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By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 10
Let me start by saying I will not use craigslist again. It is clearly too easy to steal partially valid information and comingle it with fraud. If you ever see Tanya Van Blake-Coleman or  Van Blake-Coleman Realty associated with Craigslist, know it is a fraudulent post and report it immediately. The above photo was taken either from, my website or the Listing agent's and used in an ad for a one bedroom for $900 a month. The FTC and the FBI have been notified. It is also frustrating that you cannot contact a "person" at Craigslist, the most you can do is click on "report" at the top of the listing. This thief was a little more clever than the last combining information from two different companies. this is the second time either a listing of mine for my company name was used that I know ...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 18
 At Van Blake-Coleman  Realty we  have  used Craigslist for years to market rentals. Today I became aware that a property we represent, for sale, was being advertised by a scammer on Craigslist for rent. It was called to my attention by a young lady who was hoping to find a deal but was smart enough to recognize when a deal was too good to be true.  What disgusted me most was the unconscionable manner in which the scammer tried to lure their victims using: realgracerent@givingheartmission.com, really?!!! Targeting those who are religiously orientated.  Scum of the earth is the only way I can describe this low life, person.  This person advertised a three bedroom two bathroom home for rent for $850 a month, not likely to  happen on St. Thomas. Many people have been displaced by the hurri...
By Patrice Johnson
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty)
Comments 0
 PART TWO - YOU WANT ME TO SIGN WHAT? Maybe it’s the heat.I’m driving with the air conditioner on full blast and it’s not even noon. It’s a picture postcard day – sunny, not a cloud in the sky. The water is that unbelievable shade of turquoise and the foliage is really green. Cruise ships are in the harbor and the port of Charlotte Amalie is bustling with activity.I’ve arrived at the hotel and picked up an eager new arrival.  Driving on the left, my passenger acknowledges, puts them a little on edge. It’s the turns that surprise. And then there are the really steep hills, the hidden driveways. With skill and nonchalance I back my vehicle into a gravel-laden parking spot, designated parking on the edge of what appears to be a cliff. My Sentricard grants us entry and the key works on the ...
By Patrice Johnson
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty)
Comments 4
 YOU SAY YOU'RE MOVING WHERE?  Like crumpled bills in the bottom of a washing machine, commissions from residential rentals are like found money. Often the delayed result of a flurry of activity, with an agent's time and energy long ago expended, the extra cash is never unwelcome.While most real estate agents would rather the commission a real estate sale brings, many of us will service rental customers with steadfast, if not eager, professionalism.Sure a buyer would be nice. But a renter beats a blank.Here in the Virgin Islands - St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John - rental customers contact us and they haven't even landed yet. This is where the fun begins.As we know, real estate is a relationship business.Potential renters are often stateside, in the airport, on their way to St. Thomas...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 21
        Beautiful Island Villas are an integral part of real estate in the Virgin Islands. We have all the luxury you would expect right here on the spectacular island of St. Thomas. This is the cream of real estate in the Virgin Island.   Earlier this year, I sold, Outrigger House for $2.1 million dollars. It was designed by famed Caribbean Architect Michael Helm of the British Virgin Islands and decorated by gifted interior decorator Twila Wilson of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.  Her designs have been featured in Architectural Digest. Four bedrooms and four full bathrooms with one half bath, multiple balconies, infinity pool and a wrapping deck a barbecue and outdoor dining area. The view from the balcony, which boasts  teak  day beds and couches, is spectacular. There is a studio bel...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 7
Finding  great businesses to patronize can be a challenge no mater where you live. On Edge Salon is a relatively new business located in Fort Mylner. Owner, operator, Ms. Tireka Thomas has created a true retreat with her new business" On Edge Salon". Beautifully appointed, you immediately know you are in for a treat when you walk through the door. There is a comfortable waiting area (much bigger than the picture above makes it appear, I am constricted by my space here). One of the best ways of finding new businesses is when someone  you trust recommends one to you.  I have to thank Jackie at Merchant's Bank for sending me to On Edge Salon. My experience was wonderful from the moment I walked through the doors.  Prompt and ready to save me from an overgrown doo,  I was first given a prof...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 10
  Yes,  Super Bowl 50  was a big event in the U.S.Virgin Islands just like everywhere else in the United States and Super Bowl 50 was no exception. We gathered in sports bars and homes throughout the territory with friends to watch and cheer for our favorite team. We may also have a high  interest in cricket and soccer, but don't hold that against us. Although I am not a huge football fan, I do love to watch the Super Bowl. Super Bowl 50 was a hard fought game. Despite Cam Newton and the  Carolina Panther's efforts, Cam just never seemed to hit his stride.  Either it seemed he was not given the protection he needed to effectively pass the ball or his receivers had trouble hanging on to the passes.  Payton Manning  and the Denver Bronco's experience in high pressure game paid off with a ...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 6
  Here are the last three property tax credits in the U.S. Virgin Islands, I promised to tell you about in my last blog. these tax credits are a little more interesting. With recent increased assessed values the Circuit Breaker Tax Credit will be of interest to many property owners. Visitablilty Home Available to property owners who hold a Certificate of Visitability issued by the Department of Planning & Natural Resources, pursuant to Act 7320. You must produce the Certificate from the Department of Planning & Natural Resouces. The maximum tax credit is equal to 20% of the tax levied by the Tax Assessor. Circuit Breaker Tax Credit There is a $5000 tax credit available if  your property taxes increase over 125% from the previous tax year. Your gross annual income  must be $135,000 or le...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 18
