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dirtydeeds

Registered
11/24/2007

Posts
86

Purchasing a condo

February 04, 2012 11:18PM

Just returned from St Thomas and had hoped to look at a few condos for purchase while I was there. E-mailed Marsha Maynes who is listed on this website and she left me a message. I called her back the next day and never heard back. I'm interested in working with a realtor who has better response than that and knows the various condos in St Thomas. In looking at MLS, there are lots to choose from, so I'm trying to narrow it down to a few complexes. Pavillions and Pools seems to have very high condo fees. Saphire Beach is beautiful, but sometimes the restaurant is open there and the grounds look great, sometimes not. I will be purchasing a condo out right with proceeds from the sale of a vacation home here and am looking to spend around $200,000. My biggest concern is that the condo fees range from $225 for some near Charlotte Amalie to $1400 at places like P&P's. My priorities for the condo complex would be: reasonable fees, stable management company, ease of renting it out to provide some income and being on the beach.
I have seen Pineapple Village and the units that I saw seemed kind of run down and the large restaurant that was on site was closed. I have stayed at Blue Beard's and it was pretty run down about five years ago, but now that they've completed renovations, it looks nice, but not near any beach. I think Sapphire has a beautiful beach, but have seen tons of negative comments on it over the years and the management seems iffy. I saw Point Pleasant this year and it looked nice and seemed as if it would generate good rental income. Also visited Bolongo which has Regatta Point and a few other complexes right there, so not sure which ones go with what. As I said, I was looking forward to getting some direction from a realtor so I could narrow my search to one or two complexes. Any suggestions from folks on this board who have owned a condo in St Thomas would be very appreciated.

billd

Registered
11/01/2007

Posts
656

Re: Purchasing a condo

February 05, 2012 10:32AM

First of all I won two condos at Crystal Cove (Not Sapphire Resort). If you want to live on the beach there is no better beach in the islands. Our Mtc fees are 750 for a one bedroom two bath peoperty.

Here is the advise I would give you. If you are looking to make money forget about it. If you are lookinbg to come down three months or more or want to retire then it is a great place.


Second look at the by laws. If the common property is not owned by the condo owners then you MAY have a problem. In Crystal Cove the land is owned by the. owners. At Sapphire Resort it is owned by another party. This has been the reason for the law suit for the last 4 years and a large amount of money paid by the owners. So watch out. Do your homework.

billd

exit zero

Registered
04/03/2008

Posts
859

Re: Purchasing a condo

February 06, 2012 01:43AM

Quote
billd
First of all I won two condos at Crystal Cove (Not Sapphire Resort).

billd
Wow - Did you win them at a poker game, lottery, foreclosure sale or just flipping a coin for some old real estate in the VI???

billd

Registered
11/01/2007

Posts
656

Re: Purchasing a condo

February 06, 2012 09:20AM

No there were given to me by an old one armed blind pirate who wanted just to pass them along to a kind person who would to give some advice to possible other owners.

See I can be humerous also.

billd

talbottj8476

Registered
01/04/2012

Posts
2

Re: Purchasing a condo

February 06, 2012 09:58AM

Meeting your goals of low maintenance fees, stable management, easy renting and near the beach; there is only one place for you, Sapphire Village, (not Resort). We bought a condo there about 2 years ago for close to the price you'd like to spend. The maintenance fees for a one-bedroom are about $600, the grounds look like a Disney Resort, the condo association is very well run by knowledgeable and caring individuals, units are very much in demand and sapphire beach is great. You have many choices right there in the marina for water activities and the condo complex has 2 beautiful swimming pools.

There are 225 units there, either studios or 1 bedrooms. There are only 13 units currently for sale, that should tell you something. You won't go wrong at Sapphire Village (blue roofs!)

USVI1997

Registered
02/07/2012

Posts
1

Re: Purchasing a condo

February 07, 2012 04:41PM

You did not mention Mahogany Run to be a condo property you may be interested in.
I own a large one bedroom with wonderful north water view. No obstructions or roofs in your way.
Mahogany Run is well maintained and with entrance 24 hour guarded gate. Couple pools and w/n 10 minutes to Magen's Bay.
Also being more central north, it is a easy, equal drive into town or out to the East End.
My fees run about $720 a month, plus water at 5 cents a gallon.
Did you exclude Mahogany Run due to not being water front?
You may want to reconsider. And, mine may be on the market by summer . . .



