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JennMiller
(@JennMiller)
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May 18, 2016 2:54 pm  

Good Day all!! Plan on moving within the next year to STX. I would love to build a house but have been reading a few of the boards on here and need advice for my situation! My husband and I built our current 2100sqf house ourselves, from pouring the concrete, throwing the trusses up, and EVERYTHING in between. We have remodeled and rented multiple houses also. Good idea, Bad idea, Maybe???? Thanks!!


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caribstx
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May 18, 2016 2:58 pm  

Probably cheaper to buy at this point. But that is changing as the economy picks up. Real estate agents I know tell me the STX market is getting warm again.


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SkysTheLimit
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May 18, 2016 3:35 pm  

I'm not a Realtor but it looks like the buyer's market might be losing momentum.
257 homes currently active on STX with 84 of those pending sale. Almost 1/3 under contract. Prices from $35k up to 1.3 million.

I feel we'll be seeing prices climb soon if they aren't already.


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SkysTheLimit
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May 18, 2016 3:40 pm  

To answer your question though, If you have the time, knowledge, and funds, maybe build.
You could get the lot you want and build what you want. I would come down and look at homes for sale in your price point then decide if I could do better...


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CruzanIron
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May 18, 2016 3:43 pm  

Did you builds a wooden house or a concrete house? Sounds like wooden.

Concrete house (what you want here) is a whole different story.


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OldTart
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May 18, 2016 4:00 pm  

Just a note of caution which bears repeating - the attrition rate of newcomers is VERY high, so best advice is to live here for at least a couple of years before investing in real property whether it be purchasing an existing structure or building. The RE market waxes and wanes over the years but turnover is generally slow.


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JohnnyU
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May 18, 2016 4:05 pm  

Where are you seeing 84 pending?

I just looked at MLS and there's 12 pending with 3 over $375M.


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JennMiller
(@JennMiller)
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May 18, 2016 4:09 pm  

To answer your question though, If you have the time, knowledge, and funds, maybe build.
You could get the lot you want and build what you want. I would come down and look at homes for sale in your price point then decide if I could do better...

This was my thinking also, We just built the house we live in to exactly what we wanted and I'm just not sure I'm ready to live somewhere long term and not have what we want in a house. My next visit is next month and I already have a date with a realtor. Just trying to get a better idea of my next step!


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JennMiller
(@JennMiller)
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May 18, 2016 4:11 pm  

We built a wooden house, which is one of my concerns i totally understand. My husband use to own his own concrete business so building with concrete is not over the top intimidating to us. Still a concern. Anyone know concrete per square yard prices on island?


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JennMiller
(@JennMiller)
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May 18, 2016 4:16 pm  

Just a note of caution which bears repeating - the attrition rate of newcomers is VERY high, so best advice is to live here for at least a couple of years before investing in real property whether it be purchasing an existing structure or building. The RE market waxes and wanes over the years but turnover is generally slow.

I completely agree with you however, I was born to live on the water, on an island!! I have traveled to a few islands and I cried all the way back to Illinois in December when i left STX. Kids are grown, out of the house, and I have a brother that has lived on the island for about 6 years. But thank you very much for the note of caution! Truly appreciated!


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SkysTheLimit
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May 18, 2016 4:22 pm  

Where are you seeing 84 pending?

I just looked at MLS and there's 12 pending with 3 over $375M.

10 pending in Northside B alone. Are you looking at the whole island or just an Estate or Quarter?


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SkysTheLimit
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May 18, 2016 4:26 pm  

83 pending now and the highest is 1.3 million asking price. STX


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singlefin
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May 18, 2016 4:26 pm  

Prices are on the rise now. Probably a good investment eitherway (thank you HGTV). As stated by others, stay away from anything built of wood or built pre-Hugo (1988). Building codes are now far better than before that time. The more cement & steel the better. Install hurricane shutters on everything.
Just completed a new structure. Worst part is the waiting and how long it will take. Between waiting for permits, craftsmen, materials, ect... expect a good two years to bring anything new to compleation. Got lucky with really great people all around though and the final product was worth the wait. Many thanks especially to Gallows Bay Hardware, Home Depot, and the local marine suppliers (when in doubt: Stainless Steel)
Best advise:
Keep it simple and easy to maintain. Maintenance here is far more effort than stateside.
And,
Overbuild structurally. Putting the extra cash into construction and opting out of Wind Damage insurance will save over the long haul. On a well built cement construction home, Wind Damage Insurance (Hurricane Insurance) is 3 to 4% replacement value every year. I understand anything built of wood is far more.


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Alana33
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May 18, 2016 4:27 pm  

As of April 28th on STX:

INVENTORY. Presently For Sale on the MLS, there are 267 houses, 112 condos, and 542 parcels of land. Last year at this time we had 298 homes, 133 condos, and 511 lots.

PENDING SALES. There are presently 146 pending sales on MLS, compared to 113 a year ago and 84 in 2014. The breakdown is 84 homes pending compared to 56 a year ago, 35 condos compared to 30 last year, and 27 pending lots, the same as last year.

I might add that while newer homes are supposed to adhere to stricter building codes, many older homes such as my own in St. Thomas, built in '63, faired very well during both Hugo and Marilyn when many newer ones, built after Hugo in 89, did not. My roof was intact as was the home, some windows had to be replaced after Hugo. Ditto for Marilyn. All else around me was not so lucky.


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JohnnyU
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May 18, 2016 4:47 pm  

Where are you seeing 84 pending?

I just looked at MLS and there's 12 pending with 3 over $375M.

