You Can Buy An Island For Half A Million

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2010-08-2215

I’ve written about unusual properties before. Here’s one odd piece of real estate not far from where I live. And then there was the fire station that was bought and converted into a lovely green home. But what can be more cool than buying your very own island?

I know a few soon-to-be retirees who have been, at one point or another, fantasizing about retiring to some far away, quiet, isolated place that they can call all their own. It’s a cliche but it’s a popular one: a lot of these folks are seeking a place where they can grow their own vegetable garden or commune with nature or enjoy the peace and quiet of some place far away from the hustle and bustle and drudgery of their former work lives. And I’ve heard a lot of people pining (albeit, half-jokingly) for their own tropical island one day, but given the real estate market these days, maybe it won’t have to be a pipe dream entirely.

You Can Buy An Island For A Mere Half A Million

According to Kiplinger’s, you can purchase an island for under $1,000,000. Here’s a look at some of them. In fact, here’s one in Maine, 50 miles from Bay Harbor. It’s undeveloped.

Maine island

Name: Ram Island
Place: Machias Bay, Maine, 50 miles east of Bar Harbor
Asking Price: $595,000
Acreage: 16, Undeveloped


Here’s one right in Northern Indiana, which is already developed:

Indiana island

Name: Treasure Island
Where: Lake Manitou in Northern Indiana
Asking Price: $775,000
Acreage: 1.25, Developed


And with a little TLC, you can have your own bright spot in the Florida Keys:

Florida Keys island

Name: Charlie’s Island
Where: Near Marathon, in the Florida Keys
Asking Price: $995,000
Acreage: 0.32, Undeveloped

For prices that range from $595,000 to $3.5 million, roughly what you’d need for a normal suburban house here in the SF Bay Area, you can have your pick of some interesting real estate. But before you do break open your investment broker accounts to get yourself your own special domain, make sure you are aware of some of the downsides of this type of property purchase:

  • You should consider it more like a luxury consumption item, and not as an investment. I’m going to guess that you can treat it like a big ticket time that has arguably more limited resale value.
  • Access to this piece of real estate can be an issue.
  • You’re vulnerable to dangerous weather as you are exposed to the elements.
  • There may be difficulty with getting building permits for a place like this.

And sure, isolation can work both ways — a lot of people may enjoy being isolated in their own paradise, but that isolation and lack of accessibility can become issues during the times when you may need or want someone over.

So you can ask yourself: while it sure sounds “romantic”, is this really how you’d like your living conditions to be? For some people, it’s a resounding yes. And for the rare soul who’s handy and determined to live life on their own terms, there’s the DIY route, where they can build their own island so they don’t have to worry about having to afford it!

Case in point: this island made out of plastic water bottles. Talk about some serious recycling!

Copyright © 2010 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Early Retirement Extreme August 22, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Actually, you can buy your own island, as in land surrounded by water, for as little as $30,000—yup, I’m not kidding! There was a recent discussion of it here
I just think of it as having a moat; however exotic it may be, it’s also fairly inconvenient.

Silicon Valley Blogger August 22, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Well I’ll be, that’s cool! For something that affordable, it may just be a piece of land with a moat. 🙂 Over time, the cool factor will dissipate, to be replaced by annoyance that you can’t park your car in a nearby garage. 😉 I think if you’re going to go for an island, do it with the real sea around you…

PT August 22, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Great video. I wouldn’t think it was possible. Kudos to that guy to making a good life for himself.

John August 23, 2010 at 4:20 am

As always, the most expensive it gets, the better it looks.

Anthony August 23, 2010 at 4:58 am

I would like to buy an island.

But like you hinted at, that is too much isolation. I would like to be “away from it all,” but I would still like to visit with family and friends on a regular basis.

Also, I couldn’t live without a supermarket somewhere nearby. Sure, I would try to grow my own herbs and vegetables. But keeping my own livestock is not anything that I would like to do.

Kosmo @ The Soap Boxers August 23, 2010 at 6:01 am

The Florida Keys are an area I’d be interested in retiring to. Not Key Largo or Key West, but one of the middle keys. Unfortunately, my wife is not a fan at all 🙂

For someone who can’t swim, I really like oceans a lot, and the laid back mindset of many Keys residents would be right up my alley.

Mrs. Accountability August 23, 2010 at 12:22 pm

I really think I could dig living on an island in the middle of the ocean. That 16 acres would be perfect. It looks like it’s naturally grassy so I could raise a few goats and chickens for meat, milk and eggs, and there’s plenty of room for a garden. I really don’t visit much with anyone; so long as I had the Internet I wouldn’t be lonely. I guess I would only worry about huge storms washing everything on the island away. That guy’s bottle island is pretty amazing.

Diana August 23, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Wow, I have a dream that someday I could live on an island. Nice article… 🙂 August 24, 2010 at 3:51 am

Interesting idea but not really for me. However, it never amazes me what some people will do to get away from it all.

Kerala real estate August 24, 2010 at 10:24 am

Real estate in sea is a great experience and now a days the sea side adventure becoming so popular and that will drive sea real estate and will bring an increase in island sales in the near future.

Aaron August 26, 2010 at 5:16 pm

A small island probably isn’t a good investment if it might not be around for too long.

Michael August 28, 2010 at 7:11 am

In Greece many islands are privately owned. Here is a blog about one for sale as well as a 14th Century monastery that you can buy on Paros.

Peter Dunin September 8, 2010 at 6:19 am

Great video! That guy is nuts. I love him!

Patti September 16, 2010 at 9:14 am

Just a few years ago all of those islands would have been multi million dollar purchases. It really is the best time for buyers.

Terri November 1, 2010 at 7:33 pm

I like the idea of an island for a vacation but I doubt I’d want to live on one. That guy that made his own island though, kudos to him.

Leave a Comment