Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Each year I find myself making preparations for hurricanes in St. Thomas. Although we rarely are hit directly. We are often brushed or just dodge major hurricanes. Isaac is currently on his way. There are several levels of preparation, my lists are as follows.
Long Term Preparations for Hurricanes in St. Thomas:
1. As I list properties, I make note of properties with owners living off island, and which ones I am responsible for closing up in the event of a storm.
2. For those that have generators, I have them serviced annually and ensure an adequate supply of fuel is on hand.
3. Have brush and trees trimmed away from the homes, especially in July.
4. Make arrangements to have each location scheduled with a service for shuttering in the event of a storm. These services usually include the relocating of outdoor furniture inside or having it stored.
5. Always be nice to your neighbors and friends, you will no doubt need them at some point.
Short term preparations for hurricane in St. Thomas, starts around June of every year:
1. Ensure the area around homes and building is clear of debris and anything that could become a missile should winds get high enough. Things like lawn furniture, yard art, gardening tools, potted plants, mobiles, building materials, bird feeders and the like, all need to be addressed. This inspired me to clear out my carport today.
2. I suggest to friends, customers and clients to bookmark sites that help to click here keep you informed, this site includes maps, projections, blogs. The blogs have links to other informative and click here interesting sites that actually have pictures of the storm as it develops (I don't know how long this link will be good, probably until the storm passes).
2a. A subscription everyone making preparations for hurricanes in St. Thomas should have is to click here VI Alert. This service keeps you informed of all kinds of emergency information via e-mail. It could be power outages, flash floods,hurricanes, which shelters will be open during the storm and the like.
3. Monitor these sources regularly and make your decisions regarding preparations for hurricanes in St. Thomas based on information they supply. Also check with friends and co-workers.
4. stock up on water, food, fuel, cash, flash lights, batteries and prescription medication. Pack a spare set of clothes and your medicines in a water tight bag and store them in your safe spot (where you will weather the storm should it get really bad). This is normally a place composed of mostly concrete with few or no windows.
4. Shutter your dwelling, even if you think the storm is going to be mild. Better safe than sorry. Those people who were on island during Hurricane Maryland some Nineteen years ago (the last very destructive hurricane to hit St. Thomas)were told is was going to be a mild storm (category 1). It gained momentum in the few hours before it hit island and cause a lot of damage. Some say it turned out to be a category 4 or more storm. Some of the destruction can be related to lack of preparation.
When making preparations for hurricanes in St. Thomas, do not make national/International news services your source of information. They tend not to mention islands as small as St. Thomas, and you would get the impression that you don't have to make any preparations. They cater to the larger population areas, ratings are their life's blood. We literally don't hit their radar.
Even if you don't live here, but are interested in seeing what it would be like to click here own property here or have family living here these are good sites to be aware of and to monitor. Knowledge is power and the best preparation for Hurricanes in St. Thomas.
Something I did not discover while preparing to move to the Virgin Islands is there are a fair amount of tremors here, the activity results from a fault that is under the Caribbean Sea between St.Croix and St. Thomas. The sea absorbs a lot of the motion but you do feel it and sometimes you will hear it. But that is a topic for another blog.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Real Estate in St. Thomas is on the move. This one bedroom, one and a half bath condo, located just above town is a prime example of the opportunities that are available, priced for a quick sale at only $128,000. Situated on the edge of the primary business center, close to the hospital, university, airport, restaurants, churches, schools it could not be a more convenient place to live.
The price of real estate in St. Thomas has come down significantly since 2008, making it a more affordable place to have a primary or secondary home.
This unit has an open airy feeling, magnificent views of the harbor, town and the Caribbean Sea. It is perched at the top of the building. There is a jetted tub and bi-level balconies.
If you are looking to purchase an affordable piece of real estate in St. Thomas, this could be it! If you want to look at other units or single family homes, click here St. Thomas Real Estate, then click on "Search the MLS" on the upper left hand side. You will have access to all properties for sale on St. Thomas and St. Croix.
Click here to find out what loans and mortgage products are available to you.
