Finding the right property
When you start your real estate search i can set you up with an Auto Search. This way you get new listings sent to your email as soon as they are listed for sale. It’s a great way to keep up with the St. Croix real estate market and the prices here.
Another option is getting your own portal where you can search, save and keep up with listings. Also consider getting pre-approved as your offer on a property looks better.
I’m a certified Accredit Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) which is an accreditation that signifies best-in-class in buyer services.
ABRs® are trained to work as hard for the buyer as the listing agent does for the seller. When every dollar counts, as it always does, it is important to have someone trained to negotiate the price, terms, and conditions to your advantage.
The process of buying real estate in the U. S. Virgin Islands require the same essential elements as in the continental United States.
Getting pre-approved is an important element that can set you ahead of the competition and it’s a great place to start when considereing buying a property. Also, a lender can give you some tips on what to do and more importantly, what not to do. Buying a new car when you are about to buy a property or changing jobs can interfere with your chances of getting approved.
After submitting the offer the Seller will review and may counter with a higher price or a change to your conditions such as inspection time, earnest money etc. If both parties come to an agreement, the property is considered under contract. The last date on the contract is called the Effective Date and it’s the date from which inspection, financing contingencies and closing date will be calculated from.
At this point you can choose to hire a home inspector who will will do a thorough inspection and document any issues that needs attention or repairs. After reviewing the report you have the option to remove the inspection contingency and accept the property as is or if any of the needed repairs are expensive to do, you may ask the Seller for a reduction in the purchase price, a credit, have Seller fix the problem or choose to withdraw your offer. This is of course dependent on the language in your Offer to Purchase contract.
You will also need to hire an attorney. The attorney will represent you in the transaction and work with the lender and your realtor until closing, each party pays for their own attorney. They order the title search to insure all releases are secured by the time of the Closing, prepare the closing documents and record your deed at our Recorder of Deeds office following the closing. You do not have to be on island to close.
Offers may be made subject to a financing contingency and final commitment unless you are paying cash .
Pre-qualifications can be obtained in a couple of days once they have your information. Loan commitments generally can be secured in 50-60 days though FHA/VA loans sometimes require more time. Either an attorney, title company or the Realtor will hold the Buyers’ earnest money deposit in escrow until the time of closing; customarily the deposit is about 5%-10% of the purchase price and deposited at the time of the offer.
If you are financing the property through a lender they will also require and order a survey and appraisal.
The stamp tax, which can also be called a real estate transfer tax, is a tax that can be imposed by local jurisdictions and states for transferring property between parties.
- Properties up to $350,00 will have a 2% tax
- Properties from $350,001 to $1 million will have a 2.5% tax
- Properties valued from $1,000,001 to $5 million will have a 3% tax
- Properties valued over $5 million will have a 3.5% tax
The real estate commision is paid by the Seller.
I will keep you updated throughout the process and I’m always available to answer your questions in order to make this as straightforward as possible and will guide you through the process so you feel comfortable and confident.
Should I get Pre-approved before making an offer?
A pre-approval letter is a letter from your lender, written on the lender’s letterhead, stating that you are approved for a loan of a specific dollar amount,
Getting pre-approved can actually improve your chances of falling into the sellers’ good graces, so you want to get it done as soon as possible in the home-buying process. Click here for a list of Lenders in the Virgin Islands.
I strive to provide my clients with the best service possible. From being available and providing you with the information you need in order to find the perfect property. These days that can mean Facetiming or taking a video of a property you consider buying, but can’t be here to view.
I look forward to helping you in your real estate search!