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Moving to the US Virgin Islands

A USVI Buyer's Guide: What to Expect & How to Prepare

Sunset over US Virgin Islands

With our sunny climate and unique culture, the US Virgin Islands is an increasingly popular destination for remote workers, retirees, and second homeowners seeking real estate. For Americans in particular, the beautiful US Virgin Islands is a coveted destination for a beach home. Before buying a home, it's a good idea to consult our buyer's guide to for information on the cost of living in the US Virgin Islands, tips for negotiating, local info & more. Prepare yourself for making the jump into our tropical Caribbean waters. There are clear advantages to both renting and buying houses in the Virgin Islands. Here are a few other factors to consider if you’re still having trouble deciding which course to take.

Where to Live in the USVI: St Thomas, St. Croix, or St. John

The US Virgin Islands are comprised of three major islands - St John, St Croix, St Thomas - plus Water Island, the littlest of the US Virgin Islands. Any of the Virgin Islands will prove to have a slower pace of life, easy access to the tropical outdoors, plentiful waterfront activities, and year-round beautiful weather. Explore our USVI real estate guides to find the right community for your next home.

St Croix:

St Croix is the largest and best-known of the US Virgin Islands, loved for its rich history, abundant coastline, and authentic local cuisine. Population: 50,601. Explore St Croix Real Estate Market Stats.

St Thomas:

St. Thomas has a wonderful community atmosphere, with great shopping, nightlife, golfing for those who like a little more activity on the island. Population: 51,634. Explore St Thomas Real Estate Market Stats.

St John:

St John is the smallest of the three main islands, with about 60% of its land dedicated to Virgin Islands National Park. For those looking for privacy and easy access to the lush hiking trails in the park, St. John is an easy pick. Population: 4,170. Explore our St. John Map and our St John Real Estate Market Stats.

Financial Considerations

Deciding Whether To Rent or Buy in the US Virgin Islands

The top reasons people decide to purchase a home have nothing to do with monetary considerations. Instead, other factors come into play like finding a safe place to raise children, having enough space for the entire family, and to feel a sense of ownership and control over the property. Still, there are financial advantages to home ownership, such as tax incentives and the building of equity. If you can afford the upfront costs of buying instead of renting, buying is a better long-term investment (not to mention, property tax benefits in the USVI are highly competitive). When you rent, you are helping your landlord pay off his or her mortgage; but if you buy, each mortgage payment you make helps you save for the future. And if you ever do sell the home, you could walk away with a lot of money in your pocket. Ownership does, however, come with maintenance and repair costs. When you rent, if anything goes wrong or needs replacing, your landlord is the one who has to sort it out and pay the bill. In some cases, this may prevent you from on the flip side, owning provides you the opportunity to do as you like with the property such as tearing down walls, building additions, owning a pet, or hosting visitors. With a home, the property is your oyster!

USVI Property Tax Info

The Virgin Islands’ tax program is one of the most competitive tax benefits packages in the world. All the tax laws in effect in the US are “mirrored” to the US Virgin Islands, with VI residents paying income taxes to the islands instead of the US. For those who qualify, this can result in up to a 90% reduction in income taxes and a 100% exemption on property taxes. Depending on the type of property you own on the U.S. Virgin Islands, you will be required to pay a percentage of the property’s assessed value in taxes. Below are the tax rates by property type.
  • Residential Property – .003770
  • Land – .004946
  • Commercial Property –.007110

Tips for Buyers on Negotiating Price

Be prepared to negotiate price when buying a home by researching answers to the right questions. You need data points and information to work from, including what price similar homes have recently sold for; how far above or below asking do they normally sell for; how long do homes stay on the market compared with the home you’re buying or selling? It is critical to be clear on these questions, the real estate market data, and your budget so you can act swiftly yet intelligently when the right opportunity arises. Learn more about 5 Essential Negotiating Tips for Buying a Home.

Cost of Living in Virgin Islands

Cost of Living in Virgin Islands by Sea Glass Properties


Resources for Moving to the US Virgin Islands

Congratulations -- all is said and done and you are ready to make the move! Sea Glass Properties is here to help. Explore more articles from our blog on the subject of moving on the subjects below.  
Car Options after Moving
After moving to the USVI, you will have two options: buying a car on the island or shipping your car. Buying a car is easier, but you may pay 15-20% more than you would stateside. Shipping your car costs around $2,5000. Learn more about transportation and car options after moving.
Packing & Shipping to the Virgin Islands
Keep your move low-stress by bringing only what is absolutely necessary - especially if your stay is only temporary.  With our tropical climate and humidity, pack only your warm weather wardrobe and leave behind delicate or antique items that are susceptible to mildew. Find more packing and shipping information for making your Move to the Virgin Islands! Moving to a US Virgin Islands home with a cat and package sitting outside front door
Moving to US Virgin Islands With Pets
Moving to the Virgin Islands with a beloved family cat or dog? Breed, size, weight, time of year will all be factors when planning your pet's airline travel. Learn all about moving to the US Virgin Islands with pets.
Finding The Best School after Moving to the USVI
There are plenty of schools to choose from in the Virgin Islands. Here are some resources for finding the best USVI school after moving.  

Contact A Sea Glass Properties Agent for More Info on Moving to the US Virgin Islands!

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