Perhaps the most common question I get about St Croix is "Can I afford it?" I have known people who could live on $200 a month - and I have known people who needed $200 a day to be happy/comfortable. So it is really difficult to answer that question.
What I can tell you is what housing costs, and give you an idea of food costs, utility costs, etc. Also - it's pretty easy to move here hassle-free. Most things are sold or rented fully furnished - so all you need to bring is a toothbrush and clothes! And you don't need many clothes. It's a very casual place and the weather is consistent - so shorts and a couple of T-shirts - good pair of flip flops - and you're good to go!
You can get a condo here for as little as $65,000 (there's a great one bedroom - 2nd floor - sea view - for $65,000 at Long Reef - great deal!). The monthly condo fees will range from $250 - $1200 a month. Most times, that fee does cover your insurance - but not always. If you're going for financing, I suggest you avoid condos that are "self-insured" because the bank will require you to get hurricane insurance, and that will be on top of hefty condo fees. Some banks have even decided to not finance those purchases.
A house will cost more. Generally $200,000 is about the least you can expect to pay and at that you will have some fixing up to do. There are a few exceptions - and that's why you need a Realtor! We know the good deals - different areas - and I for one will be completely honest with you.
If you choose to rent - you can expect to pay at least $800 a month - and that won't get you much. I'd say $1500 is about the least you can expect to pay for a nice home or condo. Again -there are always some exceptions out there. You can peruse the inventory of rentals at www.stcroixvacationhomes.com. One of our big employers just laid off 300 people - so rent may be coming DOWN as a result. That's a big hit in our economy and community.
Food costs are higher here than in the states (maybe 25% more?) - and eating out costs more too. Good news is that you can get what you want (not always the case in the Caribbean) - and there are great restaurants!
Your electricity is going to cost a lot more here -so it's important to get a home that has good breezes and ventilation so you don't have to use AC.
We collect rain water on our roofs so no water fees (except in some condos).
Other things - like phone, internet - are comparable to the states.
Our gas is cheaper here than in the states - I think about $2.21 a gallon now.
If you have specific needs or questions - please feel free to ask. And if you can give me an idea of what "affordable" means to you - perhaps I can give you a better answer.
Helping you Live Your Dream,