Call to make an appointment 340 344 2959, I will be happy to show you your heart's desire.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
This townhome is waiting for the right buyer to doll it up. Located on Raphune Hill in a solid concrete building, overlooking the harbor only a little cosmetic work stands between it and a stunning show piece of a two bedroom, two bath home.
A stairwell with built-in lighting leads to the loft style master suite.
The entry level bedroom has a walk-in closet.
Raphune Hill is just above the hospital and down town Charlotte Amalie, and before you get to the major, center of the island shopping area, so it is truely convenient to everything. You will be able to see the ships as they arrive in port.
Priced to sell at only $225,000.00 call 866 576 3331 for your appointment for a private viewing now.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Many prospective Sellers will question if they need to hire a Realtor to sell their home. Many people do not realize homes sold by a Realtor, more often than not, sell at a higher price than those sold privately.
As a representative of the Seller of property there are many services I provide.
1. It is essential to be familiar with the market place for the home in question. I prepare a market analysis to assist you with determining what is the best price for your property. To do this I look at the neighborhood the home is located in. Specifically, I examine the homes that have sold in the area and what homes will be competing with the prospective home for sale. I take into consideration the similarities in those homes and yours. Since St. Thomas rarely has developments where there are tracks of homes constructed with little variation in the size, floor plan and physical situation, I take pride in taking the time to consider the specific features of your home or condo. Just about every home here is unique so I often have to make adjustments in values to allow for these differences.
2. Having as much of the documentation on your home as possible for the Buyer to review is essential. I assist in gathering everything from, deeds, tax records, surveys and as built maps and if you have occupied your home recently, the seller's disclosure form. The gathering of such information helps to avoid delays as you get into the home stretch of the closing process and it gives the buyers a level of comfort with knowing exactly what they are purchasing.
3. Preparing your home for viewing is so important. You only get one chance to make a good impression on a potential buyer. I supply a list of strongly suggested things Sellers need to do, like, get rid of the clutter and clean like never before. I will walk through your home and specifically point out areas to work on. I also will share a list of cleaning professionals and contractors you can choose from to do projects that can improve the perception of your home. A fresh coat of paint and power washing the exterior of buildings in the tropics can work wonders. Staging is a wonderful idea especially if the home is empty.
4. A strong marketing plan is essential as well. Once the home has been prepared great photographs tell the story and entice potential buyers to view your home first. 95% of buyers begin their search for a home online and the more pictures associated with a home the more interest there is in the home. It gives the buyer a method of narrowing their search before they leave home, saving them precious time and it lets the world know what is is you are selling. Making sure your property is available to hundreds of websites of individual real estate professionals, my personal website with Virtual tours, eFlyers, blog posts, social media sites, Realtor.com with enhance features, and well written descriptions all improve the exposure of your property and bring the right buyer to your home. I use print ads in the form of trade magazines and some newspaper advertising too.
5. Safety is an important consideration while your home is being actively marketed. I place electronic lock boxes on the properties I list. They allow me to tack who gains entrance to your home. Only Realtors, home inspectors, appraisers, contractors, repair people and cleaning staff who have made appointments in advance will have access to your home. If it is your preference or there are special circumstances, like pets, I will personally attend all showings too.
6. I conduct brokers open houses. St. Thomas is a bit unique in this area. Open houses are not normally open to the general public here, although if an agent or broker has a customer they are working with and they believe the customer may be interested in a particular home that is having a broker's open house, the customer is welcome to attend with their agent. On occasion, a neighbor or friend may attend too.
7. Communication is essential. I will update you on frequency of showings and feed back on showings and the open houses conducted. As the conduit of the transaction, I am the liaison to the buyer through their agent or broker, attorneys, the mortgage company, inspectors, surveyors, any repair and people and contractors you may need during the transaction. Following up and making sure each requirement is met to complete the deal.
8. Besides doing the job required to get the transaction done, I listen to and try to resolve any other issues you may have and inevitably come up with the sale of property. I can recommend list of international packing and shipping companies, help organize yard sales, transfer of utilities from a distance, offer guidance on transferring licenses and vehicle registrations (normal things but they sometimes have a unique twist here in the VI).
The long and short of it is I will do what needs to be done to make your selling experience as simple and pleasant as possible.
If you have been thinking about selling, contact me, lets get it listed now!