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Why American “Yankee Soldiers” Are The Fathers The St. Lucia Real Estate Industry.

Photo Credit: STEPHEN HATHAWAY via Compfight cc

 

Location: Paradise, St Lucia

Dear St. Lucia Real Estate Fan,

This is a little spooky, but it’s true: From the minute you land in St. Lucia, you can virtually see bloodstains from all of the historic battles fought on the island.

If you are landing at the Hewanorra International airport in Vieux Fort for example, you are in fact landing on a former U.S. Air Force base that was built during World War 2.

Other evidence of the island’s tempestuous past can be found in one of the St Lucia real estate hot spots: Rodney Bay.  At the entrance to the Rodney Bay village are 2 stone pillars with the words “U.S. Naval Air Station” carved into them. These pillars marked the entrance of an anti-submarine surveillance base established in 1941.

That base has since been converted into a bustling village with a strip of hotels and 2 shopping malls. However, there is still an armory of “Yankee” evidence left behind––scattered among the bars and restaurants in the Rodney Bay area…

 

Sites from even older wars have been re-purposed into prime St. Lucian Real Estate:

Some 19th century British and French army barracks have been converted into schools in what are now some of the most attractive residential areas.

Like the Saint Mary’s College in Vigie, and the Sir Aurthur Lewis Community College on the Morne. The forts were built in these locations because sweeping views allowed for surveillance of the Caribbean sea. 200 years later, these areas are still popular for their views (although the views are used for different reasons now!)

Sir Arthur Lewis Community College

Saint Mary’s College

 

Another example are the forts on Pigeon Island, one of St Lucia’s popular tourist attractions. Those old army stations pre-date the French revolution. You can still see old graves, lookout points, buildings and cannons:

The list goes on…but you have to come visit for the full story! My words hardly do these monuments any justice. If you are thinking about getting some property in St. Lucia to visit or retire, know that you will be surrounded by a military history that trumps any blockbuster war movie.

Thank God it’s all in the past now!

Regards,

 

 

 

P.S. Here is one last wickedly true war story:

My grandmother was just a little girl during World War 2.

She was living in Castries when a German submarine entered the Castries harbor. The submarine detected two U.S. cargo ships, and I bet you can just imagine my grandmother’s (and the town’s!) terror as she witnessed that submarine torpedoing the two ships!

Upside to the story: clothes and other supplies were sprawled all over the the surface of the harbor from this disaster. She had a fun time collecting loot for the next few days.

If you would like to “strike it lucky” like my grandmother and find a few unexpected St Lucia Real Estate gems, why don’t you subscribe to the Paradise Properties newsletter?

It is like having your very own “St. Lucian Real Estate Radar” which lets you hone in on all of the best RE deals…

Signup for the Paradise Properties newsletter.

WHALE WATCHING From Your St. Lucian Real Estate Property!?

Photo Credit: mikebaird via Compfight cc

Location: Paradise, St Lucia

Dear St. Lucia Real Estate Fan,

You confuse most St. Lucians.

Frankly, when internationals arrive at the airport they practically kiss the tarmac––and then they dance all the way to their hotel, or freshly built condominium, or their new home. They look happier than one might if they had just won the lottery. Internationals often seem cheerier than the Dalai Lama himself.

Here’s something you probably didn’t realize:

St. Lucians don’t really “get” why you want the sexy beachfront view, the close access to all of the “hot-spots”, and most importantly, most St. Lucians have no idea why you are such a beach-o-phile!

There is a reason for this:

Most fish have been underwater their entire lives. They swim and breathe in water, and they don’t know anything about air. If you told a fish, “You are wet,” they would give you a curious blink and say, “Wet? What’s that?”

In that regard, my countrymen are a lot like fish. We are only mildly aware of our island’s jaw-dropping beauty. For example, I only started to think of St. Lucia as sunny and hot on registration day of my freshman year at Bennington College in Vermont…

Our Numbness To St. Lucia’s Beauty Astonishing!

In the 7th grade, my younger brother told me about another regular day of class: He was in a zombie-like state as his English teacher droned on about the day’s lesson when, from the corner of his eye, he saw something strange.

