The process of buying real estate in the U. S. Virgin Islands require the same essential elements as in the continental United States.
Getting pre-approved is an important element that can set you ahead of the competition and it's a great start when you start looking at property. Also, a lender can give you some tips on what to do and more importantly, what not to do. Buying a new car when you are about to buy a property or changing jobs can interfere with your chances of getting approved.
After submitting the offer the Seller will review and may counter with a higher price or a change to your conditions such as inspection time, earnest money etc. If both parties come to an agreement the property is considered under contract and the last date on the contract is the date from which inspection, financing contingencies and closing date will be calculated from.
At this point you can choose to hire an inspector who will will do a thorough inspection, and document any issues that needs attention or repairs. After reviewing the report you have the option to remove the inspection contingency and accept the property as is. If any of the needed repairs are expensive to do, you may ask the Seller for a reduction in the purchase price, a credit, have Seller fix the problem or choose to withdraw your offer. This is of course dependent on the language in your Offer to Purchase contract.
You will also need to hire an attorney, the attorney will represent you in the transaction and will order the title search to insure all releases are secured by the time of the Closing and your title to the property is free and clear and, your deed will immediately be recorded at our Recorder of Deeds office following the closing.
Offers may be made subject to a financing contingency and final commitment unless you are paying cash . Pre-qualifications can be obtained in a day or two once they have your information. Loan commitments generally can be secured in 45-60 days though FHA/VA loans sometimes require more time. Either an attorney or the Realtor will hold the Buyers’ escrow deposit until the time of closing; customarily the deposit is about 10% of the purchase price and deposited at the time of the offer.
If you are financing the property through a lender they will also require a survey and appraisal.
I will keep you updated throughout the process and I'm always available to answer your questions in order to make this as straightforward as possible.
The US Virgin Islands have various programs with tax incentives. Click the link for more information.
Appraisers, Surveyors, Inspectors