We visited a number of islands, but for one reason or another, when it came to the vote on the shortlist of 5 that being said…
Location: County Cork, Ireland
Infrastructure: 2 small in-hill dwellings, AKA “Hobbit Houses.” Freshwater access and a small dock.
Legal: Probably the best legal jurisdiction as it is a member of the EU. British law and simple to purchase
Area: 6 acres
Location: Belize City, Belize
Infrastructure: A clean slate! Firm ground to build on with surrounding tree root systems to protect the island core.
Legal: Common Law (derived from British Law) and thus buying the island is as simple as buying any property. The beach is technically public land
Area:1.5 acres (0.61 hectares) of titled land. Another 66′ feet – 30 meters – of setback in every direction belongs to the government, effectively doubling the usable size of the island to 3 acres (1.22 hectares).
Location: Borneo, Malaysia
Infrastructure: Yes, a fully-functional resort already occupies one of the 5 acres.
Legal: Malaysia has legal hurdles to overcome but it is possible.
Area: 5-acre parcel, with the business currently taking up only 20% of the land. The property is surrounded by nationally protected forest, so it is not an island, but it is isolated.
Location: Lake Bayano, Panama
Infrastructure: There’s a simple but well-built 3-bedroom 2-storey house, with kichen area and toilet/shower. Fresh water is pumped from lake. Electricity by generator. Sewage to existing septic tank. Internet – good 4G signal.
Legal: Civil law but relatively simple so long as due diligence is done correctly
Area: 2 hectares/5 acres in size
Price: USD $250,000
Location: Palawan, Philippines
Infrastructure: There’s forest, there’s beach, fishing, hills, it’s almost the size of a country.
Legal: Foreigners can’t legally own land in the Philippines, it needs to be 51% owned by a local person. In reality, the local entity can own 51% of non-voting shares. I know lots of people that own land in the Philippines, the reason the project started was because my German friend has an island here we were interested in buying. We should not let this bog us down.
The second issue is this is a bit of a corrupt country, that’s not always a bad thing, but we would need to do a lot of due diligence, in contrast to Ireland, Belize, or even Panama, where we pretty much just buy.
Area: 30/36 acres when you include the shoreline.