He sat next to the window in his class, and he had a clean view of the ocean and horizon right from his desk! What’s more, on that sparkling bright day, his peripheral vision picked up movement in the water that he’d never seen before. He turned and saw a school of whales passing by!

That was a wrap for English class that day…

My little brother had no idea that there are legions of internationals who are breaking their necks (and their bank accounts!) to get a property with the kind of view he got for free. And there are many lucky homeowners who have similar stories that they can brag about!

 

If you would like to be one of those people in the near future, I highly suggest you sign up to my newsletter, Paradise Properties. You will be the first to hear about a white hot St. Lucian Real Estate deal when it becomes available.

You know what they say, “The early bird catches the worm.”

 

Signup for the Paradise Properties newsletter.

 

Regards,

Marketing Manager,

Paradise Properties Inc.

 

St Lucia Real Estate Tips: 3 Great Locations to Buy an Investment Property

St Lucia real estate offers many opportunities for people who want to invest in the rental market. Buying a property for long term leasing requires careful consideration. In order to ensure that your property has a high occupancy, you must purchase in the right location. Investing in an area for which there is a high demand will make your life as a landlord profitable and fulfilling! Here are my 3 top choices of locations for purchasing St Lucia real estate for long-term renting.

Tapion

Tapion, located along the southern border of Castries harbor is appealing by virtue of its beauty alone. It is a very scenic area with views of the harbor and Caribbean Sea. From here, cruise ships entering and leaving Castries are an impressive sight! This sea side neighborhood, with its constant breezes, is great for taking morning or evening walks. Tapion also has a small beach used mainly by residents.

Only 5 minutes from the center of Castries, Tapion is a very appealing location for people who work in the city. The area is also home to many well established institutions such as the Tapion Hospital, St Lucia School of Music, Police Training Academy and Tapion School. Doctors, nurses, teaches and civil servants therefore provide a steady demand for apartments in the area.

This Tapion Apartment Building has a Great View!

The Building has 3 Apartments. They all have Large Balconies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corinth

Corinth, located in the district of Gros Islet, is a great location to buy a rental property. It is right in the middle Castries and Rodney Bay, the 2 main commercial centers in St Lucia. This makes it an extremely convenient housing location for the thousands of people who work in these towns. Being 10 minutes from Rodney Bay is particularly appealing for many renters as this is a lively, hip and fast developing part of St Lucia.

Corinth has many facilities for residents including a gym, supermarket and a secondary school. These are very appealing to renters and increase the desirability of the area. The location is also home to numerous small businesses as well as large corporate enterprises such as LIME. There is therefore always a strong demand for apartments in Corinth.

This Building in Corinth has 3 Apartments, which are easily rentable!

The Apartments are Move In Ready. Corinth is an Area in High Demand!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beausejour

The community of Beausejour is a relatively new frontier in St Lucia real estate. The neighborhood sprang to life with the establishment of the Beausejour Cricket Stadium in 2002 – one of the most modern cricket stadia in the Caribbean. The construction of the stadium opened up a previously virgin part of St Lucia. Numerous housing projects later, Beausejour is now an extremely desirable residential area in the north of the island.

Beausejour is only 5 minutes from the town of Gros Islet – a legendary night life hot spot. Rodney Bay is also a short drive away. This means residents of Beausejour have quick and easy access to some of the best amenities the island has to offer. The Pigeon Point and Reduit beaches are also within proximity of Beausejour. This is a lively, up and coming area with a steady flow of demand for rental apartments.

With a Total of 6 Bedrooms, this Beausejour Apartment Building is a Great Investment!

The Building has a Lovely Ocean View!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If wisely chosen, an investment in St Lucia real estate will reap financial rewards. The first step is choosing a location that will ensure a high ROI. Residential areas close to urban centers are in high demand for people seeking apartments for rent. This is usually a great place to start if you want to invest in an apartment building.

3 Jazzy Apartments in St Lucia!

The explosion of color and music of the St Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival brings new rhythm to the St Lucia real estate market. With visitors looking for apartments for Jazz, many people ask me, what are the best apartments in St Lucia? This is a tough question, but I have narrowed it down to my favorite 3. But I warn you, these apartments are not for the faint of heart. They may just knock you off your feet!

