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National Parks in the Virgin Islands

National Parks of the Virgin islands

 

Animals of the National Park

There are 140 species of birds, 302 species of fish, 7 species of amphibians, 22 species of mammals and 740 species of plants inhabiting the Island. In addition there are about 50 corals species and numerous gorgonians, and sponges providing St. Johnian’s and visitors with some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world.

Culture of the Virgin Islands

The first humans arrived in the Virgin Islands between 2500 to 3000 years ago.
The Taino culture developed between 500 to 1000 years ago.
Columbus discovers the islands in 1493.
Visitors from the United States began vacationing and moving to the Virgin Islands between 1920 and 1950.
The Virgin Islands National Park was established in 1956.

Nature of the Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands National Park located in the tropical Atlantic, contains examples of terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems. These include various types of dry to moist forests, salt ponds, beaches, mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs. The land is mountainous, with average slopes being 30 percent. Bordeaux mountain, 1286 feet high, plunges sharply to the sea.

Turtles of the Virgin Islands

There are seven species of sea turtles in the world, and three of these inhabit the waters of St. John. The two most common are the green and hawksbill turtles, while the leatherback is rarely seen. Sea turtles spend most of their lives in the water only coming ashore to nest. Turtles travel thousands of miles a year.

For those that are not very familiar with the Virgin Islands, you might be surprised to hear that St. John is approximately 60% national park!

 

Quick history and facts about the St. John National Park

In 1917 the United States bought St. John from Denmark. By the 1930s, news of the beautiful American island had spread to the United States mainland and the beginning of what was to become a tourism boom on St. John was established.

Laurence Rockefeller in 1956 donated land to the Federal Government to establish a National Park. The 5000 acres became the nation’s twenty-ninth National Park. The land was presented to Fred Seaton, who was the Secretary of the Interior, he promised the government would ‘take good and proper care of these precious acres and verdant hills and valleys and miles of sunny, sandy shores’. Since then other donations have been made and presently the Virgin Islands National Park includes 7200 acres of land and 5600 acres of underwater land.

Today St. John thrives as a favored tourist destination. A construction boom in the past couple of years is changing St. John from a quiet, sleepy island to one with a little more traffic and development.

Note: The information contained in this brief history was gathered from St. John Back time Eyewitness Accounts from 1718 to 1956, compiled by Ruth Hull Low and Rafael Valls, printed in 1985, and John Lonzo Anderson’s Random Notes on the History of St. John printed in 1970. Compiled from The National Park Service.

You can also read more on the park at National Geographic by clicking here

 

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Posted in Virgin Islands National Park

Tagged caribbean culture, Friends of Virgin Islands National Park, Island lifestyle, Sea Turtles, St John Virgin Islands, Virgin Islands,


5 To Do’s When You and Your Mate Want Different Things in a Home

5 To Do’s When You and Your Mate Want Different Things in a Home

 

Early on in my real estate career, I noticed a recurring anthropological event among house-hunting couples. They would come into my office and sit down to tell me about what they were looking for in their next home. In about 75 percent of cases where one of them had expressed an interest in a fixer-upper, as soon as the wanna-be-weekend-handyperson excused him or herself to go to the bathroom, their significant other would pull me aside. Then, eyes desperately darting around in a sort of optical Morse code, sweat beads dropping from their brow, they would initiate what I came to call “The Restroom Conversation,” which always went something like this:
“Please help me. I do not want a fixer. My husband/wife/significant other will never do the work. I don’t want to live in an expensive hovel.  SOS!”

The life-changing impact and bank-depleting dollar amount of a home purchase transaction renders it fertile ground for relationship discord. That said if both sides proceed consciously and with the intention of peaceful resolution, there are strategies that can help make sure the deal closes without destroying the relationship – and without one side being disgruntled that their needs are not being met.

Here are my five techniques for resolving differences of opinion with your loved one when you’re buying a home together:

1. Get everything out in the open. Surely by now, you’ve heard the saying about what closed mouths don’t get: fed. You’d be surprised at how many ‘restroom conversations’ culminated in an open conversation in which the fixer-averse member of the couple confessed to their mate that they didn’t share their Bob Vila fantasies for the very first time!

In this way (and many other ways, for that matter), real estate matters can reflect the deeper dynamics of the relationship. People who hate confrontation in the rest of their relationship tend to avoid vocalizing their disagreement with their partner’s real estate opinions, too.  This, in turn, can lead to one person owning and paying for a property they simply dislike, or otherwise failing to have their real estate needs met. Over years of homeownership, this can fester and snowball into a relationship-ruining avalanche of resentment and rage.

