A guide to Barbados’ nightlife

February 21st, 2017 by .


Barbados is known as a glamorous island that attracts jetsetters from around the world, and there is plenty to keep visitors entertained. After a relaxing day by the beach or on the golf course, head out into the night to get to know some of the island’s top nightlife spots.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing cocktail or somewhere to dance until the early hours, you’ll find it in Barbados. The Caribbean island is easy to get around and you can easily travel between venues on a night out.

St Lawrence Gap on the south coast is home to a concentration of bars and clubs that cater to locals and tourists alike, and the centre of Holetown is home to a number of sophisticated venues, particularly on First and Second Streets.

For those who enjoy a good cigar, La Casa Del Habano offers the best that Cuba produces. The comfortable lounge is open until midnight, serving a fine selection of liquors to enjoy with your cigar. It’s a great spot for a relaxing evening.

Several venues host dinner shows, with the most famous taking place at the Harbour Lights open-air nightclub on Mondays and Wednesdays. There is a band and live acts to entertain you while you drink and make merry, with transport back to your property after the show.

If you happen to be around on Friday evening, take the chance to see how the locals party at the Oistins fish fry. The street party is jam packed with stalls serving locally-caught fish and rum cocktails, all to a raucous soundtrack of calypso and reggae.

Anyone planning on partying will soon get used to the local taste for rum. There are lots of tasty concoctions to try, but do remember that the drinks are poured strong! Hundreds of tiny rum shops dot Barbados, with locals cramming in to drink local rum such as Mount Gay. You can try some of the exquisite spirits in more comfortable surroundings at Scarlet, a cocktail bar with an extensive drinks list on Paynes Bay. Alternatively you can pop into the air-conditioned lounge at Cin Cin for a tipple, or find a table at The Mews bar in Holetown.

Later on it’s time to check out Red Door Lounge, on Second Street in Holetown. This trendy spot has become one of the places to see and be seen on the island, with live music to provide a soundtrack as you dance and people watch until the early hours.

From early evening dinner shows to cocktails in the small hours, you are spoilt for choice for nightlife in Barbados. Get a taste of local culture at Oistins, watch talented mixologists practice their trade at Scarlet, or dance to live bands at Red Door Lounge, before heading back to your property for some well-earned rest and recuperation.

The varied nightlife is just one of many reasons why Barbados is such a popular place to visit, or invest in property. At Unique Living we have a great selection of properties for sale, so take a look at our latest listings today.

A luxury property buyer’s guide to Barbados

February 20th, 2017 by .

properties for sale in barbados

Unique Living’s guide to purchasing a luxury property in Barbados

Buying property:

  • No restrictions to non-nationals purchasing property in Barbados.
  • Nil Capital Gains Tax
  • Nil Inheritance Tax

Transaction Costs:

  • Attorney Fees are 1% – 2% plus 17.5% VAT

Purchase Procedure:

  • Verbal offer and acceptance
  • Appointment of an attorney-at-law
  • Exchange of contracts for sale and payment of a 10% deposit to the vendor’s attorney-at-law. The remaining 90% of the balance due is paid at time of
  • Conveyance time is approximately three months

The freehold title may be in an individual’s name or through a corporate vehicle set up to own the property. Non-residents of Barbados tend to purchase property through a company, which may be incorporated outside of Barbados.

Overseas purchasers can secure a 50% to 70% mortgage through a bank in Barbados.

Selling Property:

  • Nil Capital Gains Tax
  • Nil Inheritance Tax
  • Stamp Duty is 1% (nil if owned by offshore company)
  • Property transfer tax is 2.5% (nil if owned by offshore company)
  • Attorney Fees are 1% – 2% plus 17.5% VAT
  • Real Estate agent’s fees are 4% to 5% plus 17.5% VAT

Selling Procedure:

  • Verbal offer and acceptance
  • Appointment of an Attorney-at-law
  • Exchange of contracts for sale and payment of a 10% deposit to the attorney-at-law. The remaining 90% of the balance is paid at time of conveyance.

A luxury property buyer’s guide to Portugal

February 20th, 2017 by .

Five Bedroom Villa | Praia da Luz, Western Algarve, Portugal

Unique Living’s guide to purchasing a luxury property in Portugal

We have provided a brief overview of the procedures when buying a property in Portugal. We always recommend you get independent legal advice, but we do hope you find this snapshot informative.

1. Securing a property
Once you have chosen a suitable property, Unique Living and our local team will assist with the negotiations to obtain the best price.

2. Reservation
You reserve your property with a deposit – usually 5,000€.

3. Appoint a local Solicitor
Who will work on your behalf to check the legal status of the property, and represent you for the purchase. To do this, the lawyer will need a power of attorney to be able to act on your behalf.

The solicitor will analyze the following documents, which are required for all property transactions in Portugal: official tax documents – ensuring there are no outstanding taxes due on the property habitation license – ensuring the property meets all legal requirements for habitation land registry document – ensuring the owner has the rightful power to sell, and that there are no charges registered against the property

4. Fiscal representation
Your solicitor requests a fiscal number on your behalf from the Tax Office.

5. Promissory contract (Contrato de Promessa de Compra e Venda)
This is a binding agreement between the purchaser and the vendor, which will be drawn up by your solicitor. The document will outlining the negotiated terms of sale, including price, payment schedules, completion date and any special terms agreed by both parties. The agreed deposit amount is paid to the vendor with the signing of this contract.

