Island living isn’t as expensive as may sound. In some cases, you can even have a whole island to yourself! Not every island in the world has a tropical climate. Some are far more quaint and brisk with rocky shores and even fresh water. Regardless of the kind of island you see yourself living on, there is something for everybody right here in the states. You may be surprised to find out what you can get for your money. Here are 10 US islands where property is affordable and you might see yourself living on at some point in the future.
1) St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
St. Croix is an incorporated US island located in the Caribbean as part of the United States Virgin Islands. It is approximately 22 miles by 7 miles and has a population of over 50,000 residents. The demographic of St. Croix is a mixture of Caucasian, Afro-Caribbean and Puerto Rican civilians who are collectively referred to as Crucians. St. Croix is well known for rum production, including major companies such as Cruzan Rum Distillery. Real estate can be purchased on St. Croix for as low as $50,000 for a three bedroom that may require just a little bit of TLC. The average rental cost for a two bedroom apartment is between $800 and $1800, which is comparable to properties in the United States. When it comes to outdoor activities, St. Croix features several national parks such as the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve, the Christiansted National Historic Site, and the Buck Island Reef National Monument.
2) Big Island of Hawai’i, Hawaii
When people think of islands in the United States, Hawaii is likely the first to come to mind, but it might not seem like the most affordable place in the world to live. Contrary to belief, the Big Island of Hawai’i has several cities in which you can find your next home at a reasonable price. The cost of living in Pahoa, Hawaii is higher than the rest of the United States however, it has been considered one of the best places in the world to live. A four bedroom and two bathroom house in Pahoa can be found on sources such as Craigslist for approximately $2000 per month, while a home in decent shape can be purchased for just under $300,000. There are also many lots available on the island for those who wish to build on top of them, and those are priced as low as $10,000 for 12,000 square feet of land.
3) St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
St. Thomas is home to the University of the Virgin Islands and is also part of the United States Virgin Islands located in the Caribbean. The island has a total of 31.14 square miles and a population of over 51,000 residents. A two bedroom apartment in St. Thomas will range between $1000 and $2200 while real estate can be found for as low as $210,000 for a house with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The University of the Virgin Islands contributes to the island’s more cosmopolitan aesthetic with its diverse culture and nightlife activities. Visitors and residents can also engage in numerous outdoor land activities such as the Water Island Adventures Bike Tour, birdwatching tours at the Audubon Club of St. Thomas, or Coral World Ocean Park for interactive ocean life education. The island also features extreme activities including a zip line and Caribbean helicopter tours.
4) Kauai, Hawaii
Kauai, also known as “The Garden Island,” is another viable property source in the string of Hawaiian Islands. The island is a total of 562.3 square miles and has a population of over 64,000, though it is said to be slowly decreasing. One of Kauai’s many gorgeous natural landmarks includes the Waimea Canyon, which is said to be the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” The Waimea Canyon was formed due to its interaction with the Pacific Plate, which makes Kauai a historically volcanic island. The largest town in Kauai is Kapa’a, which is found is Puna. A beautiful 1300 square foot two bedroom home can be rented in Kapa’a for approximately $2200, and a luxury three bedroom beach cottage can be discovered on Craigslist for $799,000 with room to negotiate. Popular activities on the island of Kauai include zip line tours, kayaking, scuba diving, and exploring the many state parks.
5) St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
St. John is a member of the United States Virgin Islands that is considered to be one of the most peaceful tropical destinations on the planet. Over half of the island is comprised of national parks and can only be accessed by ferry. The island is prized for its gorgeous beaches and historical sites including the Annaberg Sugar Plantation Ruins, the Peaces Hill Ruins, and the Reef Bay Trail and Petroglyphs. A four bedroom and three bathroom home on St. John is a bit more exclusive but can be purchased for as low as $399,999 and typically includes at least half an acre of land. A two bedroom apartment on the island is still comparable to the cost of metropolitan living in the United States and can be rented for $1200 to $3000 per month. Aside from St. John’s natural spectacles, bustling shopping and entertainment districts can be found in areas including Mongoose Junction, Wharfside Village, and Coral Bay.
6) Dog Island, Florida
Dog Island is located in Franklin County, Florida and is a prime destination for vacation rentals and secluded beach living. Many of the island’s residents earn a good portion of their income by renting their homes out to tourists on a seasonal basis. Dog Island has a modestly average real estate price that sits at about $260,000 for a one bedroom and one bathroom beach home with modern appliances and seaside access. Residents indulge in the tranquility of the island and its white and clean sandy beaches. It is not uncommon for a visitor to wake up to dolphins splashing just outside the bedroom window. A larger home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms can be found on the island, along with an abundance of natural lighting and private beach path, for a reasonable price of $375,000. Dog Island isn’t just for visitors, as the Franklin County School District is located just 3.5 miles from the island.
7) Treasure Island, Michigan
Treasure Island is a bit off the beaten path when it comes to island living as it is located in Higgins Lake, Michigan. Despite its freshwater surroundings, Treasure Island still has all of the standard island characteristics such as sandy beaches, shorelines, and outdoor aquatic activities. A gorgeous two bedroom and one bathroom island cottage with a loft, wood burning stove, and modern appliances can be purchased for $309,000. Other homes for larger families can be found for a modest three bedroom price of $270,000. Treasure Island on Higgins Lake has a comfortably low crime rate, and an assortment of local bars, restaurants, hair salons, and shops. Residents can become members of a community known as the Treasure Island Association, and the Higgins Lake Boat Club is welcoming of local newcomers.
8) Chandler Island, Maine
Located in Wohoa Bay, Maine, this quaint island is a dream for anyone looking to build their island home from the ground up. The only manmade feature on the Chandler Island is a gazebo, but the one acre property kisses the Atlantic Ocean and will bring you lobster for days.
For just $39,999 you can purchase your own east coast private island and turn it into your personal paradise. Build a house, open a restaurant, start a fishing company— anything is possible when the land is this affordable.
9) Fisherman’s Point Island, Michigan
Fisherman’s Point Island is a two acre private island located in Lake St. Clair-Goosebay, Michigan. Much like tropical island living, residents can enjoy observing local wildlife and stunning landscapes, however Fisherman’s Point Island has a much more northern element with its freshwater ecology and seasonal ice fishing potential. Michigan is considered to be about 50 percent forest, which contributes to the abundance of natural tools and living supplies. For just $175,000 potential home owners can enjoy a newly renovated and secluded cottage with easy boating and fishing access on the world’s largest freshwater delta. It is the perfect option for anyone wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of modern technology and catch their breath.
10) Molokai, Hawaii
Molokai is the fifth largest of the Hawaiian archipelago and is a total of 260 square miles with a modest population of just over 7,400 residents. One of its many features includes the Kalaupapa National State Park, which was the 1866 quarantine treatment site by citizens who had been diagnosed with leprosy. There are two shield volcanoes located on Molokai as well as Kamakou Peak and the Molokai Forest Preserve where native vegetation including rainforests and tropical fruit can be observed and protected. Employment can be harder to find on the island, but the average cost of living for a two bedroom apartment is approximately $1300 per month. An 811 square foot beach cottage in Molokai is known to exist for about $159,000 on island real estate websites.