Tips, deals, and advice on traveling the continent on a budget.

Monday, May 21, 2007

St Thomas Villas

While on vacation is St. Thomas I decided to look at real estate. St Thomas Villas are reasonably priced and can earn a lot of extra revenue. You have to decide on what type of St Thomas villa you need. You can choose from luxury villas, to condo's to apartments. What's important is what you'll do with the villa.

I decided that a 4 bedroom luxury St Thomas villa was the best investment for me. This way I could rent the villa out to families as well as corporations. I looked at St Thomas condos as well. This seems like a good way to go because they are maintained for you on a regular basis.

The pros of owning a St Thomas villa versus a St Thomas condo are:

- Privacy in the villa

- Larger in size

- No condo rules to follow

The cons of owning a St Thomas villa are:

- more expensive to purchase

- more expensive to maintain

- higher taxes

You'll also need to find a good vacation rental agency to work with. They can be invaluable as they know St Thomas and the locals. They can help you on location of the property, where to hire vendors, and what's important to potential renters. They usually collect a villa rental for of 15-20% for their efforts.

St Thomas is a small island but the most popular in the US Virgin Islands. They get cruise ships on a daily basis so tourism is critical. You need to determine if you want to capitalize on this by purchasing a villa in St Thomas.

Some things you'll need to consider for owning a villa are:

- Water. Water is scarce on the islands and all homes are set up with a water catching system called a cistern. Water is funneled to a cement holding container that you use for your St Thomas villa.
- Electricity. Power is very expensive on the island of St Thomas. Running AC units on a daily basis can cost you $1000 per month. So buying St Thomas villas in the breeziest location may save you a lot of money.
- Service. You're not going to get a pizza delivered in St Thomas. Get use to the fact that good, fast service doesn't exist in the Caribbean.

I would recommend you do a lot of research before you look for St Thomas villas. If done correctly you could make large profits.

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