St Lucia Real Estate Tips: 3 Locations With the Best Views on the Island

No matter where you are in St Lucia, there is something beautiful to behold, be it the sparkling Caribbean Sea or mountains cloaked in verdure. With amazing views everywhere you turn, choosing my favorite locations was a daunting task! However, after much site seeing I have managed to narrow down the 3 best locations for St Lucia real estate with eye-popping views!

Morne Fortune

Morne Fortune is one of the most enchanting parts of St Lucia. At 900 ft high, the Morne, as it is commonly called, towers over the capital city and commands views of the entire northwest coastline of St Lucia, with all its bays, beaches and rugged beauty. On clear nights, the lights of cars driving in Martinique, across 50 miles of Caribbean Sea, are as clear as if they were in Gros Islet.

The Morne is steep in gradients and steeped in history. It is the site of colonial mansions such as Government House, the Johnson’s Memorial Home and the Pink Plantation restaurant. At the summit of the Morne, draped in clouds, is the 18th century brown brick military fort, which is the campus of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College. The college is a popular stop on island tours where people visit the scenic war monument as well as the namesake Nobel Laureate’s grave. All over the Morne, there are gigantic trees, which look like they have stood for centuries.

Rodney Heights

The upscale Rodney Heights neighborhood is usually high on the checklist for people seeking St Lucia real estate with sea views. As the name indicates, Rodney Heights is on a hill overlooking Rodney Bay. Depending on their exact location, houses at Rodney Heights boast views of Pigeon Island, the Caribbean Sea or the Rodney Bay marina. At night, with the town lit up, the views are electrifying!

One of the strongest features of Rodney Heights is its convenient location. All of the homes in this area are within a 5 minute drive of the beautiful beaches at Reduit and Pigeon Island. Rodney Bay is also alive with shopping malls, restaurants, bars and St Lucia’s only casino. This is an in demand area, suited for people who want high quality St Lucia real estate. Sea view villas average about US$1,000,000.

Vigie

St Lucia real estate in Vigie is unique for many reasons. It is a peninsular accessible only via a scenic drive along the most popular beach in Castries. Almost completely surrounded by the sea, practically every house at Vigie has a spectacular view. North facing houses overlook Vigie beach, Choc Bay and Pigeon Island. South facing houses overlook Castries harbor, and La Toc beach.

Though only 5 minutes from the city of Castries, Vigie feels like it is tucked away. Homes tend to be on relatively large lots, which gives a sense of privacy. It is a well established neighborhood and is home to many institutions such as the Mexican, French and Venezuelan embassies. The Vigie lighthouse, with its 360 degree view, is a popular look-out point.

St Lucia real estate is all about amazing views! There are so many great locations to choose from, house hunters may have a hard time picking their favorites, I certainly did! From historic to modern, secluded to urban, there is an amazing variety to from which to find your dream home!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ways to Market Yourself As a Real Estate Agent

Congratulations on passing the state licensing exam and getting placed with an agency! Now it’s time to find your clients – and to have them find you. Some agencies will provide assistance for marketing, but they might not give you all the tips you need. Read on to learn more about tips to market yourself as a real estate agent.

Your new agency may give you some leads to get started with. But those are not going to expand your business very well. You can also start with marketing to your so-called warm market – your friends and family. It’s the least expensive type of marketing, and you know that your audience will be receptive, or at least polite and hear your message. They can also give people they know a referral to you, and that kind of marketing is both free and invaluable. Your warm market paired with your agency’s leads will be a solid place to start.

Adding on to that, there are traditional types of marketing like newspaper ads and local city magazines. But in today’s digital age, these marketing formats don’t yield very strong results. Here is where you can let your creative talents shine. Think of ways to make digital videos that not only make your clients’ home look dazzling, but get you noticed.

Viral videos can take off and get people watching them for reasons other than their original purpose. Even if 90% of people viewing your clip are doing so for reasons other than buying a home, your name is getting out in front of all of them. One clever agent in Northern California did a parody of “YMCA” and garnered so much business, he was named by the Wall Street Journal as the top real estate agent in the country.