If you have a strong disagreement with some of your S.O.’s real estate priorities, make sure you voice them – respectfully, of course. (See #5, below.)  Biting your tongue can be both painful and costly, in the context of a home buying transaction.

2. Prioritize your conflicting wants and needs. Couples with a strong track record of reaching compromises and problem resolution may do this naturally, while newlyweds and other couples who tend to lock horns more frequently will find this to be a new approach. I recommend that each individual buyer sit down and write out their Vision of Home – what they want their lives to look like on a daily basis once they’re in the home they’re about to buy. Who all will live with you? What do you do in your spare time – scrapbooking or yoga or yard work or loafing – and where in or around the house do you do it?  Do you spend your weekends at the home improvement store or hosting brunches?

From there, each person should begin to drill down into how their vision translates into a property. This is the time to get into the nuts-and-bolts stuff: how many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want or need?  Where will this home be located?  Are you wanting a townhome with a zero-maintenance exterior or a sprawling rancher on a few acres?

Once each individual is clear on their wants and needs, the members of the home buying couple should meet up, sit down, and review, surfacing where your wants and needs align seamlessly and also surfacing any disconnects or diverging priorities.

Then, take some areas of disagreement and prioritize them:

  • Is your desire for a townhouse a deal-breaker, or could you make do so long as the landscaping of a standalone home is low-maintenance or your spouse agrees to handle it?
  • Is your mate’s dream of investing sweat equity into a major fixer a must-have, or are they open to seeing other options?


I find it helpful to categorize areas of disagreement in terms of must-haves, would-likes, dislikes, and deal-killers. You might find that what seems like the makings of a major dispute ends up being resolved pretty easily once you get clear on how important each of the sticking points is (or isn’t, as the case may be).

3. Bring your agent into the mix.  First, let me be clear: it is not an agent’s job to provide free therapy!  I’m not suggesting that you look to your broker or agent to resolve your relationship differences (though many have extensive experience doing just that, in a home buying context). However, agents know more about the subject matter of your disagreement – homes – than either you or your mate, and an experienced agent might even have worked with other couples through the precise issue or stalemate you’re facing, in the past.

Letting your agent in on the disagreement and seeking their input can be a powerful step in the right direction of resolving an impasse:

  • First off, your agent might know of properties or property types that can resolve your disagreement with little or no further negotiation. They might be able to instantly see some compromises or solutions that you would have no way to even think of!
  • Second, your agent might immediately spot how one or both of your impasse-creating needs are infeasible in any event. For example, if you want water views and your spouse wants to live downtown, your agent might know for a fact that neither of these is feasible on your budget!


Agents are great at helping resolve differing house hunt wants and needs by reality-checking both partners with the truths of the market, including surfacing property-based solutions that hold the potential to make both sides happy.

4. View properties that meet either side’s wishes, as well as compromise homes.  You’d be surprised how what we *think* we want in a home, in the abstract, changes up once we’re actually viewing real-life properties in the flesh (or, more accurately, in the brick, mortar, and stucco). Buyers with a die-hard commitment to fixing up a property have been known to shift their stance when they actually see the fixers in their area (which may not be discounted as heavily as they expected), or when they see a beautiful, move-in ready property in their price range.

And the reverse is also true: I’ve seen numerous buyers who wanted to do little or no work to their next home become willing to take some work on upon viewing a cosmetically-challenged but otherwise perfect property in the perfect neighborhood – at the perfect price.

My advice to buyers who find themselves at a stalemate with their mate is to split your first couple of showings with an agent roughly equally between homes that:

(a) meet one or the other spouse’s deal-making or -breaking priorities

(b) reflect your best efforts to compromise with the other, and

(c) reflect your agent’s opinion of the sort of property that will support the most prominent features of the lifestyle(s) you each envisioned, whether or not it’s precisely what either of you has described.


This way, you have the best shot at allowing the reality of the homes on your market in your price range to resolve the impasse for you, without further fuss or additional ado.

5. Don’t start or engage in power struggles.  Wanna know what happens when people think their needs or concerns are being dismissed, disrespected, or minimized?  They get entrenched and oppositional, and power struggles ensue.  In a power struggle, the facts of the situation – the substantive disconnect between two people’s home buying wish lists – becomes completely secondary to the so-called “principle of the thing.”

