Can anyone please provide me with information about the Carlton condo development? What is the area like i.e crime, convenience to other parts of the island and etc.
Any help is much appreciated.
Carlton condos seem very quiet and secure. Many of the residents are retirees who are here only part of the year. They seem happy with their safety at the complex and I haven't heard of break-ins of the units while they are vacant for months at a time. The units are all very large 1-BDR condos with two bathrooms, so you have your own bathroom and a separate one for guests (or his and hers bathrooms), which is kind of a nice touch. They have a large pool that has just been resurfaced. There is a generator that runs the complex in power outages. Hot and cold water and propane gas and mailboxes are included. There is a laundry room but the condo owners are also now approved to install laundry hook-ups in their own units if they so desire. There is a gate that is closed from sunset to sunrise and you have a clicker to open it. The landscaping is very lush and beautiful with lawn areas and lots of palms and flowers, etc. The occupants tend to hang out around the pool many evenings and everyone seems pretty social. If you are looking to buy, the complex is "self-insured", so you have fewer options for obtaining a mortgage. Many of the units are not located close to parking, so you would possibly have to carry groceries, etc. a ways from your vehicle.
The complex is located on Centerline Highway, but is quite close to an interchange to the 4-lane highway, which gives you quick access east or west. The larger KMart and the better Plaza grocery store are very close by and it's about a 6 minute drive to the airport or maybe 15 to Hovensa and Sunny Isle.
I didn't see any questions about investment value from the poster.... but the condos have more than doubled in value/price in the past three years. Many people made a great investment with this complex and the owners and management have worked towards renovation and improving both the condition of the complex as well as its reputation. Not all buyers have half a million to spend on a condo and not all tenants can afford to pay $3K per month. Carlton Condos fill a nice niche for some.
PS: West does not equal BAD.
It's been awhile since I've on this board. As always your answers are very thoughtful and informative. I appreciate the time you spent answering my inquiry.
I am considering buying into the property. It does seem like a good value when all costs are factored in. The self insurance program may interfere with my ability to get a mortgage.
You say the poster didnt ask about an investment, but how can buying a home/condo not be an investment. For most americans it is their biggest investment. Granted there are some people on island who are lucky enough to be buying a vacation home or a second/third home. But it is always an investment. Didnt really think I had to explain that.
Second, west is not bad. Don't know why you thought that. The whole island is beautiful. West however has a slower rise in equity, lower rents, etc... Also something I thought a realtor would know.
Third not sure what the 3k comment was about, if you think that's what my mortgage is you're mistaken.
Heres a cross section of some of the condos that have sold at Carlton.
Year Sold Bd/Bth Price
1/1991 1/2 $90k
1/1992 1/2 $72.5k
6/2001 1/2 $55k
12/2002 1/2 $66k
5/2003 1/2 $43k
1/2003 1/2 $45k
1/2004 1/2 $60k
6/2004 1/2 $40k
6/2004 1/2 $69k
8/2004 1/2 $52k
8/2005 1/2 $72
6/2005 1/2 $50k
7/2006 1/2 $104
6/2006 1/2 $77k
2/2006 1/2 $90k
5/2006 1/2 $71k
12/2006 1/2 $80k
2/2007 1/2 $100k
11/2007 1/2 $115k
So depending on when you bought it you might have come close to doubling/tripling it or you might have lost money...hurricanes are bad in so many ways, buying is not for the faint of heart or for people that may need to pull up stakes quick. Many condos and houses are settling into more reasonable prices and its more of a buyers market right now on stx.
Betty - in the initial post, the gentleman simply asked for information about the complex and area, specfically about crime and accessibility. I took it to mean he was considering renting a unit there not necessarily purchasing. His question didn't ask for an opinion about whether it would be his best investment option, so I answered the question he actually did ask. I presume people to be able to make their own judgments and decisions about a property's suitability for their own purposes, whatever those might be.
I also didn't say a word about what I thought your mortgage might be. I said that not every tenant can afford to pay $3K rent, which is what many villas and high-end condos go for per monthly rent, if not even higher. There is a place in the real estate and rental market for affordable options, and even as investments such properties as Carlton Condos can bring about an acceptable rate of return for buyers whose pockets aren't quite as deep as the buyers who make more expensive real estate purchases. Since you brought up your mortgage, it is likely that you bought years ago before prices rose and so you have the benefit of a lower mortgage payment than someone would today on the higher priced real estate that is now on the market.
Betty, thank you for taking the time to provide the information you have. It is always good to have another perspective on matters such as these. I have visited STX and driven around the perimeter of the island and into some interior areas. So I do have some sense of the layout.
I'm wondering how these condos compare to those of condo row. I have viewed properties there and was less than inspired by them. The fees associated with them as compared to Carlton seem quite high.
Regarding long term investment return, I agree that prices are starting to return to a level where it MAY make sense to buy. For the record, my plans are to buy the property and rent it long term if possible. From a tax standpoint it makes sense for me and I'm hopeful that rent will cover about 80% of my expenses.
Thank you and be well,
"I'm wondering how these condos compare to those of condo row. I have viewed properties there and was less than inspired by them. The fees associated with them as compared to Carlton seem quite high. "
Maybe the fees are higher because they're not self-insured? Self-insurance is quite a risk, which is why many lenders will not write loans for units in self-insured developments. If there's a calamity and your neighbors can't pay their share of the repair costs, your complex doesn't even get on repairpeople's to-do lists.
I personnally do not think you can compare a condo on the beach with a view with a condo inland with no view. Condo row is also a center island location which is generally desirable and will open your rental pool. I'm really not trying to pick on Carlton Condos but I think they've had a steep rise and are going to plateau for quite a while with minor yearly increases.
I'm sorry my remarks were careless and insensitive in regard to condo row and those who may live there. My intent was only to state that they were not to my liking. I looked at St. C's. which I'm told is the more desired property along condo row. I visited in the early part of 2006. At that time I thought the properties I looked at there were over priced and I had concerns about the area.
Yes condo row does have water view and no doubt that is part of the appeal. However, the prices there are not in line with what I have to invest.
Your point about self insurance is an important one. I don't fully understand how self insurance programs work. So I guess I have more homework to do.
I had hoped to have a lively discussion about this topic and I haven't been disappointed.
Thank you to all that have responded.
HT: Re: self-insurance. Some associations put money away to pay for any catastrophe. It kind of depends on the construction and weaknesses in a building. Some concrete buildings are golden for hurricanes, but really need to worry about earthquakes. There are different kinds of insurance- wind, flood and earthquake. You may be able to get flood but not wind, or some sort of combination. Also, if the building is older than 1989 ask about how they fared in Hugo (or on St Thomas, for Marilyn in 95.) The deductibles are so high that in some cases it only makes sense to self-insure. But you've got to have a good association! Listen to the assn's logic and make sure that they really have the money stowed away.