You should also have a robust website that invites people to click and contact you. Use those clicks to collect e-mails for your newsletter that you can also use when you get a new property to sell. Having good topics like ways to get stubborn grease off of your range hood or quick fixes for a leaky toilet will keep people coming back for what you have to say and build loyalty to you.

Keep up with your Facebook and Twitter accounts, too. These are the two most popular social media sites. If you have the time, you should maintain Google+ and Instagram accounts as well to broaden your horizons.

Lastly, know your market and use that knowledge to your greatest ability. There are all kinds of things people from out of the area need to know about schools, traffic patterns, and shopping, just to name a few things. Your local market guide will be a great asset to them – and lead to you getting more business. People want an agent who knows his or her stuff about the area. Your market guide shows potential clients that you are that expert.

Remember, a comprehensive marketing plan is not inexpensive. You will have already paid for your license and your testing fees, so be sure to factor marketing into your starting budget. While your agency might give you some tools like a set of personalized postcards or business cards, you will still need to have your own personal marketing set of tools as well.

List FSBO’s With Real Estate Letters That Offer Good Advice

Trying to list FSBO’s? Here’s what your marketing needs to stress.

You know why home sellers are trying to sell without your help. They think they’re going to save a lot of money. And to be absolutely honest, those who know what they’re doing, have nerves of steel, and who don’t need to go to a job every day can come close to doing what you can do.

As for the rest of them… your marketing needs to gently point out that they simply don’t know what they’re getting into!

No, you can’t say that. Making a would-be client look or feel foolish is definitely not the way to earn their business. So you need to be gentle in your presentation.

You need to offer some help in the form of tips, or perhaps clue them in about the various disclosure forms they’ll need. You might offer some advice about how to steel themselves against the insults they’ll hear as buyers try to push the price downward. (I used to laugh to myself about the comments buyers made to me. Sometimes I wanted to ask why they wanted to buy the house since they hated it so much.)

And of course, you need to remind them that buyers will try to point out that they’re not paying a Realtor so naturally they can sell the house for less.

Before embarking on do-it-yourself home selling, homeowners should ask themselves:

• Do I know how to determine their home’s value in today’s market?

• Am willing to work with and pay a buyer’s agent?

• Do I know how to market my home and get it in front of enough buyers?

• Can I deal in a civil manner with people who severely criticize my home?

• Am I willing to demand that buyers reveal their financial situation before I take my home off the market to negotiate with them?

You should touch on all these points when you’re talking with FSBO sellers, and you can incorporate them into a special report or a series of real estate letters to mail to them. If you enjoy writing and have a few extra hours you can create letters that are uniquely yours.

If you don’t enjoy writing or don’t have extra hours, you can buy pre-written real estate letters and just get busy sending them.

Either way, real estate letters written in this manner are a soft-sell technique that will position you as a non-pushy, non-threatening agent who knows how to sell homes. With each letter you’ll become more of a trusted adviser, so that when they do decide they need help they’ll naturally turn to you.

But how do you first contact these people?

One way is to offer the special report on your website. Visitors opt in to get the report and their addresses are automatically entered into your auto responder to receive the letters.

You could write down addresses and try to locate the names to go with them, or (Please, no!) write to Dear Homeowner. I personally think you should use an opt-in on your site even if you take the hands-on approach… which is to get out there and meet the people.

I know – that can be a little bit scary. But if you decide what you’re going to say ahead of time, and practice it, it will get easier.

Write a script that sounds natural to you. Something along the lines of “Hi, my name is Sally Jones from ABC Realty. I see you’re offering your home for sale by owner and I stopped by to ask if you were willing to let buyer agents show it to their customers.”

If you say it all at once, they won’t have a chance to say “I’m not listing” and slam the door on you.

Some of them may not have thought about the fact that some buyers want agent representation, so at this point you may need to explain the procedure. If you have a buyer list you mail to, you could mention it. If you use a one-time / one-party listing agreement, do mention that as well.

If they say yes, they’re willing to work with buyer’s agents, do ask for a tour and do take notes. You could even snap a picture to go with the notes.