10 pending in Northside B alone. Are you looking at the whole island or just an Estate or Quarter?

I'm seeing the 257 active on MLS, sorting on status I get 12

Houses are all over - beeson hill, wheel of fortune, cotton valley, etc

Accessing MLS from Chris Hanley's site

Weird


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speee1dy
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May 18, 2016 4:51 pm  

building, as you know, the price always changes. the cost of concrete alone can change from week to week.
you budget x amount and end up spending y amount. people i know who built-cost more than doubled what they had estimated.

buying and reno might be a better option


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CruzanIron
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May 18, 2016 4:55 pm  

stay away from anything built of wood or built pre-Hugo (1988).

Why? I can show you 6 concrete houses that had no damage from Hugo AT ALL and could easily survive another one. Many pre-hugo houses that were damaged were rebuilt stronger and can easily survive a Hugo now.


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Exit Zero
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May 18, 2016 5:00 pm  

One of the big costs of building here is the need for a cistern - not a common concern in the states and also the septic/waste water system of which the complexity may depend on the Coastal Zone you are located in.
The hip roof design is a practical and traditional style so look at some of those.
Materials are more expensive here - many people stack a 40' container or 2, in the states and ship it and position it onsite.
STX certainly has way more flat terrain then STT/STJ but lot grade must still be considered.

This article is worth reading:
http://www.usvi.net/archives/vi-in-depth-archives/caribcat-how-much-did-you-say/

This thread is from 2007 but still relevant in many ways:
https://www.vimovingcenter.com/talk/read.php?4,72724,72781
The 2 building blogs that poster PIAA cites are excellent reads.

This youtube will give you an interesting look:

Reading this will be enlightening:
http://movingtostcroix.com/building-house-in-st-croix/


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SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
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May 18, 2016 5:30 pm  

One of the big costs of building here is the need for a cistern - not a common concern in the states and also the septic/waste water system of which the complexity may depend on the Coastal Zone you are located in.
The hip roof design is a practical and traditional style so look at some of those.
Materials are more expensive here - many people stack a 40' container or 2, in the states and ship it and position it onsite.
STX certainly has way more flat terrain then STT/STJ but lot grade must still be considered.

This article is worth reading:
http://www.usvi.net/archives/vi-in-depth-archives/caribcat-how-much-did-you-say/

This thread is from 2007 but still relevant in many ways:
https://www.vimovingcenter.com/talk/read.php?4,72724,72781
The 2 building blogs that poster PIAA cites are excellent reads.

This youtube will give you an interesting look:

Reading this will be enlightening:
http://movingtostcroix.com/building-house-in-st-croix//blockquote >

Good stuff Exit!


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JennMiller
(@JennMiller)
Active Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 8
May 18, 2016 5:33 pm  

One of the big costs of building here is the need for a cistern - not a common concern in the states and also the septic/waste water system of which the complexity may depend on the Coastal Zone you are located in.
The hip roof design is a practical and traditional style so look at some of those.
Materials are more expensive here - many people stack a 40' container or 2, in the states and ship it and position it onsite.
STX certainly has way more flat terrain then STT/STJ but lot grade must still be considered.

This article is worth reading:
http://www.usvi.net/archives/vi-in-depth-archives/caribcat-how-much-did-you-say/

This thread is from 2007 but still relevant in many ways:
https://www.vimovingcenter.com/talk/read.php?4,72724,72781
The 2 building blogs that poster PIAA cites are excellent reads.

This youtube will give you an interesting look:

Reading this will be enlightening:
http://movingtostcroix.com/building-house-in-st-croix//blockquote >

Good stuff Exit!

Thank you!! I had read a some of this but just watched the videos and read thru threads you suggested! Wonderful information!


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JennMiller
(@JennMiller)
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May 18, 2016 5:35 pm  

Thanks to everyone that has replied!


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singlefin
(@singlefin)
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May 18, 2016 5:39 pm  

Cruzaniron is correct.
There are a few 200 year old structures in both main towns built by the Danish that I would probably prefer to ride out a major hurricane in. Structures that did survive Hugo withstood the test and will again.
My point was that ALL new construction after Hugo is subject to far more stringent building codes and should theoretically fair much better in a hurricane. I like to check out the timbers in the cieling on any structure I walk into. The size of the timbers as well as their distance apart. I've always thought of that as a pretty good indicator of overall structural integrity. If whoever built it took the time and expense to do that right, than the rest of the structure was probably also built well.


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speee1dy
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May 18, 2016 5:49 pm  

i live in a pre hugo house. it held up very well


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Gator's Mom
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May 18, 2016 6:12 pm  

There are some fantastic mid-century homes on St. Croix that just cry out to be remodeled.

I'd love to take an architectural tour of even a few of them - remodeled or not.

My 1963 house survived Hugo and Marilyn. It still has the original roof bolted on that's in good condition and terrific terrazzo floors.


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rmb2830
(@rmb2830)
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Posts: 447
May 18, 2016 6:44 pm  

Homes built on stx after Hugo but before Marilyn did not have to comply with much better building codes than pre-Hugo. After or right around Marilyn the building dept got much more specific and increased/updated requirements. A year after Hugo we put our cottage (built in the 50's) back pretty much as it was pre-storm. It blew away again in Marilyn, and a year after that storm the rebuilding had to comply with much different standards...and roof has remained through the subsequent storms, even though Luis was very intense where the cottage is located. At the same time, the house we have that was super-built in the 60's had a small roof issue in Hugo, nothing significant and nothing else before or after..so it all depends...The homes we have built in the last 10 years or so are built much differently though, since we don't want problems.


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