$300,000...where do...
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$300,000...where do I start

Posts: 3
New Member
Topic starter

Looking to move to St Thomas. I have a little over #300k and want to buy a small business. Any ideas of where to start? Do I have enough to buy a business and rent a small apartment or house?

Posted : August 17, 2005 1:15 pm
Posts: 193
Estimable Member

This is awesome!

First, facetious:

Put your money in a brown paper sack, throw it in the nearest garbage can, find yourself an overpriced apartment, turn off all the power, let a swarm of mosquitos loose in the room, and repeat to yourself "I live in paradise! Life is great!"

Now, realistic:

What do you do now? What's your area of expertise? Have you been to the VI before? Have you ever lived here? I wouldn't advise buying a random business if you don't know anything about it.

What are you looking for? What are your housing requirements?



Posted : August 17, 2005 3:43 pm
Posts: 3
New Member
Topic starter

I have been to USVI over 5 times.
I own a used furniture store now.
I have been in sales in the past.
I have owned a landscaping company.
I own several houses that I rent.
Never lived in the USVI.

Looking at this place. Anyone been here or no anything about it? Thanks

Posted : August 17, 2005 4:09 pm
Posts: 3919
Famed Member

Do yourself a BIGGG favor. Take some of that $$$ and come down for a few weeks. Scout things out. Look around. Talk to the residents. Check out businesses similar to what you're interested in opening.

$300,000 is a lot of money to throw into the ocean, no matter how beautiful the color of the water.

Posted : August 17, 2005 4:50 pm
Posts: 372
Reputable Member

Welcome Smellet,
Linda J is right. Take your time and you will learn the island and its ways. Soon enough you'll begin to see all kinds of opportunities that may be right for you. I havn't run the numbers on the store you referenced, but I know a few retail store owners in STJ who could tell you if this makes sense.

Posted : August 17, 2005 10:16 pm
Posts: 5404
Illustrious Member

Smellet: Before you put any money in a business, highly recommend that you live here for a period of time, perhaps work in the type of business in which you are interested. Living here is different and owning a business here is *really* different!

Posted : August 17, 2005 10:42 pm
Posts: 3
New Member
Topic starter

I would like to try before we move but being a family of four that may be a bit tough. We have 2 kids!

Posted : August 18, 2005 12:41 pm
Posts: 372
Reputable Member

One of the sayings here on the islands is:
"Do you want to know how to leave the islands with a million dollars? Bring two!"
While there are great opportunities to do business here, there is nothing that can cost you more than not doing your due diligence.

Posted : August 18, 2005 2:13 pm
Posts: 0
New Member

I have to agree with the others. Using the internet and chat forums to figure out what type of business you want to spend your hard earned money on is very risky even if you already lived in the community. Trying to find something thousands of miles away in a significantly different economic and living environment is next to impossible and foolhardy. Don't confuse the feeling of euphoria you got while visiting the USVI on vacation with actual real life living. While it is difficult to explain living on an island in the Caribbean is very different. You really should visit the island for an extended stay to get a feel for what island life is like and what businees opportunies fit your particular needs. Yes, taking this approach may cause some short term inconvenience for you and your family but if it saves you from losing all your money you'll be glad you did it. Due diligence is the key to success.

Posted : August 18, 2005 4:35 pm
Posts: 3030


Where to start: You might look in the MLS and see what other businesses are on sale on St. John. If you go to https://www.vimovingcenter.com/realestate/stjohn.php you will find a brief write up on real estate on St. John and it includes links to the St. John Board of Realtors and several Realtors on the island. You might look at their sites and review the information. You can access the MLS through the Realtor web sites. To review licensing information you can visit the Dept. of Licensing and Consumer Affairs at http://www.dlca.gov.vi/index.htm. Also you might look up the EDC at http://www.usvieda.org/. The SBA-PR/VI web site might be useful too http://www.sba.gov/pr/.

As for whether your budget is enough for buying a business and renting a home... well that depends on the cost of the business and the size of the home. You might review the Cost of Living section of this site (scroll to the top and click on home and then choose cost of living in the navigation). It will give you a rough idea and can help you determine your living expenses/budget. You mentioned you had children - if you plan on private schooling then look at the private school websites to determine budgeting for tuition.

And then maybe someone else might recognize the shop you are looking at, I can't place it. http://www.caribbizbrokers.com/beachwear.htm

Good Luck.


Posted : August 18, 2005 5:14 pm
Posts: 5404
Illustrious Member

I am pretty sure it is a tiny spot in the newer section of Wharfside Village.

Smellet: If you have two children, it is all the more reason to be cautious.

Posted : August 18, 2005 8:41 pm
Posts: 249
Estimable Member

I have been on and off this site for more than a year and can attest to the fact that this has been advertised since at the minimum, January of 05. Mark and I are not interested so beyond that small tidbit, I haven't a clue. Just thought to let you know.
referring to small boutique on StJ.

Posted : August 18, 2005 10:17 pm
Posts: 3
New Member

I have an idea! Skin Care for locals, and I'll be the aesthetician and massage therapist! no, really, i am an expert in this industry, and feel the need for it amongst the caribbean.

Posted : August 19, 2005 12:56 am
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