A Guide to Buying Property in the US Virgin Islands
A collection of breathtakingly beautiful islands just a hop, skip and a jump from the US mainland, the US Virgin Islands has long been considered America’s Caribbean and one of the easiest places in the region for American buyers to purchase a second home.
If you are currently considering investing in real estate in the US Virgin Islands but you are wondering “where are the best places to buy property in the US Virgin Islands?” or “how do I go about owning property in the US Virgin Islands” then this guide is for you.
Our guide takes you through the process of buying property in the US Virgin Islands from beginning to end, including an introduction to the real estate market, the buying process and the taxes you will need to be aware of.
Comprising the main islands of St Thomas, St John, and St Croix, plus several smaller islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands is an American territory in the Caribbean. Each island has its own unique character and features. St Thomas is famous for its beautiful capital Charlotte Amalie and harbor area offering fine dining, shopping, and nightlife. St John is home to the 7,000 acre Virgin Islands National Park which covers two-thirds of the island, including some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, such as Trunk Bay and Cinnamon Bay. The largest of the 3 main islands, historic St Croix, home to the historic capital of the former Danish West Indies, is renowned for its well preserved colonial architecture.
Historical buildings are not the only properties of interest in the US Virgin Islands. There are also some beautiful luxury homes for sale across the archipelago. The real estate market in the US Virgin Islands is largely driven by American buyers. As the economy in the USA has returned to growth, the property market in the USVI has begun to benefit from the upswing too. Property for sale includes waterfront homes on St Thomas and St John with spectacular sea views and condos within residential communities. Beachfront land is also available.
Can foreigners buy property in the US Virgin Islands?
Yes, foreigners can buy property in the US Virgin Islands and the Government of the US Virgin Islands welcomes investment from overseas buyers. There are no restrictions on foreign buyers acquiring real estate in the US Virgin Islands.
Buying property in the US Virgin islands is a relatively simple process, which typically involves the following steps:
- Begin your property search.
- Find your perfect property and make an offer.
- Once accepted, you will need to engage an attorney to conduct thorough due diligence, review the purchase contract and advise on how best to hold title.
- Pay a deposit of 10%.
- Pay the balance on closing when the deed is transferred to your name.
- Pay all required taxes and fees.
Stamp Tax / Transfer Tax
A stamp tax must be paid on all property purchases which is based on either the purchase price or the assessed value of the property – whichever is higher.
The tax is applied at the following rates:
- Property valued at up to $350,000: 2%
- Property valued at $350,000 to 1 million: 2.5%
- Property valued at $1 million to $5 million: 3%
- Property valued at over $5 million: 3.5%
The stamp tax is often split equally between the buyer and the seller.
There is also an annual property tax which is based on the assessed value of the property.
As specialists in luxury Caribbean property, we can introduce you to a wide selection of the finest residential property in the US Virgin Islands.
Homes for Sale & Condos for Sale
Land for Sale
You can also browse undeveloped land. Purchasing a lot of land provides you with a blank canvas and the opportunity to build your dream home in the US Virgin Islands.
Whether you are looking for beachfront land or a centrally located lot, we’re here to help you find the perfect lot of land for sale in the US Virgin Islands.
For larger parcels of land for commercial development, please see our commercial real estate listings.
Hotels for Sale
Searching for hotels for sale in the US Virgin Islands? Browse hotels, B&Bs and guests houses right here.
Finding the Perfect Property for Sale in the US Virgin Islands
Discover the most sought after real estate investment opportunities and benefit from unrivaled insight into the market.
To find your perfect property in the US Virgin Islands, search our US Virgin Islands real estate listings.
Discover St Croix – Read our guide to buying property in St Croix.
Discover St John – Read our guide to buying property in St John.
Discover St Thomas – Read our guide to buying property in St Thomas.
Discover Water Island – Read our guide to buying property in Water Island.
How long can a foreign citizen stay in the US Virgin Islands?
As the US Virgin Islands is an unincorporated territory of the USA, US citizens do not require a passport or a visa to visit the USVI.
Citizens of Visa Waiver Program countries including the UK and member countries of the EU who wish to visit the USA (including the US Virgin Islands) for a vacation or on business must apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) prior to departure.
How do I become a resident of the US Virgin Islands?
American citizens are free to move to the US Virgin Islands without the need to produce any new documents such as work visas. Citizens of other countries who would like to become a resident of the US Virgin Islands are required to secure a resident alien status, a work visa, a student visa and/or a temporary visa as is the case in the US mainland and US federal immigration regulations apply in the US Virgin Islands.
How do I become a citizen of the US Virgin Islands?
As the US Virgin Islands is a territory of the USA, US Virgin Islanders are citizens of the USA.
A foreign national aged over 18 who has lawfully resided in the USA with a Permanent Resident (Green) Card for a minimum of 5 years (3 years in the case of a spouse of a US citizen), is able to understand English and has passed the Naturalization Test may be eligible to apply for citizenship by naturalization.
You could save money when investing in US Virgin Islands real estate by using a foreign exchange expert to get the best rate for your property purchase. We have partnered with Halo Financial, a specialist in foreign exchange, to help you get the best exchange rates when making one-off or regular international payments for a property purchase in the US Virgin Islands. To see how you could save money, read more: Foreign Exchange.
There are direct flights to the US Virgin Islands from various US cities.
International flights to the US Virgin Islands arrive at Cyril E King Airport which is located just west of St Thomas’s capital Charlotte Amalie.
From the USA there are flights from many cities, including Atlanta (Delta), Charlotte and Philadelphia (US Airways), Chicago (United), Boston, Miami, New York and San Juan (American).
From Europe or Canada, fly to the USA and get a connecting flight.
Atlanta to St Thomas: 3 hours 50 mins
Boston to St Thomas: 6 hours 45 mins
Charlotte to St Thomas: 3 hours 45 mins
Chicago to St Thomas: 6 hours 45 mins
Miami to St Thomas: 2 hours 45 mins
New York to St Thomas: 4 hours 10 mins
Philadelphia to St Thomas: 5 hours 30 mins
San Juan to St Thomas: 0 hours 35 mins