Buying an island – writer research

The last few weeks, I’ve been writing a story about some characters who have adventures on an island, and ownership becomes a key factor. But I knew nothing about islands, or how to buy them. So this called for a little research!


Here’s what you need to know when shopping for an island:

Islands run from roundabout 3 million for a really good island, to 30k, for a not so great island.

There are three kinds of island climates: Caribbean (tropical and rainy), Mediterranean (hot and dry), and Temperate (think Canada).

Location matters, and this applies to islands. An island closer to commercial and residential services (where you might buy food and possibly get cell service) drives the island’s value way up. An remote island sounds fun for a vacation getaway, but the commute gets expensive.


Can Do Finance recommends renting your target island and hanging out there to see what it’s like. Not only do you get a chance to see what the living conditions are like, but you can experience the local weather. Visiting an island on a calm, sunny day won’t tell you what it’s like in the middle of a monsoon.

Other things to consider are things like:

What’s the island’s water table like? Are there wells available, or can you drill one?

Is there good anchorage?

Is there a nice beach or two?

Is there any place to build a house, or is one already there?


Once you have a house there, if you don’t plan to live on the island full time, you’ll need to hire someone to live there for you. This prevents the elements from wiping your stuff off the map, and will help protect your island from squatters.

Can you imagine the fun of being hired as a caretaker on some island mansion?


The story possibilities for island life are endless. Imagine finding a murdered body, or a castaway washed up on a beach, or other mysterious happenings. A book practically writes itself!

Hopefully this gives you some ideas. 🙂


2 thoughts on “Buying an island – writer research

  1. Fun research! 😀 I actually snickered a little to myself this week because I was on various retail sites like Amazon, searching for “islands.” I was browsing for rolling *kitchen* islands, though. 😉


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