6. Deed & Registration – (Escritura Pública de Compra e Venda)
Your solicitor will also arrange for the final deeds to be signed at the notary’s office. The balance of the purchase price is paid and the notary enters the transaction in the official records.

All keys and property documents are handed over from the vendor at this time – and the property is officially yours. Your solicitor will then present a copy of the deeds to the tax office and land registry department, to register you as the new owner. The period of time between the promissory contract and the signature of the final deeds can vary, but in general it is between 30 and 60 days.

7. Fees
Purchase costs will run approximately 8-8.5% of the purchase price, and include: Notary, stamp duty & land registry fees are the responsibility of the buyer and will cost around 2% of the purchase price. Property Transfer Tax – called IMT (Imposto Municipal sobre Transmissões Onerosas de Imóveis) must be paid prior to the deed and will run up to a maximum of 6.5% of the purchase price.

Note: Portugal is one of the most inheritance tax friendly environments in Europe. Along with reductions in Capital Gains Tax and Corporation Tax, the abolition of Inheritance and Donation Tax ensures that immediate family members will not be liable to pay any death duties on inheritance of a property owned in Portugal.

A luxury property buyer’s guide to Italy

February 20th, 2017 by .

Luxury property in Italy

Unique Living’s guide to purchasing a luxury property in Italy



BUYING PROPOSAL (Proposta d’acquisto)
This is a short contract, prepared in Italian and English with which you pay a confirmatory deposit (usually 5%to 10% ) to take the property off the market for a short period, whilst the necessary checks and paper work are undertaken. We recommend that the deposit is held in an Escrow account. We advise that you employ the services of a geometra (surveyor) to check the status of the property with local land registry, and a lawyer to oversee this contract and coordinate the due diligence process.

This is a contract prepared in both Italian and English, this is a legally binding contract between the purchaser and the vendor. The contract defines all selling conditions including description of the property, rights of way, mortgage obligations, liens, impediments, payment conditions, ownership rights etc. On signing of this contract the purchaser is required to pay a deposit of approximately 20% of the property price. This payment can be paid directly to the vendor or held in Escrow; please discuss these options with lawyer.

The preliminary contract can be notarised or prepared by the agent with the lawyers of both

The final contract is signed at the Notary’s (notaio) office.

The Notary is an impartial chartered mediator, legally obliged to protect the interests of both parties, and ensure full transparency of all relevant facts relating to the purchase and sale of the property. The notary will check the properties legal and cadastral status, and assume the responsibility of preparing the purchase deeds.

You either need to be present to sign the documents in front of the notary or you can give someone present in Italy the power of attorney to sign on your behalf. If you don’t speak fluent Italian you’ll be assisted by a qualified translator and the contract will be read out in both Italian and your own language.

Purchase taxes and the notary fee are to be paid by the buyer at the signing as well as the balance of the purchase price. Once all documentation is signed and all monies paid you will be handed the keys to your Italian property.

The purchase deed is then sent to the land registry and returned to you after approximately two months.

When purchasing a property in Italy you will be required to pay fees to the Notary, commission to the estate agency and tax on the price of the property. These fees are listed and explained below.

Unlike the UK, in Italy each property has a sale price (that which is paid to the vendor) and a “book value” which is the value according to the land registry office. Please note that the “book value” tends to be lower than the purchase price on resale properties and is often as much as 70% less than the purchase price. We will be happy to provide estimates on individual properties.

If you are planning to come and live in Italy permanently
If this is the case and you do not own another property in Italy you can apply for Italian residency. If you are a resident or are planning to apply for residency within 18 months of signing the final contract you will be required to pay the “Imposta di Registro”, this is a tax of 3% of the “book value” of the property. This tax is increased to 4% and is referred to as IVA (VAT) if you are acquiring the property from a company rather than from a private vendor.

If your Italian house is to be a holiday home (Or if you already own a property in Italy)
If so and you are declaring your Italian house as your second home, you will be required to pay the “Imposta di Registro” of 9% of the book value of the property.

We can discuss and advise on all residency and tax related issues.

Land Taxes
If you are acquiring a property with land then tax of 12% is paid on the declared value of the land. It is the notary that decides the acceptable market value of the land and therefore the corresponding tax.

Notary fees vary according to the purchase price of the property (not the book value), the area and the chosen notary. The fees are usually somewhere between €1000 and €4000.

If you are not a fluent Italian speaker you will be required to pay for a certified translator for the
signing of the final contract.

In Italy both the vendor and the purchaser pay commission to the estate agency. We charge 3% commission to buyers – this is paid on the purchase price and not the book value of the property. VAT (IVA) has to be paid on this commission.

We are happy to request a full estimate of fees from a notary prior to signing the preliminary contract.

*information provided in this Buyers Guide is subject to change without notification, every effort is made to keep these details up to date.