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/07/2012 04:43PM by USVI1997.

cnjguy

Registered
10/06/2009

Posts
6

Re: Purchasing a condo

February 07, 2012 07:15PM

I bought a condo at Sapphire Village last yeat. Its a studioand the are a very well run complex. You have full use of Sapphire beach, I stayed there for nmany years and I felt I wanted to spend my winters now at Sapphire Village.
Good luck with your search, I used Ron Martin of Reliable Reaity He handles many saales at the Villages.

dirtydeeds

Registered
11/24/2007

Posts
86

Re: Purchasing a condo

February 09, 2012 12:17AM

Thanks for all the input. I guess I need to figure out the difference between Sapphire Village and Sapphire Resort! Is Sapphire Resort the one with the red roofs? USVI1997: I know where Mahogany is but I think the rental potential would be better for a unit on the beach and my goal is to eventually stay in STT for two months, which means it would be very expensive to rent a car for that length of time. If I'm right on the beach, then I could use taxis for grocery shopping only.

blu4u

Registered
10/10/2011

Posts
298

Re: Purchasing a condo

February 10, 2012 03:51PM

Pro and cons to being directly on the sand (Sapphire beach) vs. up the hill at bit (village) I lived in village for several months in the 90s. Village was less hetic / less buggy than the beach. Take a long strong look at the management companies and associations. SB, aka "little Iraq", is in the midst of some heavy duty nonsense. Don't discount the other residential complexes like Mahogany or Cowpet (expensive!).

exit zero

Registered
04/03/2008

Posts
859

Re: Purchasing a condo

February 11, 2012 01:16AM

You might want to attend an owners meeting to see the dynamics before considering Sapphire Village - maybe the most contentious and uncomprimising gathering I have ever seen in one room.

dirtydeeds

Registered
11/24/2007

Posts
86

Re: Purchasing a condo

February 12, 2012 07:08PM

Certainly a lot to consider. I have only owned homes here, never condos, and there are similar horror stories here about how mgt companies handle maintenance and bickering at owner's meetings. Since I can't be on island quickly/easily, it seems to make more sense to purchase a condo that will have a company that will take care of the maintenance and for a good price get me on or very near the beach. I suppose that I could consider buying a house that would have a caretaker's cottage and deal with the maintenance myself. The issues of absentee ownership make me consider just considering renting, but we have done well with the investment in our vacation house here and I would like to do the same in STT.
Seems like the bottom line is that I will have to spend considerably more time on island doing "research"...which can always be done with a pain killer in hand. Thanks everyone for your input.

eduardQ

Registered
03/08/2014

Posts
1

Re: Purchasing a condo

March 08, 2014 03:30AM

There are many things to consider when you plan to get a condominium. Condominiums, or condos as we all know it, offer all the benefits of living in apartments with all the advantages of home ownership. Nevertheless, there are several condominium drawbacks that buyers should be aware of. Article source: Condominium Drawbacks.

beachboy

Registered
06/01/2007

Posts
98

Re: Purchasing a condo

March 08, 2014 04:38PM

If you are looking to buy a condo that is a good investment, with low dues, inexpensive utilities, an excellent on site management company and good rental income then there is only ONE thing to do! LOOK ELSEWHERE You wont find it in St. Thomas.

Alana33

Registered
07/01/2012

Posts
791

Re: Purchasing a condo

March 08, 2014 05:39PM

That's not entirely true as there are some very good deals out there at present but we are responding to an old post from 2012.

lydiaH

Registered
06/09/2006

Posts
40

Re: Purchasing a condo

March 08, 2014 11:52PM

Quote
Alana33
That's not entirely true as there are some very good deals out there at present but we are responding to an old post from 2012.

LOL

dirtydeeds

Registered
11/24/2007

Posts
86

Re: Purchasing a condo

March 09, 2014 01:04AM

Yes, everyone should read my post and see that it is two years old. I DID speak to several owners and realtors in STT. The electricity, hurricane insurance and condo fees are ridiculously expensive. Even being able to buy a condo outright, it makes much more sense to rent a condo for a month and walk away from it at the end of that time. I didn't hear from anyone that had bought a condo at x price many years ago and then able to sell it for a great deal more. Sorry, but real estate is an investment for me, not a way to consistently lose money. In fact I heard many more stories of hurricane damage, mismanaged properties, difficulty getting good cleaners/handymen, difficulty selling the property, etc. than I heard anything about it being a good investment or idea. I have been coming to STT for eight years now and think that a short term rental is a much better/flexible and more cost effective option that buying. I am sure all the realtors that troll this page will disagree, but if you are realistic with your potential buyers, there are many reasons to be cautious about spending your hard earned money buying rather than renting.

