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Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles Last Updated: May 7, 2015 - 7:57:38 AM
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Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
Is Renting Easy Money? - Feb 21, 2014 - 10:34:58 AM

You might hear about a friend of a friend who bought a house and is renting it out to make some extra income.  You might also hear that this person just sits back and collects the rent check every month, goes fishing most of the time and you think, what a great idea! Sounds like a no-brainer right?


Buying a house to rent or turning your own house into a rental instead of selling can be a good way to make some passive income.  It can also be a way to cover the mortgage on an investment property.  BUT . . .  there are a lot of issues you need to consider before you decide to become a landlord. There are two ways to approach renting your property: you can be the landlord yourself or you can hire a property management company to oversee the property.  If you try to do it yourself, remember that your property will need to be maintained and you have to be aware of all the expenses that include: repairs, landscaping maintenance, costs between tenants, painting, new carpet, cleaning , utilities, insurance, advertising, real estate fees etc... 
Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
New airlift helps real estate on Grand Bahama Island - Feb 6, 2014 - 11:01:00 PM

Many people look at a glass and say it's half empty and many people look at a glass and say it's half full.  Well whether you are an optimist or a pessimist the reality is that there is something happening on Grand Bahama.  

If you have been to Port Lucaya Marketplace you will see live human bodies walking around shopping and patronizing the shops. I am not saying that everything is fine in Grand Bahama, but I am saying things are looking better, and there is more to come.

I have always said that we ‘need more Airlift on the island.’ Well believe it or not, there has been an increase in airlift, which for a small island can really help the real estate market and the economy in general.
Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
If you want to sell, you have to be realistic about price - Nov 27, 2013 - 11:10:27 PM

As 2013 winds down (with only 34 days till 2014, believe it or not!), I am pleased to report that there appears to be some real estate activity in Grand Bahama.

Many may think I am an eternal optimist but the fact is that there are single family homes, canal property, condos, commercial buildings, and duplexes selling. The market is not dead as many people want to believe. In spite of Freeport’s unique problems, the trend is in the right direction again as we are seeing offers accepted on homes and actual closings taking place.

The world economy is recovering and our neighbors in the US have already experienced this rebound, so its no surprise that things will get better. My personal opinion is that we have hit bottom and the market is rebounding. I did not say that that property values are going up. I said that the there is real estate activity which is a great sign of recovery.

Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
Can Property Sell During the Holidays? - Nov 17, 2013 - 10:40:20 AM

Believe it or not the Holiday season is upon us again. It feels like 2013 just began that Christmas is only 6 weeks away.  Another year has passed and I know that many of you sellers are  wondering “Should I list or keep selling my home during the Holidays? 

Many people would say NO you should wait until after the Holiday Season because everyone is too busy thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas and not about buying homes or property.  This may be true for some, BUT here are 10 reasons why you should list and keep selling your home during the Holidays. I know that many sellers are very frustrated with our soft  market but remember it only takes one buyer to make a deal and your deal might be just around the corner.  Wouldn’t that be the BEST  Christmas present this year? 
Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
Will Sunwing help the real estate market in Grand Bahama? - Sep 5, 2013 - 2:28:34 PM

It looks like Sunwing is really coming and that's good news for the Grand Bahama Real Estate Market.  I drove by the old Holiday Inn (Reef Village) yesterday and saw containers arriving and lots of activity. The owners of the hotel are spending a lot of money preparing the "new hotel".  According to Sunwing's web site "Starting January 16th, 2014, they will be offering weekly winter service from Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Edmonton to Freeport, Grand Bahama, along with year round flights from Toronto. They are introducing a the brand new Memories Grand Bahama Beach and Casino Resort, a 4 1/2-star all inclusive family-friendly resort located on a pristine stretch of white sandy beach"
Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
The Emotional Side of Real Estate - Aug 2, 2013 - 12:04:28 AM

As we all know, emotions play a big part in life—and that’s also very true in real estate transactions. It’s not always only about the number of bedrooms and the price. A real estate transaction can involve feelings of joy, anger, love, hate, sadness, disgust, surprise, expectation, anticipation, just to name a few. As real estate brokers, our job is part business consultant and part psychologist.

When you want to sell your property, you call a real estate agent who meets with you and “takes a listing”. The agent asks the Sellers to put their emotions about the value of the property on hold, and allow the agent to be objective in appraising their home...
Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
Is this the right time to buy real estate? - Jul 25, 2013 - 8:57:35 AM

In William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet written in 1600 Hamlet asks the question TO BE OR NOT TO BE  as he questions the meaning of life. If Hamlet lived in Freeport, Grand Bahama 400 years after he asked that question in his famous soliloquy he might now ask the question TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY?

