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July 21, 2012

Students’ Guide to renting a house or condo

If you are looking for information to renting a House or Apartment you are in the RIGHT PLACE. We will walk you through the options that you have available, walking distance  and short drive to Auc ( American University of the Caribbean ). We at Sunshine Properties have been guiding students since the inception of the AUC to find a home in St.  Maarten

Download Brochure St Maarten-Housing-Brochure-auc

We have created this guide with some FAQ; if it helps you share it.

Where does one start?


The school is located in Cupecoy, St. Maarten. As you want to spend most of your time studying and not in traffic, it is strongly recommended to rent a House or Apartment between Cupecoy and Simpson bay before the bridge, which can open up to 6 times a day in the High season (Dec. – Apr.) and brings traffic to a complete stop for 10- 15 min to allow boats to go in and out Simpson bay lagoon.  Below you will find a list of the accommodations options in Cupecoy and the immediate surrounding towns. 


All  the homes and apartments in Cupecoy are walking distance to AUC. In Cupecoy you also have groceries stores ( Grand Marche ), shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment  as well as one of the best beaches in St. Maarten, Mullet Bay. But you should consider renting or buying a car which opens your housing options and  the ability to get around will let you enjoy the diversity that St. Maarten and St. Martin have to offer.

If you want to buy a car or motor bike this is what you have to do ( if  Not Skip next 4 points to Housing near AUC) 

The process is pretty simple but in order to find the number of places you need to get to, to acquire the stamps, do the inspection, license plate  and insurance, one should  allow a least 1/2 a day driving around to get everything done.

Prior to the inspection you can contact a mechanic Mikel: 524-4017 if you would like to be reassured of the condition of the vehicle you would like to purchase; many vehicles are offered by other students leaving AUC.

1) Make out a Bill of Sale make sure to include Vin # and Make and Model of the Vehicle this has to be signed by both seller and buyer. Before going though the registration process, the Bill of Sale needs a Stamp from the Receivers office in Philipsburg next to the University on the Pond Fill.

2) Get Insured with Nagico 544-3204; they have many branches around the island,  North Eastern 544-3204, Gulf Insurance to name a couple reputable companies.

3)Take the vehicle to get inspected on A.T. Illidge road towards Philipsburg;  if all is well then you can go back to,

4) Receivers office where you get the stamps and then you will register the car and get your number plate.

Make sure to have all the documents with you throughout each step.

Finding your home Realtor VS Owner:

There is no price difference! You will often find owners that feel that the property is worth more than the market. An agent will have access to multiple properties and inside information on the development (Pros and Cons). Don’t risk your deposit! Get professional assistance,

Avoiding awkward moments;

There are a lot of realtors/agents/owners offering sometimes the same properties, so check the company’s reputation, as it can make the difference between taking back or losing your deposit.

Call and get to know an agent, explain them what you are looking for; this results in finding what you want faster then if you tried going through often 2o pages list provide by AUC of available housing.   


A kw hour cost 32-38 cents and the biggest determinator to you bill will be your AC use. With moderate use your bill for water + electricity should look like this:

  • 1BR 50-150 per month
  • 2Br 175- 300 per month
Cable and  Internet:
Depending on your accommodation it might or might not include cable tv or internet. If it does not
  • Cable will cost 35-50 USD per month depending on the package installation, and the cable box will cost another 200 USD; this service is provided by St. Maarten cable TV office:542-5284 e-mail: .
  • Internet is provided by Caribserve basic package costing 63 USD per month with the deposit for the box for another 200 USD.

Housing near AUC approx. prices which may vary;

Walking distance on in Jordan Rd., University Dr. and the main road (Rhine Rd.)

Standard deposit:  2 months deposit (1st month rent due when moving in) or 1st and last month rent plus 1 month deposit.

