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Water Island Living | Properties for Sale | Featured Properties |

Island Living Posted by Chuck Gidley   4-Nov-2009


What is it like to live on an island? Is it harder than living on the mainland? What do residents do for shopping? How do the houses get water and power? Does the island have internet and cable TV? How do people get to the island? How are medical emergencies handled? What do people do for entertainment on an island? Why do people live on an island? .....Continued



Most homes on Water Island are 2BR/2BA of about 1,900 square feet.  We have some big houses but most are smallish cottage type homes with lots of porches and verandas---we do a lot of our living outdoors.  Homes come on the market very seldom and go very quickly.  You can expect to pay at least $600,000 for something in move in condition.

Buying Land and Building a Home

Lot prices range from about $175,000 for .25 acres up to over $500,000 for an acre. Of course depending on the view and topography. Construction costs in the Virgin Islands are high.  Most all homes are concrete and all must be built to withstand hurricanes.  Cost per square foot runs about $350 depending on the interior finishing.  You can reduce this cost by doing some yourself, like painting, tiling, etc.  Building permits must be obtained from the VI  Government.

Drive In Movie.


Every Monday there is drive in movie at Honeymoon Beach. Current movies are shown free of charge and refreshments are available for purchase. Bring you lawn chair or sit in your golf cart while watching the movie screen (strung between two palm trees). One of the best community gatherings on Water Island”.

Click to enlarge photo.

Click to enlarge photo

House Maintenance

Water Island residents can provide virtually all the repairs or service you need.  We have an electrician, several home builders, several men who will do additions, we have tile guys, a landscape company, etc.  Virtually all your home repair needs can be met by a Water Islander owned company.



Local insurance companies on St Thomas can provide your home and other insurance needs.  If you are over 50, AARP can also provide insurance.

Mail Service

Residents receive a mail box at the Ferry Dock on Water Island.  Mail is delivered 6 days a week to the boxes at about 11:00 AM.


  • Federal Income Taxes:  Federal income taxes are paid to the Government of the Virgin Islands if you are a Virgin Islands resident.  Otherwise, they are paid to the address you use in the states. 

  • Virgin Islands Property Taxes:  VI property taxes are currently being revaluated.  Property taxes are based upon the real value of the property as determined by the Office of the Tax Assessor.  The real value is the multiplied by 60% to get the assessed value.  The assessed value is then multiplied by 1.25% to get the property tax.  Lastly, there are various exemptions that are available for residents (eg Veteran’s, Homestead).  As example of the calculations for a home valued at $390,000 is $390,000 x .60 x. .0125 = $2925 Property Tax (with no exemptions included).

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Public Utilities

  • Electricity:  Power is provided by underwater cable from St Thomas.  Cost for an average 2BR/2BA house (without air conditioning) is about $200 per month.  Very few houses have AC.  We use lots of ceiling fans and the prevailing breeze keeps the temperature quite pleasant.

  • Water:  We collect water from the roof in cisterns (concrete vaults under the house).  Most houses have at least 20,000 gallon cisterns and the amount of rain will keep you in good shape throughout the year.  For houses with big families or lots of visitors, the larger the cistern the better.  If the cistern runs dry, you will have to have a water truck barged over from St Thomas.


Heidi’s Honeymoon Grill is open for breakfast at the ferry dock Monday through Friday from 6:45 AM until 8:15 AM.  Heidi serves lunch on Honeymoon Beach every day.  Saturday night, Heidi serves a very fine meal at the Honeymoon Beach.  Mark Pippen, operator of the Pirate’s Ridge Deli,  is open from 11:00 AM until 7:00 PM.  Mark has a small grocery store, serves sandwiches and pizza, and has a small bar open for Happy Hour.


  • Telephone:  Phone service is provided by underwater cabling from St. Thomas.  Some people, however; have gone to strictly cell phone.  Regular household phone service is provided by Innovative Telephone and costs about $30 per month (excluding long distance). 

  • Cellular:  Cell phone service providers include AT&T (old Cingular), Sprint and Innovative (local service). Cell phone costs run about $50 per month depending on the plan you choose.

  • Internet:  Internet service is available via dial up, wireless or satellite high speed internet connection.  Costs run from $20 to $70 per month. 

  • Television:   Both cable and satellite (DISH) television service is available.  Costs run about $50 per month and up.


  • On Water Island:  There are no taxi services on the island.  Most residents own a golf cart and a small car.  There is a mechanic that lives on island that provides great service at a fair price.

  • Ferry Service:  Service is provided by a Water Islander running between Crown Bay Marina on St Thomas and Water Island.  Service starts at 6:45 AM and runs abut every hour until 6:00PM.  Nights runs take place on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 9:00PM.  You can also order a Special Ferry.

  • Barge Service: Two Water Islanders operate barges to bring over cars, golf carts, cement trucks, building supplies, refrigerators, etc.  Cost is about $200 per trip.
  • Private Charter Boat Service:  Post Time Charters provides charter boat services in the U.S. Virgin Islands:  deep sea fishing, inshore fishing, snorkeling, inter-island excursions, day cruises and more...


Virgin Islands NowVirgin Islands Vacation Guide & Community

Virgin Islands Podcast from Paradise


Your source for a daily dose of the US Virgin Islands. Listen in for weather, good news highlights and a little music with Alex Randall the "Voice of Paradise". Updated (Monday - Friday).

Water Island Civic Association

Voluntary association (dues $150 per year) which works to keep the island in the best shape possible and works with the VI Government to provide the services our taxes pay for. Visit their site HERE

Water Island Search and Rescue

Funded by residents, we have two ambulances, a fire pumper truck, and evacuation boat and a trained team of responders.

Water Island Community

Very diverse with just about every profession represented.  Water Islanders are 'do it yourselfers', respect each others privacy, but will rally to someone in need in a flash.


Water Island Vacations


Offers an array of vacation homes available on Water Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. No matter what your needs or your budget, you will be able to find the perfect vacation rental home that will suit you perfectly. Visit them HERE.


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