Your Chance to Own a Private Island

A Survivalist's Dream

Those considering a bid on Halcomb's property should know you'll never have to worry about the lights going off at Leaf Key.

Thanks to a seven-mile undersea cable, it is one of the few islands tied into the Bahamas power grid. There are also six backup generators and two dozen solar panels.

Need drinking water?

Underground cisterns capture and store up to 145,000 gallons of rain water. If that fails, a desalinization plant was installed seven years ago that can turn 5,000 gallons of seawater into drinking water each day.

If building repairs are needed the island has its own wood and metal shops, seven electric golf carts, a fork lift, tractor and more building supplies than can easily be counted. Think tires, fuel pumps, cables, batteries, nuts, bolts and screws, which should come in handy because "the nearest hardware store is 50 miles away -- by boat," Halcomb said.

When a Florida hardware chain went bankrupt, Halcomb spotted a way to get needed supplies to the island and purchased an entire store at auction.

"I just bought everything, lock, stock, barrel and shipped to the island," he said.

And plenty of those items remain -- there are even four spare refrigerators -- still in the box.

He also stocked up on food with a freezer building that holds 4,000 pounds of frozen food. Halcomb said that between canned and frozen supplies he typically had enough food to last him two to three years.

His stash includes everything from beans to olives to salad dressing. And just in case that is not enough, jar after jar holds seeds to plant your own food.

"I always felt that the potential of something happening in the United States … terrorism or severe storms or hurricanes, that [the island] would be a good place to be away from it," Halcomb said.

And he should be safe on his own. Halcomb has "more gun permits than any other person in the Bahamas."

He has five.

"They don't easily issue you permits for one gun," Halcomb said. "If you know the right people you can get them."

A Hot Market

Selling private islands is "a very, very niche industry" according to Chris Krolow, CEO of Private Islands Inc., a Toronto company that markets such properties.

Although that's changing, he said in the past four or five years the market has exploded as the Internet has raised awareness of islands in more remote locations.

"Leaf Cay is quite a deal -- at the starting price," Krolow said, primarily because it is completely developed. It's also a good location with relative closeness to Florida and even New York, plus the on-island landing strip makes it "extremely accessable."

Other islands -- that were undeveloped -- have sold for more than this island's $12 million starting bid, he noted.

But Krolow warns that the island might not sell at the June 28 auction because not enough people have learned of it during the short advertising period.

Want to enter a bid?

First you need to leave a $1 million deposit to show that you are serious.

The sale will be an all cash transaction, so forget about financing any part of the deal. You will also have to pay a 10 percent buyer's premium which includes a 3 percent cut for your real estate broker and a commission for Fisher Auction.

Other costs? The annual property taxes for individuals are capped at $35,000. Corporations would have to pay significantly more. Upon closing, the buyer would have to pay a one-time conveyance tax of 10 percent of the sale price.

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