area is a sizable primary suite with a sitting area, large walk-in closet and long double doors to the pool deck. The floors are bamboo. The bathroom has double sinks and a glass-walled rain shower with a picture window overlooking a small sculptural private courtyard.

Outside the foyer are two more bedrooms with bamboo floors, large closets and en-suite bathrooms with glass-walled showers. The house has a laundry room and a pump room.

The pool deck features an open kitchen and a pergola with barbecue for al fresco dining, as well as a hot tub and outdoor shower. Off-street parking is available for two cars.

Set on nearly 600 acres in the upscale Malmok neighborhood, Tierra del Sol Resort & Golf features a Robert Trent Jones II-designed championship golf course, a restaurant, bars, a spa, a fitness center and tennis courts. The beaches of Boca Catalina and Arashi, popular with snorkelers, are nearby. Mr. Hekman said the Palm Beach area, where supermarkets, restaurants, a shopping mall and high-rise hotels are located, is a 12-minute drive away. He said the Aeropuerto Internacional Reina Beatrix, just outside Aruba’s capital city of Oranjestad, is about 30 minutes’ drive away.

The pandemic has helped stimulate the housing market in Aruba, the Netherlands’ 69-square-mile island region, largely because it is located outside of the hurricane belt in the southern Caribbean Sea and has a relatively arid climate.

MPG broker and owner Muna Habash said that although Aruba has not released official price statistics, the housing market has achieved some stability before the start of the pandemic in March 2020, after several years of stagnation following the 2008 financial crisis. Aruba Real Estate. (In mid-2019, the average price of a house in Aruba was about 580,000 Aruban florins, or about $321,000. Central Bank of Aruba.)

“It was regular, but after the pandemic started it started to rise and properties were sold very quickly and mostly at the asking price,” he said.

Edith Coupland, a broker and owner of RES Realty Development and Decor, said that when Aruba came out of the Covid lockdowns after the first few months of the pandemic, the brokerage firm went into overdrive, eventually selling more homes in 2020 than in previous years. This rapid market continued into January 2022, resulting in an estimated 4 percent year-over-year increase in home prices.

“Many properties are sold in one day, this is very unusual for the Aruba market. In the past it was common for homes to sit for a year or more,” said Ms. Coupland.

Mr Hekman said he believes home prices may have increased by more than 10 percent in the Noord area, the island’s most popular area with foreign home buyers, as supply has contracted.

“Especially for three-bedroom homes with a pool that cost $400,000 to $500,000, a lot of Americans and Canadians bought them last year,” he said. “In this price range, it’s kind of hard to get a decent home right now.”

A three-bedroom, two-bathroom home close to hotels and a beach area can now sell for between $500,000 and $750,000 in Aruba, Ms Habash said. Brokers said that among Caribbean countries, the island has relatively few properties on the beach, so they charge a premium.

“As for the beachfront properties, the last property in Arashi was sold for $6.5 million and needs a complete refurbishment,” said Ms. Habash.

This relative scarcity of beachfront and hilltop properties has contributed to Aruba’s reputation as a cheaper alternative among Caribbean luxury destinations, Mr Hekman said, but recent weather conditions may have been a factor in changing that.

“In the last few years, after the big hurricane in Saint Martin, a lot of people sold their homes there and bought something from here or the nearby islands of Curaçao or Bonaire, so prices in Saint Martin are not as high as here,” he said. aforementioned.

Among foreign home buyers in Aruba, North Americans dominate, but the island has seen large numbers of buyers from European countries, including Germany, Russia, France and Italy, brokers said. Aruba is one of the three Caribbean islands belonging to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Curacao and Saint Martin so Dutch buyers are also common.

Aruba is just 18 miles north of the Venezuelan coast, but the large number of Venezuelan investors that were once active in the real estate market have largely disappeared in recent years, in part due to the economic situation there. “We hardly ever get Venezuelans – mostly dealers,” said Charlotte Bochardt, team leader of Keller Williams Aruba. “It hasn’t created any problems for us in the market. Canadians essentially replaced them as many of them became buyers here. ”

Agents said that 90 percent of privately owned homes in Aruba are on land leased from the government. Ms. Coupland said leases last for 60 years, with annual rental fees of $1 per square foot ($0.09 sq ft). They are usually renewed at the expiration date.

There are no restrictions for foreign home buyers in Aruba. Brokers said that notaries handle all real estate sales and charge about 2 percent of the home’s selling price. Ms. Habash said the transfer tax is 6 percent on higher priced homes.

Mr Hekman said that the broker’s commission is usually 5 percent paid by the seller.

While most customers pay in cash during the pandemic, mortgages are available for international buyers. Ms Coupland said banks in Aruba are currently lending to non-residents at a 40 percent discount and an interest rate of 6.5 to 7 percent.

in Dutch, Papiamento (Aruban Creole); Aruba florin (1 florin = $0.56)

The annual long rental fee for this house is approximately 2,000 florins ($1,110). Mr Hekman said annual property taxes equate to roughly 0.6 percent of the home’s value.

Edwin Hekman, Keller Williams Aruba, 011-297-592-2506, kw-aruba.com

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