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Franko's guide map of the U.S. Virgin Islands $9.95

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Recent Entries:
David Fedeles Winter Newsletter
Calabash Boom Proves More of a Fizzle
Developer, Local Activists Spar Over Vessup, Muller Bay Plans
St. John Properties
Court Authorized Sale of Certain Assets of the Pond Bay Club, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
US Virgin Island Real Estate Looking To Bounce Back From 2008 Crash
CZM Permit and Lease Workshops
CZM Permit Approved for Long-Awaited Robin Bay Resort
35 Cabrita Point Estate Homesites
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March 18, 2007

Relocating to the U.S. Virgin Islands: Cost of Living

The cost of living in the U.S. Virgin Islands is definitely higher than on the US mainland. It is hard to put an exact figure on the percentage, but anywhere from 15 to 50% can be considered depending on your lifestyle. This also varies by island, but in general, all the products you buy (food, clothing, cars, electronics, etc.) are not only imported, but are also brought to the islands in small quantities as compared to towns and cities in the states, and therefore more expensive (you could say that the islands lack wholesale purchasing power).

A typical trip to the grocery store costs about 30% more than it would in the states at a large chain store. St. Thomas and St. Croix have more bargain shopping options (K-Mart, discount clubs, large grocery stores, etc.), while residents on St. John make occasional trips to St. Thomas to pick up bulk items more economically. All three islands offer smaller gourmet shops with higher quality (and price!) produce and specialty items.

And donít forget to factor in costs like energy, water, education (if you plan to send your children to a private school) and travel (if you plan to visit friends and family in the states). If you are looking to lower your cost of living or live economically, the U.S. Virgin Islands are really not the place to do it.

That being said, if public school is an option or if you don't have children, if you do not need to live with air conditioning (and it really isn't necessary in many places in the USVI), if you take advantage of local produce or perhaps have your own fruit trees, or if you live in a spot with ample rain and never have to buy water, then you can cut down drastically on your living expenses.


Coldwell Banker, Stout Realty, St. Thomas


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