Why is stj so expen...
 

Why is stj so expensive to live on. Mostly in property value for buying and renting?  

 

westonkaley
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July 1, 2015 3:47 pm  

Why is stj so expensive to live on. Mostly in property value for buying and renting? Seems like it's way more expensive than stx and stt.


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susan56
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July 1, 2015 5:11 pm  

Have you been there.

It is a small, beautiful, exclusive island.

There are no real grocery stores....just markets. Thus everything costs more versus stt or stx.

The local police all commute to work from stt because they can't afford to live there!

If you need to go to the hospital you really have to go to stt.

You need to do lots more research if you are asking this question.

Sorry.....but wake up!


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TommySTX
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July 1, 2015 5:21 pm  

Susan56,

That response was just mean. Those last 2 sentences are completely unnecessary.

This forum is to help people, not ridicule them for asking questions.

Westonkaley,

Some of what the last rude poster said is true. The island is very small which puts a big price on any available real estate, not to mention the majority of the island is national park and cannot be developed at all.

Please keep asking questions if you don't know the answer. This forum is a SOURCE for research so someone telling you to do more research before asking questions is just wrong.


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SkysTheLimit
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July 1, 2015 5:33 pm  

One reason would be the cost to build, since you would be shipping in materials and probably your crew.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but contractors probably charge "travel time" and it costs more for everything to ship. Concrete trucks, lumber, blocks, windows and doors........

The cost of paradise.


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watruw8ing4
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July 1, 2015 5:52 pm  

@TommySTX - (tu)


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westonkaley
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July 1, 2015 5:58 pm  

I don't do research on stj because I'm not moving there. I'm moving to stx. It was just a question that I was wondering about Susan, no need for smart remarks


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Afriend
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July 1, 2015 6:24 pm  

I thought OP"s question was quite interesting and the first part of Susan56's response provided some logical data but her last 2 sentences were somewhat snide.

Anyway, getting back to OP's question, just like there are affluent areas in/around just about every city/town throughout the world there are affluent areas in the USVI's. STJ happens to be the "most affluent" of the "affluent areas" in the USVI's.

How and why it got that way probably dates back to the mid-1930's when the Rockefeller Family acquired most of the island and eventually donated over 5,000 acres to the national Park Service (this has since increased to over 7,200 acres of land and some 5,600 acres of underwater land).

What this means is there's not a lot of land left for development and, as everyone knows when land is scarce it becomes more valuable.

Add to that, the fact that EVERYTHING (building materials, equipment, food, etc.) has to be imported first to either STT or STX then on to STJ and that there is a relatively small labor pool on the island you quickly see why it cost more to build a home on St. John than it does on the more populated islands.

Higher land prices and higher building costs mean the island becomes less attractive for those with modest incomes and soon only the more wealth people can afford to live on the island.

And so, the cycle continues!


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speee1dy
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July 1, 2015 6:50 pm  

lack of available land drives up the cost of what is available


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westonkaley
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July 1, 2015 7:50 pm  

Thanks tommystx! Wil be arriving in stx in 43 days


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klpmtm
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July 2, 2015 1:03 am  

Great post Tommy! It's nice to see someone calling out shifty behavior.


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RevFD
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July 2, 2015 1:37 am  

Other than supply/demand and cost of getting resources there, I'd imagine construction costs are higher given the challenges of the steep terrain (as opposed to STX which is considerably flatter).


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Alana33
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July 2, 2015 2:18 am  

Not to mention that everything has to come over on the barges so it adds to the expense and time things can take, including inspections, etc. A couple cement trucks have gone over the cliffs into the sea.


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singlefin
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July 2, 2015 2:19 am  

I've heard St. John referred to as the "Beverly Hills of the Caribbean".
For True!


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Ronnie
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July 2, 2015 3:28 am  

Just a FYI, Rockefeller acquired the land in the mid 50s. He purchased Caneel and just about that time a man named Frank Stick purchased land out by Lamshure Bay. His daughter convinced him to not build the development he had planned, but to donate to the National Park. He then went around the island and made deals from the families around to sell their land. He had convinced Rockefeller to purchase this land and donate it to the park. They had just bought Yellowstone National Park, so the timing was perfect. St John thrives as a great destination thanks to these gentlemen and all of the landowners that sold their properties. There are some pockets within the park that weren't sold/bought. These are worth even more!


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stjohnjulie
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July 2, 2015 9:40 am  

I would say it has mostly to do with the availability of land that can be developed. Most of the island is protected from development (National Park). The rest of it was largely owned by locals/natives/however you want to say it. As time goes on, some of that land is sold off to transplants or developers. And generally, some of it is kept by the original family. And as more time goes on, the land that is kept by the original family is divided up and left to heirs. And as even more time goes on, those pieces of land become smaller and smaller. Add to that that our property assessments are totally out of line and super high, hence making the property taxes really high, some of that land gets sold off or leased out. I know several local families that are in a spot where they simply cannot afford to pay their property taxes at the new highly assessed values. As an example.... a family might have an annual income of $40,000, and the house they live in, that was left to them by another family member, has a property tax of $10,000 a year.

We do have a lumber yard on St. John, and the prices are very comparable to Home Depot on St. Thomas. We no longer have a concrete plant (haven't for quite awhile), so that increases costs. And yes, pretty much everything gets shipped to STT and then shipped to STJ. That increases costs.

There certainly are some really amazingly outrageous big houses on St. John, but there are a ton of homes that are far more modest. The bulk of my family here lives in very modest dwellings. And they will stay very modest, or completely fall apart over time, because the land that it is situated on is assessed so high that they can't afford to do anything to improve or repair their homes.


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