(Studio:$800-1100, 1BR $1200-$1800, 2BR $2000-$3000)
Pros: 24hr gated security, generator, pool, 2 minute walk to Mullet Bay beach, the back of the complex is waterfront, gym.
Cons:  The complex is older so you will find a variation in the quality.  This place seems to be highly desired by students.
Tradewinds: (1BR $1200-$1800, 2BR $2000-$3000) one of the nicer complexes, but some units need renovation, others don’t.
Arbor Estates (2BR- $2000-$2400)
You need to see the particular unit.  It has 24/7 security, pool, garden.
Rainbow Beach Club (2BR $2200-$3000)
Pros: Has direct beach access and some of  the units offer a beautiful ocean view with spacious living areas, Gym (with additional rate). Security 24/7 and pool.
Cons:Issues with association; pools might not be usable at all times.
The Cliff: (Starting at $3000) Considered the most luxurious accommodation in Cupecoy
Pros:  Great Gym,  indoor lap pool and outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, security 24/7, concierge service, on property maintenance, on property restaurant and always very well kept up.
Cons; It’s expensive
Sapphire Beach Club(2BR $2200-$3000) One of the older developments.
Pros:   Pool ,24/7 security,
Cons; older building in need of renovation more with an older time-share feeling.
Properties managed by Solutions including Campus Village, Rising Sun, Palm Court, Mahogany Residence, etc. (1BR $900 -1300) (2 BR 1800 +)
Do online research on this company  read students’ comments.
Pros:   walking distance to AUC
Cons; Students have mix experiences dealing with management
Summit (1BR $900 -1300)
1 BRs cottages with small kitchens; a bit older, you have to see the condition of the particular unit.
Pros: very nice pool and bar area
Cons: units are quite small
Regency Park: (1br 1200, 2 Br 1800)
It offers more of an island feel in comparison to other developments is in the cheaper development.
Pros: Pool
Cons: more island feeling than one might want.
Aventura (1Br $900-1200)-
All a student need to study; the units here are mostly in good condition, but with little problems.
Pros: Pool, Generator
Cons: washer/dryer  machine facilities are not inside the units, but located in the laundry room on each floor.
Sunrise Lagoon (formerly Blue Lagoon) (1BR/$1100) everyone we know that lives here is really happy as the units have undergone recent renovation; directly on the lagoon.
Cote d’Azur (1br 1000- 13000, 2BR $1500-$2000)-
A diverse mix of apartments with old units in need of renovation to great recently renovated units.
 Porto Cupecoy (1 Br 1800- 3000,2BR $2200-$3500, 3 Br 3500+)
Brand new apartments with a Mediterranean feel. The complex is newly built.
Pros: on property grocery store, restaurants, shops, pool, gym, tennis courts, marina, 24hr security.
Blue Mall: ( 1 bedroom 2000-2500 2 BR 3000+)
Brand new units in a luxurious development, but the mall has not opened yet; some works still being untaken we have not heard of any noise or dirty complains from the residents.
Pros: pool, 24hr security, gym
2 – 5 min driving distance  to Cupecoy
2nd option from Cupecoy is the entertainment’s capital of St. Maarten; you will find grocery store, pharmacy, spa, gym (located inside the hotel), some of the best clubs (Tantra and Bliss) as well as the best sushi (Bamboo Bernies) and other very good restaurants.
Apartments in the area:
AquaMarina (1 bedroom 1500 -2000 2BR $2300-$3000 3BR 3500+ 4BR House 4800+)- Units are spacious; this complex is very sought after. Ask for availability.
Pros: 24hr security, generator, gym, pool and FREE water taxi
Cons: you will need a car to go anywhere as the complex is in a quite rural area
Blue Marine(1BR $1600-$1900/2BR $2500 – $2800) 
New great amenities .
Pros: Pool, Jacuzzi, Gym, 24/7 gated security, BBQ, generator and ample parking lot
La Terrasse– (1BR 1700- 2000 2BR-$2300-$2800)
More hotel/timeshare then residence offers
Pros: Pool, Jacuzzi, 24hr security and on property management
Cons: older development so make sure the unit is in good condition, parking is on the roadside so it is recommended to take all your belongings out of it, underground parking available but it’s expensive.
Point Pirouette (prices vary widely) with spectacular views. Some have private pools, and they are generally affordable.
Pros: 24/7 gated security
Cons: not many apartments have a modern look, you must pay for the use of the good road (belongs to Aquamarina $300 annual) old road also available, but it is very narrow and in bad condition, you are going to need a car as it is not too close to amenities and AUC.
Vista Verde (1BR- $1200/2Br-$2200) This one is another nice affordable 1 BR option.
Pros: pool, 24/7 gated security
Cons: not many apartments have a modern look, you must pay for the use of the good road (belongs to Aquamarina $300 annual) old road also available, but it is very narrow and in bad condition, you are going to need a car as it is not too close to amenities and AUC.
5- 10 min drive  
Next after Maho this area is home of the famous Sunset beach bar where you can have plane whizz right over you or get blown in the water, of the beach right next to it, by a 747 airliner. Beacon hill is prone to the road getting blocked and flooding. (during strong Storms and Hurricanes)
Caravanserai (studio  $1300 – $1500 1Br 1800- 2200 2Br 2500+)
A new development  with some nice amenities; it has more of a hotel feel then a residence.
Pros: 2 pools, near the beach, good snorkeling spot, new
Bay View ( Studio 1300-1500 1BR 2000 2BR 2500-3000)
One of the more luxurious developments,  not too many amenities but has mind blowing views!
Pros: security 6pm to 6am, beach access, panoramic ocean views

