Your COOK ISLANDS Real Estate 'go-to' guys !
REALLY USEFUL INFO.
THE COOK ISLANDS:
The Cook Islands are a group in the South Pacific Ocean approximately south west of Tahiti and due south of Hawaii. Local time is 10 hours behind GMT, with 9am in Hong Kong being 3pm the previous day in the Cook Islands. Its geographic location allows the Cook Islands to have strategic advantage in dealing with both the Asian and US markets.
The legal system is based on British common law and closely reflects that of New Zealand and other common law jurisdictions. The Cook Islands enjoys a highly developed infrastructure for business. There is a well-educated English speaking labour force. The country has sophisticated telecommunication links with the rest of the world and convenient air services to New Zealand and the US. There are no foreign exchange controls with complete freedom to repatriate capital and profits. It boasts the highest GDP per capita amongst the South Pacific small island nations.
The business and official language is English, with Cook Islands Maori as a second official language.
Can anyone buy residential property in the Cook Islands?
Technically only those with direct Cook Island family blood lines or those who have qualified and obtained Cook Islands Permanent Residency (P.R.) status or those with a Cook Islands registered company can purchase the lease on a residential property in the Cook Islands. If you do not fall into these above 3 categories, there are other legal approaches that you can explore so that you come and live here in Paradise . Eg. You can partner with a local Cook Islander or enter into a joint venture arrangement, or you can purchase a business that is already listed for sale. By purchasing an existing business, this then satisfies the criteria of having a Cook Islands Registered Company, and from there you can explore residential property acquisition.
Can anyone buy a Business in the Cook Islands?
YES: There are no restrictions on who can make a business purchase, however, there is an application process and I can show you how and what needs to be done.
Once approved you will have the necessary permits to be able to come and live and work here in Paradise.
This is the easiest and most straight forward way of entry if you are looking to come and live in the Cook Islands.
What is the nature of Property ownership in the Cook Islands ?
All property in the Cook Islands is LEASEHOLD property. – There is no FREEHOLD property available.
Q: What is leasehold? A. These are properties where an owner (Lessor – being the indigenous landowners) leases real estate to buyers (lessees) for specific time periods.
Q. Why would anybody buy leasehold? A. Leasehold properties are usually less expensive than comparable ‘fee simple’ properties.
Q. What is fee simple? A. Also known as FREEHOLD : It's the type of ownership where a buyer purchases a property outright and has the right to use the property indefinitely. Of course the buyer must pay his/her mortgage, real estate taxes etc, to retain the right to the property.
Q. What do I need to know if I'm going to purchase Cook Islands leasehold real estate?
A. There are several things:
• Find out what is the remaining term on that particular section of land or property
• Find out if there are any restrictions, on the use of that section or land
• Find out if there is any annual 'land rental' that needs to be paid.and if it is up-to-date.
Q: What is land rental?
A: This is an annual amount of money that is paid to the original landowners, as payment, to use or reside on that section of land
Q: Can I re-sell this leasehold property onto someone else should my wishes or circumstances change?
A: Yes, you can resell at any time. ( N.B. there are no capital gains tax in the Cook Islands
QUICK PROPERTY FACTS
The maximum term of lease = 60 years.
There are NO capital gains taxes on the sale of property in the Cook Islands.
There are NO council rates or government taxes on property in the Cook Islands.
There are NO Water Rates (water is FREE) in the Cook Islands.
Domestic Garbage collection is also FREE to all households in the Cook Islands.