Many people have asked themselves this question especially as the world economy slowly recovers.  While each option of renting or owning has its benefits, the decision to purchase a duplex, condominium or house as opposed to renting, is complex and based on a number of factors...
Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
Was the Magic Back in Freeport for a Night? - Jun 5, 2013 - 1:13:57 PM

Was the Magic back in Freeport for a night, or was that just a dream?

Last Saturday night, thanks to the combined efforts of Rotary Club of GB Sunrise’s Cigar Nights at Pelican Bay, the Grand Lucayan Hotel’s Soca Concert with Alison Hinds, and Neptune’s Nightclub, the magic was back in Freeport for a night. Yes it was only a night, but it was an evening that found Freeport extra-alive, energized, and enthused—as if awakened from a long sleep.


It all began when 400-plus people attended a wonderful vintage Havana-themed evening to benefit Rotary Club of GB Sunrise’s Big Brother/Big Sister and community projects. There was great food, a super jazz group with Ralph Munnings, Patrick Boston, Les Lewis, Clarence Green, and Mikki Gottlieb, salsa dancers, an expert Cuban cigar roller from Graycliff in Nassau, music video shows, salsa dancing, cigar smoking on the balcony, laughter, and just plain fun...
Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
Will the big projects really come to Freeport, Grand Bahama? - May 17, 2013 - 1:43:58 PM

On Grand Bahama Island we never believe any news about big projects coming on stream because we have been let down so many times with projects that are talked about in the press but never happen.  We jealousy watch major projects come on stream in Nassau like Atlantis, Bahamar, Albany, and projects like Bakers  Bay in Abaco.  They even say that Sol Kerzner came to Freeport and met with Edward St. George about building hotels right here on our island, but ended up building the world famous Atlantis in Nassau which has had a major impact on the Nassau economy.

Though talk is cheap… in yesterday's Nassau Guardian there was an announcement about a major Chinese funded project in the East End called Blackwood Point Resort and Marina which would be a 1500 room casino hotel and billion dollar...
Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
The Best Investment on Earth, is Earth - May 16, 2013 - 1:38:11 PM

The US housing slump is over  according to experts. I wish I could say the same for Freeport but that would only be wishful thinking.  From the local perspective our housing market is still very slow and the # of sales transactions are still very slow with a surplus of inventory meaning there are lots of houses for sale. This oversupply of property for sale makes this truly a Buyers Market which means that prices are down and Buyers can make aggressive offers because there is so much to choose from.

It has been said that the best investment on Earth is Earth which means the best investment is and always will be Real Estate.  It's hard to believe sitting here in Freeport that things will improve in the real estate market, but according to many top economists the world economy is emerging from the worst recession in five decades...
Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
Make Money by Investing in Real Estate - Apr 11, 2013 - 11:38:23 PM

There is no such thing as easy money or a free lunch,  but there is opportunity to make money in real estate even in our struggling economy.

Real Estate Investing really can be as simple as playing monopoly. Your goal is to buy properties, avoid bankruptcy, and generate rent so that you can buy even more properties and make a profit.  But "simple" doesn't mean "easy". If you make a mistake, you could find yourself broke or worse… so make sure you do your homework. Remember the money that you will be “playing’ with is NOT Monopoly money!
Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
Buying a Home is a Sensible Investment - Apr 4, 2013 - 11:59:03 PM

It's already April and the first quarter of the year has flown by. If one of your New Year goals was to get involved in Real Estate on Grand Bahama Island and build wealth, then it is time to make your move. Don’t let another year slip away and Be a Woulda Coulda Shoulda person but rather make your move now.   It is an economic historical fact that home and land ownership builds wealth in spite of fluctuating economic conditions.

When there is uncertainty in the market people start questioning whether it is a good time to buy and sell real estate. We are all aware that our neighbours 60 miles away in Florida have started to see a recovery in their real estate market which means that we will start see more activity in our market in the future... 
Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
Sellers get ready because the Canadians are coming! The Canadians are coming! - Feb 28, 2013 - 6:40:39 PM

According to Tuesday's Freeport News,  Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas Perry Christie announced that in a matter of weeks construction work will begin to convert the  Reef Village Inn into Memories Grand Bahama Beach and Casino Resort, a five star all inclusive resort. This is a partnership between Sunwing Travel one of the largest most successful tour companies in Canada, Hutchison Whompoa and The Government. This is indeed long awaited welcome news for all of us in Grand Bahama.   Sunwing owns a fleet of 737's and will be bringing GB the much needed airlift DIRECT from Canada that we have all been praying for. The plan is to renovate the hotel into a Blue Diamond Resort, add restaurants, aqua theme park and more.  This is fantastic news for Freeport because it brings jobs...
Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
James Sarles speaks to business leaders from 27 countries on 10 great reasons to invest in real estate in The Bahamas - Feb 27, 2013 - 2:03:41 PM

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Freeport, Grand Bahama Island - At the recent Bahamas International Business & Investment Forum (BIBIF)—a conference held February 20-21, 2013 at the Grand Lucayan Resort, showcasing The Bahamas as a global investment destination of choice—James Sarles, President of Coldwell Banker James Sarles Realty, presented to the assembled international investors, business leaders, Bahamas Cabinet, Ministers, and key government officials, an overview of Ten Great Reasons to Buy Real Estate in The Bahamas.

