My wife and I are interested in purchasing a condo on St. Thomas in the next few years. We are several years from retirement but would like to buy our retirement home while we still work. We are interested in a 1 bedroom on the east end of St. Thomas. I've noticed that the Cabrita Condos have several units for sale that have been for sale for some time. I have a few questions:
1. How is the complex on whole?
2. Is it a fairly desirable location for long term rental?
3. Is it relatively as safe as say Sapphire House?
Our plan would be to purchase the condo and rent it long term until we were in a position to spend more time on St. Thomas. Therefore we would like to purchase in a place that would be wanted by long term renters. Also can anyone recommend a realtor on island.
Good morning Chip,
I've owned a Cabrita condo since 1994. I've also managed and/or have knowledge of many of the islands condo associations.
I also have Realtor contacts who specialize in different areas of the island.
'Will be glad to share my two cents worth. Because of the detail and depth of our prospective Q&A session, I've sent you a private message thru this forums "PM" so we can connect by phone, rather than email back and forth.
I have only visited Cabrita over the past years. Here are my observations.
1. There is no real beach but there is no question that the condos are right on the beach.
2. They are built very low to the water level. I am not sure that they have ever flooded. But they are close to the ground.
3. They may not get a good breeze in the summer time. The breeze comes from the south east in the summer. More from the north or north east in the winter.
4. I would expect that these is considerable boating noise. And it may be late at night.
5. I have never heard about much crime there. But it is a consideration that should be made.
6. They are not a bad size. Not the biggest, and not the smallest.
7. I know nothing about the association but see if you own the land as well as the condo. This issue has been one that has caused Sapphire Resort considerable expense.
8. See what hurricane insurance they have as well as flood insurance.
9. The road into Cabrita is not the best but is OK.
Those are some of my thoughts.
Actually, the road into Cabrita IS the best...It was just replaced!!!
I went with my realtor (who I would recommend) a few weeks ago to see why these condos are soooooooooo inexpensive. I will say this, Cabrita has the potential to be the best property on the east end.
When you first enter the property, you are greeted by boarded up buildings. One is an old residential apartment/condo building. One is the old guard booth. Then the property's commercial building , which used to house a restaurant is boarded up too. The tennis court is overgrown and has not been maintained or painted in a long time....easy fix if the association wants to spend the money....
I do not believe there is a crime problem there, only one way in and one way out and a new police station on the east end.
The construction I believe is wood...with stucco finish??? Didn't look like concrete, but i may be wrong...The buildings are off the ground so I really don't believe they are in any danger of flooding or they would have by now. The condos are small, 500 plus square feet, but again....the price!!
I see no problem having the cost more than covered by a renter. The association fees were reasonable, but the property can not be brought to its potential unless the association starts cleaning up the property and abandoned buildings and to do this the fees should probably be raised.
I believe it is a crap shoot, but if the association does what needs to be done, those condos would be worth a significant amount of money. As far as boat noise(???) you would be living on a harbour!! That's part of the charm of any harbour is the boats! Get in your kayak in the morning and paddle out to the live aboards and enjoy a cup of coffee with your neighbors!!
I think me and my realtor both agreed that it would be worth a shot to purchase there due to the potential and the low risk because of the low cost of the units and it is still something I am considering.
I would recommend taking a look when you get here....for the price, if the association is finacially sound and all the owners are up to date on their fees....It is definately a bargain.
Thanks to all for your responses. I am really intrigued. I think we may be a year or so out on purchasing but we wanted to know if this should even be a consideration. From what I've read it certainly will be. Thanks again.
My husband and I drove out to see them because of the price. I was immediately overwhelmed by the amount of deferred maintenance that is needed. The grounds are over grown, the sewage treatment building was falling down, the laundry facility was a cat haven! I'm talking at least 25 cats all over the place! The property has a ton of potential but the apparent disregard for the maintenance is worrisome. It wasn't worth the risk for us. If I were to buy, i would speak to as many owners as possible and even show up for a HOA meeting.