When selling or buying a home before you get into the interior features, potential buyers should look at the location of the home, lot or condo first. This among other things can heavily influence the value of the property in question. The variables can be anything from school districts near the home to the view of the ocean. The second factor mentioned is of particular interest to home buyers here in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Most homes have some water view, distant views can be as beautiful as waterfront properties.
Looking to build on a lot? Things you need to consider are the use of the land with respect to zoning laws which determine what kind of structure can be built, easements, and where you will put the septic tanks as well as the elevation. You wouldn't want to build a home on a lot further back from the water only to have your view spoiled when another owner decides to build a large home closer to the water effectively disrupting what used to be an awesome view of the ocean. On the other hand if the elevation is good, that may not be a problem. There are height restrictions of building in the Virgin Islands.
If you pay for a home with this view or build a home that has one similar to this you don't want that ruined or disturbed! Prices here on St. Thomas can vary and there are many factors that go into price.
Real Estate on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
St. Thomas offers both bustling shopping areas and quiet neighborhoods. The island is mountainous and many hillside homes are graced with incredible views of the ocean. The real estate market on St. Thomas includes houses, land, condos, time share and commercial properties like most other places.
As of January 8, 2014, there are 179 houses listed. Prices range from $115,000 for a 2 bedroom 2 bath on Crystal Gade; to $33,800,000 for a 10 bedroom 11 bath Estate At Spring Bay and Sunsi Bay in Frydendal. Lots for homes range from several acres to a quarter acre or less in densely developed areas.
Most residents finance their homes through conventional mortgage companies or with local banks. Interest rates are slightly higher in the Virgin Islands than in the US mainland. A typical down payment is 20 to 30 percent. Banks require earthquake and windstorm insurance with mortgages; the cost is around 2-3% of replacement value.
Lot sizes on raw land vary widely; half and quarter acre lots are common. the location of a specific lot will determine it's value as much as it's size. Factors to consider when looking for land include location, view, access to the property and any site preparations that might be necessary in order to build. The Virgin Islands were formed by volcanos and there can be a lot of large boulders and rock formations.
There are presently 266 undeveloped lots on the market. Prices start at $19,000 for .16 acres in Agnes Fancy; to $7,000,000 for 139 acres in Perseverance. Looking for your own island? There was recently a 500 acre island listed for 45 million.
Recent land developments involving subdividing large estates have created an increase in land lots on the market. These developments include one in Mandahl and another in Estate Nazareth.
Costs of building a house start at around $250 per square foot; the amount varying considerably depending on materials used for building and finishing. Keep in mind that preparations and special structural requirements may need to be met making the total cost of the construction project more. A cistern for water storage and a septic tank are necessary components of a house on St. Thomas. The cistern alone will account for almost 10 percent of the total building cost. Land owners should depend on the experts when it comes to building on St. Thomas; plans must be prepared or reviewed and approved by an architect, engineer or drafts person licensed in the Virgin Islands. The review and approval process will cost as much as having the plans drawn from scratch.
Condos on St. Thomas are often located on or near a beach. Facilities might include tennis courts, swimming pool(s), restaurant/bar, marina and water-sports centers among others. Studio condos currently on the market range between $84,900 and $250,000 and one bedroom between $65,000 and $395,000. Larger condos with three or more bedrooms are $119,000 to $1,250,000. There are currently 145 condo properties listed.
Time share or fractional ownership options are usually available. Presently there are 31 timeshare openings available, ranging from $1,500 for 1 week in May in a studio unit at Bluebeard's Castle; to $55,000 for week 12 in a 3 bedroom 3.5 bath unit at the Ritz.
Guest houses, restaurants, yachts, inns and retail stores are examples of commercial properties that have recently been or are on the market. Currently there are 24 commercial properties listed. They include a hair salon including equipement at $40,000, a 60,529 sq. ft of leaseable space on 2.66 acres , a mall.
As a Realtor, I can introduce you to the listed properties and help you narrow them down to those that fit what you are looking for. Contact me for more information on real estate on St. Thomas.