Karen

To Purchase Land on St Thomas

If you have decided that you want to build your own dream home, you must first find the perfect property. There are several beautiful pieces of land available. The closer to the water, the more expensive. We have cliff waterfront, rock beaches, and sand beaches available. There are also parcels farther from the water with beautiful views. These cost a bit less and, since most places are about 15 minutes from any beach, this may be just what you are looking for.

The terrain here is different for every square foot – and it is rock.   A topographical survey (topo)of the land should be performed for an architect to design a house that fits the land.  It is a lot easier to build the house around the rock than to move it.  I have seen some very interesting rock formations incorporated into homes.

Keep in mind the cost of building here is on the high side – between $200-$500 per square foot. This is because everything must be shipped here and we must build for hurricanes. Whether you use poured concrete, concrete block, steel frame (force-10@earthlink.net ), or mixed masonry such as Deltec  (www.asenciosconstruction.com) you will have to build your cistern and septic tank first.

Also, remember that everything has to be shipped to the island – that means materials to build with and items to finish your home. Whatever amount of time you are told it will take to build or ship, assume it will take twice that amount of time to actually get done. Sometimes this is due to workers on “island time”, other times it is because in order to accomplish one thing, something is needed and it is not on island.

Whatever you decide you wish to purchase – home, condo, timeshare, or land – contact your trusty Realtor (that would be me) for listing information.

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Karen

The two main property mgt. services are…

Of the two main services a property management company provides, the first is called ‘keeping your calender’.  This simply means the company will book people to stay in your villa.  It is a bit more complicated than that though.  They will keep open any dates YOU want, make sure two families are not arriving at the same time, arrange and collect payment, and arrange any of the optional services listed in the last post.

The second main service is maintainance of the actual property.  This can include regular maintenience such as gardening, maid service (once daily, once weekly), pool service, etc.  It will also include emergency services such as plumbing, cistern, septic, electrical, storm shutters, etc.  This is a very important service especially if the owner does not live on island.  It means there is only one number for the owner or a paying guest to call if a problem or an ememrgency arises. 

Another option is sometimes available because of the way most houses are built in the Virgin Islands.  Many homes here are built with an extra apartment.  This apartment can be rented out, but it is often used as a residence for a handy man (or couple) free of charge in exchange for their services.  If the problem is too big, the handy man makes the call to a professional.

How many services the management company provides and to what degree will determine the cost.  Check around for different prices and services provided, but look for recommendations or referals.  Remember, you may not be on island and you have to be able to trust the company or individual with your home and all of its contents.

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