Buying a place?
For the most part I know the answer but has anyone moved down and bought a condo quickly instead of renting first? So many condos to buy at Sapphire on STT for great prices..
Honestly sapphire looks run down and they all look like shacks
Sure buy a place but look in the south like regatta point sea cliff etc..
Nice places reasonable amounts
No doubt spoken by one who owns at Watergate/Regatta Point/Seacliff and has very little knowledge of the Sapphire complex.
There must be an awful lot of people who love run down shacks if the occupation rates for the privately owned vacation rentals at Sapphire are anything to go by. Go to any of the prime vacation rental sites (vrbo, homeaway, etc.) and compare the difference in the bookings. For a slew of reasons I would (and do) recommend Sapphire over Watergate any day.
Ms Information is spot on about the "hidden" costs of condo ownership. Make sure you'll like what you're getting into -- talk with other current owners and see how they feel about the management.
A friend went this route and is happy with his place. It all depends on what you value in a place to live. Make sure what you're buying is in line with your priorities.
I agree, Condos are hard to unload and timeshares are even worse. I agree with Tart, Sapphire has some great places for the price. It's hard to find a vacation rental on St. Thomas for $99.00 a night. I also agree that you should come down and check out any prospective property BEFORE putting down any money on it especially if you aren't very familiar with the island.
I might also add here that if you wait for another few months, you might get an even better deal if that is possible on St. Thomas. But there has been a renters or home owners bubble for quite a few years, which has helped home owners/landlords able to keep their rentals filled easily. But with all the building on St. Thomas that has changed and the bubble is about to bust. 30 years ago the ratio of rentals to new island residents were about equal or maybe a tad fewer rentals than new residents. But that has been changing for the past 20 years and after the housing bubble that burst back around 2007 the rentals to new residents has gone out of sight. It's getting harder and harder for landlords to rent out that one or two bedroom apartment that they had built onto their homes with the thought of subsidizing their mortgage payments and some if not most are having to use different hooks to get their places rented like including utilities like Wapa, cable, internet services.
It's getting harder and harder for landlords to rent out that one or two bedroom apartment that they had built onto their homes with the thought of subsidizing their mortgage payments and some if not most are having to use different hooks to get their places rented like including utilities like Wapa, cable, internet services.
Unlike previous years when the young snowbirds would flock here for seasonal jobs, the downfall of the economy has decimated their numbers in the last couple of years. The jobs just aren't here for them which of course has affected the rental market hugely. There are term rental properties being advertised that have been available for months on end and even price reductions don't move them as the applicants just aren't here. This too shall pass (as it has before) but for many the wait is painful!
To answer OP's original question, sure there are some people who move to the islands and purchased a condo (or even a house) right away rather then rent. It happens all the time.
Is it a good idea? Well, that depends. Conventional wisdom says it's probably wiser to spend a little time scoping out the various neighborhoods and housing market before making a purchase, no matter where you might have relocated to. In the case of moving to an island, (or an any area that is significantly different from where you lived previously) it's always wise to hold off making a major purchase until you are sure you like living there and/or you get a chance to figure out the best neighborhoods, finding a location close to where you'll be working, getting a property that will hold its value, etc.
Think about it, if you rent for a couple months and find you don't like island life it's easy to pick up and leave. All you'll be out is a few months rent and a little bit of time. If you bought a condo or home right away and two months later find you really don't like island life, you can still leave but you'll have a lot of money tied up in a condo or home you aren't using. You might get lucky and sell right away or you might end up not selling for months or even years meanwhile you still have to pay all the carrying and maintenance costs.
There's no right or wrong answer. Everyone has to make the decision for themselves. Do first hand research and decide what's best for you.
Sapphire Hill has studio units starting at $79K - $135K. 1x1 units run from $139K - $249K.
There are monthly insurance fees that run around $163 and monthly condo fees that run $473.69.
Water cost .06 cents. While their association fees aren't the lowest they are neither the highest.
There are also units available right on the beach as well as nearby Crystal Cove.
Many people love Sapphire for its gorgeous views with its white sandy beach, the proximity to Red Hook for shopping and entertainment,
the ferry to STJ and other nearby beaches.
Whether you rent or buy is up to you. Sapphire is a great location but there are many other condo units for sale in various locations to suit ones preferences and the market seems to be picking back up.
I got all excited looking at units at Pavillions and Pools online until I saw the monthly fees of over 1000 a month...Sure you could pay cash for a unit there for 70k but those monthly fees are a killer...I like Sapphire for many reasons including the beach,close to RH and the units ive looked at are nice and monthly fees are a reasonable 400 a month range..
At Sapphire - with many different assoc. involved in different properties -- you should also ask about the assesments levied in the last few years on top of the monthly fees and inquire what assessments are being considered for the future. If insurance is separate read the policy to determine what type -- liability - windstorm - flooding etc.
Sapphire does look a bit haggered lately IMO. Beach is beautiful from the surface but lately I've noticed that once in it there's a lot of trash. I pull a small snorkel bags worth almost every time I'm in the water there. Last month a giant net that weighed almost as much as I do. Also had to catch a small sea turtle on Monday to remove a plastic bag from his front fin. SO SAD!!
They should also demo those tennis courts - what an eyesore. A nice big grassy area would look great there. Sapphire has so much potential! Good luck on your house hunt. 🙂
Ps. Off the Grid BBQ will be back next week and their food truck located at the top of sapphire - that may be reason enough to buy there. Just sayin. Lol.