Non-nationals are only allowed to purchase property in certain areas, which narrows your choices. If you're going to live in Bahrain full-time, you should consider how close your potential residence is to the nearest market, your work, medical facilities, banks, and schools (if you have children). If not, or if you're buying a second home, you may want to purchase a property which is part of a resort complex.
To start your search, you may want to look at the Gulf Daily News or real estate portals such as Bahrain Property World in order to get an idea of what prices are like. Property prices will be in Bahraini dinars, and some real estate listings might be in Arabic.
Real estate agents
Using a real estate agent is typically a good strategy for expatriates who are buying a property in Bahrain. Talking with your agent about areas, amenities, and price range will shorten your search, and they can arrange viewing appointments to make the most of your trip to Bahrain.
Several international real estate agencies have a presence in Bahrain, such as Cluttons Bahrain, Remax, and Century 21. If you choose to use an agent, make sure that they are licensed and are familiar with the area you are looking in.
The seller pays the agent's fees, which are 1 to 5 % of the purchase price (note that this may be transferred to you in the form of a higher property price).
Buying from a developer
If you want to buy a property that has not been built yet, you have to buy it off-plan directly from the developer. Typically, you pay a holding deposit to the development company, which then will require scheduled payments for the property. You usually do not pay the last instalment until the property has been handed over to you.
Major developments in Bahrain include the Reef, Abraj Al Lulu, and Durrat Al Bahrain.