Buying Real Estate In St Croix?
The Discovery Phase…
You’ll want to start out by contacting a Real Estate Agent. ( the guy to the left 🙂 )
You’ll need to decide if you want your agent to represent you as a Buyer Agent..
( See our page on Agency Relationship )
We’ll discuss your preferences, price range and other criteria important to you in your home search.
We will review current listings that meet your search criteria, in person or via email.
Through this process, we will narrow down to a list of properties that could be just what you are looking for…
Now the fun part !
When you get to island, we’ll hit the road and go see all these great properties !
Paradise FOUND !!
So now you’ve found that GREAT spot with the million dollar view, breeze and a fabulous pool?
One of the best things about buying real estate in St Croix is that it’s pretty much the same as buying property in the United States…
Once you have decided on a property,and want to make an offer, we will negotiate to get you the best price!
We will present the Seller with an Offer to Purchase. Typically the Seller will come back with a counter offer.
Our goal is to see that you find what you’re looking for, and help bring you and the seller together to a price where you both are happy.
Once Buyer and Seller have agreed on a price, we are “Under Contract” and move into the Closing Process.
The Closing process should also be very familiar to you and we will detail that a bit more later…
You will have a Real Estate Attorney representing you and receive Title and a Recorded Deed, the same as in the states.
There will be a Property Inspection period where you will have the property inspected and review any documents pertaining to the property.
( ie: Condominium By Laws, Home Owner Association Covenants and Restrictions, Surveys, etc )
This is typically a 14 day period and the Buyer can terminate the Contract during this period and receive a refund of deposits.
Earnest Money Deposit
One thing that you may find a bit different in St Croix is the way we do earnest money deposit.
Every offer must be accompanied by an Earnest Money Deposit.
A portion of this is submitted with the Offer to Purchase and the remainder is generally due just after the Property Inspection period ends.
We like to have at least 6% of the purchase price in Earnest Money Deposit.
These deposits are held in an Escrow account and will be applied to the Purchase Price at closing.
There are several points in the process ( written into the Offer as “contingencies” or “riders”) that give you the right but not the obligation to terminate the Contract and receive a full refund of all deposits if certain requirements are not met or if certain conditions are unacceptable to you as the Buyer.
For that reason, it is important that your REALTOR° pays close attention to make sure all timelines are followed and you don’t default on the contract
Most stateside Lenders will not finance a purchase in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
You MAY find an exception, but in general you will need to use a local Lender.
Our “Service Providers” page has a selection of Lenders to call for your financing.
As soon as you are “Under Contract”, you’ll want to start contacting Property Inspectors.
You will generally have 14 days in which to hire an Inspector, have him/her perform the Inspection, review the results and address any issues with the Seller.
You’ll find a list of qualified Home Inspectors on our “Service Providers” page.
Issues found during the Inspection process are usually resolved in one of four ways:
1) The Buyer accepts the issues and proceeds with the sale.
2) The Buyer requests repair of the issues.
3) The Buyer requests a credit to the Purchase Price at closing.
4) The issues are unacceptable and the Buyer terminates the Contract.
If you as the Buyer decide to terminate the Contact during the Property Inspection period, you will receive a full refund of all deposits and neither party shall have any further rights or obligations under the Contract.
You MUST do this prior to the expiration of the Property Inspection period, so it is important that the Property Inspection be scheduled as soon as possible once you are “Under Contract”.
Real Estate Attorney
You will need an attorney to close the deal for you. In the Virgin Islands, both Buyer and Seller have their own Attorney.
An Attorney will not work for both Buyer and Seller as it presents a conflict of interest.
Attorney fees range from around $1200.00 to $2000.00 per transaction – depending on which attorney you select and how much paperwork is involved..
(ie: easements,waivers, Title issues, Survey issues )
For those reasons, condo closings are usually to the low side of the range while homes are to the higher side.
In most cases, Buyer and Seller each pay for their own Attorney.
You do NOT have to be here for closing, in fact most Buyers are not present for closings here.
Your Attorney will provide you with a limited Power of Attorney authorizing him/her to sign all closing documents on your behalf.
Of course, you are welcome to be here to close your new home as well !
Buyer’s and Seller’s – Who pays for what ?
Unless otherwise agreed to in the Offer to Purchase, the following generally applies:
The Seller pays the commission to the Brokers,Seller Attorney fees, Pest Inspection and the VI Stamp/Transfer tax (2 – 3.5%).
The Buyer will typically pay for:
1)An “As-Built” survey (not required unless you’re getting a mortgage, but always a good idea)
5)Property Inspection (not required, but again, always a good idea)
6)Buyer Attorney fees
A Property Inspection is highly recommended and your Offer to Purchase will have a Property Inspection period written into it whether you choose to actually order the inspection or not.
Inspection costs range from $500 – $1000 depending on the size of the home and who you choose.
An “As Built” survey should cost from $500 – $1500 for a half to 1 acre plot.
No surveys are needed for a condominium purchase.
Your Lender will most likely want you to have the property appraised.
An Appraisal will generally cost $450 – $1000 and be part of your Lender fees ( consult your Lender )
Your Attorney will recommend a Title search which is generally about $125.
They will also recommend that you purchase Title Insurance.
Title Insurance cost is calculated on the Purchase Price ( consult your Attorney for the cost on your property )
We hope that information above has given you a good idea of what to expect along the way during the purchase process.
Of course, unexpected issues can come up along the way that require a “boots on the ground” person to deal with them.
That is why it is so important to have a REALTOR° on your side managing issues and deadlines from start to finish.
We sincerely hope that you will choose a member of R&R Realty as that REALTOR° !