      The blizzard of 2015 dropped record breaking snow falls on Boston and much of the East Coast of the United States.  Two deaths have been attributed to the storm. The economic impact is estimated at $500 million dollars. Some 8,500 domestic flights were canceled. All tragic losses.   So you are probably wondering how the blizzard of 2015  impacted the Virgin Islands. No, it did not dump any snow on us here, nor did our average 85 degree weather waver at all.  Our high season for tourism runs from around Thanksgiving, in late November  until the thaw of spring, the end of April. A large part of our economy is tourism driven.  Many of our "snow birds" and tourist begin their trips from places like the East coast and the frigid mid-West. When storms like the Blizzard of 2015 occur the...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 7
When selling or buying a home before you get into the interior features, potential buyers should look at the location of the home, lot or condo first. This among other things can heavily influence the value of the property in question. The variables can be anything from school districts near the home to the view of the ocean. The second factor  mentioned is of particular interest to home buyers here in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Most homes have some water view, distant views can be as beautiful as waterfront properties.  Looking to build on a lot? Things you need to consider are the use of the land with respect to zoning laws which determine what kind of structure can be built, easements, and where you will put the septic tanks as well as the elevation. You wouldn't want to build a home o...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 7
  It is almost that time of the year and many of us are looking for tax credits in the  U.S. Virgin Islands.  While I am not an accountant and would not begin to give tax advice, I did come accross this list of credits relative to property taxes in the U.S. Virgin Islands.   The follow property tax credits are available in the U.S. Virign Islands and have specific requirements:   Homestead Tax credit - $400 You must have occupied your primary residence from January 1 and be able to provide: A USVI driver's License A USVI voter's registration ID And a current utility bill in your  name   Veterans Tax Credit - $650 You must have occupied your primary residence from January 1 and be able to provide: Proof of an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces A copy of your DD-214 A copy of ...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 2
The University of the Virgin Islands published a press release on April 19th announcing it's Board has authorized President Hall to begin the development phase for a territory wide medical school. Schneider Regional Medical Center, Juan Luis Hospital and Boston University School of Medicine will all be partnered in this undertaking. According to the press release, an agreement for a major gift was also approved by the Board of Trustees. The agreement was between the University and Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria. President Hall expressed that the advent of a medical school will greatly improve the level of medical care in the territory.  The University already has a strong nursing program. We have had a core of experienced and well trained doctors in the territory, and a number of new doctors h...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 6
  As buyers of any product or commodity buyers are always looking for value. Sellers are looking for the, "it features" buyers want.  Some 1,500 real estate professionals were poled and a list of "Hidden Gems" was compiled to rank what adds value to homes. As I started composing this blog, I realized I could blog a series on the topic so this is the first of a few on the topic of "Hidden Gems". I would like to address how the list below impacts value in the U.S. Virgin Islands real estate market. At 69% - the most valued Hidden Gem # 1-  An Amazing View- On the Islands of St. Thomas, and St. John, because of the hilly topography, it is difficult to find a home or condo that does not have an amazing view that includes either the Atlantic Ocean or the Caribbean Sea, it is only a matter o...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 6
Dr. Kean, who is in two of the exhibited painting and Shaunsi Miller, the artist at the exhibit.   A fundraiser for the completion of Fort Christian by the  St. Thomas Historical Trust was launched on Sunday at Yacht Haven Grande. It will run through the first of February. On exhibit is a collection of more than forty original painting by Shansi Miller. The series is entitled the "Lady in Red Visits"  and portrays a woman, dressed in a red skirt, visiting well known sites in St.Thomas as she interacts with other people known in the community. Although the paintings are small in dimension, the detail is incredible, with an amazing use of light and color. As you enter the exhibit, you are offered a brochure and a magnifying glass. The admission is free.  Three series of prints are being ...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 7
  When I first thought about doing a blog entitled "There Ia No Place Like Home" my first thought was what rooms in my home would I want to publicly share photographs of and stories about. Then it occurred to me that was not really what makes any house a home but rather what takes place in a house is what makes it a home. Compounding that thought is the acts of love are not contained by specific walls, either.  Which naturally lead me to those that are nearest and dearest to my heart. Now everyone I love is not featured in the pictures, so I hope no one is offended that a shot of them is not included. It does not mean I love you any less. I have a large and loving family on both sides and wonderful friends.  No matter where I go, from Chicago, Atlanta, New Mexico, New Jersey, Virginia,...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 2
    Are you contemplating  starting an EDC (Economic Development Commission) business in the Virgin Islands?  Probably the first question I need to know is, how soon do you anticipate making an exploratory trip to the Virgin Islands? Seminars are being conducted around the mainland to introduce business owners to the advantages of starting or moving a business to the  Virgin Islands under the EDC.    If you are considering starting an EDC business in the Virgin Islands your preliminary research should include speaking with  some people who are in the know. There are a number of attorneys who are well versed in starting EDC businesses in the Virgin Islands. There are two attorneys I would recommend touching bases with. David A. Bornn, Esq. owner of The Bornn Firm. He can be reached at 34...
By Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life
(Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com)
Comments 5
Happy Fourth of July to all. Enjoy your picnics, and fireworks and most of all families.   In the Virgin Islands we also celebrate Emancipation Day on the third of July and St. John is approaching the culmination of their Carnival celebration. St. John Carnival runs from the beginning of June and culminates on the 4th of July.     That is a whole lot of beach time and picnicking, ENJOY and stay SAFE.

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