Colony Cove, STX
Any thoughts about Colony Cove, STX? I'm looking at a condo there.
we have friends that come down from the keys and that is where they stay, they seem nice and clean. the pool is in a nice area. the units are not big but they seem to have enough room. i like the kitchen area, the kitchen is bigger than mill harbor. it seems like a safe place.
Fine for a rental. They are also on Condo Row. So they are in a row with 4 other condos. Across the street is very poor neighborhood which is connected to the projects. So you would never walk around there at night unless you feel lucky. But all the condos in condo row do have gates.
They are in a good location in that they are close to center isle so you'd be able to get around island quicker. These are all older condos, so if they haven't been remodeled they will feel it. Out of the 4 there, I think Colony is the nicest, but I don't think all of them have a ocean view if you are looking for that.
I have family that has rented there for season for the past three years.
Some units are really nice and updated. Some are very tired in great need of repair. One unit is beachfront - the other three units are in a horseshoe shape around the grounds but most have ocean views.
Good points : Grounds are kept very well. Units are nicely laid out. Security is very good (so the section 8 housing behind them doesn't cause problems) Pool is well maintained. Beach is kept clean and nice. The guys that work there are very helpful with older people - think help carry in groceries and the like - truly nice gentlemen. Entrance is gated now so no more section 8 parking in the units parking lot.
Downsides - the deferred maintenance is a problem. All porches must be repaced due to rust and are not safe. It is going to cost serious money and the condo fees are going to have large assessments tacked on to pay for those. Fees are about 750 without assessments (does not include water and electric)., They have almost 250 a month tacked on to the 750 for additional assessments to pay for the landings on the back side. Don't know what the assessments will be for the porches but its going to be more than the back side landings because the space is significantly larger. Maid service staff not the best. Units in rental pool - so you get the gamut of renters from nice harvard swim team kids to loud noisy families with tons of little kids.
I'm curious what has sold in the past year - lots of asking - not much selling. As you may be aware, the asking prices of realtors often bears little resemblance to market prices. Don't hesitate to offer 40% or more off asking price. Buddy of mine just bought a condo at St. C for $75K. Asking price for St. C varies from a low of $125k to $180K with most in the $175K range.
I think sugar beach is actually the nicest on condo row. I'd steer clear of mill harbor. Club St. Croix units are tiny. Colony Cove isn't bad but the units do vary a lot in how well they've been maintained.
Colony Cove tends to be popular with owner occupants, long-term tenants and vacationers alike. It is the only complex of the four that make up the primary "condo row" environment that has a pool right by the beach without a restaurant looking over the pool deck. This makes it more desirable certainly for the women who want to sunbathe without being ogled by diners.
Mill Harbor and Colony Cove are both now set up with gated access to their parking areas, but Sugar Beach and Club St. Croix do NOT have gated parking and access at this point. There are fences between the condo complexes to keep casual access controlled through less secure areas. Colony Cove has done the majority of the necessary refurbishment projects and hopefully will now enjoy a few years without an additional assessment beyond the regular monthly HOA fee of about $865 per month (which includes liability and hurricane insurance, cable tv with hbo, pest control, wireless internet, local telephone, security, landscaping, pool, tennis courts, and external building maintenance).
There are quite a few available properties at the complex and many of the owners are ready to deal even if an offer comes in a bit lower than ideally desired. If you are hoping to rent out the unit, you might want to take into account such considerations such as the type of unit most desirable to the majority of prospective tenants. Ground floor units, for example, appeal to people with mobility issues or with small children to carry up and down stairs, even if they have a little less ocean view than the top floor units. End units have fewer neighbors and more windows, etc.
I live at St. C's just up the beach and am on the Board of Directors there. I don't know of any units that have sold at $75K, although there is one badly damaged bank repo that is pending that was listed at a very low price and perhaps that is the one that the prior poster was talking about. It needs serious construction work done before it could be inhabitable and should not be viewed as the going price for a condo at St. C's by any means. St. C's is one of the better deals financially for condos on St. Croix, especially when you consider the monthly HOA fee and what all it includes. This is likely why there are 4-6 Realtors living in the complex at any given time. When we consider our options, this one usually comes out on top for anyone who can get by with a large 1-BDR condo. I know I enjoy living here.
