The very first ‘Caribbean Life’ episode ever filmed for HGTV was that of The Sommer Family in 2013. It followed their move from St. Louis, Missouri to St. Croix, USVI and search for the perfect home with Broker Chris Hanley. While the show is now airing its ninth season and The Hanleys have filmed more than 20 episodes on-island, The Sommers were part of season one. I caught up with the family to see how their real Caribbean life is going, several years later.
Q: So how is the house you chose in Judith’s Fancy?
A [Julie Sommer]: We love it. The layout of the house is perfect for hosting. The neighborhood is great for our kids to ride their bikes, explore and even watch sea turtles nest on the beach. We appreciate being so close to the boys’ school [a five-minute drive]. The open-concept living space and kitchen have been ideal for our family of five.
Q: What renovations have you done since filming Caribbean Life?
A: We gladly haven’t had to do much! But we resurfaced the pool. We have a few things planned in the near future… we’re changing our flooring from tile to stained concrete, adding an outdoor shower to the master bath, and expanding the bathroom shared by our three growing boys.
Q: What’s your favorite part about the house?
A: The Caribbean Sea view from the living area and deck is amazing! I never get tired of watching the sun come up over the ocean. I love that we live in a home where we wake up every morning grateful for where we live.
Q: Anything new for you personally since filming the show?
A: We’ve spent the last few years building our businesses (property management and pediatric therapy, respectively) in a way that allows us to still live the Caribbean lifestyle – lots of exploring St. Croix and other islands! We’ve been surprised by how many visitors to St. Croix have watched the show, and even more surprised by how many have moved here. We love this place!
Want to see the The Sommer Family’s full episode of ‘Caribbean Life?’ It is available for download in HD for $3 on amazon.
Ready to start your own Caribbean life? Whether you want to rent or buy initially, The Farchette & Hanley Team can help. Contact them today and download their free St. Croix Event Guide to find the perfect time for an extended visit: