National Mortgage Guarantee introduced on Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean


National Mortgage Guarantee introduced on Bonaire

An experimental program called the National Mortgage Guarantee, ‘Nationale Hypotheek Garantie’ in Dutch (NMG), has been introduced on Bonaire.  This NMG makes it possible for young families and first-time buyers to buy or build a home without the need for such a large amount of personal savings. This is a big change for the island of Bonaire and means many more families will be able to realize the dream of home ownership!

Overcoming barriers to home ownership!

Local banks currently finance only up to 70-80% of the value of a home. The buyer needs to finance the remainder.  In addition to the buyer’s cost, which are approximately 7% of the purchase sum, are the bank mortgage closing fees. This means that buyers need to have a considerable amount of money available up front for the purchase of a home.

Saving money on Bonaire is challenging at best. With a very tight rental market and high demand, rental prices are high making it very difficult to rent and save concurrently.  Mortgages on Bonaire are also time constrained.  Mortgages are granted only up to the age of 65 of the oldest purchaser (in the case of joint filing). The longer it takes a hopeful homeowner to save up to for the deposit, buyer’s costs and the bank closing fees, the more they will have to pay each month with a shorter-term mortgage.

The NMG was introduced on Bonaire by the Dutch government in order to lower these two specific barriers to homeownership.  This is already stimulating the real estate market and the economy as well.  This NMG allows approved buyers to finance the entire value of their home.  Approved buyers will still need to have a down payment available to cover the buyer’s costs and bank fees.  Mortgages will also be set for 30 year.  Age will not be used as a limiting factor. Based on the results of this initial 5-year trial, the program may be permanently implemented on Bonaire and eventually expanded to Saba and Statia.

Special rules for qualifying for a NMG mortgage include, but are not limited to the following:

Special rules for qualifying for a NMG mortgage include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Buyers need to be permanently employed and be residents of Bonaire,
  • The mortgage can only be for the use of purchasing or building a first home,
  • The property must be fully insured including hurricane damage,
  • The maximum purchase total must not exceed $ 225,000.-.
  • NMG loans are currently only available on Bonaire.

NMG mortgages come with certain costs. A premium of 1%, calculated over themortgage amount, is due annually. This is the same premium as used in the Netherlands. This premium is expected to drop to 0.9% in 2019.

Former residents of The Netherlands may also qualify.

If you have lived in the Netherlands, but now reside on Bonaire, please be aware that the BKR (Stichting Bureau Krediet Registratie) will be checked for present records.

Qualified banks.

As the only bank under the full supervision of the Dutch Banking Association, Maduro & Curiel’s Bank (MCB) is currently the only bank qualified to extend these mortgages at this time.  More banks may qualify in the future.

We’re here to help! 

Does this sound right for you? Don’t wait!  There are only 70 NMG’s available each year in this first 5-year trial period.
Contact Caribbean Homes and we will gladly show you a selection of homes that may qualify for an NMG type mortgage.

We are happy to be on your side; professionally all the way. Contact us with any question you may have via info@ or (+599) 717 4686 or (+31) 85 8880442.


Process of buying real estate on Bonaire


Process of buying real estate on Bonaire

On Bonaire listed properties are usually advertised with an asking price. This means that there is some room for negotiations leading to a final purchase sum. Some properties are listed at a fixed price; obviously they are non-negotiable.

For you as (future) buyer it is good to know that a seller does not have to accept your offer; even if the asking price is offered.

What an offer consists of

An offer usually consists of the following sub-items: purchase sum, possible included inventory, preferred date of transfer, deposit sum or down payment *), choice of notary **), closing costs ***) and possible special conditions (for instance about [dis-]continuing rental agreements) and/or contingencies, such as subject to financing or technical inspection, etc.

Buying a house on Bonaire real estate

A verbal agreement is binding

The process of submitting an offer, receiving counter-offer(s), up till acceptance the final bid, does not necessarily have to be done in writing. Under the legislation for the BES Islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba) this whole process can be done verbally as well. Once either the seller or buyer accepts the (counter-)offer from the other party, a purchase and sales agreement has come into effect instantly. This is binding for both parties. It is therefore always recommended to seek our professional advice in this matter.

Once both parties come to an agreement

The broker will subsequently draw up the purchase and sales agreement in which, additional to all agreed to sub-items in the accepted bid, all rights and obligations for both seller and buyer will be stated. This agreement will also be specific about the ‘state of delivery’ of the property and also -for instance- which grounds are valid to dissolve the agreement.

Huis kopen op Bonaire

Presence on Bonaire

It is not necessary to be personally present on Bonaire at the transfer of the deed of conveyance. All can be carried out by power of attorney.

We’re here to help! 

We hope to have given you an insight with this information into the complete process. Still, we strongly recommend you to seek our advice, whether buying or selling a property on Bonaire. Any individual perspective and situation is different after all!

We are happy to be on your side; professionally all the way. Contact us with any question you may have via info@ or (+599) 717 4686 or (+31) 85 8880442.