Dear Alexandra - I will respectfully disagree with a coupel of comments you made.
"Colony Cove has done the majority of the necessary refurbishment projects" I disagree. Yes they have done the stairwell landings for the entranceways (did they ever get the aluminum handrails or are they still using 2x4's temporarily nailed up?) They have not done the porches which are in desperate need of the same treatment. The board may not have voted to do it yet, but they are in dire need of repair.
I'm curious which tennis courts you are referring to? Are those the ones that are shared with Mill Harbor? If so what do you make of their condition/maintenance?
Re the $75,000 sale. The badly damaged bank repo unit is not the one i was talking about. The unit i was talking about is in very good condition. It was sold recently for $75,000. I know the gentleman who purchased it, I know the unit, I know the realtor. I'm sorry that you and the board aren't aware of the sale but it is true. I'm sure the recorder of deeds will have it. It just closed in July/August. As it was headed to foreclosure, perhaps the buyer got a great deal. (notice of pending foreclosure action was in the court reporter). The market is what the market is. I reiterate my position that the asking prices on things bear little resemblance to actual selling prices. Caveat emptor!
PS - how do we get a listing of all bank owned real estate on the island - just curious. Also how do we get a listing of pending foreclosures? By the time they get in the court reporter they've usually been sold at good prices to people in the know.
I have a unit at Colony Cove and we love it. They have made significant improvements - they are fixing all the stairwells, they are replaced the back gate with a new modern one - the pool has been refurbished. I was very impressed with the improvements when I was there in March and apparently, more things have been done since then.
I am a Realtor (not practicing, but my license is active.) First, the Realtor does not set the asking price. The seller does. Obviously, the Realtor (or real estate agent) has input, but it is ultimately up to the seller how much to ask. The Realtor can, of course, refuse the listing if they can't agree what the price should be.
I have been following real estate on St. Thomas and St. Croix for a few years now. My observations has been that on STT, the selling price is often considerably less than the listing price. On St. Croix, until this past year, it has been amazing how close the selling is to the listing. This past year the difference has started to be much more noticeable, but those 40% differences are seldom and usually with extenuating circumstances. They do happen. There was one this week that I looked at, at something like $649. Closed for $400. But again....not often!!
I did a little surfing around the MLS, and I could not find the unit you are referring to. If it was listed by a Realtor, and it has closed, it should show up. Sometimes agents are a little slow changing the status to sold. When did it sell?
Sold in the past month or two. Not sure if it was ever listed in the MLS as for sale. It was a rental unit which was headed to foreclosure with an off island seller. Buyer was renting and offered on it - through a realtor.
What about the bank owned and the pending foreclosures question?
And how are the volume of closing sales since last October? I'm guessing pretty low - especially when compared to prior years. Our market here always seems to lag the states - we have a huge price bubble in my humble opinion - and until we have a pricing correction I doubt the sales volume will pick up again.
MLS is only as good as the people who operate it. It is kind of funny,we end up with the same situation here in New Mexico. All of the Appraisers try to find comps near my place of residence which is located in the East Mountains,East of Albuquerque. We are not located in Albuquerque and they always come back with comps from Albuquerque. We really need to locate an Appraiser who has experience with our Local area for a decent comp.
I tend to trust the MLS system for locating property only, for what it is worth. Find a good Agent and work all aspects,Private and the MLS. It all runs in one big circle,Your attitude can make or break a good Realtor.
You're quite right about affordable places not making the MLS. I can only speak about STT but in my building alone, out of 4 units mine sold without a realtor, the one next door to me is in probate & has a buyer lined up & the one below me is going on the market & I know someone who wants to buy it plus last month in the next building a unit sold before ever making it onto MLS.