Home News A Water Slide (Plus a House) in the Ocean: House Hunting in Maldives

A Water Slide (Plus a House) in the Ocean: House Hunting in Maldives

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this 3 bedroom villa It stands over a turquoise lagoon off Medhufaru Island in the Maldives. This archipelago nation consists of about 1,200 islands in the north-central Indian Ocean.

The 6,727-square-foot two-story villa with a two-story water slide that descends into the ocean is part of Soneva Jani Resort, using repurposed telegraph poles, eco-friendly bamboo and plantation-grown timber. Built in 2016 as a department. Robert Green, founder and managing director of publicly traded Sphere Estate, said:

The architecture is “modern but in harmony with the local and Maldivian environment through the use of sustainable materials,” Green said. “Many things are handcrafted on the island to create a bespoke ‘Robinson Crusoe’ property with a 5-star finish. ”

A system of docks extending from Medhufaru approaches the villa and opens onto a small deck with seating and bike storage. The main entrance faces the living space. conversation pit Floor-to-ceiling French doors lead out to a 40-foot lap pool that extends across the lagoon. The villa has high ceilings with ceiling fans and air conditioning.

According to Soneva co-founder Eva Malmström Sibudasani, the resort reuses and recycles materials wherever possible, and furniture is included in the home’s asking price. “It’s been processed into,” she said. “The floor is mostly made of tiles that look like wood, and the bole floor is wooden planks that retain the natural curves of the wood. The roof is made of river red gum shingles.”

To the left of the living area is the study and small kitchen, “sort of like a walk-in pantry with a minibar,” says Green. “Owners and guests typically either dine inside the resort or invite chefs to their villas.”

Beyond the kitchen is the master bedroom with adjoining children’s bedroom, en-suite bathroom and changing room. The bedroom has a retractable roof and tall French doors overlooking the lagoon. The bathroom has a daybed and windows built into the floor that open onto a private deck with a deep soaking tub and outdoor shower.

Another ground floor bedroom has a dressing room, en-suite bathroom and outdoor sunken bath. Up the stairs he goes upstairs. Upstairs you’ll find a TV lounge, gym, third bedroom, dressing room, en-suite bathroom and access to a balcony with oak tub.

The large west-facing pool deck is mostly sustainably sourced and sandblasted pine, Green said. Catamaran nets act as hammock beds over pools and lagoons, while a water he slide winds around a large sunken seating he area connected to the deck.

The Maldives is made up of garlands of coral atolls carved from the summits of sunken volcanic mountains. The surrounding ledges create shallow lagoons between the islands. Sea-level rise is an imminent threat, Green said, but so far little to no fluctuations in these levels have been detected. There is, but no devastation.The developer provides guarantees and insurance.”

A 150-acre island surrounded by coral reefs, Medhufaru Island is one of the largest islands in the Maldives and is leased by hospitality company Soneva. When completed, Green said the resort, Sonevajani, will have more than 100 villas, but the majority will be hotel villas.

This home offers access to all resort services including butler and concierge services, kids club, cinema, diving school and villa rental program. Residents and guests can congregate in his three-story floating complex called The Gathering, which features shops, restaurants, bars, a spa, library, gym, and yoga pavilion.

Soneva Jani is 35 minutes by seaplane from Male International Airport and 1 hour by speedboat from Soneva Fushi, another Soneva resort in the Maldives.

The Maldives, a Muslim-majority country of about 500,000 people, is a group of low-lying islands that only began welcoming tourists in the 1970s, with alabaster beaches fringed by crystal-clear aqua lagoons. Tourism has not surpassed fishing as the largest industry.

Housing is often passed from generation to generation among locals, and ownership of land, a valuable resource, is restricted by law to Maldivians, so past home sales and overall market conditions Brokers said there was little data available on

“The housing market in the Maldives has much more local demand than what it offers,” said Paul HTM Vande, CEO of Dutch Docklands, a floating city development company under construction in the Maldives. Mr Camp said. “There are very few distributors, and due to the lack of manpower, sales are mostly between family and friends.”

Foreigners cannot legally buy land in the Maldives, but they can rent it in places such as Male, the capital of the Maldives, and Hulhumale, a reclaimed land adjacent to the international airport. When it comes to buying a home, options for expats are currently limited to his packages of multi-million dollar vacation villas on resort islands like Medhufaru.

In such situations, resort operators purchase long-term leases from the government to develop islands designated for tourism and then sell subleases to vacation villa buyers. Resort operators typically rent out villas that are not in use and share the proceeds with the owners.

Soneva Fushi was one of the first resorts to offer vacation villa packages in 2011 after the Maldivian law was amended to allow resorts to sell subleases to individuals. Soneva Jani started selling in 2016.

The property will be sold on a sublease of up to 50 years. Potential buyers should see how many years are left, Mr. Green said. Resort operators can extend the primary lease for an additional 49 years. Often for multi-million dollar fees, we split the cost among owners who want to extend the sublease.

Currently, properties are valued at approximately $4 million to $25 million. So far, Green said, he has had four Soneva villa resales. Soneva He said villa owners don’t have to put their villas in rental pools, but if they do, he can achieve a net annual return of 2-7% of the purchase price, he said.

Villa vacation packages should be a safe investment for buyers, said Steven Petasky, chief executive and founder of The Luxus Group, which manages and develops real estate and lifestyle assets around the world. said. “The risks are: What if the resort doesn’t operate at the level of luxury it was originally promised?” he said. “But at a well-run resort, they’re making you a pretty good income, they’re paying your bill, and you’re getting them for free. It’s a pretty good situation.”

Mr Petasky, who recently visited the Maldives to enter the market, said the country’s tourism industry was hampered by the pandemic but recovered quickly and resort development is on track.

“The pandemic hasn’t had much of an impact on real estate offerings. It’s only caused a slowdown as a result of a year of no tourists,” he said. “Now everyone seems to be spending money reinvesting and renovating hotels, and there are new hotels along the way.”

One such project that could change the housing market is Maldives Floating City, a joint venture between the Dutch Docklands and the Maldives government. Developed on a lagoon about 15 minutes by boat from Male, the city consists of about 5,000 submarine-tethered housing units available for purchase by Maldivian or foreign homebuyers.

Foreign buyers in the Maldives are typically wealthy individuals who can afford multi-million dollar homes without a mortgage. “Some have retired, but many are still active and have children in their teens and adults,” says Green.

Soneva’s buyers come from all over the world, including the United States, Canada, Russia, and various countries in Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

According to Mr Green, foreigners staying in the Maldives must own property through a Maldivian company that can be set up by local lawyers. They will pay a 12% tourist goods and services tax on the sale price of the homes, he said.

Mortgages are typically not available, Green said, but developer financing and assistance may be negotiable. “Some people prefer to give up rental income for an agreed period, say he for 10 years, in exchange for a discounted purchase price, as it may have tax advantages depending on where you live,” he said. said.

Floating cities in the Maldives will make mortgages available to qualified buyers, Mr Van de Camp said.

Dhivehi; Maldivian Rufiyaa (1 Rufiyaa = $0.065)

The villa has no annual property tax, Green said. Owner and resort share net rental income minus his 10% of management fees. The owner’s earnings are additionally subject to a 10% government withholding tax.

Robert Green, Sphere Estate, 011-44-20-3617-1360, sphereestates.com

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