Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Things to Do When You Visit St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

First let me warn you that if you are where you need to be quiet, you might want to turn off the sound on your device.

A good friend came to  visit me in St. Thomas and I played tourist on St. Thomas and St. John as well. My friend is one of these very organized traveler and had selected some things to do while visiting St. Thomas. 

Zip lining is not something I would ordinarily do in St. Thomas or anywhere for that matter.  But Trying to be a good host, I agreed.

"Tree Limin' Extreme" is definitely something I would recommend if anyone ask me about things to do when you visit St. Thomas. There are six lines and two bridges.  It is extremely well built and managed. Located on the North side of the island I guarantee you will have a good time here if you are looking for something to do on St. Thomas.

The"stupid" comment was because I was trying to turn the line around, which of course you cannot do.  you have to switch your hands and your body will change directions.

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Peterborg Kind of Day, St. Thomas Open Houses

Wednesday was open house day on St. Thomas. There were two homes open in Peterborg . Peterborg is a neighborhood on the North side of St. Thomas. The neighborhood is on the  peninsula that helps to create world famous Magen's Bay.

Both homes are located on the Atlantic side of the peninsula of Peterborg. This side of Peterborg tends to be cooler. The breezes coming in off the deeper, cooler, Atlantic water and  are naturally more comfortable. The homes on the bay side tend to be a little warmer and require more air conditioning. 

Take a look and see which home you would prefer.

Play VisualTour

Play VisualTour

During the past year, four homes have sold in Peterborg on St. Thomas. The selling  prices ranged from $560,000 for a three bedroom three bath 2,400 square foot home, which sold for 86.8% of it's asking price after being on the market for 117 days;  to  a $1.6 million, five bedroom six and a half bathroom home that was more than 5000 square feet and  sold for 86.5% of it's 1.85 million dollar asking price after being on the market for 140 days. Click to see what homes are available in Peterborg. Prices in Peterborg run from the low half million dollar range to several million depending on the home and specific location; waterfront, of course, runs a lot higher. This is a rocky coast line for the most part.

If you are looking for the perfect home on St. Thomas, Peterborg is a great neighborhood to explore. Please call Van Blake-Coleman Realty for appointments to view homes in the area. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Finanicng Propety in the Virgin Islands and Rising Interest Rates

Most of my customers have recently asked about the impact of increasing interest rates on financing property  in the Virgin Islands. Interest rates tend to be slightly higher in the Virgin Islands than on the mainland across the board.

Unlike the mainland where 80% of residential mortgages are written by Bank of America, Chase Bank, Wells Fargo and Citibank; the major institutions financing property in the Virgin Islands are First Liberty, Scotia Bank, First Bank and Banco Popular.

Financing  property in the Virgin Islands has been tight, as it has on the mainland. Low interest rates have cause banks to tighten their lending profiles. With the recent increase in interest rates there probably will be a positive effect on the availability of financing for property in the Virgin Islands.

The President of the National Associations of Realtors, Gary Thomas, recently blogged:

 "While there is currently no evidence of rising interest rates slowing the economy, they will invariably have an impact on loans.
I believe there is reason for hope.  Although it’s likely that fewer people will refinance, since they already have low interest rates, banks will still need to make money.  As a result, they may need to increase loan originations.  To do so, there is a very good chance that lenders could ease credit standards away from over-stringency to ensure the greatest number of qualified buyers have access to mortgage interest.
While you may be hearing concerns from your clients about rising interest rates, don’t despair.’s not necessarily bad news for real estate if rising interest rates are balanced with opening credit to more consumers.
...................... if the economy can recover as much as it has under tight credit conditions, it may do even better as credit steadily returns to normal."

So if you were considering financing property in the Virgin Islands, now is the time, while interest rates are still at historic lows, inventory is high making it a perfect time to purchase property in the Virgin Island.  Let us help you find the perfect property/

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The New Me

I have read you should up date your profile picture regularly.  My response has been, "yeah, I know, I will get around to it". I have been saying it  for a while now. I have intended to schedule a session with a professional photographer.

The other day, I went into one of my favorite stores on island, Island Empire. It is a furniture store specializing in imported teak furnishings, and they sell pretty much everything you need to decorate your home. I have been circling for some new chairs for my master bedroom I expanded awhile ago.  I found a set I liked, but I needed to measure one last time before I made the purchase and their sale started the next day. I returned to the store the next day to make the purchase. After assisting me with the purchase, the general manger, Harriet, remarked, "I was on your website, it is very informative, interactive, and features some great properties.  I really like your hair cut, it suits your face. Your picture  on your website looks like your grandmother, you should up date it".

She was right, the photo is at least seven years old.  Over a year ago, I  lost 50 pounds and got back into an exercise routine and was feeling pretty good about myself.  I told Harriet the reason I had my hair cut was that I was watching one of Tyler Perry's films and realized my hair looked like the wig the character, Ma dear was wearing in the film. Harriet burst into laughter and said, "Boy, that will send you running to the beautician!"; and it had. I made the change but I hadn't updated my profile picture.

