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Adventures in St. John Homeownership

I am looking forward to the day I can finally relax in our new house, aptly named Snail’s Pace.

Today marks the third week that I am officially a St. John homeowner. A lot has happened over the past three weeks, so I thought I’d post a little update for all of you who are curious about what owning a home actually entails on this island.

Let’s start with living space. The home we bought had a whopping 622 square feet of living space, and that included a screened-in porch, which really isn’t living space in my opinion. Talk about tiny! This is what $475,000 buys you on St. John, folks! We’ve been living in a one-bedroom apartment for three years (due to St. John’s insane rental market), so we knew that we could make this work.

But before we moved in, we needed to make space for two bedrooms. I thought the easiest and most cost-effective way to do this would be to enclose the screened-in porch and convert that into two very small bedrooms. It’s really going to be one large bedroom with some sort of non-permanent partition due to building codes, but we will make it work! Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

We are unbelievably lucky in that one of St. John’s best builders just happens to be our neighbor. He graciously offered his knowledge, so we knew how to best enclose that space. We were able to get this done in one week, which is pretty incredible here on St. John.

The original screened-in porch

Now onto the main living space. The kitchen was a bit tired and the appliances were older, so we decided to renovate this space completely. Well, let’s just say this was easier in my mind than in real life. This part really reminded me of those home improvement shows on TV where they keep finding little things wrong. Well, every “wrong” thing costs money, so I now temporarily renamed the home The Money Pit – lol. Its real name is Snail’s Pace. 🙂

For example, there wasn’t tile under some of the cabinets, so I need to figure that out. The way the cabinets were screwed to the wall meant huge chunks of sheetrock needed to be repaired after the old ones were removed. You know, fun things like that. Lucky for us, another neighbor is unbelievably handy and is helping us fix this part of our mess.

Such a mess! But more progress!

All of this being said, we have made tremendous progress in three weeks. We enclosed the porch, installed six actual windows where screens used to be, and removed the old kitchen cabinets and appliances. The taping (compound?) and sanding on the new sheetrock are almost complete and painting should start in the next day or two. Our new kitchen cabinets are being delivered in Miami today, so maybe if the stars align, they will be on island next week… fingers crossed! I don’t know everyone, but I think I may have a new house to live in soon!

The clock is ticking. We are supposed to be out of our Gifft Hill apartment and completely moved into this new house by the end of the month. Wish me luck!

I’ve taken a few weeks off of my island tours to focus on the house because time is of the essence here. And forgive me for not writing as much as I would like to, but we’re in a time crunch here. I’m basically playing general contractor while Mike is making people’s dreams come true over at The Beach Bar every day. It’s hot, I’m dirty, I’m sweaty, and I feel like I’ve been covered with sheetrock dust for days, but you know what, I’m loving every minute of it!

I’m going to resume tours next week, so go ahead and secure your date!

All of that being said, I’ll post another house update soon. Have a great day everyone!

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  1. Mrs. Jodi Ahern

    Fantastic! So exciting! I’m excited to continue watching the project progress on my upcoming visits as we are NEIGHBORS in fish bay
    Best of luck!

  2. Patti

    My husband is a builder. ‘Nuf said!’always a few unfinished projects. We had a condo (money pit) on island for 11 years and now happily at Westin for the month of April no worries Good luck with reno. Watch The Money Pitnfor a good laugh 😊

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