 

St Lucia Real Estate: Vigie Waterfront Apartment

One of my all time favorite apartments is at Vigie – the historic, fort riddled peninsular which guards the entrance of Castries harbor.  I love this apartment because it offers so many ways to get wet! The apartment is on a waterfront lot where you can walk down a flight a stairs to a sheltered pebble beach.  There is also a 4 mile, white sand beach within a 10 minute walk of the property! And did I mention the swimming pool and Jacuzzi? Those are found on a deck off the living room! I have saved the best feature for last – an unobstructed sea view! Renting this apartment will make you the envy of other St Lucia real estate hunters!

Great View, Great Pool, Great Apartment!

The apartment is close to Vigie beach. Perfect for a sunset walk!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Lucia Real Estate: Marisule Cottage By the Beach

What I love about the apartment is its location, walking distance from Calabash Cove beach.  Within 5 minutes of leaving the front door, you can be immersed in the sparkling Caribbean Sea! The cottage was also built with nature in mind. It is in the center of a lush and colorful tropical garden that affords both privacy and beauty.  My favorite feature of the cottage is a retractable front wall which folds away to make the living room and balcony one continuous space. With the wall pulled back and the cottage open to the breeze and sea view, this is the perfect place to relax after a day of Jazz!

The cottage is surrounded by a tropical garden

 

There is a beautiful beach close by!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Lucia Real Estate: Outstanding Cap Estate View!

There is no need for a television with a view like the one from this Cap Estate apartment! I can sit on the balcony stare all day! Located at Golf Park Cap Estate, the apartment has an expansive view of the north-west coast. On a clear day, the Pitons, the island’s most prominent national landmarks, can be seen peaking over the tops of the other mountains. This is very impressive given that the Pitons are located in the town of Soufriere, at least 20 miles south of Cap Estate. The apartment also directly overlooks Pigeon Island, which is the main venue for the St Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival.

 

The view is impressive even on a cloudy day!

 

Watch the show at Pigeon Island from your balcony!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are just 3 of many fantastic apartments for rent in St Lucia. The island offers a variety of options for beach, nature and music lovers! Even after the curtain has closed on the St Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival, there are countless reasons to enjoy amazing St Lucia real estate offerings. Visit our home page to find numerous apartments for long term rent!

St. Lucia Real Estate: Beach Bum Villas!

I have met my fair share of beach bums aspiring to own St Lucia real estate. Persons who want to live within walking distance of the shore, hear the sound of the waves from their balcony, smell the salt in the air at dawn.  St Lucia always delivers. The island is dotted by small, private beaches, tucked within green coves, each with a unique character. From horse back riding, to kite surfing, to treasure hunting – the St Lucia real estate market offers enticing options for the beach bum in all of us!

 

St Lucia Real Estate: the View from Lighthouse Road!

From the balcony of the this villa one has the feeling that one can reach out and pick coconuts off Vigie beach! I can’t decide what I like more the proximity to the beach or the view of it. The house isn’t bad either! Features such as lustrous hardwood floors and marble counter tops add a classic charm. And my favorite part: even the bathtub has a view! This house is one of my top picks for St Lucia real estate.

 

The villa has an amazing beach view!

High quality finishes add a classic charm!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Lucia Real Estate: a Hop, Skip and a Jump from East Wind’s Beach!

Believe me, you would be hopping, skipping and jumping if you made this piece of St Lucia real estate your own! I can’t think of a better vantage point to enjoy East Wind’s than from this villa, which is only a 1 minute walk to the shore.  What’s more, a short walk (or swim) north takes you to Windjammer. 2 beaches for the price of 1!  The joys of St Lucia real estate!

 

A great spot to lie back and enjoy the view!

The villa is a short walk to the beach!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Lucia Real Estate: Urban, Beach Living in Rodney Bay

This villa is located in the hub of St Lucia real estate. With the main street in Rondey Bay only a 10 minute walk away, one has 2 shopping malls at one’s fingertips. Yet, the property maintains a very tranquil feel. Perhaps that is due to the soft breezes blowing up from Reduit beach, or the soothing view of Pigeon Island!  This house is definitely on the Hot List of St Lucia real estate!

