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**Satire** Nellie Day: What Types of Houses Do People Live In The Bahamas?
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Posted by:May 22nd 2012, 02:17:14 pm
KimberlyWhat Types of Houses Do People Live in the Bahamas?

By Nellie Day

Located in the heart of the Caribbean, the islands of the Bahamas can provide the perfect place to lay your roots and build your dream home--as long as you can afford the price tag that many luxury homes boast. For those who can afford to live the life of luxury, the Bahamas has all the construction, design and real estate services anyone could wish for. For many local Bahamians, however, life is less glamorous. The islands' ample working-class section often inhabits shacks and huts, which can make them vulnerable to hurricanes and constant rebuilding efforts.
Perhaps the most notable characteristic of Bahamian homes are their colorful exteriors. Like the rest of the country, these homes are composed of bright, exotic, energetic blues, yellows and pinks. While some stateside houses get away with pale or neutral shades of these hues, the Bahamas basks in the vibrant shades, ensuring that turquoise blue will always be favorable to powder blue, and fuchsia will always win over blushes.
Straw or Wooden Huts

Even though the Bahamas has the third-highest income, per capita, in the Western Hemisphere, there is great disparity between the island's haves and have-nots. Many Bahamians make their living farming or selling trinkets at the local straw markets. The country's fierce hurricane season can damage these efforts, however, leading to further poverty. For the lower and lower-middle classes, small beach shacks and huts are home. They still maintain their colorful facades, though their insides are typically much more modest in nature.

The poorest Bahamians typically create makeshift homes out of straw or wood. These materials are abundant in the Bahamas, both at industrial and retail outlets and along the beach, where straw and wooden debris can usually be found. Some of the poverty-ridden also raid abandoned structures, stripping them of their wooden planks and other viable materials. Unfortunately, even though these materials are in large supply, they do not hold up well. Termites, flooding and strong winds can easily destroy these huts. These huts can pop up almost anywhere, from a secluded beach to a hidden alley to an open space of land. These structures are poorly executed, since they are usually built by the shack's occupants with no professional help.

Brick or Concrete Shacks
Though there is very little middle class in the Bahamas, those who are considered middle class and upper-lower class typically create their homes from brick or concrete, which can withstand hurricanes much better than wood or straw can. These materials can be expensive, and brick is usually cheaper and found in more abundance than concrete. These structures may consist of simply one large room, or the area may be divided by makeshift dividers made from sheets, straw, wooden boards or beaded curtains. Those who have a little more money tend to build their homes out of concrete. They are typically composed of three or four rooms, with a kitchen, living room, bathroom and bedroom. Most of these homes are inland and typically reside in boroughs near large cities such as Nassau. Beachfront land is typically too valuable to allow these small concrete structures to be erected.

Manors and Mansions
The upper-middle and upper class population of the Bahamas tend to live in ample living quarters. Some construct large, multilevel mansions complete with outdoor swimming pools, columns and a private entrance, while others live in sprawling manors that contain massive fruit trees, balconies, guest homes and docks. Many also contain large attached and detached storage garages, which come in handy during hurricane season and other times when the weather is less than ideal and beach gear must be stored. These homes are usually made out of concrete as well, to protect them during hurricanes. Some may also use stucco, since this material sops up color easily, allowing the homeowners to keep their home's vibrant colors bright and clean. The Bahamas upper class generally consists of wealthy government officials, real estate owners and developers, tourism officials, resort managers and businesspeople from Europe, Canada and the United States. Paradise Island is an extremely popular destination for the largest and most elite homes. These homes typically reside on or across the street from the beach. Though resorts, large multifamily properties and public beaches dominate a lot of the Bahamas' beachfront property, these manors and mansions do get their fair share of beachfront estate as well.

Bahamas Real Estate
Sotheby's International Realty the Bahamas
Bahamas Beach and Beach Access Houses for Sale

About the Author:
Nellie Day is a freelance writer based out of Hermosa Beach, CA. She has her Master's degree in broadcast journalism from USC, and Bachelors' degrees in English and sociology from UC Irvine. Ms. Day's work can regularly be seen on newsstands, where her specialties include weddings, pets, real estate, electronics, product reviews, business, architecture and design, Southern California, food and wine, and travel and tourism.

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