VInowVImovingcenterLiving In De VIVItraders

Join discussions on moving to and living in the USVI, ask questions, share info & tips! (Vacationing? Visit Travel Message Board)

February 17, 2012 03:30PM
Good Afternoon, My Husband & I are considering relocating to the islands. St. Thomas is where we'd be located because of employment. We also have a young, 2 year old grand-daughter whom we are in the process of adopting. We plan to make a trip to make sure that Island Living is for us, however, it seems that everything is on the fast lane as the company wishing to hire my husband needs him as quick as possible.

My questions that I have are what areas of St. Thomas is reasonably priced for rentals, I would like an unfinished rental, however, I've noticed that most are furnished. I would prefer a house or a duplex instead of condo rentals. I'm new with all of this as I've only been researching for a couple of days.

What abbreviation do you Islanders use for St. Thomas? Do you have Pre-Schools ran by the Churches as my grand-daughter is currently in a local christian ran pre-school? I have lots of questions that probably sound stupid I've read a lot but still need to keep reading. What is a cistern? Are all homes plumbed?

I've read on shipping a vehicle, glad I did, we were going to go buy a new one, now I think we will just ship the vehicles we currently have as they are very reliable vehicles. Will my Honda Element hold up to the terrain over there? It's two wheel drive. I love the vehicle because it gets great gas mileage. The other vehicle we would be shipping would be the GMC Yukon, any thoughts or concerns I may need to have on this?

More than likely, my husband will come ahead of me, I will have to stay back to get the adoption with the grand-baby final. However, we will be making a trip to the Islands together first to sum up everything. What are your suggestions with the Pre-Move Visit?

During the winter months here in Virginia Beach our daylight hours are shorter & during the summer months our daylight hours are much longer... I read somewhere on this board that it is only usually daylight between 6 am til 7 pm. Is this year round?

I can tell by reading on this msg. board that I probably will not be sending the grand-baby to the public school so I will have to research the alternatives on this. I do have some time on that though. Thank God. I'm looking forward to coming down & seeing the area, the culture & meeting Islanders.
Re: Newcomer
February 17, 2012 04:52PM
do a lot of reading on this board. you will find a ton of info on most topics for you to think about, especially the high cost of living.
we do have shorter daylight hours than they do where you live. in the winter it gets dark by 5;30-6 and in the summer, i guess by 7 ish. we do not have daylight savings time, so your all tv programming that starts at 8 in the states will start at nine here in the fall/winter months when you guys fall back. things go back to normal for us when the states spring forward.
Re: Newcomer
February 17, 2012 09:19PM
Welcome WillsSweetPea! Here are some of your answers.

The abbreviation for St. Thomas is STT, for St. John it's STJ, and for St. Croix it's STX.

2WD vehicles will do fine on most of STT. You might need 4WD if you live on a steep dirt road.

A cistern is like a basement for storing rainwater that's captured from a roof's downspouts.

As far as I know, all homes have plumbing.

On the summer solstice, the sun is up from about 6am to 7pm (13 hours). On the winter solstice, it's about 7am to 6pm (11 hours). Like everywhere on earth, we get an average of 12 hours of daylight throughout the year.
Re: Newcomer
February 18, 2012 05:13AM
During the winter months here in Virginia Beach our daylight hours are shorter & during the summer months our daylight hours are much longer... I read somewhere on this board that it is only usually daylight between 6 am til 7 pm. Is this year round?

Re: Newcomer
February 18, 2012 12:50PM
Welcome to the board!

There are Christian schools, but you will want to visit on your own and see what they are like. Seventh Day Adventist and Wesleyan Academy are the ones that come to mind. Not sure if you would consider All Saints Cathedral School a Christian school, as Episcopalians are kind of out there on the edge. wink The Montessori school ( has the CASA program for little ones.

