Explore Charlotte Amalie, VI
By Patrice Johnson
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty)
Comments 3
As winter bears down on the northeast corridor, I’m filled with gratitude and optimism. Here I am, in one of the most gorgeous places on earth, marveling at a panorama of Caribbean islands and azure seas as I wipe sweat from my brow.I’m a Virgin Islands realtor. By all accounts (reality TV notwithstanding) I should be wearing a tailored suit and 3-inch pumps, sitting in an air-conditioned office or driving a German import to my next multi-million dollar listing.In reality, I’ve just come from a morning trek in the woods to eyeball boundposts that were exposed by the seller but that have gone undetected by my client, the buyer. I was shown the boundposts so that later today, when my client leaves her 9-to-5 job, I can enter these woods again and show her exactly where they are.The parcel...
By William True, Sarasota Real Estate
(True Sarasota Real Estate)
Comments 1
The Legend of Blackbeard the Pirate   Blackbeard’s Hill has been a prime residential neighborhood since colonial times. As you stroll through this old historical district you can easily imagine what life was like in centuries past.   The Danes took possession of St. Thomas in 1671 and built Fort Christian. The observation tower, Skytsborg, better known as Blackbeard’s Castle, was built in 1697, and guaranteed safety for the area’s wealthy residents who could seek refuge if there was an attack by man or nature.                 It Stands Against The Test Of Time   The attacks by man never came, and nature’s destructive forces have failed to put a dent in the Tower. It has withstood hurricanes and earthquakes and served as a vantage for the deadly fires that swept the town of Charlotte Ama...
By William True, Sarasota Real Estate
(True Sarasota Real Estate)
Comments 2
Blackbeard's Castle Hits the Market! By William True Since 1967, a local family has accumulated and preserved almost three acres, including eight centuries-old estates, in downtown Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI. This unique compilation includes Estate Skytsborg aka Blackbeard’s Castle, Haagensen House, Villa Notman,  Hotel 1829, Bank House, Magens-Pedersen Estate, Mendlicott Estate and the Brittania House. The grounds, restored homes and botanical gardens are absolutely stunning. This rare collection of connected properties is being offered for $18,000,000. A licensed real estate professional with a successful buyer stands to earn as much as a $135,000 referral fee or up to $540,000 in commission for those licensed in the USVI. If that's not enough, the owner, a retiring licensed r...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 2
St. Thomas is a diverse and interesting place to live. I have blogged before about the Reichhold Center for the Arts, an open air theater and Tillet Gardens is an enclave of artistry. Via an e-mail I was notified the Pistarkle Theater, located in Tillet Gardens, was featuring, "A Raisin in the Sun". I have not seen it in the theater before but it is one of my favorite old movies, staring Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee. It opened on March 7 with a pay as you can, performance with repeat performances March 8, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23 at 8 pm. I was able to purchase my ticket online and print it at home. This evening, two friend and I decided to have dinner at the new Italian Restaurant at Megan's Point Resort. I arrived first and grabbed a table by the pool, enjoyed the cool breezes and wat...
By Ken Wiseman
(America's Caribbean Realty)
Comments 1
Country music star Kenny Chesney has a new album coming out in April called Life On a Rock. From what he was quoted in a recent interview, the songs will reflect living on an island.  Funny! A few things here: 1. Kenny Chesney owns two houses on St John (one is for sale).  2. We always say we live on "The Rock" otherwise known as St Thomas.  3. The video for "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem was filmed at Ivan's Stress Free Bar on Jost Van Dyke. The songs insperation came from a sign in front of One Love Bar on Jost (see picture).    "When I first went to the islands, I met a lot of people who were making a life beyond anything any of them knew... They were boatmen, bartenders, waitresses, real estate folks. They were all loving life, living a dream and coloring outside the lines with thi...
