I'm a little confused, Gary, have you ever been to Aruba or you thinking of buying a house sight unseen?
I agree with Lisa, Andrea, Liz and Bully that you (or anyone thinking of buying a home anywhere) should really visit the are yourself. Each person has their own ideas and "feel" for an area or house. This is a really big purchase and it's best to be there to see for yourself. Others can only give opinions and do so much in terms of suggestions.
I think it's great that everyone is so helpful and kind on this forum too! Good luck with your search!
Yes of course we have been to Aruba. Looked at properties in Alto vista. Palm beach area, rooi koochi area, spans lagoon. We like Eagle beach very much, but don't know any up scale areas there. When we first visited Aruba, we got our selves in the Aruba Today paper. Our friend writes for the paper and took photo of us attending a new art gallery. At the moment she's away I Hawaii. Of course we will ask her when she returns, but in the mean time just trying to check out properties and area of Eagle Beach. It's nice to get different view points. We ruled out centre of island as rental would be more differcult. Palm beach was too crowded and for us beach seemed not as nice as Eagle, Arashi etc. I had hoped the forum was ok to ask such questions? On our return to Aruba we will look very much at eagle and oranjstaad area. If nothing Can be found we will opt for Alto Vista or Kammay area. The house in Caya Tumb 47 sounded very interesting as photo inside very nice. High ceilings , spacey. And add said walk to Eagle Beach. Andrea very kindly offered to look at street for me and take pics. And Pos Abou. They have been so kind and cannot thank them enough. They will alway be welcome around new house. It made me realise that upscale area in these areas are what are needed. If any member knows Eagle area well, would be glad to hear of upscale areas? If not, no problem, we wl look our selves anyway on our next visit. I was hoping that the Aruba Forum was the right place to ask such questions? I would never buy blind, that would be crazy. If I do my home work here, saves time wasting on our next home buying trip.
Wayaca will be for sure one of the places we look at. I understand it has a rich feel there?
We saw Tierra de sol on last visit. Very nice place, went to the gold resort. Very expensive there for very small houses. But great design. The whole of that coastline so up market .
Bakval ok too.
When I was thinking of retiring in Aruba, I came to Aruba and rented a house in a residential area in town for a month. In the previous 20 years we only stayed in hotels. I looked all over the island at different areas with help from Cheryl and some local friends. I narrowed it down to 2 different areas before my husband came down the last week of the month. We choose Wayaca Residence where we have lived for 6 years. I am very happy with my decision still. The neighborhood is mixed nationalities. Everyone watches out for each other. I feel that the areas near the hotels are much too crowded and only go there when necessary. I have found out that living in Aruba is much different than vacationing in Aruba. There are lines for everything, banking, phone, etc.
If you want to be in the hotel area, you might want to look into developments, such as Tierra del Sol or Gold Coast. There are also some new developments being constructed. The developments usually have restrictions, which will protect your investment. I also wouldn't count too much on rentals, as there is a glut of rental property in Aruba now. It is difficult to rent your property. Some of the developments have rental programs, but I don't know the success of them. In a development, you don't have to worry about someone setting up a lotto store next to your home. The houses are usually similar. You don't have a mansion next to a run down building. Security is also an issue in Aruba. There are many house break ins.
Imho you should come down and possibly rent a house before you buy, possibly the house you plan on buying. It is also expensive to run a home here in Aruba. The utilities are very expensive. If you have a pool, you have the added expensive of pool service. Because it is a tropical climate, I exterminate monthly. You would want an alarm system monitored for a monthly fee. The only thing that is not expensive is a housekeeper. Insurance is also reasonable. You can buy a house in Aruba, but you cannot live in it more than 180 days per year without a permit. This is another issue that I face and dread every year.