St. Croix, the largest of the Virgin Islands, is home to diversification in people, culture, architecture and history. St. Croix's landscape is equally diverse: the topography changes from flat agricultural land to rolling hills; arid areas to lush vegetation; countryside settings to dramatic sea views. Whatever your likes are, there's bound to be an area in St. Croix that appeals to you. The diversity of the island is reflected in the real estate market. Properties of all types can be found on St. Croix including high-end houses, fixer-uppers, condominiums, commercial properties and undeveloped land.
There are presently 307 homes listed that vary from fixer uppers to luxury properties. The price range of houses currently on the market is $34,900 for a 3 bedroom 1 bath fixer upper on .23 acres in William Delight; to $14,900,000 for a 13 bedroom 13 bath luxury beach house on 7.45 acres in North Slob. The $500,000 and upwards price range affords exquisite properties with nicely appointed interiors, spectacular views and ideal locations. These homes make up 31% of the available residential properties. Within this market 12% are luxury homes worth $1,000,000+. As would be expected, these homes are worthy of design recognition. Properties in the range of $300,000 to $500,000 are also beautiful homes with views, pools and good neighborhoods. These homes make up 25% of listed properties. The price range of $200,000 to $300,000 yields comfortable homes in good areas, convenient to everything; and they make up 19% of listed properties. Homes under $199,000 are typically modest homes and fixer-uppers. These properties make up 25% of the available residential market.
Many of the residential properties on St. Croix are designed with apartments attached to the main house or detached cottages. The additional income could be a welcomed asset.
Most residents finance their homes through conventional mortgages with local banks. Interest rates are slightly higher in the Virgin Islands than on the mainland. A typical down payment is 20 to 30 percent. Banks require earthquake and windstorm insurance with mortgages; the cost is around 2-3% of replacement value.
The condominium complexes on St. Croix vary in design and location; though all typically have at least one pool and some with tennis courts and restaurants. Each of the complexes has unique amenities whether it is located on a renowned golf course, steps away from a beach, historical ruins on the premises or strategic vantage points for spectacular views.
Currently there are 202 condominiums on the market ranging in price from $39,000 for a studio in Orange Grove to $1,499,000 for a 4 bedroom 2 bath in Coakley Bay. The majority of the condo units are priced at $100,000 to $300,000; these properties make up 61% of the listings. Units priced at $70,000 and below are typically small one bedroom units or studios. For pet lovers, it is good to know that some of the complexes are pet friendly.
Condominiums are often purchased as an investment to be rented as a vacation or long-term rental. Many of the complexes have on-site Property Management companies. In addition, there are independent companies specializing in Property Management as well as Realtors who offer similar services.
The availability of time share (fractional ownership) properties is very limited.
One of St. Croix's largest commodities is vast open space. Much of the land is easily built on and have views; a great combination. There is still ample room for growth without diminishing the natural beauty of the island. Currently there are 502 listings of land available on the market ranging in price from $10,000 for .18 acres in St. John Quarter to $9,900,000 for 81 acres in Coakley Bay. A typical .5 acre lot with a view will be approximately $45,000 to $75,000. An acre of land with a view may cost $75,000 to $150,000. While most land sites are less than 1 acre in size large parcels of land of over 60 acres are also available. Presently on the market there are large land sites Including an 88 acre lot and a 101 acre lot.
Building a home starts around $250 per square foot, but depends greatly on materials used for building and finishing. Keep in mind that preparations and special structural requirements may need to be met making the total cost of the construction project more. A cistern for water storage and a septic tank are necessary components of a home on St. Croix. The cistern alone will account for almost 10 percent of the total building cost. There are many local architects that can assist you with the building process.
St. Croix offers an array of commercial properties. Currently there are 67 listings including apartment buildings, retail stores, bars and office space. Examples include; a small hotel for $645,000 and a pastry shop deli at $135,000. A local realtor can shed knowledge on the particulars of a commercial property.
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It is recommended that a relationship be established with a realtor who will in turn be able to assist you with your specific needs. It is always best to visit St. Croix to see firsthand the areas that most appeal to you. The process of purchasing property on island is akin to stateside procedures. There are many local lenders and mortgage companies that will be able to assist in the process.
The real estate market in St. Croix offers a diverse inventory of listings at reasonable prices, contact the featured agents above for more information.
Note The information is dated August 2013; prices, property estimates and numbers reflect the market at the time the section was written. Information is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed.
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