By Ken Wiseman
(America's Caribbean Realty)
Comments 0
Some of you may have been wondering what is the state of the St Thomas, US Virgin Islands Real Estate Market? Is it any different than what is happening stateside?  All statistics are showing that are market is improving and on the up swing. Let's take a look at year over year statistics, 2011 to 2012 2011 Average Sold for residential was $511,014 vs. 2012 Average Sold of $532,543 for a gain of 4.13%. 2011 Median Sold for residential was $440,000 vs. Median Sold of $456,000 for a gain of 3.64%. Sold listings for 2011 was 53 vs. Sold lisitngs for 2012 was 67 for a gain of 24.3%. Median days on market is 208 days, meaning it will take about 7 months for a listing to sell on average. Condominium sales are showing some strength too: 2011 Average Sold for residential was $211,271 vs. 2012 Av...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 2
    Two nights ago -  the Virgin Islands Realtors at the NAR Conference. The purpose of the Virgin Islands Realtors attending the NAR conference in Orlando, Florida, is for education, exchanging information and ideas with other associations, resolving governance issues and building camaraderie. Socializing can be a part of all of these goals.                 Realtor, Karen Korsgren, encounters one of many characters from the theme park. The entertainement and socializing has been enjoyable. For the Realtors Night Out, NAR brought out the Universal's Islands of Adventure from 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm. The amusement park is filled with vendors and rides. A core group of Virgin Island Realtors attended, our first stop was The Incredible Hulk Coaster, a hair raising, terrifying ride that twists ...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 2
                                                              Aisha Watley - my stylist   Phoenix Visions Hair Design, in Crown Bay Marina, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands   I have lived in the Virgin Islands for almost nine years now, helping people sell and buy real estate. As with any profession, it is important to maintain a neat, professional image. With the tropical, humid atmosphere it can truly be a struggle here in the Virgin Islands. I have used a number of stylists who have done my hair well, but for the most part, by the time I reached my car in the parking lot and looked in the mirror I could not tell I had been to the hairdressers. A little frustrating. I have tried relaxers, twists and a host of other processes, I didn't have the patience for locks, all to no avail.   Ea...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 10
  St. Thomas may be a fairly small island but cultural institutions abound here. One of the cultural institutions in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. is the Pistarkle Theater. Established in 1991 and currently molded by Nikki Emerich as the artistic Director. The Pistarkle Theater offers a variety of productions that get better each year. Saturday was the final performance of "Cabaret" at the Pistarkle Theater. Typically,  there was not an empty seat in the house. I attended with two friends and enjoyed the performance of a cast that has been honing their skills and clearly are exhibiting the benefit of a new musical director. An additional bonus is being able to see  friends and colleagues preform at a professional level. This cultural institution in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands offers educati...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 4
Since arriving in St. Thomas, I have infrequently heard people my age either ask about property near Stumpy Bay or refer to wonderful times they had while growing up going to Stumpy Bay. There was never a lot of details, just whimsical looks and soft knowing smiles. I have shown property in Estate Hope only once before, a raw piece of land. Estate Hope is located on the Western side of the island before you get to Estate Fortuna, people hold on to the property in this area. I had an appointment to show a home listed for only $249,000, hard to find on St. Thomas. The listing touted the home to be within walking distance to Stumpy Bay. I met a friend I have been showing homes for a while and we ventured down an unpaved road that was pretty rugged (not unusual in St. Thomas). Turns out, t...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 1
If you read this blog, you know I spend a fair amount of time on Magen's Bay Beach, in St. Thomas, especially early in the morning. The astounding beauty brings peace, preserves sanity in crazy times and provides great exercise.   This past Saturday was a day I was determined to get there, a particularly demanding week with rental issues, made it even more important. A friend was supposed to meet me but she wasn't there when I showed up. I forged on, walking briskly and enjoying the picturesque homes in Peterborg and Misgunst nestled in the rolling lush green hills, crystal clear water with gentle waves lapping the shore, a cool breeze and brilliant warming sunshine.    As I started my second length of the beach I noticed an attractive man go down on bended knee at water's edge.  Standi...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 2
Wednesdays are traditionally the day for open houses on St. Thomas. They are open mainly to brokers and agents. Although you are not prohibited from bringing your customer. Today there were a total of six open houses. I started out with the thought of trying to identify the best buy, but it really depends on your needs. The first home was in Frenchman's Bay. A duplex, two, 2 bedrooms 2 baths, mirror images of each other with a 1 bedroom apartment downstairs, nicely renovated, garage and a private beach. As an income investment you could probably generate $6000 a month by renting out all three units, which could go a fair distance on helping to pay the mortgage on the $1.35 million asking price depending on how much you put down. Just next door was a townhouse that had been renovated to ...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 2