You can live right on the beach, be around great restaurants and live in a really nice place if you can handle the traffic (9:00, 9:30, 11:30, 2:30, 4:30, 5:30) created by the drawbridge daily for 5-15 min each time. These beautiful beachfront or ocean view developments embody the island’s life you imagine when coming to a Caribbean Island. Each development has a pool and security.

Palm beach (1BR 1500 2BR 2500)
Beachfront gated community with pool and tropical garden, located on the 2.5 mile Simpson bay beach.
Pros: security 6pm to 6am, close to grocery stores, amenities and entertainment, ample parking, very well kept
Cons: close to airport runway
Beachfront gated complex located right on sandy Simpson bay beach, this gated complex features common pool, security 6pm to 6am.
Pros: very well kept, directly on the beach, quality finishes, close to grocery stores, amenities and entertainment.
Cons: close to airport runway
La Siesta (1 Br 2000 2BR 3000+)
Beachfront gated complex with security from 6pm to 6am with common pool. Outside assigned parking, inside quite spacious.
Pros: close to amenities and entertainment, security
Cons: some units are better decorated than others, small and slow elevator
Aqualina (2 Br 3500 +)
Las Arenas ( 1 BR 2500 2BR 3500+)
After Simpson Bay
Traffic becomes an issue and if you go towards the French side, Terres Basses, after Porto Cupecoy  you can often find rental villas but the outlets are 220, so you would have to get transformers for all your hardware and electrical belongings. 5-10 min drive from AUC.
AUC Housing List:
Sunshine Properties:  Representative: Yngrid Nowak
            Phone:  (+1721)-544-4498
Maho Group:  Representative: Anthony Rijo
            Office: (+1721)-545-3122
Jennifers Vacation Villas
            Office: (+1721)-544-3107


Platinum Vacation Rentals: Representative: Francy Charton


Century 21:  Representative: Kevin Gannon and Marian Jno


Remax:  Representative: Karen Larmony

Read more from Auc
About the author, Jonathan Schaede

Hi there! My name is Jonathan Schaede and I created this site. Here you will find a lot of information that you would otherwise not find about St. Maarten Real Estate and the market. It's a great way in paragraph form to get to know the neighborhoods and areas in our little Paradise. A little more about me; I had the pleasure of growing up  in St. Maarten and have always been involved in our family owned Real Estate and Development company, Sunshine Properties, founded by my father Dieter Schaede a pioneer in the Real Estate industry. Follow us on Facebook or Google+

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 27 2015

    A warning, do not rent from Regency Park. Chris Attanasio the landlord is a crook who steals his tenants deposits, lets the floors of his building rot to the point where I personally fell through the floor. It’s a nightmare of a place where nothing ever gets fixed.

  2. Nelson Fox
    Jul 9 2015

    Regency Park, owned by Christopher Attanasio, has now changed it’s name to Cupecoy Village in an attempt to deceive potential new renters so they can’t discover the truth of this place. The ‘security’ is the old property manager who is rarely there since he’s working on construction sites on the side. The roof leak constantly. The ‘gate’ is broken, and the chain link fence is rolled back, so you can walk through. Chris forgets to pay the internet frequently so you can go without internet for days. One resident fell through the rotting floor from the second story. Another resident had their TV stolen in broad daylight. The electricity bill is significantly higher here than other apartment complexes nearby. Do not rent here if you want to have a decent experience living on the island of St Maarten

  3. Adnan
    Jul 28 2015

    I’m a new student going to AUC. What is the best place to live off-campus?

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