People from the U.S. mainland tend to think of the title insurance company as the settlement company, or the company that will be handling the deal on their behalf after getting under contract to buy real estate. Buying in the USVI is different in that the title insurance company merely issues the title insurance policy. Knowing this important fact brings you one step closer to buying property in the Virgin Islands!
Buyers may not be expecting to have to deal with attorneys wen buying property in the Virgin Islands, as they may have never needed to use an attorney to purchase real estate. We give our buyers a heads up so they aren’t surprised, and then we provide the names of several experienced USVI transactional attorneys. Buying in the USVI has never been so easy!
Between the contract and the closing, the USVI Government needs to issue a Tax Clearance Letter (showing that the seller has no outstanding taxes). For all real estate sales except condominiums, the USVI Government also has to attest the deed (“verify the property description”). When the USVI Government is slow to act, closings can be delayed. Buying property in the Virgin Islands can take between 30-90 days, on average.
Buying in the USVI requires surprisingly little paperwork. This is true regardless of whether financing is obtained to purchase the real estate. Buying property in the Virgin Islands may take longer than on the U.S. mainland, but there is much less paperwork to close a deal.
We make sure our buyers are aware that homeowner’s insurance is high due to our location in a hurricane zone. Property taxes, however, can be surprisingly low. If you're buying property in the Virgin Islands, be prepared to protect your real estate during hurricane season! This is just a fact of life when buying in the USVI.
Our electricity is provided by a USVI Government-run electric company called the Water and Power Authority (WAPA), and electricity is extremely expensive. We provide our buyers with instructions on how to get power switched over in their name for the purchased real estate.
Neither the buyer nor the seller needs to be present for the closing. This alleviates the need to plan a trip to the USVI for the closing.