Ownership is in fee simple, under the U.S. flag. Fee simple is the highest and
best interest one can have in real estate. It is ownership for an indeterminate
amount of time that can be freely sold, transferred or inherited.
Property taxes are low compared with many stateside areas: 60% of the assessed
value times 1.25% = tax amount. A good rule of thumb is that for every $100,000
invested, the tax is $750. We don't have school, water and sewer taxes typical
of the States.
Mortgage loans are available through a variety of financial institutions doing
business in the Virgin Islands , including these:
Costs to the Seller
Exposure of bound posts and property lines for land or home,
transfer tax (which can be negotiable), deed preparation and attorney fees.
Costs to the Buyer
Title insurance, structural inspection and termite inspection (for home),
surveyor certificate and report (land), as-built survey (home), recordation of
the deed (approximately $1 per $1,000 of transaction amount), bank fees (if
required), attorney fees
All new construction must be engineered to withstand a minimum wind speed of 110
mph and Zone 4 earthquakes, and an architect and or engineer licensed in the
Virgin Islands must approve and stamp new construction plans. Owners should
allow a minimum of at least three months for issuance of building permits.
Building costs start at approximately $200. per square foot for masonry
construction and vary depending on finish materials.
Electricity is produced by diesel generators. We have the occasional power
outages due to malfunctions at the power plant. They seldom last more than
Most homes on St. Thomas have their own cisterns and septic tanks. Rainwater
is collected from roofs and stored in cisterns. Ten gallons of cistern storage
is required per square foot of roof area on a single-story home; fifteen gallons
of cistern storage is required per square foot of roof area on a two-story home.
St. John has a desalinization plant and water can be delivered for approximately
$150$200 for 3,000 gallons.
Depending on the condo or home you are thinking about purchasing, there are many
rental management companies to choose from. Owners can generally expect to net
approximately 50% of the gross rental income after management commissions and
expenses are paid.