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Moving to Bermuda

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 03, 2023

Summary: Many expats and digital nomads move to Bermuda for its beautiful beaches, warm climate, and low taxes. Additionally, Bermuda is known for its high quality of life and its friendly people. People looking for a place to live in Bermuda can find a variety of rental options, from apartments to villas. The most popular cities for expats and digital nomads in Bermuda are Hamilton, St. George's, and Somerset.

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What do I need to know before moving to Bermuda?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Bermuda, they said:

"• Bermuda is composed of about 138 islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. • The official language of the island is English and the only currency accepted is the Bermudian dollar, which is linked to the US dollar. • Bermuda is an all-around expensive destination with prices that are on par, if not higher, than those in the US – particularly when it comes to groceries. • It's essential to have the right visa and working papers in order to live and work in Bermuda. • Bermuda is a safe destination to live and it has a subtropical climate with warm weather year round. • You will quickly learn about the Bermuda dress code which prohibits shorts for men after 6pm in public, as well as wearing a defensive (marine-style) jacket and long socks with shorts. • It is also important to understand the mandatory helmet law that is in place for both bikes and mopeds. • There is limited public transportation in Bermuda and the best way to get around is by renting a scooter or bike. • Although it’s a small island, there are plenty of activities for all ages including surfing, sailing, and snorkeling. • There are also lots of cultural activities like art galleries and museums," said another expat in Bermuda.

"I moved to Bermuda from the UK with just 2 normal sized suitcases of stuff. For me this worked perfectly - I was put up in a hotel (by my employer) for the first month. I immediately took my bike test, bought a scooter, and set about looking for an apartment. Found one within a week. Furnished it over the next few weekends by zipping all over the island on my scooter from one "house-sale" to the next picking up bargains from people leaving the island," added another expat who made the move to Bermuda.

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How do I find a place to live in Bermuda?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"Finding a place to live in Bermuda is relatively straightforward. Start by visiting websites such as bermudapropertyrentals.bm, bermadarentals.com, and bohocare.com. Additionally, visit the classifieds in The Royal Gazette newspaper, contact property agents in the area, or look for for-rent signs on buildings. Additionally, expats should inquire into the availability of employer-sponsored housing as this may be more convenient and less expensive," added another expat who made the move to Bermuda.

"By word of mouth - Good reasonably prices apartments for rental do exist, but they never make it as far as the newspaper adverts. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a place to rent. Keep your ear to the ground to find out who is due to move off the island - and ask if their apartment might be coming up for rent. Don't be too concerned about the neighborhood - there aren't any really bad places... even those areas with "a reputation" are far safer than anywhere in a European City," explained one expat living in Bermuda, Bermuda.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Bermuda?

"A typical expat home or apartment in Bermuda typically features a lush, tropical environment and amenities to create a secluded feeling of home. A typical expat residence will believe to be well-equipped with features such as full kitchens, en-suite bathrooms, patios or balconies, spacious living and dining areas, air conditioning, cable TV, and Internet connections. Additionally, most expat homes or apartments benefit from the surrounding, picturesque foliage and are typically near beaches and golf courses," remarked another expat who made the move to Bermuda.

"One bedroom apartment, attached to landlord's house. This is a typical set-up in Bermuda. In the past it was difficult to obtain a mortgage in Bermuda, they were not available for more than a 5 or 10 year period. So, to fund the building of a house, people built self contained apartments on to the side, to generate rental income," explained one expat living in Bermuda, Bermuda.

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What is the average cost of housing in Bermuda?

If you are thinking about moving to Bermuda, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The cost of housing in Bermuda varies depending on location and size. Generally, rent can be quite expensive, with average prices around $2,500 USD per month for a two-bedroom apartment," remarked another expat who made the move to Bermuda.

"Rent is expensive in Bermuda. But as the lifestyle is so much more focused on being outdoors I chose to rent a tiny one bedroom place - I only really use it to sleep anyway," explained one expat living in Bermuda, Bermuda.

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Should I buy or rent a home in Bermuda?

If you have not spent a lot of time in Bermuda, you should rent before even thinking about buying. We asked expats there about the buy vs. rent decision:

"Buying a home in Bermuda can be a great investment, but it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of purchasing a home compared to renting one. Consider your time frame and financial situation when deciding whether to buy or rent. Owning a home can provide stability and flexibility, but it can also come with costs such as property taxes, maintenance, and additional insurance costs. Additionally, you may need to make a significant down payment and make mortgage payments for several years. Renting a home can be a more affordable option in the short term, since renters only need to provide a security deposit upfront and typically pay a lower monthly fee. However, renting comes with restrictions, such as rules set by the landlord, and renters may not have the same flexibility as homeowners. Ultimately, you’ll need to decide which option best fits your budget and lifestyle," replied a member in Bermuda.

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What should I pack when moving to Bermuda?

We asked people living in Bermuda to list three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They responded:

"Clothing appropriate for warm weather, sunscreen and sun protective clothing, mosquito repellent, swimwear and beach towels, toiletries, first aid supplies, passport, financial documents, medications, important paperwork, power converter and/or adapter, phone and laptop chargers, cash and/or traveler’s checks and credit cards, toilet paper and kitchen supplies, small toolkit and cleaning supplies, camera and binoculars, books and entertainment items," added another expat who made the move to Bermuda.

"Wish I had brought: 1. Electric blanket - It gets cold in winter and the houses do not generally have any heating. With the high humidity, your bed can feel really damp and cold - an electric blanket is a necessity not a luxury! 2. Snorkel and fins - I had good quality diving gear at home and left it in the UK... Stupid! 3. Push bike - Got mine shipped out at a later stage, because good road bikes are very expensive in Bermuda. Wish I had left at home: 1.Leather jacket - not much call for this in Bermuda - it sat in the wardrobe for 6 months and got covered in white mould. 2. Rain gear - unless you've got gortext yachting wet weather gear, don't bother bringing it to Bermuda. When it rains here it really rains - and a thin hiking rain jacket will not cut it. Especially if you are zooming about on your scooter in the rain. The rain jackets and rain pants they sell in Bermuda are a much better buy - and heavy duty enough to stand up to the torrential downpours. 3. Smart clothes - I read somewhere that in Bermuda you had to look smart... and I misunderstood... Smart in Bermuda means "smart casual" - polo shirt and tailored shorts... suits, ties, jackets and dresses are rarely required," explained one expat living in Bermuda, Bermuda.

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What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Bermuda?

We asked people in Bermuda if they could share any humorous cultural blunders they commited. For new expats, keep in mind that these incidents are an inevitable part of expat life. Learning to laugh about them is the key!:

"When you are visiting Bermuda, it is important to be aware of the local customs and culture. To avoid making any cultural faux pas, you should dress appropriately, avoid making loud noises and swearing, show respect when speaking to elders, be aware of personal space, and don't take photographs of people without their permission. Additionally, it is best to avoid talking about religion and politics with locals. Since Bermudians are very welcoming and hospitable, it is important to thank people properly when they do something for you. Finally, be respectful of the environment by following local fishing and conservation laws," commented one expat who made the move to Bermuda.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Waterfront in St. George's, Bermuda.

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