Forbes cites St. John real estate opportunity

Perelandra, a two bedroom, two bath villa overlooking the Virgin Islands' Cruz Bay, is Exhibit  #1 for Forbes.com's advice, "Buy Now, Retire Later."

The gist of the item is: prices have never been lower, will only go higher. If St. John – or anywhere else – is a part of your retirement plan, now is the time.

"The price was the impetus to buy now," the Gallaghers said. "We realized if we waited, and prices came back up, we wouldn't be able to do it,  So we sold stock and bought.  It felt like paradise." Perelandra's new owners, Linda and Patrick Gallagher, bought the villa for $960,000. Asking price was $1.495 million.

(Update: A commenter on the Forbes story, who said she was the previous owner, said the original asking price for the villa was $1.05 million.)

They plan to continue to offer the villa for short term rental, using it themselves three or four weeks a year. The income will help with taxes, maintenance, and management.

Forbes adds that a housing analyst for Moody's, the credit rating and research company, agrees with their move.  Celia Chen is quoted saying "popular second-home locales … should see the bottom this year – meaning now is the time to start looking."

Lynn Giovanna, an agent with Islandia Real Estate, poiints out the number of home sales this year is ahead of last year's pace, albeit slightly – 12 deals in 2011 vs. 10 in 2010.

"Many of my customers ask if mortgages are available in the Virgin Islands," she wrote on the Islandia blog. "Home mortgages offered by First Liberty mortgage brokers include a 30-year-fixed at around 4.50% and a 15-year-fixed at around 3.75%."

Disclaimer: The owners of The Inquiring Iguana, the "publisher" of this Web site, have listed his home away from home, a two-bedroom, two bath villa, Blue Tang, for sale.  As such, he has an interest in the real estate market.

4 thoughts on “Forbes cites St. John real estate opportunity”

  1. Forbes is right. Now is probably the time to buy, but only if the seller is motivated and the price is right. Much for sale today still doesn’t reflext current market place values. If a property is priced right, it will sell. If it isn’t selling, it’s overpriced.
    The idea, promoted by some Realtors, is that a house or condo on the market for over a year will “just take time” is not always honest. A house or condo that still hasn’t sold after a year on the market is likely overpriced for today’s market. And, in many cases way overpriced.
    Sellers who accept this fact will often get more for their property by pricing correctly now and selling than what they will eventually receive two years (or more) down the road; when after multiple price reductions they finally sell for less.

  2. The idea, promoted by some Realtors, is that a house or condo on the market for over a year will “just take time” is not always honest. A house or condo that still hasn’t sold after a year on the market is likely overpriced for today’s market. And, in many cases way overpriced.

  3. Hmmm– wouldn’t put a lot of store in this article. I’m the previous owner of Perelandra. It was for sale for $1,050,000 NOT $1,495,000! I did love it & wish the new owners the best. Couldn’t give up on the island though–we ended up buying Cruz Views #1 (name soon to be changed somewhat) & are currently totally gutting & remodeling it.

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