Property Taxes: 100% of assessed value x mill rate
Homes & Condos Mill Rate = .00377
Land Mill Rate = .004946
Mortgage loans are available through a variety of financial institutions doing business in the Virgin Islands, including:
Windstorm and Earthquake Insurance
Windstorm and earthquake insurance is required for all home mortgage loans. The cost is approximately 2-3% of the replacement value of the structure; wood frame is higher than masonry.
It is customary in the US Virgin Islands for the Transfer/Stamp Tax to be split equally between the Buyer and Seller (negotiable). The Transfer Tax is based on the purchase price or the assessed value whichever is higher.
Costs to the Seller
Exposure of bound posts for land or home, split transfer/stamp tax equally with the Buyer (negotiable), deed preparation, attorney fees, etc.
Costs to the Buyer
Title insurance, structural inspection and termite inspection (for home), surveyors certificate and report (land) or as-built survey (home), recording of the deed, split transfer/stamp tax equally with the Seller (negotiable), bank fees if required, attorney fees
You do not need a passport to travel to any of the U.S. Virgin Islands however you DO need a passport if you would like to travel to any of the close-by British Virgin Islands. Please keep this in mind if you have included travel to the BVI in your vacation plans.
We highly recommend renting a car for a stay on St. John. Driving in the VI is just like driving in the US with a few exceptions. The biggest one being that we drive on the left-hand side of the road here. This can seem tricky at first but you will be surprised how quickly you will get used to it. Your stateside drivers license will work just fine here. Don’t talk on the cell phone while driving in the VI because it’s dangerous and illegal!
Doctors in the Virgin Islands
There are great doctors and plenty on pharmacies to fill your prescriptions here on the island. There are hospitals on St Thomas and St Croix that offer a full array of medical services and there are plenty of smaller practices for things like dental and eye care.
USVI is in the Atlantic Standard time zone. We do not recognize daylight savings time so we are the same time as Florida from April to October during daylight savings time and one hour ahead for the rest of the year.
Virgin Islands Cell Phone Carriers
AT&T and Sprint have a big presence on St. John and work well in most places. You may be charged roaming charges if you have Verizon, T-Mobile or other major carriers, and they can add up quickly. It is best to contact your provider before making calls from the USVI.
How to Island Hop the Virgin Islands
The passenger ferry between St. John and St. Thomas leaves every hour on the hour from 8am to 11pm and costs $14 round trip. There is also a car barge between St. Thomas and St. John and the schedule can be found online. St Croix is about 25 minutes away by seaplane and flights leave routinely from the marine terminal on the waterfront in front of Charlotte Amalie. From St Thomas, out of Crown Bay Marina, there is a ferry that runs on a set schedule to and from Water Island.
Our water supply comes from a cistern, which is a collection of rainwater and is filtered and safe. Many people, however, choose to drink bottled water during their stay. Water on the islands is hard to come by! Please conserve water whenever possible by not running the water excessively.
Most island banks are open normal business hours Monday through Friday to 4pm. The largest banks are: First Bank, Banco Popular, Scotiabank. There are many ATMs available on the islands.
The Roy Lester Schneider Hospital is at 9048 Sugar Estate, Charlotte Amalie (340-776-8311).
Other important Numbers
You can reach the police at 911 in case of emergency. If you have or witness a boating mishap, call the U.S. Coast Guard Rescue (787-729-6800), which operates out of San Juan, Puerto Rico. If you are a scuba diver and need of a decompression chamber, one is available at the Roy Lester Schneider Hospital (340-776-8311).
What is the cost to send mail in the US Virgin Islands?
Postage rates in the USVI are the same as U.S. mainland rates
Virgin Islands Taxes
The only local tax for visitors is a 10% surcharge added to all hotel rates. There is no sales tax!
How to call in the US Virgin Islands
All island phone numbers have seven digits. The area code for all three islands, including St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix is 340 and most phone numbers can be found in the U.S. Virgin Islands phone book.
How much do you tip in the USVI?
Tipping for great service is the same as on the U.S. mainland: 18% to 20% or so for restaurant service, and $5-$10 dollars a day for housekeeping services.
How big are the Islands?
St Croix covers 84 sq. miles; St John, 20 sq. miles; and St Thomas, 32 sq. miles.
What should I shop for?
The USVI is a duty-free port and St Thomas, in particular Charlotte Amalie, has a reputation for some of the best shopping in the Caribbean. On St. John, be sure to check out our major shopping areas, Mongoose Junction and Wharfside village. Look for duty-free luxury goods such as designer fashions, sunglasses, perfume, watches, fine jewelry, gemstones, china, porcelain, crystal, fine linens, leather goods, electronics, cameras, cigarettes and liquor. Many items cost 40% less than on the US mainland. If you are looking for souvenirs with local flavor, consider the locally designed jewelry and clothing, pottery and craft items.
The main industry in the U.S. Virgin Islands is tourism. Other industries include manufacturing (petroleum refining, watch assembly, pharmaceuticals, textiles and electronics), construction, rum distilling, a small agricultural sector and a growing international business and financial services sector.
The legal drinking age is 18 years and the legal gambling age is 21.