How a Frequent Visitor Found His “Anchor” on St. Croix
Thanks again to my Dad, Jack Smith, for contributing his unique perspective on island life to this blog, somewhere between visitor and resident.
Continuing my rambling thoughts from the previous post, I had decided to create an “anchor” to St. Croix (also known as an excuse to come back… often). I wanted to do that by purchasing some sort of property on-island.
Previously, I mentioned my daughter and son-in law moving to St. Croix and how I’d determined I needed a reason to be there more often. Well, after a few years of marriage, my daughter and son-in-law gave me the perfect reason (or should I say reasons) in the form of two grandsons. Now I won’t bore you with all the reasons why my grandsons are the best grandsons ever, just simply accept that they are, so I can keep this article within limits.
Now it’s a fact that most people quit ________ full-time (fill in the blank with your choice, whether it be traveling in an RV, sailing or living on an island) because of grandchildren. Now how lucky am I, my grandchildren live in the U.S. Virgin Islands! So, if you read my previous musings, I was looking for not only an excuse to be on St. Croix more often, but some kind of “anchor” there. Something to make me feel like more than a visitor, something that could let me proudly say, “yeah, I live here”… even if it is just part-time. Then I realized that buying property would do all that and be a fantastic investment.
So my daughter’s family, who already owned one house on-island, decided they needed a larger house for their growing family. Now she is way too polite to say this, but I believe part of the reason they needed a bigger place, was because her Dad kept taking over one section or another of their house with his frequent visits. Irrespective, the idea was born that because of something very common in St. Croix (and not common at all in most areas) that we could perhaps solve both our desires. That “something” is that many St. Croix properties are a two-for-one deal. Often within homes there is a separate wing or completely separate level for guests or tenants. So I could help my daughter’s family buy a larger place, and reserve the separate living space for my visits. What a great opportunity… I can have my “anchor,” have a place to stay when I visit, plus I have someone to watch over the place while I’m not there. My daughter’s free to use the space as they want otherwise and I have an investment in property that’s bottomed out and on the way up. A win-win for all involved.
So, any of you out there that have kids or other family members on St. Croix, there is a great opportunity to buy in this buyer’s market, as the property values have no where to go but up. We looked at a lot of ways to structure our arrangement and we found a house that fits our needs. But there are so many different possibilities, such as a short-term rentals, or even longer-term rentals of the secondary living space. You have a place to stay and an outstanding investment, whether you enjoy current rental income or just hang-on for appreciation. Now all I need to do is find another opportunity on-island…