They know the little beaches away from it all; they know all the restaurants, but patronise the ones with the freshest seafood or other island specialties. Who are they? They might be from England or New England, Canada, France, Germany or Venezuela, Belgium or Boulder, Colorado. They are the people who have fallen in love with St. Lucia and bought or built a second home here. We like to think there is something for everyone - read on and see. We have put your options in three general groups and offered some initial guidelines on procedures and costs.
HOMES AND LOTS
There is no doubt that St. Lucia is a beautiful place. Having come on vacation once, or twice, the passion for this great land may just become unbearable and you cannot get rid of thoughts about purchasing a home. For those seeking the privacy of a home or vacation villa, many well-established areas still have lots available or homes for resale in some very scenic spots.
Once a sprawling sugar estate, Cap Estate is now in a mature stage of development. Land prices vary according to the location within its 1,500 acres. The views range from the Caribbean side and Pigeon Island, to centre island looking toward the Pitons, to the wide expanse of sea northward toward Martinique, to the wind-swept beaches of the Atlantic. Many lots on the hill overlooking the old plantation portion have sweeping panoramic views. Most are a generous half- or one-acre in size. Although some of Cap Estate's roads leave a lot to be desired, the lots on sale are good value for money.
Special amongst these is the newest sub-division called Mount Hardy. Here, at a higher elevation, and enjoying the best of the cooling trade winds, the views are quite spectacular including both Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and also North across the channel to Martinique. The first section has 27 plots, most averaging around 1/3rd acre, in a price range of US$55,000 to US$130,000 per plot.
A few homes are usually available for resale, so check with one of the island's real estate agents.
Conceptualized in the early '70's for residential living, Rodney Bay, regarded as St. Lucia's premier leisure community has over the years re-defined the nature of developments to include a wider cross section of living, shopping and entertainment.
Expected to come on stream during the next twelve months is Rodney Estates. This 45 acre development sits alongside the main highway and entrance to the Causeway Bay and Pigeon Point. According to the Master Plan, this development will include large plantation style homes looking down on the sparkling blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, while along the perimeter a mix of business and entertainment will also be a part of this development.
This development lies to the east of Rodney Bay. It offers wonderful views of the Caribbean side, including the marina, and the Atlantic coastline. Lots here are of a reasonable price and size. Again, existing homes are sometimes available for sale.
Marigot Bay's setting epitomizes the word "tropical." The quiet bay is surrounded by lush, green, undisturbed nature and is a favourite with yachtsmen because of its seclusion and safe anchorage. The recently resurfaced highway makes the site just a 10 to 15 minute drive south of Castries. Contact a local estate agent for help.
DISCOVERY AT MARIGOT BAY
If you've fallen in love with St Lucia, you can now have a place of your own in Marigot Bay, one of the most beautiful locations on the island.
Designed by award winning international architects, Denton, Corker, Marshall, the new luxury apartment hotel combines stunning, state of the art design with a commitment to protect the ecologically sensitive environment of the bay. The 60 units, all fully air-conditioned and fitted with the latest on-line technology, provide maximum convenience and comfort with high levels of security. Each one is sold with a rental agreement giving purchasers an income from their property whenever they aren't using it themselves.
Landscaping will be a defining feature, with mature mango, almond, citrus and breadfruit trees preserved in the new development and managed 'wild' gardens with luxuriant vines and blossoms surrounding the verandas and pools. The buildings will, wherever possible, be constructed from natural, often locally produced materials, blending with the scenery to give a feeling of outdoor living with views over the bay to the ocean. The palm fringed marina will provide berthing space for both apartment owners and cruising yachtsmen.
Unlike many beauty spots, Marigot is easily accessible by road or boat to both of St Lucia's busy airports as well as being close to the capital, Castries, with shopping, restaurants, banks as well as the bars and clubs and beautiful beaches of Rodney Bay. And just a short drive in the other direction takes you to the waterfalls, rainforest walks and bubbling volcanic springs which make St Lucia so 'simply beautiful'.
The Discovery Information Centre opens in Rodney Bay from mid November 2002 for visitors to see the plans, models and video and arrange to visit Marigot Bay for themselves. For more information call (+1) (758) 458 0790.
CONDOMINIUMS AND TOWNHOUSES
If a private home is more than you're looking for, St. Lucia has several condominium and townhouse developments. These have proved to be good investments. Most are located near beaches and on the lagoon and marina-front in Rodney Bay. The benefits of common management appeal to many. Re-sales are sometimes available, check with your real estate agent. The following are new developments that are either planned or under construction.
The Latest Marina-front development in Rodney Bay by experienced local developer Bernard Johnson, the last twelve (of 18 total) townhouses are now approaching completion. Every unit faces out over the Marina, and dock space is available. All units will be fully air-conditioned. There are nine 2 bedroom, 2 and one half bathroom units, and three very spacious 3 bedroom, 3 and one half bathroom units in this last phase. Prices from US$275,000.00.