Once that happens, there’s almost no solution, no compromise, or give-and-take that will satisfy the person who feels their needs are being overlooked. They might agree, begrudgingly, to a property, but express their martyrdom and resentment for years to come. Or they might flat out dig in their heels, being passively or aggressively obstructive to the home buying process by not bringing in documents as needed, making a unilateral purchase on credit, or otherwise sabotaging the deal, albeit unwittingly. This is not necessarily intentional game-playing, either; most people who are engaged in power struggles can’t see it while they’re in them.  Only after cooling off, and only in retrospect, can they see the overarching relationship dynamics that got in the way of smart, proactive real estate decisions.

Accordingly, it’s essential that if you and your mate disagree on one or more major points of your house-hunting criteria list, you each treat the other’s position respectfully.  Exercise class active listening techniques, like repeating back in your own words what the other person is expressing so that they see you are paying them the respect of listening, and asking questions to more fully understand why they have the priorities and concerns they do.

At all costs, avoid teasing or ridiculing your mate or their wish list, no matter how frivolous some items on it may seem to you.  Instead, focus on the priorities that you do share, and engage in calm conversations devoted to determining what tradeoffs each of you is willing to make in order to achieve your common goal: a home that works for you both, for your family, and for your finances, for the long haul.

By Ask Tara@Trulia

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Sea Glass Cares

Sea Glass has some exciting news! We are proud to announce that we have officially embarked on our journey of  social responsibility to the U.S. Virgin Islands community. Too many times we have found ourselves asking, “how can we give back to a community that needs it so bad?” Sure, when you look at our properties, vacation villas, and beautiful pristine water, you see the plentiful and the beauty– you see “The Life”. However, just as all around the world, there is a true need for help in the Virgin Islands, and when one is in the position to help–how can you not? Thus, we decided it was time to take action.

Sea Glass has set up a fund with the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI), by the name of Sea Glass Cares. It is our specific aim to help raise funds for various educational projects in the local community such as after school programs, summer school, sports programs, and other activities. What is appealing about this fund is that 100% of what we raise will go directly to charities of the Virgin Islands– no overhead at all, so when donating you can be rest assured that your monies are going where you want them to go!

Furthermore, we have made our own personal pledge to donate a percentage of our profits from our vacation program. So, if you are looking for a vacation AND you want to make an impact… look no further, we have the answer!

This month is going to be all about community involvement in the Virgin Islands. So, stay tuned for a new post each week and a little more information about Sea Glass Cares and how you can help!

Please visit www.seaglasscares.org to learn more about the Emmanuel Benjamin Oliver Elementary School Summer Program. More to come on our projects!

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Posted in Community Involvement


Just Listed! St. Thomas Waterfront Villa

One of St. Thomas’s finest luxury villas is now on the market for sale.

$10,500,000

This 2000 bottle wine cellar is one of the MANY reasons why this home is a must see:

Wine Cellar

Click HERE to learn more about Casa Sul Mare

D13&14 Lovenlund, St. Thomas Virgin Islands

or Contact: Nick Van Assche | 340-774-5277

Sea Glass Properties sells St. Thomas real estate.

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Posted in St. Thomas Real Estate

Tagged st thomas luxury homes, st thomas luxury real estate, st thomas real estate, st thomas waterfront homes, virgin islands waterfront homes,


Beachfront Bargain Hunt St. Thomas

Preview of Beachfront Bargain Hunt on HGTV. Kerstin McConnell helps the Cassidy family find the perfect home.

Check it out!

Kerstin helps the Cassidy Family.

Kerstin helps the Cassidy Family.

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Posted in Sea Glass, St. Thomas Real Estate


Villa Pearl Auction (4-49 Botany Bay) March 22nd, 2016

The Villa Pearl Auction on St. Thomas is almost here.

Only 9 days remain until this view could be yours!

Villa Pearl View

Location:    4-49 Botany Bay St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands
Date of Auction:    March 22, 2016

CURRENTLY $14.5M | RESERVE $7.75M

Click Here to Request the Villa Pearl Auction Package

Villa Pearl is a 9,854 square feet luxury waterfront home located on St. Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands featuring 6 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms. This property is being auctioned off fully furnished. For a bidder’s brochure, contact us today!

