A Caribbean relocation is easier today than ever before. With the internet, larger access to retail goods and a generally more “global” world, packing up and heading to a tiny speck of land in the middle of the sea isn't quite as daunting as it was 20 years ago.
For that move to be successful, however, it is important to recognize that St. Croix, USVI is not St. Croix, MN. While most people think the differences are obvious, we find many prospective and new Virgin Islands residents are caught by surprise.
Here is a quick list of top considerations we review right off the bat with prospective island dwellers:
1. Which island are you interested in?
- St. Croix is the largest of the Virgin Islands and is considered to be the most laid back and residential and community-oriented.
- St. Thomas offers more of the bustle that comes with its long history as a tourist destination.
- St. John properties are more plentiful and better priced than 10 years ago. This quiet, quaint island offers an abundance of eco-tourism and boating opportunities, but prices are higher and a trip to the larger retail stores requires a ferry ride.
- British Virgin Islands - Virgin Gorda is our favorite and epitomizes simple luxury- sandy sandals and champagne.
2. What are your investment goals?
Are you looking to move now or buy now in preparation for retirement? Will you want a second dwelling on the premises for rental income? Will you utilize the property for short-term rentals? If you don’t plan to move in right away, what is your plan for property management?
These are a few of the questions we can explore together. FYI...we offer solutions to buyers who are looking to rent units on their new property - both short and long-term.
3. Do you want a condo or a home?
Condos are hot on St. Croix right now. A down payment of 25% gets you into the market. If you are not interested in maintenance and feel comfortable with the condo fees, this may be the way to go.
However, if you are looking for a property you can customize and enjoy expansive personal space, each island offers several land and private home options.
4. How do you want to enter the market?
Are you willing to do a little work on the property you purchase or do you prefer turnkey? Sometimes if you are willing to do (or hire out) a little work, you can find amazing deals in incredible locations. Let us know where you stand on this question and we can help you find the best fit. Recently, an amazing Blue Sky residential listing in Salt River, St. Croix sold for $305,000. It needed a little work but offered panoramic Caribbean sea views.
5. Are you prepared for island living?
This is last but not least. It is a biggie for many transplants to the islands. You must prepare yourself and your home for hurricanes each year during hurricane season. Some years are very quiet during hurricane season, some more active.
The pace is slower for EVERYTHING. Internet, phone and power service are less reliable and, sometimes, something you need didn’t make the boat - literally. It can be frustrating for everyone. However, for most of us here, the pace is part of why we love it.
Blue Sky Real Estate offers a wide selection of short and long-term rentals if you would like to just put your toe in the water. Conversely, if you are ready to buy, we can represent you in the purchase of any listed property in the US or British Virgin Islands. Contact us today to explore your Caribbean Dream!