Here is what is likely the cheapest island for sale anywhere in the world right now, less than the price of many cars at just US $12,500. It is a tropical Brazilian island in an area called Salvador Bahia or Bay of Saints, which is along the north coast of the country. Brazil has in the past few years seen some celebrities like Ricky Martin buy islands in a south part called Angra dos Reis, but I think for most investors it’s a very overlooked market (see my post from March 14th).
So what do you get for $12.5K? Isla Amor, meaning Love Island in Portuguese, is just under one acre in size and lies 600 metres away from the coast. It has nothing developed on it as of yet but looks like the perfect place for a small house. The owner is technically giving it away (buyer pays only legal fees) because of bad memories after a divorce. It sounds like a once in a lifetime opportunity for someone who wants a tropical island but not the big price tag! Keep reading for the article in full.
American Man in Salvador Sells Private Island for only US $12,500
Luzia de Avila Pereira
March 14th, 2009
Diaro Oficial Salvador
When 48 year old Jim Marsh put his little piece of island paradise on the market, he had only one thought in his mind – getting rid of it. Listed on the market with a price tag of essentially nothing but the legal fees, which he’s estimated at USD $12,500, it’s no wonder he’s been deluged with interest from across the globe. But potential purchasers may want to bear in mind, “caveat emptor”. With its swaying palms and patch of sandy beach, the 0.8 acre island may look idyllic, but the owner says the island has been nothing but bad luck for him. Could it be the curse of “Isla Amor”?
Mr. Marsh, a North Carolina, USA native, says he acquired the island near Salvador Bahai in 1995 with a large parcel of agricultural land on the nearby mainland. Enchanted by the romance of the little isle, he dubbed the previously nameless islet “Isla Amor”. “It was just a stunning little place. Not too far from shore, about 600 metres, but very private and secluded. I had no reason to spend any time on it, but thought it would be a perfect place for a rustic honeymoon or something, like Robinson Crusoe,” he says. And in 2006, that’s exactly what Mr. Marsh and his new bride had in mind. “I wasn’t able to take much time away from the business, but I wanted to give her a special weekend until I could take a proper holiday. I had a luxury tent put up, candlelight dinners on the beach, the whole thing. But his honeymoon plans took a turn for the worst when on the first day his wife lost her US $43,000 diamond engagement ring while exploring the island’s jungle. The ring was never found, and Mr. Marsh says it may still be somewhere on the island.
But his bad luck didn’t end there. “Losing the ring wasn’t great, but it could easily be replaced. Tina was another story”. His new wife never went anywhere without her beloved pet Chihuahua, even bringing her along to Isla Amor. “She usually stayed close to (his ex-wife) who carried her around in her purse and whatnot. So it was a little strange that she wasn’t around yapping when we woke up on the second day.” Mr. Marsh left the tent to look for the dog, but didn’t have to go far. “I saw her almost immediately. Tina was just laying a few metres from the tent – stiff as a board, little legs straight in the air. I don’t know what happened. She could have eaten something poisonous or gotten bitten – it’s a mystery.”
His bride was heartbroken and distraught. “She wanted to leave immediately, and I agreed we’d go after lunch, have a little picnic on the beach first and try to cheer up. That was a mistake.” As the couple ate a meal of shellfish and oysters left over from the previous night’s dinner, they quickly realized that something was very, very wrong. “I’ve never been so sick in my life. I wasn’t even able to get us off the island. We had to wait until my employees came over to serve our dinner hours later around 6. By that time, we were dehydrated, still vomiting and you-know-what, bathroom problems, so they rushed us to a local private clinic, where we finished out our honeymoon weekend in hospital beds. It’s hard to believe so many things could possibly go wrong in such a short period of time – like it was cursed.”
Mr. Marsh says his marriage never really recovered from his failed attempt at romance, ending less than 6 months later in a bitter legal battle that he says has lasted longer than the marriage itself. Somehow, it didn’t surprise him that he would up getting the island in the settlement. “It was a weekend from hell, and while I know it would be foolish to blame my divorce on the island – my ex really had no sense of humour whatsoever – I just can’t stand the sight of it. Far as I’m concerned it cost me my relationship, not to mention the considerable assets I lost to her in the settlement, I should have called it ‘Isla Cadella’ (Note from Mark Amherst- that means B*tch Island!). Anyway, I want it gone and I don’t want to mess around, so someone can pay the legal fees and it’s theirs. Maybe they’ll even find the ring. But good luck – and beware!”
For further information, the owner may be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org