Entertainment in St. Thomas VI Michael Bolton rocked the Reichhold Center for the Arts in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands last night as part of his, One World One Love 2011 tour. Showing his range from classics like, "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay", and "How am I Supposed to Live Without You" to Puccini's "Nessum Dorma" which brought tears to my eyes!And, Yes, he is just a fine as ever.The University of the Virgin Islands has a performing arts center and brings a wide variety of shows to the territory. It is an open air theater with some covered seats and others that are covered by the stars only. The center is named after Henry Reichhold CEO of Reichhold Chemical Inc. of Detroit Michigan, who initially contributed 3.5 Million in 1976-77 to the foundation. The center continues to oper...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 1
What about Foreclosures in the Virgin Islands?  They abound on the continent or mainland. Experts on CNN predict, the real estate market will continue to decline until the inventory of REO's is absorbed. The debacle of the market was instigated by out of control lending institutions, sub-prime lending with homes being sold to people who could barely afford them at greatly inflated prices. A mis-step in payments, a reduction in income or the balloon payment kicks in and you're in trouble. It is a slippery slope. The economy stalled, jobs were lost, we all know the story. The majority of Homes in the US Virgin Islands, for the most part, have escaped this fate.Fortunately, for most Virgin Island Real Estate owner, the banking system has a separate commission and licensing system, banks an...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 3
  It's four in the afternoon on the Harbor of Charlotte Amalie, in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Happy hour at Frenchman's Cove, a newer timeshare subdivision of the Marriott Hotel, in Frenchman's Bay is featuring St. Thomas' hot new groups, two for one drinks, breath taking scenery, happy tourist, a few local folks and lots of sunshine of more than one kind.  I was invited by friends, who I have been working with to find an investment property. Their daughter is the vocalist for Liquid Sunshine. When my business partner and I arrived, they were sitting at a table just outside of the bar in front of the band.  We had just picked up a new listing of a great lot with a stunning view in Mahogany Run and looked at a condo on the East end of the island that is in the process of bei...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 1
It is the season for hurricanes in the Caribbean. We often have warnings. Saturday afternoon, as president elect, I hosted a luncheon for incoming officers of the St. Thomas Board of Realtors at the Grill in Mahogany Run. We discussed some of our goals for the up coming year. Our conversation quickly turned to Hurricane Earl which was at that time a tropical storm but headed straight our way. Those who had survived Marilyn in the mid 90"s, were quite anxious. Those of us who have not endured a full hurricane were even more uncertain.   Most of us had registered with VITEMA or the Virgin Ilsands Emergency Management Authority, they had already issued a warning and they were flying in a team, Earl was expected to arrive around 2:00 a.m. on Monday, it was supposed to be a category 1 hurric...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 3
With the advent of heavy rains yesterday, I began to think about my cistern filling up.  On St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John,  most homes have their own supply of water, gathered from rain falling on the roof, which is stored underneath the house, where a basement would normally be on the mainland. It is kind of like building a home on top of a swimming pool, they are called cisterns. The water is then pumped back into the house after being filtered. It is one of the reasons I love living here. You bath in fresh rain water without any harsh chemicals to dry your skin.  Of course having a cistern means there is a finite amount of water and you should be mindful of the amounts you are using (when buying a home you should have your home inspector determine the capacity of the cistern). I...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 2
SizeAs a Broker in the U.S. Virgin Islands I am licensed to sell property on all three islands, St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix. Although each island has it's own REALTORS' association, due to our individual sizes we are consolidated as a "state" organization called Virgin Islands Territorial Association of Realtors or VITAR. Our total membership is approximately 300 members. Nationally, the Virgin Islands are part of Region 5.MID-YEAR MEETINGTo attend our mid-year meeting I caught the seaplane to St. Croix. This is a plane that takes off  from and lands in the water on pontoons. No matter how many times I make this trip the view leaving the harbor of Charlotte Amalie, of turquoise waters, cradling luxury yachts, personal sail boats and cruise ships,cupped by lush, emerald, volcanica...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 3
You would have to be living under a rock not to have heard about the up-coming hurricane season forecast. It formally opened today, June first, and is supposed to be a particularly rough year in the Atlantic region.  I have already had prospective buyers call to postpone trips until after the season has passed. Many ask how we deal with the potential storms on St. Thomas, here in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  We prepare the best way we can. Here are some suggestions for preparing your home as well as yourself for surviving during this season. Your home: Cut back trees and limbs that grow close to the house. Make sure you have storm shutters and they are in good working order. If you are not going to be on island, shutter your home before leaving or make sure you have contracted with someone...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 0
St. Thomas is a beautiful Caribbean Island, under the flag of the United States. People flock here to vacation from around the world, buying, or renting villas, condos, timeshares, as well as all kinds of sailing vessels. Buying and selling real estate in the U.S. Virgin Islands is easiest for those with deeper pockets. There is a time during the year when the business of celebrating life takes over most real estate transactions and business in general, on St. Thomas. That time of year arrives in mid April and is known as Carnival. It is a tradition throughout the Caribbean as well as Central and South America. The entire island anticipates the jubilation it brings. It starts with pageants for beauty queens and kings of every age group, includes bands of many kinds in concerts at the st...

Charlotte Amalie, VI Real Estate Professionals