James Sarles’ leadership in The Bahamas real estate market, and experience in both global connections and the local community brought a unique personal vision...

Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
What's the future of real estate on Grand Bahama Island? - Feb 7, 2013 - 6:25:36 AM


I have been a real estate broker on Grand Bahama Island for many years and I have a few gray hairs to prove it.  As a broker the number one question that people always ask me is what is the future of real estate on the island. No one has a crystal ball that can see the future exactly but with the current state of the economy there are many factors that give us an indication of  the Future of Real Estate on Grand Bahama Island.  

An important point to keep in mind is that it is very difficult to make broad statements about the state of the Grand Bahama real estate because there are many different real estate markets on the Island. There is a big difference between raw land, lower income homes, high end beach front homes, condos and duplexes.  No one would ask you how the weather is in the United States because that’s too general. The weather is of course different in Buffalo, New York then it is in Phoenix, Arizonia...

Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
Owning property is a way to build wealth - Jan 24, 2013 - 4:44:35 PM

We are already 24 days into the New Year and if one of your New Year goals was to get involved in Real Estate on Grand Bahama Island and build wealth then it is time to make your move. Don’t let another year slip away and Be a Woulda Coulda Shoulda person but rather make your move now.   It is an economic historical fact that home and land ownership builds wealth in spite of fluctuating economic conditions.  It is all about timing but you have to get in the game.

When there is uncertainty in the market people start questioning whether it is a good time to buy and sell real estate. We are all aware that the world economy has been
Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
Can the magic city of Freeport be revived? - Oct 10, 2012 - 9:20:42 PM

If you talk to people around Freeport, or listen to the local news, you may think that the sky is falling when it comes to our economy and the real estate market. People feel Freeport will never get out of this slump and that the housing market will never recover.

Everyone is talking about Terry Gape's article that was released Monday. ECONOMIC CRISIS IN FREEPORT: A CALL TO ACTION. I hope that this article causes Hutchison, GBPA/DEVCO and the licensees to take action. It must be done and if action is taken, I believe that change will happen. It will take work but everyone wants Freeport to
Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
Selling your property in a buyer's market - Sep 27, 2012 - 11:50:00 PM


You hear people say that Freeport, Grand Bahama is a Buyer's Market.

For those who don't know what that means: A buyers market is a market which has more sellers than buyers and low prices result from this excess supply over demand.

If you own a home or land in Grand Bahama and you who want to sell today in the middle of this buyers market and slow economy you have a choice: You can sell in the current market at current market value or you can wait...

News : International : Caribbean News
Grand Bahama Introduced to London - Jan 31, 2012 - 11:48:51 PM

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James Sarles, President of Coldwell Banker James Sarles Realty, was recently invited by exclusive Savills to the launch of their Caribbean desk, where he showcased Grand Bahama property listings in London. Sarles works with Savills—a global real estate service provider listed on the London Stock Exchange—to give his clients greater world wide reach.

Savills encompasses an international network of more than 200 offices and associates throughout the Americas, the United Kingdom, continental Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East. A broad range of specialist advisory, management, and transactional services is offered to clients all over the world...
Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
Real estate predictions in 2012 - Jan 6, 2012 - 7:10:26 AM

One of the interesting parts of ringing in the New Year is the speculation on what the New Year will bring to the Grand Bahama Real Estate Market, the US Real Estate Market and the world Real Estate Market. Collecting New Year predictions isn't as silly as it sounds; it gives knowledgeable players a chance to share what they know.  For my readers who are wondering what to do in 2012 here are a few interesting trusted voices in the US market which directly correlates to our market. Because as the saying goes, when the US sneezes we catch a cold in Grand Bahama.

Karl Case, an economist and professor emeritus at Wellesley College, is one of the nation's smartest observers of the real-estate market in the US. The S&P/Case-Shiller Index, invented by Karl Case and Robert Shiller, "is pretty much the Dow Jones industrial average of real estate," says The New York Times.   I read an article by Karl who predicts that the real estate market  in the US is showing signs of recovery. That’s good sign for our market.

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