- September 28th, 2007
- in Yachting
Simple, Pretty and Practical – When you are desperately hankering after a home on a paradise island, where the sun shines almost every day and the sea dazzles brilliantly in its rays, the thought of buying a patch of land, organising an architect and then waiting for your dream home to be built is probably not one you want to harbour.
Building from scratch takes time, patience and a lot of organisation. And, if you are desperately hankering after a home in paradise, time and organisation are probably not really the sort of things you are considering including in your search. In fact, you are probably in quite a hurry to get to those tropical sunsets and dazzling seas.
Therefore, when something that is pretty, practical and perfectly affordable, like Park View catches your eye, you might begin to wonder if that desperate hankering is, after all, something that can be satisfied in the very near future. This is a very real opportunity to own a complete, serviceable and inexpensive home in paradise. But, the chances are it has caught the eyes of many others in the same predicament. Swift action is definitely the order of the day.
Located high up on the slopes of Romney Park, offering a stunning view over the southern end of the Sir Francis Drake Channel to Norman Island and St. John, Park View is a private, sensibly sized two bedroom, two bathroom home. Its offerings are further enhanced by an efficiency unit on the lower ground floor comprising bedroom, mini-kitchen and outdoor shower.
Park View, positioned to receive a maximum amount of glorious Caribbean sunshine, is set in a wonderful tropical landscape. We enter the property via a paved drive lined with clean white walls and an array of ornate palm trees, multi-coloured hibiscus bushes and flowers of the forest. Stretching upwards behind the house, the verdant slopes are dotted with pink and purple bougainvilleas. Shade for the driveway and the courtyard at the rear of the house is provided by tall, mature mango and palm trees, whilst the veranda benefits in places from the dense, extensive canopy of two monstrous turpentine trees. The rest of the garden is also a riot of tropical colour. Recent landscaping efforts to the westerly slopes boost the appearance of an already very pretty plot.
This house is all about being outside. The tiled veranda, running the full length of the house and trimmed with russet red iron railings, is contiguous with the rear courtyard, providing some 1500 square feet of entertainment space. To add fun into the bargain, there’s an 18’ x 10’ swimming pool set into the courtyard at the far end of the house. The concept of outside living is further encouraged by the fact that plate glass sliding doors replace many of the walls. Both bedrooms and the living room have direct access to the veranda and courtyard.
Inside, the layout of the main house is almost symmetrical, making living easy, fluid and convenient. The large, open-plan living room is flanked on either side by first a bathroom (with shower), and then a double bedroom with built-in closets and glorious views across the Channel. With plate glass sliding doors instead of walls, the sun streams in to provide that unique tropical brightness. The added advantage of such large windows, of course, is that they serve to capture the gentle island breezes and the atmosphere, wherever you are in the house, is pleasantly cool. Décor throughout the house comprises fresh white or crisp, pastel-hued walls stretching up to high, beamed ceilings painted in contrasting colours to create spacious and stress-less environment.
The vast living area, comprising kitchen, dining and sitting area, is decorated in a minimalist fashion, allowing the soft furnishings to add the necessary accents of tropical colour. Incidentally, the house comes with all its furnishings. Separated from the sitting room by a four-seater breakfast bar, the kitchen, to the left of the room, is equipped with white wooden cabinets in a Shaker style; conventional oven; microwave; fridge-freezer; and a sink with a view. The dining area, again with room for four, currently occupies a recess in the back wall of the living room. This room offers a great deal of potential: we idly discussed extending the veranda area in front of it out over the hillside to create the space for a covered, open-walled, outdoor sitting room.
You could then turn the present dining area into an office or library space; and bring the dining area out to occupy the current sitting area. You wouldn’t need a huge budget to achieve this deck extension; successful expansions have been carried out on a number of houses occupying steep hillside lots all over the Island. The key to success, we’re told, is to ensure the roof overhang is sufficient to prevent the occasional tropical deluge from spoiling your possessions.
In terms of practicality, this house offers everything you could need in a second or holiday home. On the lower ground floor, in addition to the efficiency unit, there is a purpose-fitted workshop and laundry area. Having had all its conveniences upgraded between 1996 and 2004, the home now offers galvalume roofing; a 220 amp electrical service; rollaway hurricane shutters; an 11KW propane generator; and an ultraviolet light water sterilisation unit. It also has an existing trade licence to rent, a good rental history and a great reputation. It’s not far from the West End Ferry Dock, providing excellent access to the shopping bounties of the USVI; and Road Town is a mere 20 minutes' drive.
As I have hinted, it is rare that such a practical, comfortable and affordable property comes on the market. Now is the time to pick up the ‘phone and arrange a viewing.