Moving to St. John?

I get an e-mail like the one below every week or so.

Photo_3Dear Frank:

I have been doing extensive research on all things St. John.  My wife and I are trying to find a way to move down there. (We) were married on (island) last June and spent a week on St. John with our families. Needless to say, we also fell in love with the island and after dealing with the hassles of (the big city) another 6+ months, we are ready to strike out and pursue our dream of living on St. John.

The primary problem I see for us is that we have just paid off the wedding and have little capital for moving or starting a new business. We’re looking into how to make it happen, but if you have any advice for how to make it work in such an expensive locale, I’m listening. Cheers! (By the way … she is an attorney and I have a Ph.D. )

My reply.

Lemme see … No money … And you want to live on what has to be one of the most expensive places there is. Don’t get me wrong, I applaud your dream – but no one’s giving away businesses or dangling 6-figure jobs at the ferry dock.
If you want to work, there are jobs galore for sensible, reliable, ambitious people – jobs which can turn into careers. Housing is a very difficult issue.  The average standalone on the market is $1.7 million.  Condos start at about $400,000. A shack in Coral Bay is going for a little under $400,000. I know several successful business owners, with great reputations, who do not own their homes.  Even building contractors.

It’s hard work living on St. John. But there are rewards, and you’ve apparently recognized them.
If you and your wife are adventurous and want to start a life on island, more power to you. But bring strength, commitment, dedication, focus … And some money.

But seriously, folks. Being on vacation and living on island are
very different things. After all, when people vacation near where you
live, do you do the same things they do? Probably not. Two different
worlds. As the Music Man’s Prof. Harold Hill said, "You gotta know the

Here’s are some resources to help you prepare for a move.

Settler’s Handbook for the Virgin Islands www.visettlershandbook.com/

Virgin Islands On-Line www.virgin-islands-on-line.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=1

Phone books

The Island Book www.theislandbook.com (local directory, site appears to be offline)
Innovative Telephone Viphonebook.com/Main.asp
St. John Source www.stj.onepaper.com/
St. John Sun-Times www.stjohnsuntimes.com/

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