St. John Home Buyer & Seller FAQs
- Real Estate Closing Costs
Closing costs in USVI may differ depending on the loans involved and the type of property you are dealing with. You may expect the pay the below closing costs at signing:
- Real Estate Attorney Fees
- First Year of Homeowner’s Insurance
- Earnest money
- Down Payment
- Inspection Costs
Regardless of whether you are selling or buying property, there will be significant closing costs to consider.
- USVI Transfer Tax
USVI stamp tax may vary significantly depending on the value of the properties—if you have a higher value property you may have a higher percentage stamp tax.
The potentially ranges of transfer taxes are found below (as of 2015):
- 2% for property worth up to $350,000.
- 5% for property worth $350,000 to 1 million.
- 3% for property worth $1 million to $5 million.
- 5% for property worth over $5 million.
- Property Taxes
Property taxes often depend on the type of property you own on the U.S. Virgin Islands. Below are the tax rates, which is organized by property type:
- Residential Property – .003770
- Land – .004946
- Commercial Property –.007110
- Timeshare – .014070
To learn more about property tax rates on the islands, visit the USVI Tax Collector’s Office website.
USVI Water and Power Authority (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 39 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!
- Property Windstorm/Earthquake Insurance
Hazard Insurance can be particularly expensive on the islands considering the amount of extreme whether we tend to get. The cost of your insurance will depend on a number of factors, including the construction of the property and the presence of shutters and high impact glass. Windstorm insurance can vary significantly for residential vs. commercial properties.
Typically, homeowners may pay somewhere between 1.35% and 2% of the replacement cost per year for a home that is fully shuttered and built with stable concrete construction.
According to a 2010 Census, the population St. John is 4,170.