 

Reduit beach is a 3 minute walk from the property!

The villa has a great view of Pigeon Island!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With so many beaches and properties to choose from, the St Lucia real estate market is a beach bum’s dream come true! Call us today for more information on any of these properties!

Hot Deals on St Lucia Real Estate!

With features ranging from sea views to beach access, the following 3 examples of St Lucia real estate each has unique appeal. However, they all have 1 thing in common…reduced prices! It is a buyers’ market and property owners are clamoring for the attention of shoppers. This is the perfect time to capitalize on St Lucia real estate deals!

 

St Lucia Real Estate: Million Dollar View for Under US$300,000!

When I think of St Lucia real estate a particular image always comes first to mind: a verdant landscape with voluptuous hills surrounded by a still, sparkling sea. A masterpiece painted in vivid blues and greens. A view that grabs your eye balls and demands your attention. Having a view like this is the ultimate dream for most shoppers for St Lucia real estate. This Coubaril house has that and then some! Even more enticing is that it is priced at more than US$100,000 below its value!

 

This view can be seen from each of the home's 4 bedrooms!

With 2700 SQFT on a 30,000 SQFT lot, this house is priced to go at US$297,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Lucia Real Estate: Soufriere Bed and Breakfast 15% Under Estimated Value!

There are 4 reasons I fell in love with this piece of St Lucia real estate:

  • It has a view of Petit Piton from the master bedroom!
  • It is a 2 minute walk from Hummingbird Beach!
  • Located within arm’s reach of St Lucia’s best tourist attractions, its 5 bedrooms are easily filled.
  • It is priced to sell at 15% below its estimated value!

 

The property is walking distance to Hummingbird beach!

Estimated at US$375,000, the property is priced 15% below value!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Lucia Real Estate: 5 Bedroom Sea View House at a Steal

Bonne Terre is one of the more popular areas for St Lucia real estate hunters. This house is a perfect example why. The property has an enchanting view of Rodney Bay, which is only 5 minutes away! The renovated 3 bedroom house has 2 studio apartments downstairs. These are ideal as a source of rental income or as guest suites.  Priced at US$400,000, the property represents great value for money!

 

This house is 5 minutes from Rodney Bay and has a view to prove it!

 

The 5 bedroom property includes 2 self contained studio apartments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t miss these and many other great deals on St Lucia real estate! Keep visiting www.paradisepropertiesstlucia.com or call us for a free consultation.

St Lucia Real Estate: the Benefits of Condominium Living

The St Lucia real estate market offers a smorgasbord of condos for sale. The options range from super luxurious, multi-million dollar units to more practical developments where prices start at US$150,000. Despite the vast differences between individual properties, St Lucia condos for sale all tend to have certain characteristics in common. The following points illustrate why someone shopping for St Lucia real estate should make their choice a condominium.

 

There is a variety to choose from. A 2 bedroom unit in Marisule goes for US$150,000

A 3 bedroom waterfront condo in Rodney Bay sells for around US$900,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Price

St Lucia condos for sale usually cost less than single family homes of a comparable size and quality. This is because construction costs are spread out over multiple condominium units, making each unit more cost effective. This makes them a great option for anyone shopping on a budget, with high value for money in mind.

Condominiums are usually built in convenient locations such as this planned development in Corinth

 

 

Location

The key idea behind condominiums is that they provide owners with a high level of convenience. Condominiums are therefore usually built in central locations close to urban areas. This means they are close to work, school, the beach and other amenities. Take the Calabash Condos development in Corinth for instance. It is a 5 minute walk from the main road and the public transport system. In addition, Castries and Rodney Bay can both be easily accessed within 10- 15 minutes.

 

 

Security

St Lucia condos for sale are usually fenced with the entrance controlled by an electronic gate. The residents also have the added comfort of knowing that there is always someone on the premises. Even if they are at work or out of state, their homes are never left alone.

Condominiums usually have central security features

 

 

No hassle maintenance

Every St Lucia real estate owner has to plan for the maintenance of their property.  Condominiums eliminate this hassle as the exterior of the property is maintained by the condominium association. This means individual owners don’t have to worry about pushing a lawnmower around in the sun or caring for the pool. This is a huge plus for people who travel often or live busy lifestyles.

