Cousine, an undeveloped 80 acre patch of palms originally sold for 0,000 in 1971.Recently, Cousine’s current owners turned down an offer of million.They were very close to nature.” For those who are tinkering with the idea of buying an entire island, Vladi warned that there are many factors to consider: “You have to have access, you have to get electricity, a telephone and drinking water. Not just by yourself, but with your family — because an island shouldn’t be a reason for divorce!” Vladi’s current inventory includes everything from rustic little isles off Nova Scotia to Isla de sa Ferradura, a posh million “rock” in the Spanish Balearics that a Dutch developer has transformed into a Mediterranean fantasyland of pools, gardens and waterfalls.“What I really like to see,” Vladi said, “are people who are willing to put in the time, the effort and the due diligence to transform an island into a home.I tell people that buying an island has nothing to do with investment and everything to do with lifestyle. You never sell.” During his school years, Vladi dreamed of becoming a photographer or journalist.That’s less than what you pay for a condo in New York.” Central America is another up and-coming region, especially the islands off Belize, Panama and Costa Rica.And Vladi says to keep a close eye on the Pacific, where governments in the Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands and the Philippines may soon liberalize their land ownership laws.
Nowadays about 40 percent of his buyers are from North America, another 40 percent from Europe, the remainder from wealthy countries such as Japan and Saudi Arabia.
With his suave European accent, Vladi (as he is known to most people) has the air of a jet-setter who mingles with the rich and famous.
But from the very start of our conversation, he seemed far less concerned with the amount of money he makes — or whether or not his clients are on the cover of People — than preserving the enduring mystique of island life and defending islands from those who might harm them.
“You have two types of people who buy islands: people who are trying to make a quick buck on a speculative investment; and people who have a passion for islands,” he explained.
“The second, of course, are the better clients.” He went on to give examples: a German waiter who paid ,000 for a small Panamanian island and a retired Swiss billionaire who purchased a rather sizable chunk of New Zealand and went on to become an expert on the area’s flora and fauna.