MW - nope...no problem..in fact if we could we would purchase there now. We submitted an Offer to Purchase, but the guy was adamant on a certain price, and we were adamant at a certain price..it just didn't work out! We researched the area pretty good and decided that was a good area. We were going to offer on one piece of land, but it was already under contract. The other was not as nice (in our opinion) and he didn't want to sell it for what we wanted to buy it for...
One piece of advice - in the west End especially - make sure that the title to the land is clean and that it has been surveyed to your satisfaction, titile insurance is in place and the party that is selling the land, actually owns it.
Some of the lines have become a little fuzzy over the years.
Probably best to have a lawyer, if not a realtor on board. We have friends who just spent money and time clearing 7 or so acres that belonged to their neighbor. Their actual land was further North and Weets of the piece that they fell in love with for the site of their dream home. They actually went thru a realtor....but no lawyer!!! Caveat emptor!
determining the precise location of vacant property for sale is always difficult, especially if the adjacent lots are also vacant and don't give you help in locating the lot lines. Get a map of the property and neighborhood from the Cadastral office to use to help you locate any available landmarks. It will show you where to try to find survey pins, existing well heads, distance from intersections, etc. which may help you to verify that the land you are looking at is the piece you believe it to be. Lot numbers do not always occur consecutively, so having the plat map to show you the numbering sequence is very important. I have looked for many vacant parcels listed in the MLS and found on quite a number of occasions that the Realty sign (often there aren't any) is placed on a different piece of land than it should be. Sellers don't always know how to find a piece of land they bought long ago or inherited and they may pass on their incorrect information to Realtors. Do your due diligence to verify that you are making an offer on the piece of land you mean to. There will be a survey done as part of the purchase process, but by the time the lot stakes go in at the corners it may be too late to back out without it costing you quite a lot of $$, including the expense of the survey. Be sure to include a "feasibility study" clause in any offer to purchase the property to give you time to verify the lot is the one you believe it to be and that it can be used as you hope to before you are locked into the purchase.
Some of the Frederikshaab properties that come on the market have wonderful views of the southwest sector of the island, including ocean and sunset views. As the west end is developed more over time, this property is likely to increase in value and become very desirable to new arrivals. The prices are still quite reasonable but I wouldn't be surprised to see that change over the next ten years. Even if you decide in 20 years that it isn't the part of the island you want to retire to, you would have equity that would help you to buy into a different neighborhood. It's hard to lose on that kind of purchase when you have decades to allow for appreciation. Selecting a property with an ocean view will give you the best equity increase and the best investment value.
That was great information. It was nice to hear from someone else that the WE may be a good place to buy land. We thought that the property values would increase, and that is one of the reasons why buying property now would be beneficial. You're right - we thought that if we didn't like that area, we would be "in the game" so to speak, and could relocate easier b/c of the increase in property values.
Thank you again for your opinion. I will keep these things in mind when we make our next offer to purchase!
I would keep asking around. I have a several friends that are realtors and have been doing it 20+ years here and they would not recommend buying on the west end. Its hard to sell/resell and you gain alot less equity. You know how long people have been saying F'sted has got to turn around? At least thats what my realtor asked me when I started looking and he told me longer then he had been living here, which was 30+ years. The people there are resistant to change. If you are going to live close to F'sted I would get a couple of very big dogs. Its beautiful on the west end but crime is definitely more of a problem. Drive by a couple of the beach houses north of F'sted and see how high their walls are. Most of the houses that are in the $350k and up on the market in the west end are no where near worth it, some of it is just funny. One guy trying to sell his house for $349k in Smithfield on the West end, for a 1 bedroom duplex, his rents are $500 & $700, your mortgage would be $2000 not counting insurance, etc... If that house was on the east end it might actually be worth that and the rents would range between $1000 to $1500.
It's by no means underdeveloped. Most of the population lives west or central. You always have the rainforest which is undeveloped or at least the parts without any ocean views.
This an interesting discussion. I absolutely agree with Alexandra regarding the investment value of the west end over the long haul. The WE is classically Caribbean, tropical lush and green. That can't be underestimated as an asset. The arid cactus aesthetic in the East end can be a little monotonous.
If you started with a clean slate and the island were empty of people and buildings, my guess is 8 out of 10 new retirees and vacationers would opt for the WE over the East. When the new up market developments starts there, negative attitudes will change rapidly. Having owned in the East, if I had it to do over I would buy in the WE or north.
I agree the west is beautiful but not to the exclusion that the east isn't. If you buy in the west you are gambling it will turn around. Being statesider you have to remember we do not truly understand this culture and what seems like an obvious thing to us may never ever happen here. There are so many things that would be great here but simply do not work. All I know is for most people their home is absolutely their biggest retirement investment. Think logically when you buy your home and not from a emotional point of view, especially in a culture you may never fully fit in or really grasp.
You're correct when considering stand alone house or small condo development housing as exists on STX now. However, when buying in a large development - it becomes virtually its own world - the outside island's cultural issues matter less. STX has yet to see any of these large developments as many other islands have. But it's coming.
Was it three or four developers that bought land in stx last year? I think It was three all with the intentions of building large developments. Two bought large tracts of land on the east end (south side) and one on the west end. Even if the west end development get built you have to HOPE it will lead to a revitalization of all the area around it. The west is Far larger then the east end and is fairly developed with homes and business. You're going to have to change how islanders think to get them interested in having beautiful yards and caring about the exterior of their house from an aesthetic point of view and a large portion of the west end is working poor. How is one resort (yes I know it will have some condo/hotelrooms/timeshares) going to do all that? Hey I hope it happens but at this point its all in the planning stage and so many resorts have died there. Hope it does happen but I'm not going to invest my life savings that it will happen.
I would suggest buying more central is you like the west. There are many good neighborhoods that will lead to great equity like bugbyhole, la grand princess, little princess, of coarse these are all street by street type deals. You have to choose your section of the estate wisely.
I appreciate all of your opinions...Great news is, we heard from our realtor yesterday that the owners of the lot in Bugby Hole that we made an offer on have reconsidered...we should be starting the financing process, etc., beginning next week! I will keep you posted!