Living Part Time in...
 

Living Part Time in the VIs  

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GTGA
Posts: 2
 GTGA
(@GTGA)
New Member
Joined: 6 years ago

Hi, I'm new to this forum and looking for guidance from experts. I'm still in the planning/dreaming phase of this, so please help me figure out if this is realistic:

Within the next 2 years we intend to be able to buy a small home (~2 BR) in the VIs and have little to no mortgage on it. We want to maintain our primary residence back in Florida due to work and school for the kids. We would be able to work from home during the summer, so we aren't concerned about finding jobs for the summer. We have been regular visitors for nearly 10 years and have friends who live there. We are aware of many details of island living, and hope to start out part time and make it full time within a few years due to work commitments.

1. Is it feasible to live in Florida during the school year, and live in the VI house during the summer (June-August)?
2. Would there be a market for a potential long term 9 month rental for late August-end of May? I'm thinking this would be a better option than short term rentals as long term renters would be responsible for their own electric bills, and it would be more consistent income to cover the cost of insurance. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
3. How could we maintain a vehicle on island? If we continue to have FL driver's licenses, could we register a car there? Or is a better option to rent a vehicle for 3 months like Zip cars?

FYI we have family in Florida to take care our house while we would be on island.

Thanks so much for all who can offer insight.

~GTGA

12 Replies
JulieKay
Posts: 1341
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member
Joined: 8 years ago

1. Sure. But I'm sure you're aware that during the summer more of the restaurants and shops are closed, there is higher risk of hurricanes, and towards the end of the summer it's quite hot.

2. All depends upon finding a tenant. Most long term tenants I find want more than a 9 month lease, but you never know. You might consider renting as a vacation property instead and managing utilities. It will be hard to find tenants to rent for 9 months and then move out for your family to use the house.

3. Depends upon where you garage the vehicle and if it will be driven during those 9 months. That's a long time for a vehicle to sit un-used. Also it will be important to protect the vehicle from theft. Having a friend/caretaker drive it while you're gone might be a better bet. Yes you can register a car in the VI with a stateside license. Or, you can rent a vehicle for a monthly rate from a rental agency (you don't mention which island so I don't have suggestions which one).

Good luck!

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Exit Zero
Posts: 2290
Registered
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 years ago

You might look into a property that has a guest house or rental apt on premise. Then you would be able to have a tenant or caretaker that would be able to look out for your interests if you go the short term rental route. Finding a 9 mo. tenant each year is not going to be an easy task unless you get really lucky - maybe by finding someone who has a yearly summer job commitment in a stateside resort area.
Keeping your car in a storage facility would be the best bet unless you find a property with a locking garage - they are few and far between.
Putting the house in the short term rental market with a management co. is another option to consider, they can do booking and maintenance for a % and even with a few weekly rentals it might work out to be financially more than trying to find a 9 mo. tenant each year.
You mention the tenant being responsible for their own utilities - unless you go through the dancing hoops it would take to change from your account name to theirs every year with Wapa, Cable, phone and internet it will be in your name year round and ultimately your responsibility.

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bolongo girl
Posts: 14
(@bolongo_girl)
Active Member
Joined: 9 years ago

Look into renting to visiting nurses. We rent our condo out to them 13 weeks at a time, three times year and we enjoy our winter months on island.

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STXBob
Posts: 2138
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago

1. Yes, you can live here in the summer. It's hot, but FL is probably hotter, so I guess you're better off being here.

2. You're unlikely to find a renter for 9 months of the year, but you might find a snowbird to rent it for 3-6 months. You'd be making the house available for all of high season, so that's in your favor. Your house also has to be desirable enough to rent. Eg: Views, amenities, clean, everything works, etc.

3. You might prefer to lease a car for 3 months instead of buying one and having it sit unused for 9 months. Or you might find a friend or someone to drive your car once every couple of weeks.

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