St. John is unique, it offers the opportunity to own a dream home with magnificent ocean view on an island that is two-thirds protected from development by the National Park Service. Price tags fitting of a dream home nestled on a beautiful, protected Caribbean island are of course attached! The allure of St. John is in the lush green hills and beautiful white sand beaches. The island offers a slow pace of living and is home to a small community of about 4,200 people. (Article continues after featured listings, scroll down.)
There are currently (May 2012) 166 houses on the market, ranging in size from a 1 bedroom 1 bath house on a .34 acre lot in Coral Bay for $199,000 to a 5 bedroom 4.5 bath house on .5 acre lot in Peter Bay for $8,600,000. Most houses are designed with open styled floor plans, high ceilings and large decks to take advantage of the trade winds and the wonderful views. There are 54 houses listed below 1 million dollars. The greatest concentration of houses is between 800,000 and 1.5 million dollars with a somewhat equal distribution between 1.5 and 2.2 million and 2.2 and 2.9 million. There are 33 houses listed that are over 3 million dollars.
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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.
Presently on the market there are 269 undeveloped land sites for sale ranging in price from $60,000 for .246 acres in Grunwald; to $19,500,000 for 13.8 acres in Maho. Looking for a private island? Recently Thatch Cay, 237 acres, was on the market at $24,000,000. Properties within the National Park but not park owned are traditionally the most expensive. Land development and subdivision, like in Rendevous & Ditleff, have increased the availabilities of land lots within the last year.
Factors to consider when looking for land include; location, view, access to the property and any site preparations that might be necessary in order to build. The average lot size is half an acre.
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Building a home starts at around $350 per square foot and is affected largely by 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. John. The cistern alone will account for almost 10 percent of the total building cost. Land owners should depend on the experts when it comes to building on St. John; plans must be prepared by an architect, engineer or draftsperson licensed in the Virgin Islands.
There are 20 condo developments on St. John, some are small with just a few units while others are large. Most are located in or close to Cruz Bay. Currently on the market there are 44 condos ranging in price from $185,000 for a 500 square foot 1 bedroom 1 bath, to $2,270,000 for a 3,893 square foot 3 bedroom 3.5 bath.
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There are 198 time share units currently listed. The majority of which are located at Virgin Grand Estates & Villas and Westin Vacation Club, both in Chocolate Hole. Time shares range in price from $3,750 for a week in September in a studio to $195,000 for 3 weeks in a 3 bedroom 3.5 bath. A large number of time shares are priced between $20,000 and $50,000.
There are presently 12 commercial opportunities available. They include a boat charter for $450,000 and a Kayak Tour Operation at $190,000.
The overall inventory of St. John real estate at this time includes 689 listings.
The National Park protects about two thirds of the St. John leaving limited amounts of property for development, this factor adds to both the desire of owning property and the high prices. Contact the featured real estate agents listed above for more information on property on St. John.
Note: This section is dated May 2012: prices, property estimates and numbers reflect the market at the time this section was written. Information is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed.
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