There was a time when Cuba was considered a cold war relic. Today, the island is offering some of the newest island property on the market for those who want to invest in Caribbean real estate. That’s because Cuba, well known as one of the last cold war standouts of Communism, has changed the way it sees outside investment beyond just support for former Warsaw-Pact countries.
In November 2011, the Cuban government made a big announcement that fundamentally changed how real estate was handled on the Communist island. The idea of the government owning everything and there being no profit finally reached a maturity point and needed change. President Raul Castro triggered the loosening of regulations that opened the door for buying properties in Cuba and doing so with some permanency.
Some are worried the Cuban government will simply get people to buy, sink their money into the country with hard cash, and then take the property back with another Communist redistribution of property again. Yet that’s not the case with the latest change on the island. The last time Cubans recognized real estate property holdings was in 1959 before Fidel Castro led rebels to take over the country. Yet after 2011 capitalism in its most basic form of land purchasing has returned and with a vengeance.
Go down any street and the familiar “For Sale” sign will be posted prominently for those buying properties in Cuba. And Cubans are not locked into the 1950s; they have posted dozens of thousands of property on the Internet with sale ads, realizing there’s a pending goldmine to be made from those who want to buy a piece of land in paradise. And that really is the attractive factor; Cuba sits smack in the Caribbean enjoying all the benefits of being in the Gulf, warm water, mostly good weather, and a laid back society. The irony, of course, is that what would otherwise have been yet another resort chock full of hotels has been for decades a people’s republic.
So how does one get started at potentially buying a vacation property in Cuba? Well, unfortunately, some of the old cold war restrictions still exist, especially regarding travel to the island. Essentially, those visiting have to be doing so on official business or industry research; private tourism is not allowed and is actually still a crime if found out when you return back to the U.S. Other investors from non-U.S. countries do not have such problems accessing the island for personal interests.
Additionally, not every property is available for purchase. The Cuban government has limited foreign investment activity to what are termed as resort developments, ensuring that the funds coming in are targeted and can be funneled together. This maximizes the profit factor.
With the warming relations between the U.S. and Cuba on official terms, it is likely that Americans will likely be buying properties in Cuba soon. And Wire Consulting will be a major conduit and agent for prospective buyers. However, for now, foreign investors are likely to get more of the first picks, but American interests don’t need to worry too much. Many of the properties are coming down in price. But if one really needs to get in now, he or she might want to find out if personal family have any relatives still on the island. A personal family connection could easily act as a buyer proxy, getting around the remaining U.S. laws of visiting the island, which is likely to go away in a few years as well.