After a long time thinking about it, and a crazy weekend of looking we made an offer on a house on the island of St John in the USVI. The offer was accepted and now we have a house…. The house needs work…. and so this blog is the ‘story’ of our renovation process as we prepare the house for friends, family and eventually renters (if we ever get that far!)

11 thoughts on “About”

  1. Oh, Lord. You live this life, why don’t you? And I will keep coming back here to remind myself that OUR real estate empire does NOT need to expand beyond ourprimary residence and the two homes in depressed northeastern markets which we rent to relatives with less than overwhelming income sources. R.O.U.s? Really? Have not encountered those in the suburbs of Pittsburgh or Binghamton. But, one never knows what one will eventually encounter whilst attempting to “manage” properties that are (at least in our case), several hours drive away.

    1. HI Joe… i am not sure where this comment is coming from…..– and, frankly, rats do sort of freak me out–sorry about that…and we certainly have them in NYC– just a fact of my life. i intended this to be a (hopefully) light look at a renovation of a place far from here…. i admit that any moaning here is STRICTLY 1% problems– i am very fortunate to have this opportunity– and i do not go a moment without recognizing that. My mom (and for a while, me) grew up in wilkinsburg (tell me you remember isley’s-for their chipped ham– kenneywood? and the thunderbolt? or racer? or jackrabbit? i LOVED those coasters!) I am not familiar with Binghampton (though did look at SUNY B just recently– such a GREAT school!!!– seriously the harvard of public universities– they need better marketing!) anyway– just having fun –please recognize, that i am just trying to write a piece that may be humorous to some, and i do agree that managing a property so far away will be very challenging. thank you very much for your response
      i hope that, especially if you remember the ‘old pittsburgh’, that you will post back.

  2. Welcome and good luck! We live around the corner from you in St Quacco. This blog sure takes me back. I was you once…. sorry but I’m laughing through my hardware cloth about your Tree Rats. Tenacious arent they? But dont be afraid of them, they’re harmless bush animals that belong outside like the ants and the no see ums and the lizards and … and…. well you get it! And those lovely French doors – you wont be keeping them open so much. Get lots of screen repair supplies and duct tape! Just for a dose of reality, it took us 10 years to redo everything the contractor did, he may or may not have finished 5th grade, and find one person to help us get it done. We now have the house just as we want it, a smooth running ship that has overcome all adversity! I’ll be buried in this house. The good news is there are a lot of helpful, caring people and the trade offs cant be beat. On to adventures in STJ homeownership! 🙂

    1. oh boy…. 10 years? yikes……. and the tree rats are outside? man, they were TOTALLY in this house– and made a real mess of a lot — i am not afraid of much (and frankly rats don’t really scare me that much , i just am not particularly fond of them… especially in the house!!!!!) it is a work in progress….. we’ll see how we fare!

  3. Lori,

    I’m sure it’s too late for some of the stuff that’s already been removed, but I want to put a plug in for IGLA [the Island Green Living Association]’s ReSource Depot – http://www.igba-stjohn.org/

    They take donations of basically everything you may be removing – you may not like your French doors, but they can find a good home through IGLA, light fixtures, even semi-functional cabinets and appliances, furniture. If you can’t deliver, they can come to you, and it’s a non-profit, so the deductions can add up.

    Good luck!

    1. I already have their card! We haven’t removed anything yet (but the doors are in pretty rough shape!) when we take stuff out i will be SURE to call them!!! –thanks!

  4. Just ran across your blog last week and enjoying following your progress. I know the home and getting the reno done may be stressful, but your view is AWESOME! My wife and I are coming down from OH late next week for 10 days and staying at a place that is on the market that we are interested in. We stayed at Ocean Palm in Johns Folly a couple of years back and really enjoyed your side of the island. Our big debate has been what you probably faced in terms of buying something that needs some reno but has much potential, or going over budget a little/lot to find a place that’s turnkey. Our budget favors the former (reno), so this is very eye opening to see someone actually going through it. But regardless of the home or its condition, the view is our #1 priority and you guys have nailed that! All else will fall into place. Have patience and have fun. You now own a piece of paradise 🙂

  5. Thanks for sharing your excursion! It’s been a delight and will help me appreciate Alice all the more next February!

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a renovation blog that may just change your mind about your caribbean dreams…….or not.

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