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A few more questions

 

Ncghiagirl
(@Ncghiagirl)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 1
January 8, 2014 1:47 am  

My wife and I (yes this is her ID (ghiagirl) are seriously considering buying a vacation home/condo somewhere in the Caribbean and due to the fact that the USVI is part of the US (somewhat) we like the idea of investing in ST Croix/St Johns. St Croix seems like the much better investment from a pricing prospective and I have read all the Crime info on this board and some of it is very informative.

I have a few more questions:
1. For someone looking for a nice condo to use several times a year and possibly rent out what is the most desirable area of St Croix? I have read about the east end being safer (sometimes) but then folks complain about the no see ums.
2. Is there parts of the island that are safer than others when it comes to home invasions? (This is the piece that worries me)
3. Is it safe for my wife to go to the beach on her own as I dive ALOT and she would want to spend time at the beach/pool on her own and feel safe. We have traveled the world quite extensively and understand that crime exists everywhere but there are places that are more "comfortable" to be in for example we were just at Palm Beach in St Martin and I would have no worries of my wife going there on her own.
4. Is it safe to eat a restaurant after dark? This is something that boggles me as I have spent time in many not so nice places for work and never have had an issue with being held up while eating dinner (it’s just not right to mess with a good meal).
5. Is there any vacation rental market? If I buy somewhere I would like to be able to rent it at least one week a month on average.
6. Can someone recommend a good straight shooting real-estate agent? Due to our limited time we need to have someone who is going to find what I am interested in (2+ bedroom bungalow style condos) or tell me it is not there.

Thanks for the help in advance and I apologize if I am beating the proverbial dead horse. Our plan is to narrow down to two or three islands and then spend several weeks island hopping looking at properties.
Thanks,
Husband of GhiaGirl


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speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
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Joined: 14 years ago
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January 8, 2014 12:51 pm  

i will answer the questions i can

2-no
3-yes as long as it is not secluded. cane bay or some other populated beach would be fine, i personally would not want to go to an isolated beach by myself.
4- many people do go to the restaurants after dark and have no problems

i know others will offer advise also. good luck


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Linda J
(@Linda_J)
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January 8, 2014 1:24 pm  

I went to cane bay alone with no problem all the time.


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JulieKay
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January 8, 2014 1:44 pm  

1. For someone looking for a nice condo to use several times a year and possibly rent out what is the most desirable area of St Croix? I have read about the east end being safer (sometimes) but then folks complain about the no see ums.

We lived out east (moved back to the states in Nov) and had no trouble with no see ums (mampis) - it's only right on the water that you have them at certain times of year. Crime happens everywhere, but there is a solid community on the East End that watches out for each other.

2. Is there parts of the island that are safer than others when it comes to home invasions? (This is the piece that worries me)

No idea. Ask Rotorhead. Personally I don't think home invasions happen all that often and petty burglaries of homes are the most common thing. Muggings if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time.

3. Is it safe for my wife to go to the beach on her own as I dive ALOT and she would want to spend time at the beach/pool on her own and feel safe. We have traveled the world quite extensively and understand that crime exists everywhere but there are places that are more "comfortable" to be in for example we were just at Palm Beach in St Martin and I would have no worries of my wife going there on her own.

Like others have said, Cane Bay is a great "dive beach" and there are restaurants there if she decides to give up on "beaching" for a while. West out at Rainbow could be good too, just more young people, which means young men with nothing better to do than ogle and harass a lovely lady. But if she can hold her own with "attention" no biggie.

Edited to add - the beach at Carambola is a good dive beach too, and there is a dive shop in the resort. She could hang out at the resort beach while you dive, it's nice and they have a cafe there and so on as well.

4. Is it safe to eat a restaurant after dark? This is something that boggles me as I have spent time in many not so nice places for work and never have had an issue with being held up while eating dinner (it’s just not right to mess with a good meal).

This is so varied when it happens, which isn't tremendously often - they seem to come in "waves" when it happens. However we avoided Cane Bay after dark as it has that "reputation" and there was a crazy one out there in 2012. We did not go to Christiansted after dark except to Savant, which has it's own parking lot. We lived out East so we didn't go to West restaurants much at all so I don't have any information there. I do know friends who go out at night everywhere. It's just kinda rolling the odds with this one. You'll figure out once you arrive and make friends where your comfort zone is. Avoid government lot in Christiansted after dark, in the last year I've had several friends mugged there, one carjacked.

5. Is there any vacation rental market? If I buy somewhere I would like to be able to rent it at least one week a month on average.

There is a market but there is also a lot of inventory. Have a good, clean, desirable unit with a water view, A/C, GOOD FURNITURE and it will help a lot.

6. Can someone recommend a good straight shooting real-estate agent? Due to our limited time we need to have someone who is going to find what I am interested in (2+ bedroom bungalow style condos) or tell me it is not there.

