Question: What are some traditional holiday drinks?
Christie’s answer: This is the time of year for guavaberry. It’s the only time you see it. It’s so good that when they make guavaberry ice cream, people will stand in line until it’s all gone! Sorrel is used for making a bright red tea or jam. It has a strong tangy acidic flavor which goes well with holiday spices. And, of course, coquito. This is a traditional drink made by many Cruzans. Everyone has their own favorite recipe. Here is one from the Cruzan Foodie and one from The Novice Chef. There are usually coquito making contests. Each recipe contains coconut milk, rum, and cinnamon creating a coconut eggnog-like drink.
We are big fans of Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights! I recently bought one of their Christmas CDs at Riddims in downtown Christiansted to give to a friend, and decided to buy one for us, too. They put a Cruzan spin on Christmas carols, and I just can’t keep my feet still! If they don’t put the holiday spirit in you, you’re not paying attention!
Another favorite is Bill Bass. He plays amazing steel pan music which brings to my mind waving palm trees and lovely beaches.
We recommend adding these amazing musicians to your holiday streaming playlist. St. Croix’s renowned musical group Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights is on Spotify and Apple Music. Bill Bass is also on Spotify and Apple Music.
Question: What are some common terms dealing with real estate?
Christie’s Answer: Whether buying or selling, understanding real estate terms can make the sometimes overwhelming or confusing process simpler. For example, here are some commonly used terms:
Market Value: what a buyer is willing to pay for a property. It’s influenced by comparable sales which is the “going rate” for nearby homes that share a lot of characteristics with your listing, as well as the appraised value from a professional appraiser. This can be different from the assessed value which is used to calculate and levy property taxes.
Comparative Market Analysis (CMA): an estimate of a home’s value based on recently sold, similar properties in the immediate area. Real estate agents and brokers create CMA reports to help sellers set listing prices for their homes and sometimes to help buyers make competitive offers. Although buyers and sellers can do their own research and analysis, it is important to have someone who has deep knowledge of the local market to help.
For more frequently used terms, here is a wonderful article with a glossary of real estate terms which might be of assistance. If you have questions about buying or selling a home, contact us.
Question: What are the benefits of a 1031 exchange, and am I qualified?
Chris’ Answer: When you sell your investment property, you will be required to pay a capital gains tax on your profits at either a short-term or long-term capital gains rate. But, if you instead reinvest profits from the sale in a like-kind property of the same or greater value, Internal Revenue Code Section 1031 provides for you to defer the tax liability.
1031 Basic Qualifications:
The new investment property must be of “like-kind” to the property being sold.
A personal residence will not qualify for the exchange, but a vacation home used predominantly as a rental property could qualify.
The like-kind property to be purchased must be identified within 45 days; the purchase must be completed within 180 days after the sale of the original property.
A Qualified Intermediary must ensure that all eligibility requirements are adhered to.
There are limitations on the amount of capital gain that may be tax deferred.
Always consult a tax advisor before making arrangements for a 1031 exchange.
Do you have other real estate questions? Contact us!
Question: What kinds of technology will you use to help sell my property?
Chris’s Answer: The technology we use to represent your property will greatly depend on the property, and how we feel we can best create a complete, accurate, and visually interesting listing. We may use different equipment, including a drone, a gimbal, and a Matterport camera.
Photos and Video are the backbone of any listing. Having great, attractive, well lit photos is, of course, a must and video is crucial in walkthroughs of the property or showing the wonderful sweeping views that many properties on St. Croix have. Still photos just don’t have the same impact as video to show the beauty of the Caribbean panoramas of clouds, waves and on a clear day, the neighboring islands.
Drones are very common these days, and create wonderful photos and videos which can give buyers a better idea of the property. A sweeping video either from overhead, or at an angle, give a dramatic representation of land, homes, or a condo complexes. Sometimes land is very overgrown. A drone can give a buyer a better understanding of the terrain and view. It can show the proximity to the beach. And, if there is more than one building on the property, a drone photo or video can show where each building is located on the lot.
Gimbals stabilize a camera while walking or driving so that the video is very smooth. We use this for walking through the property, walking around the outside of the property, or driving the neighborhood. We might show a pathway to the beach, the way to the pool, what the property looks like from the street, or anything else we feel could be of interest.
Matterport Cameras create a 3D self guided tour where a potential buyer can see the entire interior – from floor to ceiling as if walking through the condo or home in person. The viewer clicks on a spot, and the video takes them to the exact spot. It also creates a “doll house” image so that the property is viewed as a whole (as in the adjoining photo).
Question: What’s the most important thing I can do to help me sell my property?
Christie’s Answer: DE-CLUTTER! As buyers search, they want to visualize themselves living in the property. The photos and videos we take should show what you are selling. It’s best that your property is as uncluttered as possible! If you already have plans to paint or make any repairs, those things should be done before the photos and videos are taken. That way, when people see your home, it will be more attractive, and ready for sale. Sometimes there are needed repairs which will not be made prior to sale. That’s OK. We can mention them in the listing, and inform buyers that either the repairs are scheduled to be done before the sale closes, or that the repairs won’t be done, and they are buying the property as is.
If you have more questions about selling your home, contact us!