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High Rent!!

 
ajohnson
(@ajohnson)
New Member

Are all the studio apts $1,000+ ? This may be unrealistic, but does anyone have any suggestions on where to find a studio with utilities included for $500-$650 in STX? All suggestions are greatly appreciated. Looking forward to your replies.

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Topic starter Posted : March 28, 2009 9:33 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

Usually a studio is $600 to $800. Usually one bedrooms are $600 to $1600. Condos being the higher end of the one bedroom scale.

Its really rare to find a apt that will include electric (wapa). WAPA is just do big of a variable for most landlords to take a big hit when oil keeps going up and down. Last summer some were paying .50 cents a kilowatt. Usually the ones that will include ALL utilities will not have any a/c.

Your range is on the low end of the spectrum. Even without utilities, so you're most likely going to have a hard time finding it. Not saying you can't, but keep your exceptions for the place simple.

I would suggest you go look at the apts in the paper that are close to your range and talk to the landlords. Maybe someone will lower their rate a little. Don't go look at the $1000.00 apts but go look at the ones that are $600 to $800 and be willing to negotiate. You may get nowhere but you definitely won't if you don't try. There are a ton of apts in the Avis.

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Posted : March 28, 2009 9:56 pm
Uttica
(@Uttica)
Advanced Member

A studio with utilities included for $500-$650 in STX???

If you find it, sign me up???

Of course I don't want to live in a place with bars on the windows.

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Posted : March 28, 2009 11:48 pm
Ms Information
(@Ms_Information)
Advanced Member

As i recall, Betty is a landlord so she knows what people are paying for rent on St Croix. The sad (or good) truth is the Hovensa contractors have run the rent up so that regular folks have a hard time finding a place that they can afford. So, 'ajohnson', you have to compete with Hovensa to find an affordable place to live. The $1000 studios you see are usually condos and are in great demand for the month to month Hovensa contractors.

There are still some very nice places that are part of private homes that are less. Not as much less as they were a year or two ago, but still below $1000. It is all about supply and demand. As long as Hovensa is here and bringing employees to the island the rental market will be great for the landlords. If (oh no) Hovensa falters, then the rents will plummet.

You need to be here and talk to people and get to know the nice places that are less. (word of mouth) That is the only way you too can survive.

good luck

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Posted : March 29, 2009 1:06 am
Tippi
(@Tippi)
Trusted Member

Everyone states these are great places to look: http://caribbean.craigslist.org/apa/

and Here: http://cruciantrader.vidaily.com/

and Here: http://islandtrader.vidaily.com/

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Posted : March 29, 2009 2:34 am
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

ajohnson,
I have a small apartment complex on STX. My least expensive apartment is $650 a month (sorry, it's taken), and they go up from there. I have a studio opening soon at $750, but electric and water are additional. We never include utilities. It's a nice, safe area, and we do short term rentals too, so you can take your time looking around to try and find something in an area you like and a price range you want to pay. You can check it out at http://www.virginislandsrentals.com.
Thanks, and let me know if I can help. Good luck, and all the best.
Juanita

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Posted : March 29, 2009 2:00 pm
stxem
(@stx-em)
Trusted Member

I sent you a PM....

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Posted : March 29, 2009 3:22 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

With utilities costing what they do, an apartment for $500 with them included will be hard to find. Or a total dump!!
Sometimes homeowners are looking for a caretaker to help with "chores" in trade for part or all the rent. Depends on what you can offer and you really need to be here with a good reputation to get these spots.

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Posted : March 29, 2009 4:22 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

I get a lot of people offering to do things for lower rent. So far I have always said no. For one if my landscaper does a bad job I call him up complain and he fixes it or I find a new one. Same with any handyman. With a tenant it could become extremely messy and I can only assume they would resent me very quickly if I didn't like their work. Would I be able to ask for more rent if they got lazy, etc...

I like having a air tight lease and adding this kind of stuff can leave too many loop holes in a contract. The lease is there to protect the owner, as a landlord its much easier to give discounted rent then to bring on this kind of headache.

Finding a true caretaker position is extremely hard. Everyone wants this gig. Extremely cheap rent to no rent, whats not to love? Well its going to be hard to find, you'll need a couple years here at least to start making contacts.

***Edited to add, to get the cheaper/discounted rent, you need to be good on paper (good credit, good background check) and good in person. Both qualities are going to be important! Also don't act like a used car salesman making the landlord offer a lower price, look at the place and what they offer and make your offer. And don't make a offer that is just unreasonable. Don't insult the owner/realtor. $50 to $200 is probably going to be as much discount as you will get with any property. Don't try lower then that unless you want to burn bridges.

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Posted : March 29, 2009 5:10 pm
ajohnson
(@ajohnson)
New Member

It's not a matter of trying to "get one over on the landlord". It's a matter of staying within my budget and not living beyond my means.

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Topic starter Posted : April 4, 2009 4:13 pm
divinggirl
(@divinggirl)
Trusted Member

There are some studio apartments in town (Christiansted) that rent for $500-$700 a month but they typically do not include utilities and don't have the best security features. When I moved here I had a studio that included utiilties for $400/mo...but that was 7 years ago and times have changed! Also, many realtors/landlords won't talk to you unless you are already on island. I recommend finding a bed/breakfast or more expensive short term rental for your first 2 weeks to a month. I know that American Rentals & Sales handle some of the less expensive apartments in town and I think that Remax also has some of them. There are a couple of small apartment complex buildings up Queen Cross Street that are less expensive...one is called Casa St. Croix and I don't remember the name of the other one. Depending on what you will be doing here you may want to explore a roomate situation. Good Luck!

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Posted : April 4, 2009 4:37 pm
DUN
 DUN
(@DUN)
Trusted Member

Believe me, if you think it`s greed of the landlords racking it in, you are mistaken!

Our homes start @ $400K, not 150K like many states.So our mortgages are 2.5X+ higher.
Our mortgage rates are 1-1.5 points higher, figure an extra $150-250 extra a month for that.
Our utilities average 3-5X those of most of the US.(so if it`s added, it HAS to cost you)
Our Insurance is 2.5-3%(or higher) of appraised value(this adds 3K-7K a year for most modest homes that the insurance companies say is BC we are in the hurricane belt, but they can`t explain why it is 3X higher than our neighbor Puerto Rico & much higher than all Us states.
Our extremely expensive Insurance is also useless (If you have any insurance that uses Crawford VI for claim adjusting).
I have a home, with a rental.

I`m not a real estate guy, so my #`s i used I shot from the hip, though they are in the ball park IMO.

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Posted : April 5, 2009 2:59 am
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