We use Tammy Londer. Others will recommend Kim Lucas or Chris Hanley. There are several good agents on island.

Good luck!


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speee1dy
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January 8, 2014 2:15 pm  

yep, cane bay should be fine because it is not isolated


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bathiel
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January 8, 2014 8:19 pm  

Husband of GhiaGirl:

As long as you're not alone on a deserted, remote beach (e.g., Sandy Point with no one else in sight), you should have no problems. And eating out at restaurants at night is fine, as long as you're alert when walking to and from your car and use common sense (e.g., don't park on a deserted, remote street). That doesn't mean you're guaranteed not to encounter crime, but it does reduce the chance.

My wife and I rented on the east end for two years and did like the area and people there. However, it was simply too far away from the stuff we like to do and places we like to visit, so we ended up at St. C condos, which is located conveniently mid-island, so we can be anywhere in 20 minutes tops.

Right now, it's a real buyer's market on STX for condos. You should be able to find great deals everywhere. I'd highly recommend St C for lots of reasons (not the least of which are the low prices and comparatively low monthly fees), but you said you wanted a two-bedroom place and St C only has one-bedroom units. In any case, I'd recommend you talk with Kim Lucas, who helped us with our condo search a few years ago. She's great, and I'm confident she could help you as well.

I'm happy to talk with you if you'd like.

Bernie


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Ericw
(@Ericw)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 277
January 9, 2014 1:40 am  

This board has a lot of STX people, so I'll try and help you out answering about St John.

1.
STJ condos are mostly on the Cruz Bay side of the island and range from $250 to over a million. You will have no problems being able to rent out your condo when not in use, some properties being more desirable than others.

2.
STJ overall has very low crime as compared to the other islands. Not saying the home break ins happen, but for the ones that do it was when someone was away from the home and a certain item was stolen (inside job) or TV/computer, etc was stolen. Most of the island do not lock their doors, and crime is not on everyone's mind here as it is on other islands. It's rare for people to lock their doors here. We haven't had a break in in our neighborhood in several years.

3.
Completely safe, even the most secluded beaches. Because of the VI National Park 2/3rds of STJ is national park and a great majority of them reside within the park. Some of the beaches are only accessible by hiking and boating in, so many times you will be the only one on the beach. You may come across the occasional tourist doing the same thing you are doing or a Park Ranger here and there. Snorkeling is fantastic, with diving being okay. I am an avid diver too, and although there are not as many dive sites that you can get to without a boat, the ones that are shore accessible, are frequently traveled and fantastic.

4.
I have never had a problem at night or after dark being out in town, either Cruz Bay or Coral Bay. It is very safe. The public parking lot for Cruz Bay is a 5 minute walk outside of the center of town down partial dark streets, to a dark parking lot. I have never had a problem walking by myself at any time of night.

5. Is there any vacation rental market? If I buy somewhere I would like to be able to rent it at least one week a month on average.
The vacation rental market is very strong on STJ. If you have a clean, updated, and well maintained condo you will have no problems having it rented at least once a month. Full time rentals that are well established have on average 40 weeks rented out of the year.

6.
Yes, PM me and I can give you some names. Nice 2 -bedrooms on STJ will run you around $400-500k and up. It is the most expensive of the 4 islands, but IMO your investment on STJ is much more stable due to the unique nature of this island. The STJ real estate market started to show signs of rebound in 2013. Although it's still a relative buyers market, it's on the uptick.

Hope that helps 🙂


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gonetropo
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January 9, 2014 10:46 am  

There is a huge difference between STJ and STX! We live on STX but had a place on STJ in the early 90's.

From an investment, safety, beach and beauty perspective, I would recommend STJ hand down. Also, if you are a boater, STJ offers a much better location as you can scoot to the BVI in no time. STX is isolated.

From a living, convenience and cost perspective, STX hands down.

If you are going to live full time in the islands. I would recommend STX primarily because of the convenience for travel and goods and services. When we were on STJ, we spent many days going to STT on the ferry. Then again, in the early 90's there was almost nothing on STJ. Nowadays, you can obtain food at the Marketplace if you want to be totally ripped off.


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East Ender
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January 9, 2014 12:23 pm  

Ericw: Where is the public parking lot? I never really drive over there, but I didn't think there was any parking in Cruz Bay.


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Ericw
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Joined: 12 years ago
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January 9, 2014 3:15 pm  

It's over by the car barge... the big gravel lot they put in about 2 yrs back. It's just a couple minute walk up the hill, past the fire station to the roundabout and then down into town. There are also a couple public lots directly in town, but it's hard to get a space at one of those... once in a while I get lucky 😉


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East Ender
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January 9, 2014 10:56 pm  

By the car barge? Hmm. That seems a LONG way, but when I look at the map, maybe not. Thanks!


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