Bonus features

St Lucia condos for sale often have central amenities such as swimming pools or tennis courts, which are shared by the owners of the units.  These features are extremely affordable as the cost is shared by a group of owners.  Condominiums stand out over other types of St Lucia real estate by giving buyers access to superior amenities.

St Lucia condos for sale usually have beautiful common areas

 

 

Rental potential

Because of their excellent location, security and bonus features, condominiums make great rental properties. Tenants often line up to experience the enviable lifestyle offered by condominiums. They are therefore ideal options for St Lucia real estate purchasers who are looking to recoup their investment by generating long term income.

The concept of condominiums, though relatively new to the St Lucia real estate market, has been embraced by buyers. New developments are springing up giving shoppers even more great options to choose from. If you have been on the market for St Lucia real estate, consider a condominium unit. The choice may be easier than you think!

Buying Property in St Lucia: Financial Tips First Time Buyers cannot Live Without!

As a St Lucia real estate consultant, everyday I meet people on the threshold of their life’s greatest dream: buying property in St Lucia. With rare exceptions however, only those who have meticulously prepared, through years of financial planning, will convert this dream to reality. First time buyers, in particular need to understand how to navigate the financial process of purchasing St Lucia real estate.

With the government stimulus package in full swing, now is a great time to buy St Lucia real estate. However this requires careful financial planning!

Take Rose for example. She is a 23 year old customer who has been saving a little money every month for 3 years. She has heard that now is the right time for buying property in St Lucia but has little idea what she is getting into. She also has other expenses to consider and desperately wants to buy a car. Rose’s mind is a raging torrent of questions. Can she afford St Lucia real estate? Should she buy a piece of land now and get it out of the way while she is young? Will she be able to do this if she decides to buy a car? Rose, and many others like her, must understand how banks think when processing applications for loans to purchase St Lucia real estate.

 

Money is the Root of all Home Ownership!

Banks determine whether you are a good candidate for buying property in St Lucia by examining your debt service ratio. This is your expected loan payment per month verses your net monthly income. Your net income is what is left after all your expenses including rent, groceries, utilities, parties etc. Your debt service ratio is therefore: Your expected loan payment / (total monthly income – total monthly expenses)

Buying property in St Lucia is a major commitment that requires some sacrifice. Every dollar counts!

In order to qualify for a mortgage, your debt service ratio needs to be a maximum of 45%. In other words, your loan payment cannot take up more than 45% of what is left of your income after all other expenses have been paid. Before you approach a bank, prove that you are a serious client by getting your expenses under control. It is wise to pay off any other existing loans and reduce your monthly spending. The next thing you must consider before buying property in St Lucia is your level of savings. In order to qualify for a mortgage, you must have savings which you can use as a deposit. The minimum deposit required by most banks in St Lucia is 5% of the price of the property. However, putting a greater injection upfront makes good financial sense. A larger deposit means lower monthly payments, a shorter loan term and less money paid to the bank in interest. Before you even think about buying property in St Lucia ask yourself, ‘how large a deposit have I saved?’

 

 

Research all the costs of owning St Lucia real estate. Having the right information is the key to successful home ownership!

Finally, do not fall into the trap of overspending! There are many costs associated with owning St Lucia real estate. These include legal fees and bank facility fees when applying for the mortgage as well as property taxes, insurance and maintenance costs. Do thorough research. Ask for advice. Know what you are getting into before you get there. Above all save, save, save! When it comes to buying property in St Lucia, your financial weight is the key to success!

St Lucia Real Estate Rentals: How to get Your Apartment Rented Quickly and Earning you Money!

It is a competitive environment for St Lucia real estate rentals. There are many properties competing for a relatively small pool of renters. Thankfully, there are numerous steps a landlord can take to help their property stand out. By following these tips, property owners will get their St Lucia real estate rentals off the market and earning money in as little time as possible!

