New Listmember (wa...
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New Listmember (wanna move)

Posts: 234
Estimable Member
Topic starter

Hi, I have been lurking for a while because my wife and I are seriously considering a large change. My contract is ending soon at the New England college I work for and I'm nearing early retirement age anyway. We love the Islands and have been to STT a number of times, Also STJ and BVI, Never to STX yet.
My Idea is to buy a rural lot on STX after a PMV of course, with space around it (1/2 acre, view not neccessary}. We are both do it yourselfers and would build a small cinderblock cottage doing most of the work ourselves and freinds with minimal outside help. I am researching the possibilities like living off grid (solar, propane, septic, cistern etc) No WAPA. I'm a tree hugger. We want to free ourselves of servitude to our debts and live simpler, slower lifestyles, grow some food. If I cash in everything : equity on my current home, retirement, etc it may be possible to own everything with no mortgage, cars paid for, and have minimal monthly expenses - Trade my connecticut home for a small classic West Indian cottage that is both low and high tech. Am I crazy? Can I get a $25,000 lot that is decent? I have been cruising the MLS for a while but have not seen any in person. Are large plastic cistern tanks available on island or will they have to be shipped? How about solar batteries? Perhaps we will convert our shipping container for living on the lot with our large dog while we build. Responses? Thanx in advance.
- Jammin' Jerry Z

Posted : March 13, 2007 10:29 pm
Posts: 1428
Noble Member

If you are not looking for an ocean view, then yes you can sometimes find pretty decent, easily buildable lots in the $25K price range. It's hard to take a house entirely off-grid. The inverters and quantity of battery banks and collection devices you need to store an adequate supply of power to even just get you through the night can be pretty expensive. We have wind generators and a solar panel on our sailboat to feed the battery banks, but they can't even begin to keep up with the full amount of power used even when nearly everything is off most of the time.

Yes, there are plastic cisterns available for purchase on the island. They are usually called "water buffalos". You can get solar panels and batteries here, but you will get them much cheaper from the mainland, even if you pay the shipping yourself.

Posted : March 14, 2007 3:05 pm
Posts: 859
Prominent Member

congasan: I think your dream is going to be very hard to reach. Not entirely impossible but infinitely more difficult than you might imagine. Alexandra responded with great circumspect and restraint.

Suggest you make a very serious PMV to STX before venturing further Cheers and good luck !

Posted : March 14, 2007 4:15 pm
Posts: 3030

Hello Congasan,

Welcome to the board. Just a quick note... On the website for the VI Energy Office you may find some useful information about energy efficient building and rebates. Here's the site:


Posted : March 14, 2007 4:34 pm
Posts: 21
Eminent Member


I went to the web site and it says "account has been suspended" any idea why, or where it went too?

Island Rat

Posted : March 18, 2007 12:51 pm
Posts: 234
Estimable Member
Topic starter

Hi, I was just there a couple of days ago. Good info. I'm gonna pretend that I'm on island time already and relax and wait a while. I bet it will come back. I've found tons (almost too much) info online about solar and other alternitive energy sources, rebates, tax breaks, etc. I'm still brainstorming the possibilities of building small away from town, and living a spartan lifestyle off grid on STX. My PMV is in a few months.

Posted : March 18, 2007 5:24 pm
Posts: 11
Active Member

I also went to the website and got a "Site has been suspended" message. Was there a couple of days ago and it was fine, now its not there. Anybody have any ideas why? There was good info there. I hope it doesn't go away forever.

Posted : March 18, 2007 9:05 pm
Posts: 1428
Noble Member

Maybe it is having the same problem as the CZM website... the government didn't pay the website hosting bill when it came due and the website got put on hold until someone gets around to paying it.

Posted : March 18, 2007 11:43 pm
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