. I'm taking the opportunity of this unplanned time off to share the stories of artists and creators in this wonderful city that I love. Come with me on my 100-day odyssey of art and creativity in Long Beach. I call it .
This weekend it's all about islands. I visited the Na Mamo, E Hula Mau dance and chant celebration on Friday, and got to thinking a bit more about islands.
I'm from the Caribbean island of Trinidad. Sometimes I dream of owning an island. I know I'm not alone in this fantasy. When you buy an island, there are many concerns. Today, while dreaming of private islands with white sand beaches, I came across the newbie's guide to buying an island.
September 1st was Day 62. I learned a bit about buying an island.
How to Buy an Island
Shh... Don't tell anyone. I've secretly visited these sites before. The ones that show private islands for sale. Even the most optimistic would admit that the likelihood of their ever owning an island is pretty low. When you're not working and have no income, it's even lower!
Still, it's fun to dream, and you'd be quite surprised at how low some islands are priced. Some are under $100K. I've seen them as low as $20K. Of course, one should never buy real estate without some serious consideration. Buying an island is different from buying a house or condo. Here are some tips from the Private Island Buyers Guide which I found on the Private Islands Online site. I should add that although I did start with the Private Island Buyers Guide, some of the notes here are my personal commentary. Purchase at your own risk. I'm sure I've left out a few guidelines, I accept no responsibility for the purchases you will make.
You will need to answer the question "Why do I want my own island?" For some it will be prestige. For others, a place for friends, family, solitude. Business clients may join us and we may have fancy parties for them. Some people will just want to pitch a tent and make sandcastle cities, or dig a hole to the other side of the world and not have to fill it up when we're done. Take some time to think about what you are looking for when you seek out an island.
Location, Location, Location
As with any real estate, you need to consider the location. When you go to your island, will you mind if it takes two days to get there? Instead of a hop, skip and jump, you might be looking at a 13 hour flight, a train ride to the tip of a country, then a small plane or boat to the island. If you are planning on commuting daily, that might not work.
The High Water Mark
Islands are being formed daily. New islands may be under water during high tide and above water during low tide. When you visit your island, be sure to visit during the highest tide. If your island is under water during high tide, you will need to decide if you mind. Perhaps you come from a country where the houses are on stilts and you'd be happy with that.
Just as islands are constantly being formed, others are being eroded away. Have a geologist look at your island and if you can get some historical changes in dimension, do!
Islands for sale can be found in Canada, in the Caribbean, near Australia and New Zealand. The climate will vary in all of these locations. Are you looking for warm weather? Think about the humidity. Here in Long Beach we are blessed with low humidity. I've lived in the Caribbean where the humidity can reach above 90%. The words "Dripping with sweat" come to mind.
Are you planning on re-selling your island? You may want to see what is happening in countries near to the property. Is there a civil war going on that you should know about? Research is the key.
My Island as Income Property
Perhaps your last name is Disney or Cruises and you want to purchase an island as a destination for tourists. Perhaps you want to rent it out for fancy weddings and as a playground for wealthy actors, actresses and performers. If that is the case, you may want to consider a white sand beach, caves, diving, snorkeling, natural pools, calm beaches on one side and waves on the other for surfers. A reef is always nice.
Lease vs. Freehold Title
Some islands are not sold, but leased. Are you comfortable giving back your island in 99 years? In some areas, you do not have a choice.
Even if you are a doctor, or are married to one, you will want to know where the nearest hospital can be found. Perhaps as part of working on your island you want to develop a decent hospital on the nearest mainland location. It would take some effort, but having access to good medical care might be critical to you someday. While you are at it, consider a good dentist and pharmacy.
I can imagine some people want to own an island for its solitude. You might find, though that there is such a thing as too much solitude. Be sure that you can live in the manner the island will provide. I think the state of too much solitude is called Island Fever.
Flora and Fauna
It will be important for you to know what bugs, animals and plants exist on the island. If it's full of poison ivy, you may not wish to go there. Perhaps there are rattlers or Komodo dragons. You just don't want to be surprised that you actually do have neighbors when you thought there weren't any.
If there is already a house on the island, it might save you a lot of effort. Of course, you will want to make sure that the house suits your needs. Perhaps the mansion is a bit too fancy, or perhaps you prefer more than a shack. While we're on the topic of houses, please consider the... ahem... outhouse situation. I'm just saying... you want to know what you're getting into.
Ability to Develop
Some properties may be restricted on their development. You will want to do a bit of research before you buy to ensure your vision can be realized.
Test Drive Your Island
Never buy an island you haven't yet visited. Better still, if you can arrange it, I would suggest that you stay on the island for a few days... each season. It may sound extreme, but that way you can experience both the rainy and dry seasons. For the islands with four seasons, you will want to try out the winter.
Food and Water
We can't live without food and water. Will you have to bring it all in? It's not unheard of, but it sure would get expensive.
Who lives on the islands next door? More specifically, are they of the human-flesh-eating variety? You don't want to move in then find out you're invited to be the dinner! Hint, if the neighboring island is called Cannibal Island. Do the research!
There's so much to think about when you buy an island, isn't there? Perhaps it would be wiser to just rent.
Tips, Tidbits, Things
- Long Beach has several islands just off of the shore. They are man-made islands, supporting the operations of the black-gold-mining industry. I've had the pleasure of visiting one of them, on a benefit tour for the Public Library back in 2008. Hm... I wonder if I can do that one again?
- The Art goes to the Dogs, Best in Show II closes on September 8th, 6-9PM. Liberty Art Gallery and Performance Space, 435 Alamitos. Show, appetizers, desserts, $10.00. Pet psychic readings will also be performed. Well behaved dogs welcome!
Want more lemonade?
If you would like to contact me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Trish Tsoiasue writes about creative and maker topics for and as Handmade Penguin for the Handmade Penguin Blog. She is currently playing .