Bora Bora Real Estate


For those who can afford it, Bora Bora real estate is the pinnacle of wealth. If you dream of owning a piece of property for sale in Bora Bora, you’ll need to put in the time, as the real estate process in French Polynesia is quite difficult to navigate. However, the reward for such efforts would be to own a piece of the most beautiful island in the world.

Bora Bora Real Estate showing condos and vacation rentals.

Tips for Buying Property in Bora Bora:

1. Understand the process.

To own Bora Bora real estate, each foreign investment requires an authorization permit (issued by a “notary”) from the government of French Polynesia. In most cases, the government is more likely to approve an investment if the project is business related and creates good employment possibilities for locals. The most obvious example of this is a large hotel or resort.

Smaller projects and private investments undergo a much more intense scrutiny process because most of them will never create jobs or add to the local economy. These projects are notoriously difficult to obtain the necessary authorization permits, as it often seems each project is based on a different set of criteria

2. Visit before you buy.

A French Polynesia tourist visa is not required for citizens of the United States of America for a stay of up to 90 days. All travelers will need a passport valid for at least 90 days following their departure date from French Polynesia. It is highly recommended that you visit for an extended period and rent a house to get a feel for the small island lifestyle before blindly purchasing a property.

Taking possession of a Visa longer than 90 days requires extensive background checks and time. Many foreign property owners choose to live in Bora Bora for a few weeks or months each year and rent out their properties while they’re off the island.

3. Work with a local expert.

Often, Polynesian land title is hard to clear because there are many owners even for a small parcel of land. To clear a property for sale, all owners must give their permission, and many times, this is a nearly impossible feat. Also, Polynesian families are very attached to the land of their ancestors for cultural reasons (understandably) and many times have no interest in selling in the first place. Do your research on finding a local brokerage company to work with. Owning property in Bora Bora is very complex, and you’ll want to work with a reputable real estate agency.

Thinking of owning property on Bora Bora Island?

4. Bank on your relationships.

Since Bora Bora is such a remote island, you’ll need help with just about everything you do, and your options will be limited. Consider working closely with a large international bank or real estate company with connections in French Polynesia to build or finance your perfect home.

5. Document everything.

The high-end real estate market is more scrutinized today. Financial documentation is critical. You’ll want to show the banks you have the funds to purchase a property, but as it can take months or years to navigate the process in French Polynesia, good records allow you to stay organized.

6. Hire smart, reliable advisers.

Buying property for businesses such as hotels and bed and breakfasts is a little easier because it will help the local economy by creating jobs. Bora Bora beach properties that do not create jobs have more difficulties navigating the Tahitian entitlement process.

All communication with the proper government officials associated with the real estate authorization permit process is conducted in French. It is recommended that those who don’t have a fluent understanding of the language utilize the services of a translator.

Ownership of Bora Bora rental property in French Polynesia.

7. Don’t forget about title insurance.

You need to get title insurance to protect against any problems that might have been forgotten about. You’ll also want to make sure you have a chance to look at the exceptions page of the title insurance process before closing time.

8. Consider the maintenance.

Bora Bora has a tropical climate with humidity, rain, and intense sun that can wreak havoc on poorly maintained properties. You’ll need a hefty operating budget to import materials and hire a caretaker to oversee your property while you are away.

9. Know what to expect with condominiums.

Condos can be a good way to take ownership since you can share the cost of maintenance with other property owners. Often the homeowners association will take care of landscaping, oversee security, and handle general upkeep.

10. There’s room to negotiate.

Many properties in Bora Bora have been on the market for a very long time, and there’s room to negotiate. At one time, the Four Seasons Hotel offered 15 exclusive private residences for sale, but the didn’t have luck selling them after several years. Working with a well-established business may be an easier way to acquire real estate in Bora Bora.



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