Thursday, February 3, 2011


One of the biggest concerns HB and I had before moving to the BVIs was the cost of housing. Early looks at real estate and rental websites gave us an idea of how much we could expect to pay for a place that would suit us.

If you've clicked those links above, you've seen that their listings start at about $900 per month and go up to as much as $7000. These listings give a false idea of the apartment rental market in the BVI, though, as friends have told us that apartments are available for as low as $400 per month. The market is such that, as a generalization, property closer to Road Town is more desirable, and property higher in the mountains is more desirable. Obviously, there are plenty of variables and wrinkles within this equation.

Still, having perused available options online, HB and I figured we could find something we liked for around $1300 per month -- twice as much as we were spending on rent in Punta Gorda. Ultimately, our rent settled out to be a bit above the $1300 we had planned on, but despite the few quirks and flaws of our place (bizarre decorating), we're pretty happy here. We have about 1400 square feet of interior space, divided between two bedrooms, one bathroom, living room, dining room and kitchen. Bizarrely, the dining room is the largest of our rooms, but both bedrooms are quite ample as well. We also have another 400 square feet or so of exterior space, split between front and back porches, which definitely help extend the living space and keep the dogs happy. This is probably because we are rather spoiled by our current place.

Now that we've lived here a while, I would say that $1300 would be the minimum we'd be able to spend on housing and be in a neighborhood we liked. While there are many things about our apartment that I dislike (old kitchen), the neighborhood is one of the best on Tortola. Great Mountain is not heavily populated; there are only houses on one side of the road where we are, and there is quite a bit of space between buildings. However, it enjoys the advantages of being on a major roadway, which include connection to municipal water (fickle as it may be) and rapid repairs to any other infrastructure that may get damaged.

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