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Purchasing Property in the USVI

Aug 18, 2007
The United States Virgin Islands' has a weather that is so beautiful every part of the year. The beaches are powdery and made up of white sand. The sun shines continually and most days are in the 80's and most nights in the 70's. The summer is only slightly warmer. Humidity is very low in this part of the world, thanks to the easterly trade winds that are a continual part of island life. Nearly any piece of USVI real estate you choose will be at a very low elevation. The highest spot on any island is Mountain Top, which soars only slightly to 1550 feet.

As with just about any area of the world, the island real estate is available in several categories. You might want to buy your own house or condo, invest in homes as income rental property, buying commercial or retail property, or purchase raw land.

No matter what you are thinking and why and whether it's St. Thomas real estate or real estate on other parts of the islands, there are some important points to consider. You take to realize for instance, that when you own Virgin Islands' real estate, even though the area is an unincorporated U.S. territory, your title has the same constitutional protection and guarantees as if you bought real estate in downtown St. Louis, along the strand on Myrtle Beach or wherever else in the U.S. You will own your piece of islands realty fee simple and your deed will be filed at the USVI Recorder of Deeds. You couldn't pick a more gorgeous and enjoyable area of the country, or perhaps the world when you choose to invest in USVI real estate.

When you make the conclusion to buy St. Thomas real estate, or elsewhere in the Virgin Island, you have your choice of several banks or other financial institutions. First Liberty Mortgage Company, Merrill Lynch, First Bank, Banco Popular and the Bank of Nova Scotia all do business in USVI. What is required of the buyer by the banks is payment for the cost of a title search, the purchase of title insurance, payment for property appraisals, a written certificate by a surveyor, an as-built survey, inspections of structure and pest issues, the fees for the bank attorney and the buyer's attorney, and any fees that comes with the recording and securing of the loan for the mortgage.

Standard hazard insurance, to protect your USVI real estate from damage caused by earthquakes and windstorms, is approximately two to three percent of the property's replacement value. If the frame of the property is wood rather than stone or masonry, this can be higher.
About the Author
Garland Choate (GR) is a retired Airline Captain who now publishes articles from the USVI. Find many great articles about Caribbean Living and great luxury homes in paradise at http://www.StThomasLuxuryHomes.com
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