So,  Sunday, after hiking the Magen's Bay trail and watching dolphins frolic in the water (they are not always there but they were Sunday). My friend took some shots of me. We agreed this was the best one and I am going to use it as my new profile picture.

Thank you Harriet for your honesty and the push I needed.  The chairs are the perfect touch too.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day, Today and Every Day

Photos taken this Memorial Day. Take time to smell the orchids and enjoy the beauty everywhere
Happy Memorial Day to everyone from Van Blake-Coleman Realty. As we take time to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, let us not take them or our freedom for granted today or any day.

God Bless their families.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's Wednesday So There Must Be Open Houses In St. Thomas

This is the view from the balcony of one of the homes that was open for broker viewing today in St. Thomas. 
 Located in Estate Lerkenlund on the North side of St. Thomas, this concrete home has three bedrooms and three bathrooms, is approximately 2,135 sq. ft. with deeded access to the pristine waters of Magen's Bay. There is a path in your front yard that leads directly to the water so you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling,  and kayaking.The home enjoys an open floor plan and cool breezes. Offered at $559,000 MLS 13-331.

Another home shown today was located on the North side of  St. Thomas in Peterborg East, on Yellow Bird Road, a gated area. This home is a two bedroom two bath home, approximately 2,000 sq. ft, it boasts water views on both sides of it and a pool. There is a one bedroom apartment with two patios with great water views of it's own. This home is priced at $725,000, MLS 13-339

There were three condos open in Cowpet East on the East End of St. Thomas in Nazareth on Tara Road.

The four bedroom four bath unit, is approximately 1,800 sq. ft. It is offered at $559,000 MLS 13-121.

The three bedroom, three bathroom unit, is approximately 1,453 sq. ft. With lots of updates, It is offered at $645,000 MLS 13-509.

The two bedroom two bath unit is approximately 1,200 sq. ft. It is offered at $299,000 MLS 12-2194.

All properties are feature via broker reciprocity.
To see more details and information on these listings of property for sale in St. Thomas

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Play VisualTour
Wednesday is the day for broker open houses in St.Thomas. I took the photos of the home feature above. The listing is made available via broker reciprocity.

If you are in the market for an approximately eleven thousand square foot home, situated on more than five acres lot on the  waterfront in a gated community with a pool and garage; this may be your home.

Offered at $6,100,000.00 USD. If you would like to view this property, please call 340 344 2959.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Activities In St. Thomas

St. Thomas is a diverse and interesting place to live. I have blogged before about the Reichhold Center for the Arts and  Tillet Gardens an enclave of artistry.

The Pistarkle Theatre, located in Tillet Gardens, is featuring, "A Raisin in the Sun". I have not seen it in the theatre before but it is one of my favorite old movies staring Sidney Portie and Ruby Dee. It opened on March 7 with a pay as you can, performance with repeat performances March8, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23 at 8 pm. I was able to purchase my ticket online and print it at home.

This evening two friend and I decided to have dinner at the new Italian Restaurant at Megan's Point  Resort. I arrived first and grabbed a table by the pool  enjoyed the cool breezes and watched the sun set. They have a special we didn't know about before arriving. They offer an appetizer, soup or salad, an entry and dessert for $25 between 5 and 6 pm.  I had delicious stuffed mushrooms, chicken Marsalas and a slice of flour less chocolate tort garnished with raspberry compote and whipped cream. There were a few other surprises, a shot glass of Basile infused Mojitos greeted us when we sat down followed by a Japanese soup spoon full of greens, pine nuts and ricotta cheese, to awaken your pallet.

We left, the restaurant and made the short drive to Tillet Gardens. We had front row seats. All of the performers did an excellent job. I have to single out Elgin Gordon who played Walter Lee, who virtually channeled Sidney Poitier with an emotionally charged performance. Myrna Chase also gave a very believable and impressive performance as Lena Younger (Mama). Two young performers who have participated in the educational classes at Pistarkle were featured in this main stage play as well. One is on his way to New York to hone his skills there.

While the season at the Theater is coming to an end, I understand "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill" is scheduled for an encoore engagement; May 4. 11 and 18 also at 8 pm. Billie Holiday will be played by Denise Hummer who is opening for Roberta Flack at the Reichhold Center tomorrow evening.

Tomorrow, I will hike up the hill to Paradise Point, the Skyride will take you there if you are not up for a challenging hike.

Later the University of the Virgin Islands is having a basketball game to celebrate their Home Coming and Sunday there is an "Event on the Green "which is a large picnic and cook off between local chefs. Click on the calendar.

There is lots to do in St.Thomas whether you live here full time or here for a visit.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Super Bowl XLVII, Where Will you Watch The Game?

Today is the big game! Will you be watching ins the cold weather or warm?

Even in all three of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix St. John, and St. Thomas people are excited to see who will prevail the Ravens or the 49er's. It has been building throughout the season and over the past week or so even the commercials that won't be shown have been previewed. Commercials have always been my favorite part of the Super Bowl. Here is a link to preview them.
My favorite so far this year is the Budweiser name the Clydesdale commercial.

If you are lucky enough to be in the Virgin Islands, two great places to watch the game in St. Thomas are:

Kokopelli's Cafe Caribbean Salon Sports Bar