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We Bought a House!

How cute is our new house??!

Well folks, this is something that I never ever thought I would write… We bought a house in St. John! Grab the Sancerre! Pop the champagne! This island blogger is a St. John homeowner! 🥳

Ever since I moved to St. John nearly 10 years ago, I’ve been pretty convinced that I would be a lifelong renter. I’ve been fortunate in that I have lived in some pretty great spots over the years and had wonderful landlords, but I always longed to have a place of my own. Like many of you, I peruse the St. John real estate listings almost daily and have been quite discouraged by the prices. Home prices in St. John are typically close to a million dollars or more, which is a tad over my budget. And by a tad, I mean a lot!

But then a unicorn popped up in late May. “A charming Caribbean cottage with ample room to expand,” the listing read. “A nature lover’s dream, this partially fenced-in flat land is ideal for gardening. This is a perfect starter home for any STJ resident.” The asking price was $450,000, and as I read a bit further, I saw three magical words:

Owner financing available 

Oh. My. Goodness.

Could this be real, I wondered. I immediately reached out to my friend Tammy Donnelly who owns 340 Real Estate Co. to see what she thought. She responded immediately and said we should take a look. I made the appointment for the following day at 10 a.m. I then super casually told my other half that we had an appointment to look at a house in Fish Bay.

You see, I never thought he would ever be on board with buying a house on St. John. So I sort of had to casually dance around the subject. But he agreed to go. Basically just going along with another one of my crazy ideas… 😎

I loved the home from the moment I pulled up. There was something about it that just seemed so calming to me. But it was tiny – 622 feet to be exact. The yard, however, was amazing. It’s a quarter acre of flat land, something that’s almost unheard of in St. John.

As many of you probably know, Mike (Mr. Other Half) and I have a five-year-old son Dalton. To say Dalton has a lot of energy is the understatement of the year. The kid simply never stops. So the idea of having a flat yard for him to run around in seemed heavenly.

At that moment, my wheels started turning. I needed to make this work, I just had no idea how. So Mike and I went to 1864 for lunch and drank more wine than we should have as I tried to figure it out. (No need to worry… Dalton was in school and his sitter who we love more than life itself brought him home afterward. Thanks Kiki! Safety first!)

Long story short: With a little help from family, we figured it out. We closed Wednesday afternoon, and I could not be happier. Let the fun begin!

More to come… 🏡



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  1. Dave

    Congrats to all 3 of you! I’ve been reading your stuff since you arrived. You’re living the life most of us dream about but know we’ll never have. I remember when that house hit the market. Good on you for jumping at the opportunity!

  2. Shawn Green

    Congrats! I would love to purchase there and wander the island, petting a donkey, picking up some trash, and helping out where needed. Maybe washing dishes at a restaurant or helping out with a construction job. But my family needs me here, working a stressful job where I am underpaid and underappreciated. Time to plan a trip and keep the dream alive!

  3. Bonnie Bauer

    Wishing you and your family wonderful adventures in your island home as you begin to make life long memories that will make paradise even more perfect. Congratulations on making your dream become reality.

  4. Cara Gimbel

    Congratulations Jenn! We met last summer on a tour of the island and I know how much this dream meant to you! My husband and I are very happy for you!

  5. Sheila & George

    Congrats Jenn and Mike! Sometimes when you follow where life takes you amazing opportunities appear out of nowhere. We hope all 3 of you will love this home and the memories it will provide. Can’t wait to hear more about it on our next trip (and tour!)

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  7. Joe

    Congratulations! My wife and I bought a serious fixer-upper back in 2017 and one of the most fortuitous things was the proximity to a Home Depot….just two miles away. Material cost and availability will be a challenge on St. John, but with that great 1/4 acre plot, you should have plenty of space for container delivery. Not sure if the economics will work, but if you ever start a major project with lots of building material, delivery from the US may be worth looking at. I know it worked great when my brother-in-law built a home in the Bahamas. St. John is a longer hike, but, keep it in mind. By the way, I had the opportunity to buy Soft Winds (overlooking Reef Bay) way back when for $600K but with 4 kids and college expenses looming in the future, I talked myself out of it. Shoulda bought it! All the Best!

  8. Joe

    Another thought. For almost 25 years, I would rent one of Mary-Phyllis Nogueira’s homes. When we talked about the idea of buying a home on St. John, she suggested first building a rental property on the property for income purposes and then putting up a second residence on the same land afterwards. I don’t know what the zoning restrictions are these days, but with the 1/4 acre you have, a similar idea might make sense.

  9. Michael

    Wonderful news! Having been a resident of St. John for two years, (and many vacations there going back to the early 90s), my wife and I know the magical lure of Love City! Blessings on the three of you going forward, and keep posting your story!!!

  10. Patricia Caldwell

    That is so awesome Jen.. know it’s hard for the locals to get anything because there are deep pockets who would snap things up for the sole purpose of having a rental, so I would say you scored!

  11. Larry

    Congratulations—–you’ve accomplished what very few have been able to do. Even finding affordable long-term rent is nearly impossible. If anyone deserves it, it’s you Jenn. Let’s face it—you ARE the true face of St. John !!! To you, Mike, and Dalton: BE HAPPY.

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