View our previous posts: 

http://www.seaglassproperties.com/blog/2016/03/villa-pearl-auction-st-thomas-vi/

http://www.seaglassproperties.com/blog/2016/03/4-49-botany-bay-auction/

http://www.seaglassvi.com/2016/03/03/villa-pearl-luxury-auction/

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Posted in St. Thomas Real Estate, The Preserve at Botany Bay

Tagged st thomas real estate, villa pearl auction, virgin islands real estate,


Villa Pearl Luxury Auction (Formerly known as Villa Whydah)

Villa Pearl Luxury Auction (Formerly known as Villa Whydah)

Virgin Islands Real Estate

– Waterfront Luxury Home –

Location:    4-49 Botany Bay St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands
Date of Auction:    March 22, 2016

CURRENTLY $14.5M | RESERVE $7.75M

Click Here to Request the Villa Pearl Auction Package

Click Here

Villa Pearl, located on St. Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands, that will be going to auction for the second time on March 22, 2016.

Villa Pearl, comprised of 19,000+ total square feet sitting on 4 acres was previously known as Villa Whydah. Originally listed in 2013 at $35m, the owner ended up selling the villa at auction in December of 2014. After reducing the price to $25m in October of 2013 the property was then auctioned off by Platinum Luxury Auctions with a reserve price of $6 million and ultimately closed for $8,855,000 (per the St. Thomas MLS). Currently the last sale remains the highest priced residential sale on St. Thomas. 

The U.S. Virgin Islands is the only English speaking U.S. territory in the Caribbean, making it uniquely attractive to the US tourist market and beyond. Botany Bay remains one of the premier residential developments in the US Virgin Islands. Buyers looking to purchase in Botany Bay often look at other areas as well such as Water Point, Peterborg, and Mahogany Run on St. Thomas. Areas of similar price points on St. John include Peter Bay, Catherineberg, and Ditleff Point. 

If you are interested in participating in the Villa Pearl Luxury Auction please call Nick Van Assche at 340.776.6666 or email nick@seaglassproperties.com

Download Auction Package


Click Here to Learn about St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

Click Here to Learn about Virgin Islands Hotel Tax Incentives

Broker Reciprocity.

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Posted in St. Thomas Real Estate, The Preserve at Botany Bay, US Virgin Islands Real Estate

Tagged luxury auction, St. Thomas, villa pearl, villa whydah, Virgin Islands,


Sea Glass Virgin Islands Statistics

Sea Glass Virgin Islands real estate statistics consist of MLS and non-MLS data for Sea Glass Companies.

#1. We finished #1. in sales in the USVI:  $80,792,495

#2. We finished #1. in number of transactions in the USVI: 350

#3. We sold $38.6m more in real estate than the nearest STT/STJ competitor.

#4. We had 129 more transactions than the nearest USVI competitor.

#5. We added Holiday Homes of St. John, established in 1960, to our family.

#6. We sold 9 more properties over $1m than the nearest USVI competitor.

#7. We generated over 40,000 visits to our websites per month.

#8. We have over 50 homes listed above $1m.

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From my office window

tre trees   I am blessed to be able to say I live in the US Virgin Islands all year around.  As I sit in my office I can see tourists getting on a sailboat for a day trip snorkeling in the beautiful blue Caribbean waters that are less than 5 minutes from me at any time.  I can see a cruise ship that hosts thousands of people – each one looking for a little bit of the beautiful sunny days I get to enjoy all of the time.  I can see the gorgeous mega yachts with their spiffy crews always making sure the boats are clean for their owners. I have been on a few and they are just as wonderful inside as they are outside. I moved to the USVI over a decade ago to live in the sun and fun and I still love waking up every day looking at the blue sky and even more blue Sea.  I have beautiful views even from my office window.  Contact me if this is what is on your mind.

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Peter Bay St John Auction

St. John Real Estate

CLICK HERE TO VIEW INFORMATION ABOUT VILLA PEARL – ST THOMAS AUCTION

– Auction Canceled –

Click Here to Learn More About Villa Rivendell

Rivendell Peter Bay

June 13th, 2015

Villa Rivendell is a 4 bedroom, 4.5 bathroom luxury home located in the prestigious neighborhood of Peter Bay on St. John in the US Virgin Islands. This property sits on 1.04 acres and offers an outdoor dining area, gym, backup generator and newly updated pool and deck. 

This villa is located in Lower Peter Bay St John and is a short walk to the beach.

If you are interested in learning more about Villa Rivendell and the Peter Bay Auction please call Nick Van Assche at 340.776.666 or email nick@seaglassvi.com

Click Here to Learn about Peter Bay St John

Click Here to Learn about St. John, US Virgin Islands

Click Here to Learn about Virgin Islands Hotel Tax Incentives

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Posted in St. John Real Estate, US Virgin Islands Real Estate

Tagged st john homes for sale, st john real estate, us virgin islands luxury homes,