House bid Bonaire real estate

*) The purchase and sales agreement will be signed by both parties and the buyer will need to transfer the down payment of 15% of the total purchase sum within 10 to 14 days after signing into the escrow account of the notary. 

The signed purchase and sales agreement, together with the deed of acquisition by the seller, is the basis for the notary to draw up the (draft and final) deed of conveyance.

**) The notary (a highly educated civil law magistrate; fully qualified legal professional) is appointed by the Government. He or she will take care of all legal settlements regarding the agreement, such as drawing up of the deed of conveyance and perform a thorough title search. The notary will also provide both buyer and seller with the financial statement.

***) Buyer has to take into account that the closing costs will be his responsibility to pay at transfer. They amount up to approximately 6.5 - 7% on top of the purchase sum. This amount consists of 5% transfer tax and 1.5 - 2% notary costs, registration costs, etc.

Buying a house on Bonaire: 7 points to take into account


Buying a house on Bonaire: 7 points to take into account

You are considering to buy a house on Bonaire: fantastic! The first step towards a wonderful adventure has been made. There are other matters of interest in your search for a house on a tropical island than in a quest in, say, Houston. Take the next 7 points into account when you visit properties and you will certainly find your tropical dream house!

1. The position in relation to the wind

"A house on the wind”, as it is called on the island, is really important for your living comfort. Bonaire has a constant trade wind from the northeast. These strong winds can act as a natural air conditioning. This truly comes in handy on an island where the average temperature is 86 degrees! Therefore pay close attention to the most important rooms of the house and their position in relation to the wind. The porch for example, which in Bonaire functions as your living room, and the master bedroom, where the wind can ensure your night’s rest. And if that ain’t enough: a nice breeze also helps against mosquitos.


2. The land on which it stands: ownership or leasehold?

A house on Bonaire can be built on leasehold land or private land. Private land is, as the name suggests, land owned by an individual. Long lease land however, is land owned by the government and rented, or better yet, leased out. Curious to find out what the exact advantages and disadvantages are? Contact us and we’ll gladly inform you.

3. A cool house through optimal processing of warmth

The climate on Bonaire is different than most of us are used to. Needless to say - since it is probably one of the reasons why you are planning to move here in the first place. In this warm climate it is crucial to have a cool house. The construction of a house often plays an importent role in this. Some points that can help:

  • Shutters on the front and rear makes that the wind is able to blow through the entire house;
  • A high ceiling ensures the heat rises up and leaves the living area;
  • On Bonaire you live outside, the size of your living room is therefore less important than the size of your porch. Ideally, this porch faces the wind (see point 1) and provides plenty of shaded areas;
  • An overhanging roof provides shade around your home and repels the sun of the outer walls;
  • Houses on Bonaire are painted in every color of the rainbow. Light colors reflect more sunlight than dark colors and are therefor better in conducting the heath.



4. A storage room for diving or surfing material

No doubt you know that Bonaire is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. More than 1 windsurfing world champion made his first steps on Sorobon and the island is named the best shore diving destination in the world for over 23 years. If you're planning to practice one of these sports, a storage room for your stuff is a definite must. An ideal storage provides space to hang your stuff, is well ventilated and has an outside sink. It is also useful when you can enter the storage from the outside so you don’t have to carry your wet gear though your house. Maintaining your equipment in a climate of sun, sea and salt requires a lot of love and attention. A proper storage is a good start!

5. The facilities for your guests

The same reasons you have to move to Bonaire, are the ones your friends have to visit you. Experience shows that they rather not fly a couple of thousand miles for just a cup of coffee. Guests stay longer and it's wise to take this into account when buying a house. Besides additional bedrooms many properties on Bonaire have multiple bathrooms. This gives you and your guests just that little bit of extra privacy. Another option is a separate guest house. These rooms, often built as small studios, usually have a private entrance. An additional advantage is that you can easily rent this space out when you have no friends over.


6. Maintaining your garden 

In your search for a home on Bonaire you will see gardens in all shapes: fully grown to completely maintenance free. If you are interested in a house with a lush garden, pay specific attention to the way it is maintained. Because of our year round summer, your garden will need water every day. This is usually done through a drip system that automatically releases a certain amount of water in places where there are trees or plants. A drip system can be connected to the waterworks on your septic tank. The advantage of this is that you can reuse the water and at the same time fertilize your garden.

7. A detached house within reach

There are more possibilities with your budget than you might think! Bonaire has about 20,000 inhabitants in an area of 281 square kilometer. This equates to 69 people per square kilometer. To compare this number, in the Netherlands there are 409 people per square kilometer. Why this geographic lesson? It gives a beautiful image of the space that inhabitants have here. Almost exclusively people live in detached houses, from modest one-room apartments to huge villas. A detached house on Bonaire is within reach!

We are happy to help you find your dream house on Bonaire!

Contact us for more information or an appointment via +599) 717 4686 or info@