HGTV’s House Hunters International focused on the latest owners of Chez Shell villa.
Denise and John Obbagy, formerly of Illinois, packed up and moved to St. John after purchasing a three bedroom home on Great Cruz Bay. HGTV featured their project this week in an episode called Managing Paradise.
The hook is that the Obbagys had visited the island, liked it and decided that managing a villa, that also had an apartment for them in which to live, would be a way to make the move. John sees this as a great opportunity to leave his construction business behind and live a simple life with Denise managing a move in ready investment property. Even being willing to spend more than $1 million, it was tough to find a property that suited them.
Of course, they were surprised as they shopped. One villa, priced at $1.3 million, had a kitchen that Denise said would haven to be gutted. Such a project would be challenging, even for John, an experienced home contractor, because, as he said, “Things don’t move as quickly here … and materials cost a lot more.”
Buying Chez Shell required some work, too, including adding a pool and patio. The work paid off. John said the number of villa rental weeks has increased almost 50 percent.
The HGTV Web site, as of Thursday morning, doesn’t show any more airings of the show scheduled this week.