“A condo? Forget it!” So goes the response from would-be home buyers with budgets in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range when REALTORS point out that condos could easily have updates and amenities that homes at this price definitely lack. Buyers point to the burden of condo fees – often from $600 to $800, even $1,000 a month for a two-bedroom unit on St. Thomas. But, wait a minute. Does that fee include hurricane insurance? Landscaping? Is there security included? A pool? Tennis courts? If you break down the monthly costs of wind insurance on a home, add to it landscaping costs (or hassle, if you do it yourself), perhaps pool maintenance and then throw in those big-ticket moments when the roof starts leaking, or the house needs painting, or the trees need removing, and guess what? You’re probably paying every bit as much, if not more, than that monthly condo fee. But unlike a condo, the headache is yours, and yours alone. Here’s a formula to keep in mind if you’re looking to buy a home. Multiply the replacement cost of your home by .0177 and that’s roughly your annual property insurance bill. For a $500,000 home, be prepared to spend in excess of $8,000 a year on hurricane insurance. In other words, for folks looking for a cozy updated space, maybe even on the ocean, perhaps those condo fees don’t look quite so bad after all. And there are plenty of bargains to be had in the condominium world on St. Thomas these days!
Barbara at Sea Glass Properties at 690-9995.