beachboy

Registered
06/01/2007

Posts
98

Re: Purchasing a condo

March 09, 2014 02:59PM

You have learned well butterfly! happy

kjudge

Registered
01/06/2014

Posts
4

Re: Purchasing a condo

March 09, 2014 04:41PM

Hi DirtyDeeds.
I am a real estate agent and you definately need to find one that will be responsive to your needs. I recommend our Coldwell Banker agents in St Thomas. Jeyan Stout is the office broker. Shame on the other agent!!!
We are renting Sapphire Beach Resort for 11 days. cant wait! I could live there!

dirtydeeds

Registered
11/24/2007

Posts
86

Re: Purchasing a condo

March 09, 2014 05:18PM

Just visited Sapphire Beach in January and I agree it is a beautiful beach. However, if I was an owner there, I would be unhappy that there is still NO restaurant on site and not even a place to rent snorkel gear, etc. Makes it hard to attract people who want to rent or buy if there are no amenities on site. Hard to walk anywhere due to the hills and lack of sidewalks. It's sad that every resort I have visited will sometimes have a restaurant on site, then it will close abruptly and there will be nothing for years. I LOVE visiting St Thomas, but it's got to be hard living there with the unpredictable services, high cost of utilities and lack of recycling. Those things take a larger toll on residents than visitors, but I hate to see hard working folks have a harder time because places close and then never seem to reopen.

STT Resident

Registered
09/19/2005

Posts
3,293

Re: Purchasing a condo

March 09, 2014 06:07PM

I have many friends who own at Sapphire, some for whom their unit is their permanent home and some who visit several times a year and otherwise rent it out as a vacation unit through vrbo. For all of them it works out very well. Their issues with the condo association from time to time are no more or less than stateside owners who have to deal with similar condo associations and HOAs. And those who rent out their units have pretty much 100% occupancy year round other than the times they set aside for their own use.

Now that the cruise ship visitors have been discouraged from coming to Sapphire (primarily because there are no longer chair and snorkel equipment rentals) the beach is much cleaner and much quieter which is to the benefit of residents and vacation renters. Vacation rental owners have started providing snorkel equipment for their guests (if they didn't do so already and many always did) and the local dive shops offer daily and weekly snorkel gear rentals. Chairs and loungers are provided to all residents and vacation renters at no charge.

There hasn't been a beach restaurant at Sapphire for YEARS now but the Banana Cabana on the beach does a great job on food and drinks; Senor Pizza delivers to the beach and the condos; and the Sapphire Bar and Grill up on the hill at Sapphire Village is a neat place serving good food at reasonable prices - plus they also take food and drink orders on the beach.

captvi

Registered
09/04/2014

Posts
1

Re: Purchasing a condo

September 04, 2014 01:59PM

Hey BillD,


My wife and I are locals and are considering purchasing one of Crystal Cove condos for sale currently. We spoke to a real estate agent friend who said getting a mortgage from a lender was next to impossible because Crystal Cove is not insured. Is this true? How do you all deal with hurricane season, etc. ? We like the location, grounds, layout etc. Just concerned about the lack of a master insurance policy and are wondering what the individual owners do (such as yourself) with this predicament ? Thanks in advance,


Eric & Sage

STT Resident

Registered
09/19/2005

Posts
3,293

Re: Purchasing a condo

September 05, 2014 06:44AM

I don't believe it's true at all that CC is "not insured" but individual owners DO have to carry their own hurricane insurance.

Alana33

Registered
07/01/2012

Posts
791

Re: Purchasing a condo

September 06, 2014 09:49AM

This complex is self-insured for windstorm hurricane so cash buyers are preferred as complexes that are self insured make it difficut for traditional, local bank financing. I have heard that presently no local bank will extend financing for this complex. Some units may have an opportunity to do owner financing based on the strength of the buyer but best to check. The associations have cash reserves in the event of hurricane damage when self insured. If seriously interested in this complex you can request copy of by-laws and financials with a signed non-disclosure document. You can also call your bank to inquire if the above is true and correct.

There are presently 10 units at Crystal Cove/Sapphire West listed for sale.
They range between $184,224K and up for the regular 1bed/2bath units to $649K for a up and down 2 combined units with 2 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms.
The association fees run about $1000 (more or less) when all fees lumped together including fees that go toward cash reserves.
Water fees are .10
No pets allowed in the complex.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/06/2014 09:58AM by Alana33.


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