Renting In The Virgin Islands
Why Choose Sea Glass? At Sea Glass Vacations, the number one priority is to make your vacation enjoyable, fun and a wonderful experience. That comes with impeccable planning and attention to detail on our part. As you may know, we have been busy shooting a number of videos for our villas (you can view a few here, such as Marea, Rivendell or Capri). Recently, a few of our staff got together to talk about what goes into making your vacation a memorable experience! Take a look here:
With a knowledgeable staff that has either grown up in the Virgin Islands or lived here for years, Sea Glass offers a local knowledge and approach to your vacation. We also pay attention to all the details, ensuring that nothing is overlooked during your stay! OR if you are a villa owner and want to effectively market your home, our team has the knowledge and expertise to put together great campaigns, stunning videos and other collateral to showcase your home in an eye-catching, professional way!
Planning a Vacation? Sea Glass Vacations Can Help! While Sea Glass Properties helps you find your perfect home or property in the Caribbean, but our sister company, Sea Glass Vacations, will work with you to find a perfect villa rental! Whether you plan to visit the Virgin Islands for the first time, come often and are looking for a new villa to stay in, or want to try out island living before you buy a property, we can help! With a portfolio of stunning homes and rentals in the Caribbean, Sea Glass Vacations can assist you every step of the way in order to have a perfect, stress-free vacation. From helping you find the right villa, to setting up airport transportation, provisioning, car rental and more, Sea Glass Vacations can assist with every aspect of your vacation! Our on-call concierge is even available to make restaurant reservations, book day trips, activities and excursions or give recommendations on great things to do during your stay. The Sea Glass Vacations blog is also a great resource for tips on where to dine, shop and a local look at favorite activities and things to do in the Virgin Islands.
Tips for Renters who pay their own WAPA
What is WAPA?
An autonomous public utility created by the Virgin Islands Legislature in 1964, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) generates and distributes electricity to approximately 55,000 customers throughout the territory. It also provides desalinated, potable water to 13,000 customers in the major commercial and residential centers of Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas), Christiansted and Frederiksted (St. Croix) and Cruz Bay (St. John) as well as certain subdivisions.
Because of its reliance on fuel oil and continually escalating crude oil prices worldwide, WAPA’s customer rates are generally higher than in most regions of the United States. Monthly bills will vary according to customer usage and the prevailing Levelized Energy Adjustment Clause (LEAC) factor. The LEAC factor (or fuel factor as it is called in other Caribbean islands and at some mainland utilities) is a customer surcharge that allows WAPA to address increases or decreases in fuel prices. WAPA’s customer rates, as well as adjustments to the LEAC factor, are subject to approval by the Virgin Islands Public Service Commission
How is WAPA different than stateside services?
WAPA charges about 56 cents per kilowatt versus an average of 12 cents per kilowatt state side. Basically, electricity is pretty pricey here in the Virgin Islands, but we have all the tips you need to lower your bill!
Tips on how to lower your WAPA bill
It might sound like a drastic change, but adapting is not as scary as it sounds! Find out more about WAPA here!
Renting in St. John – Finding the perfect place to rent on St. John can be a tad more challenging than renting on St. Thomas only because St. John is a smaller Island and since 2/3 of it is a protected national park.
St. John definitely has a mystical small town feel to it, where you can finally feel away from all the hustle and bustle of state side living. You will not find a huge shopping mall or retail store here! You will, however, be surrounded lush green valleys and hills most of which overlook dazzling turquoise water.
Tip & Info – Renting on St. John
- I highly recommend purchasing The VI Settlers Handbook. This book is full of useful information and everything you need to know about what to expect!
- The VI Moving Center is a website fully dedicated to those moving to the Virgin Islands. It has information on finding employment, housing, and message boards so you can connect with locals who have the inside scoop.
- Be sure to check out your local newspapers if you are searching for a long term or short term rental in the classifieds, like the St. John Tradewinds newspaper
- For long term housing rentals get in touch with your local real estate companies! Here at Sea Glass Properties you can depend on us to find the perfect rental for you.
- For short term, high end rentals check out the luxurious Residence at Sirenusa
Please contact us here at Sea Glass Properties with any questions you may have.
Happy Renting – Sarah
Whether you are looking for a new home and need a place to stay while doing so, or you want to rent indefinitely—renting a home in St. Thomas is the standard route for new islanders. Here is some simple (and maybe obvious) advice to start off our “Renting in the VI” sequence.
1.) Make sure to do your research. If you are currently looking for a home, more than likely you are way past this step; however, you would be surprised at the amount of people who have not done their proper research before making the big move. For proper preparation, be sure to arrange for a pre-arrival visit (especially if you have not been to the island before).
2.) Use your resources: Craigslist, the library, linkedin, etc etc. Anything you can use to connect with individuals who live on the island and may be so kind to give you some advice. Before I moved I was fortunate enough to be able to connect to a woman (through her blog) who had been living on the island for a few years. She gave me vital tips on island life such as areas I might like to live in, where to look for jobs, how to find a car, where to shop etc. Do not be scared to ask for help!
3.) Look at the local real estate companies’ websites to see what kind of apartments/condos/houses are on the market. Many of the agencies have great search engines that allow for a good amount of customization so you can easily narrow down on the properties that you are looking for.
4.) Be open-minded. The Virgin Islands may not necessarily be in any way similar to what you are used to and where you are like where you are moving from. It is not for everyone, but if you are already looking into it, chances are you are looking for the lifestyle, change of pace, and scenery that you can find here. Also, don’t forget—just because some things may “move slower” in the VI that it does not mean that everything moves slower. St. Thomas is a bustling island with a lot to do, rich culture, and plenty of opportunity.
Stay tuned for our posts next week all about moving to the Virgin Islands!
Until Next Time,