ST. LUCIA GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB
With their superb 6,815 yards, Par 71, 18-hole golf course completed and open, the Owners/Developers are now in the final planning stages of what should be a total of 400 Condominium units and villas. Spread mainly alongside the fairways of the Golf Course, and in an "Island" surrounded by them, target prices for these 1-3 bedroom units is US$175,000 to US$375,000 to include Club Membership.
A growing trend for those who may not visit every year, or only for one or two weeks when they do come, is to buy/lease into a resort complex. Some (like Marigot) are small and intimate; others, such as Windjammer, are much larger hotel-type complexes.
St. Lucia is privileged to be home to one of the Caribbean's finest and most unique resorts, Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort. The resort is modeled after a Mediterranean village, with white stucco villas built into a sloping hillside giving all the villas a fantastic westerly view of the Caribbean Sea with Martinique peeking in the distance. The resort amenities include 5 restaurants, shops, 1000 ft wide beach, full service spa, 4 common pools, a full array of water sports, lit tennis courts, diving facilities and an award winning children's program.
Beach and Estate Villas range from one to three bedrooms, and many enjoy their own plunge or full sized pool. All villas include full service kitchens, covered and sun terraces and spacious living and dining rooms and full housekeeping services.
This magnificent property offers Full Villa Ownership, hosting an international ownership base. The majority of owners occupy their villas 3 – 8 weeks per year and allow the management to maintain and rent their villa for the balance. Limited villas are available on a resale basis.
Windjammer Landing also started offering Vacation Ownership in 1992 at the request of its many return guests. Vacationers are able to purchase the amount of weeks that fit their vacation needs. All owners can take full advantage of all resort services and amenities. Over the past 20 years, Vacation Ownership has blossomed into one of the fastest growing segments of the Vacation Home Markets. Companies such as Marriott, Hilton, Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, and Disney have entered the market place and brought Vacation Ownership to the mainstream, proving that consumers prefer the luxury, and affordability that the concept affords them as well as the comforts of a second home. The cost of Vacation Ownership is equal to 4 to 5 hotel visits, showing you why the major hotels as well as vacationers have embraced the industry.
Even though the majority of Windjammer owners chose to return to their St. Lucian home year after year, you are no longer locked into the same resort, same time of year. Now, with exchange companies like Resort Condominium International (RCI), vacation owners have the flexibility of trading their vacation home in St. Lucia for over 3,000 resorts worldwide, luxury cruises, airline tickets and much more. Windjammer has been given the highest ranking in the Caribbean for the last 3 years, and this translates into excellent trading power.
The Resort offers tours of this award winning property on an appointment basis only. Appointments and inquiries regarding the full ownership and Vacation Ownership programs can be made by calling 1-758-456-9000, ext 572 or 575.
This development provides the option of purchasing an equal share in a phase of the development. Owners have several weeks of holiday time at the property, and as members of Condominium International, they have the option of vacationing in other parts of the world.
This hillside development of two-story cottages overlooks the peaceful community of Marigot Bay. Occupants of the units have easy access to the facilities at the hotel, which include SCUBA diving, sunfish sailing, yacht charters, swimming pool, restaurants, and market.
Marlin Quay is a new resort comprising one, two and three bedroom townhouse-style villas located on their own marina waterfront in exclusive Rodney Bay. The spacious villas feature their own air-conditioning, large jacuzzis on completely secluded sun terraces and private bathrooms for all bedrooms. All are fully equipped with luxurious furnishings and modern appliances.
Owners share the private moorings and other resort facilities which include swimming pools, water sports, saunas and fitness room, full à la carte restaurant, bars, coffee shop and landscaped gardens. Shared-ownership options are available for buyers who want to invest in a holiday home for just part of the year.
Persons from overseas require a government license in order to purchase property in St. Lucia. Each license is for a specific property so purchasers must secure their land or house with a deposit. License applications are handled by a local lawyer who also carries out title searches and draws up the deed of sale. A government license fee of 10% is payable and other charges such as legal fees and stamp duties amount to 6 - 7% of the property price. Land must be developed within two years of purchase. Thereafter, there are no restrictions on renting or selling.
REAL ESTATE AGENCIES
Home Services Ltd., in Rodney Bay, an independent real estate agent, offers a variety of services, including property management, real estate sales, appraisals, rentals and property development. Twenty years' experience in the real estate business in St. Lucia. 452-0450; Fax: 452-0071.
VILLA SALES& RENTAL
Tropical Villas Ltd. Property management, sales and rental. 450-8240, Fax: 450-8089.
The developments listed here are not meant to constitute a complete listing of the properties available in St. Lucia. To make sure you have the opportunity to explore all the options, contact a local real estate agency to assist you in selecting your St. Lucian home.
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