Ensure that Your Price is Competitive

Customers on the market for St Lucia real estate rentals shop around. The average customer will see 3 to 4 properties before making a decision. Customers also have access to a vast amount of property information online and are well informed on prices. Ensuring that your apartment is priced competitively against other St Lucia real estate rentals is the first step to getting it rented quickly.

Make the Apartment Feel Like Home

Some customers know whether they would like to live in an apartment within the

Go the extra mile to make the apartment feel inviting! Customers appreciate your efforts

first 30 seconds of being there. The property gives them a ‘certain feeling’. It has an intangible essence, a warmth, that feels like home. Landlords who are good at capturing this feeling will make their St Lucia real estate rentals far more competitive! Stage the apartment as if the customer were a long lost relative coming to visit!

Cleanliness is Key

Once, on an inspection of a beautiful, luxury apartment I stumbled upon, to my horror, a dead mouse in the kitchen. Needless to say, had I been with a customer, this apartment would not have been chosen! It takes far less than rodents however, to turn a customer off a property. Your apartment should be immaculately clean and ready for a customer to move in immediately. Pay

An apartment should be spotless and ready to move into! There is no such thing as too clean!

special attention to the bathrooms and kitchen. You’d be surprised how much of a difference this makes to customers.

Include some utilities

If you are in a position to do so, include some utilities such as water, cable or internet access in the rental price.  This gives the customer good value for money and helps your property stand out among the competition.

Remember, don’t be discouraged if your apartment does not rent out as fast as you would like. Ask for feedback from your customers. They will tell you how to make your property more attractive to them. There is a customer for every apartment, at the right price. With a little patience and a lot of perseverance, you too will be earning money from your St Lucia real estate rentals!

St Lucia Real Estate Tips: Making a Successful Offer on a Property

The offer and subsequent negotiation determine whether one will make the transition from buyer to owner of St Lucia real estate. This makes the offer the pivotal point of a property transaction – a point which must be approached wisely. You don’t want to overpay for a property. At the same time, making an offer that is too low may offend the owner and cause you to lose the property before the negotiations even begin. The following points will guide your approach to making offers on St Lucia properties.

 

 

Supply and demand of St Lucia Real Estate

The balance of supply and demand is one of the biggest clues on how aggressively one can negotiate the price of St Lucia real estate. In a hot sellers’ market, many buyers will be competing over a small stock of properties for sale. In this case, the seller has the upper hand and will be less likely to reduce their price.  However, when the reverse is true, many property owners are competing over a handful of qualified buyers.  Buyers are at liberty to negotiate at will. When on the hunt for St Lucia properties, it is therefore critical to know what type of market conditions you are operating in.

Price of similar St Lucia Properties

Before making an offer on St Lucia real estate, gauge fair market value for the property by comparing it to similar properties that have recently been sold. This will tell you what other buyers, operating under open market conditions are prepared to pay for a similar property. Factors that one should consider when making a comparative analysis of St Lucia properties are their location, size, age, quality of architecture and construction and type of view.  Estimating property values is a delicate science which requires consideration of all of these factors. For instance, 2 equally sized properties located side by side may have completely different values if one is 10 years old while the other is brand new.

Seller’s Motivation and Terms of Offer

A piece of St Lucia real estate may be up for sale for any number of reasons. A seller who is under pressure due to financial and personal obligations will be more likely to negotiate than one who is prepared to wait until the right offer comes along. For example, a developer, who sells St Lucia properties as their primary source of income, calculates their costs and expected revenue before construction even begins. This type of person may be less likely to reduce their price as they have fixed costs to cover. The seller will also consider the terms of your offer. A cash offer is far more appealing than one for which financing must be sourced from scratch. When buying St Lucia real estate, someone with large savings has far more negotiating power than one who is seeking 100% financing.

Negotiations are a balancing act. All of these factors affect the flexibility of the price of any piece of St Lucia real estate. The buyer and seller both want a good deal and the sale often depends on whether the parties are willing to compromise.  The best advice is to approach the negotiation with a win-win attitude. Keeping all these factors in mind, seek a fair and amicable common ground. A seller is more likely to want to negotiate with someone who is reasonable, than one who is trying to break them down. Practice this tip and you will find that your negotiations for St Lucia properties will be far more satisfying.