Real Estate Advice
We may be relocating to St. Thomas soon and I am hoping to gain insight and a network contact regarding real estate. We want to purchase a single family home. Any recommendations for us? Warmly, Mom:-)
Do you plan on renting for a while first until you get your bearings & decide where on STT you want to live?
Trade: That makes perfect sense however renting is so expensive. I am hoping to find an extremely trustworthy, experienced and ethical realtor that will help make this a smooth transition. There are five of us and I am trying to limit the moves. Where do you recommend we rent on St. Thomas? Thanks for the quick response! I really appeciate it! I'm open to all suggestions!!!
It's not the reliability of the realtor that is a problem. Many, many, many people think they will like it here and don't. We usually recommend living here for at least 6 months before sending for the furniture and buying a house.
Trust us its worth the hassle of moving again even with the kids and all of that stuff. Rent first. Living on the islands is much more difficult then most imagine. And frankly more go then stay. We have a negative population. What you imagine the realty is of living on an island is and what it really is may be a perfect fit for some but most find it isn't. Any local you met will tell you to give it 6 months to a year at least. Any realtor will tell you to buy.
At the very least you have no idea where you want to live, it takes time to get to know the island and find out which section is your paradise.
Also the cost of maintaining a home here is usually more then what most are used to stateside. The humidity and the salt air are very tough on everything. Do you understand about hurricane ins? You will be paying at least 3% of the value of the home yearly for windstorm. You need to take that into consideration when looking on the mls. We have to paint our roofs every 2 to 5 years and seal our cisterns every five and so on. Electric is astronimcal. My renters who are new to the island just ran up a $900 electric bill and are shocked even though I warned them again and again.
Give it some thought. 🙂
Wow...good advice. Thank-you, everyone. We will do that. Thanks again! 😀
Also, if you DID buy & decide in a year or 2 to go back, it can take a LONG time to sell even if you find a buyer quickly. Banks move very slowly here.
Mom: I am a realtor and would be happy to help. And no, there are several realtors I know who would not tell you to buy right away. But it is a good idea to begin the search, if only to get an idea of values and pricing here on the island of St. Thomas. Prices are high on St. Thomas and you will want to know if buying is an option. I can email listings with pictures to give you an idea of what type of house you will be able to purchase.
David Jones Real Estate
I second Donna as a Realtor on STT who has a great reputation to work with. Newcomers, even when they plan to rent for a while first, are always wise to find a Realtor to give them a tour of the island and properties in their future price range as well as look at some rentals. You need to get the lay of the land and scope out where the neighborhoods are that feel like "home" to you as well as how far those are from your work place and the likely schools for your children. Even on a small island, the roads curve all over the place and it takes a while to get from place to place, especially during high traffic hours. You probably aren't moving to an island hoping to wind up with a longer commute. The more homework you do, the better your final choice will suit your family for the long haul.
Good Luck with the move!