A Homeowner’s Perspective
Introduction to the Island
I first came to the private island of Pine Cay, with my wife, in the late 1980’s to indulge our passion for bonefishing. Her eyes opened wide when she saw that it wasn’t just another rustic fishing camp of the kind we had visited on countless occasions in various out-of-the-way locations around the globe. This place was (and still is) unique – seclusion, safety, a top notch restaurant and all of the comforts of home; not to mention a gorgeous jewel of an island with a friendly staff and a wonderful environment for children. Oh, and excellent fishing to boot. We returned several times over the next couple of years, with our children and other family members, and found ourselves enjoying it more each time. Although we had never considered owning a vacation home outside of the U.S., after a few visits we began looking at several properties that were for sale on Pine Cay.
Becoming a Member of the Community
Members of the Board of Governors of the homeowners association were very helpful in explaining the process and requirements for joining the association. We negotiated a mutually agreeable purchase price for an existing home, applied for membership in the homeowners association and, since we had become acquainted with a many members during our several visits, were delighted to find ourselves approved fairly quickly.
The Following Years
We’ve now been homeowners for over 20 years and have never regretted our decision to own property on this private island hideaway. The Turks and Caicos Islands have changed significantly over the years. Providenciales (“Provo”) is a far different place than when we first came here. Some of the changes have been constructive – better medical care and other important services, many good restaurants and a variety of well-stocked stores for example – but it is a very busy place as opposed to the peaceful, laid back island it was years ago. Some would say it grew too much, too fast. While change is inevitable and Pine Cay has changed a bit too, the character of the island and resort has remained the same. There are several more homes on the island now and almost all members have the usual assortment of modern conveniences in their houses, including telephones and internet capability. However, development is strictly controlled (and carefully planned) because we all care about preserving the privacy and natural environment that brought us here in the first place. There are no crowds, honking horns, or blaring music. Travel on the island is by foot, bicycle or electric golf cart. The hotel still has 13 rooms. Our beaches are pristine usually very private and often deserted. Some three quarters of the island is dedicated “green space” and will remain as such. The sense of peace and tranquility is unmatchable.
The Benefits of Home Ownership
The Meridian Club has excellent management and a professional security staff to watch over our homes while we are not here. There is also a highly skilled maintenance staff on island year-round to address problems that may occur, which is tremendously reassuring to homeowners who reside far away much of the year. When we come to Pine Cay, the housekeeping team opens and cleans the house in advance so we need only relax from the rigors of today’s air travel. Management will also stock the refrigerator if we wish, although many members now stop at the IGA on the way from the airport or take a Club boat over to Provo on the regular weekly grocery shopping trip. We, like many other members, have our own boat, which enables us to go fishing, snorkeling, diving for conch, shelling and exploring on our own. Pine Cay has an accomplished Marine staff to deal with engine maintenance and repair for those of us who are not mechanically inclined. There are member docks, a fuel supply on island and boat storage facilities. The Meridian Club hotel operation enables members to enjoy this wide range of important services at a lower cost than otherwise. Some members choose to rent their homes through the Club’s rental program to further mitigate expenses. The membership of the Pine Cay Homeowners Association is diverse, encompassing people from a number of different countries and many different backgrounds. Despite these differences, it is a congenial group bound together by a common “sustainable” vision. We have formed a number of fast friendships here with fellow members and Turks and Caicos Islanders alike. Our children, and now our grandchildren, continue to visit regularly.
At the present time there are an uncustomary number of properties for sale on Pine Cay. While this might raise concern for someone who is thinking of buying property and joining the association, that would be a mistake. The fact is that most of the sellers are in their 70s and 80s. After thoroughly enjoying the island for many years (some were among the earliest homeowners on Pine Cay), they have reached the stage in life where circumstances have (or may soon) interfere with their ability to continue coming and/or enjoying Pine Cay. Thus, this in an unprecedented opportunity for someone interested in becoming a part of this unique community, and enables one to choose from a variety of properties in different locations with a wide range of prices. There are several undeveloped parcels on which one can build a home to suit personal preferences. The existing homes on the market run the gamut in terms of size, style and features. Presently, there is no place else in the Caribbean where one would have such a range of choice in purchasing property on a private island.
The only regret we have is that we didn’t come to Pine Cay sooner. It is a truly special place.