The important thing is that you don’t ask for the listing at that time. (Not unless they throw themselves at your feet and beg you to take over this horrible job they got themselves into. In that case you must be a good samaritan and help them. )

If they say they don’t want to work with buyer agents, be polite and friendly and say “OK, I’ll let the others in my office know so they won’t bother you.” You might also throw in something complimentary about the house and tell them that if they change their minds to let you know, because you’d sure like to show it. Give them your card, of course.

Before you leave, tell them that you have a special report with tips for owner-sellers and you’d like to send it to them. That gives you the opportunity to ask for their names. You probably should also ask if the house address is their mailing address, since some people do prefer post office boxes to home delivery. Mail the special report as soon as you get back to the office, and enclose a nice little handwritten note thanking them for talking with you. If you can come up with something more personal to add, do it. For instance, if they were about to leave for a child’s soccer game, say you hope their team won. That’s just to show that to you they are more than just a house address – you noticed who they really are.

Be sure to enclose another card just in case they tossed the first one the minute you left.

Then, every few days send along a new real estate letter with a new bit of advice that will be useful to them. Do end each letter with an offer to help should they decide against doing this on their own.

Everything A Real Estate Agent Doesn’t Want You To Know-Part 1

MONEY MATTERS

Are you planning on buying or selling a home? Maybe refinancing? Perhaps you’d just like to pick up a few tips on home buying, selling and mortgage borrowing-if so you may want keep track of Money Matters in the months ahead as I will be giving out all kinds of tips and insights as we approach the home buying-selling season. I will be discussing a wide variety of real estate and mortgage financing issues you should know (Things real estate agents don’t want you to know). Well, good agents won’t have a problem with you knowing this information but the part-timers and less ethical operators would certainly prefer you not know what I am going to share with you!

You see, buying or selling a home is the largest investment of a lifetime for most people and it is a BIG business deal…a transaction composed people, emotions, contracts and cash…all the ingredients for legal and financial pain if you don’t know what you are doing. Real estate agents earn a commission when a home is sold whether they are the listing agent, the selling agent or both. Real estate agents typically (and legally) represent sellers in a real estate transaction and not buyers. Yet, every day, homebuyers refer to the real estate agent as “my real estate agent”…they are not your real estate agent…they are the home seller’s agent and agents have a legal duty to get the best selling price for the seller. Further, anything you tell them can and probably will be used against you to extract a higher selling price out of the deal. Sellers on the other hand are often manipulated into signing long term listing contracts for up to a year by an agent who will simply throw the listing into the multiple listing service (MLS) and hope another agent sells the property for them.

For agents, the name of the game is to get listing contracts…a common slogan amongst real estate agents is: “if you don’t list, you don’t last”. Once an agent gets a listing contract from a home seller, they will get the bulk of the commission when the house is sold whether they sell it or another agent sells the home. Not many sellers know this fact and many are swooned into long term listing agreements with hopeful promise of selling their homes at the highest possible price only to find out they don’t. Agents will say and do most anything to get a listing contract shy of breaking the law. And the big question for home sellers is are you working with a part time or full time agent? What is their background in marketing and sales? Do you really want to sign a long term listing agreement with a part timer that has one toe in the tub and no business background? Were talking about a business deal right?

Whether you are buying a home or selling a home you should be clearly aware that you will enter into legally binding contracts and relying on mortgage lenders to provide financing for the project. The question then becomes; how much do you know about contract law and mortgage financing? What are the most important elements of a contract and how does that impact you as a buyer or seller? This series of articles is generally drawn from my E-Report (101 Real Estate Tips for homebuyers, sellers and money borrowers). The report is designed as a crash course to provide you the information you need to know to protect your legal and financial interests whether you are a homebuyer or seller. This series of articles will touch upon the information you should know to keep from making blatantly stupid mistakes that could hurt you legally and financially and we’ll try to have some fun in the process…

Which reminds me! If you would like to receive a FREE copy of my E-Report: 101 Tips For Homebuyers, Sellers And Money Borrowers, go to smart Books website, send us an email and requesting a copy and we’ll send it to your email address within 24 hours-absolutely free-Another Ezine Articles Exclusive! Don’t forget to say you saw it at Ezine! Stay tuned!

Copyright © 2006

James W. Hart, IV

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