When you are asking about "reasonable" for rentals, what are you thinking? You will probably want to be either close to work, school or services when you first arrive. You will want a furnished rental at first while you make sure you want to stay. If you decide yes, then you can ship or buy furniture. Houses and condos are a lot different here- many are open to the breeze with little or no a/c, you'll have a cistern as your water source. Many places have no trash pick-up (you have to take it to a dumpster by the road), no mail delivery (you'llgo to the post office) and no home newspaper delivery (you'll get one from a vendor at the sideof the road.) It is very different.

The length of day does not change as much here as it does in Big America because we are so much closer to the equator (18 degrees vs 36 degrees for Virginia Beach). There isn't a long twilight either, but the sunsets can be spectacular!
Re: Newcomer
February 18, 2012 02:09PM
Good Day, I really appreciate all the comments and advice. I know it will be a different life, the hubby & I had made plans two years ago to lead a much simpler life. We just didn't think we'd be moving to a Island. But we are game & adventurous. We actually had planned to move to Florida. We both do not like COLD weather at all. The warm weather is what is attractive. However, with that, the bugs, snakes & everything thrives. I was checking out Craigslist for the Virgin Islands last night, wow, it's like night & day different. Not a lot on there at all as far as baby items, household, etc... did get to view some real estate though. Which was nice.

We would first rent temporary like you said to make the final decision. Then we would need minimum a two bedroom/2 bath home. I'm not really an apt type of person, kind of really like my privacy. Not a hermit either. I don't mind a duplex but would really prefer a house. I was looking and rentals are pricey for St. Thomas. Haven't looked at the rest because I know we will be in St. Thomas, that's where the job offer came from. I've always dreamed of having a pool, but I haven't accomplished that here in the states, so I don't have to have that. The beaches are much more beautiful there than here. Here, it's sad, but they are polluted beyond belief.

The cistern thing really has me worried. Does all homes with cisterns have a water purifying system? I seen one last night on the web, I really need to educate myself on this. [] it does look a bit scary for me.

I have ordered some books about living in the islands~cannot wait for them to arrive. Yard Sales seem to be few and far between, I love yard saling and finding great deals. Do you guys have second hand stores, etc...?

Again, thanks for any insight. I look very much forward to visiting.
Re: Newcomer
February 18, 2012 02:32PM
The cistern thing really has me worried. Does all homes with cisterns have a water purifying system?

Purification is optional. Some people add chlorine to their cisterns, or they use UV purification. Others do nothing, and they buy jug water for drinking and cooking. Some homes have city water service (WAPA), which is supposedly potable.
Re: Newcomer
February 18, 2012 06:03PM
First of all, stop reading Mr Big Kahuna's blog. He has a definite agenda and tends to be alarmist, IMHO.

Most of the housing on St Thomas consists of a house with an extra apartment to help the owner with expenses. It is a rare thing to have a house all to yourself, however, you probably can find one if you look hard enough. Rentals ARE pricey, you are correct. So is food, gasoline, electricity and just about everything else.wink If you want access to a pool, you might reconsider condo living. Yes, you give up some privacy, but you receive safety and extra amenities. Heck, you are living in a resort in the Caribbean!

There are yard and house sales. You will learn to check out the Island Trader every Thursday for what is happening.

Cisterns are not all that scary, just different. You do have control over your water supply. We have a Seagull purifier at the kitchen tap. We use this for drinking,cooking,etc. As I said, moving to the VI is like moving to upside down world.
Re: Newcomer
February 19, 2012 01:16AM
Good Evening, Thank you so very much... I'm very excited but I do want to educate myself. Is it me, or is St. Thomas definitely seem more pricey to live in than the other Islands? I ordered a book, paper & map, I can barely wait for them to get here. Lol.
Re: Newcomer
February 19, 2012 06:50AM
the bugs you do have to watch out for, but snakes, not so much. the mongoose i think have gotten rid of most of those. i have never seen any on stx. a pool would be nice but not necessary as the beach is all around you.
shopping for childrens things, we do a lot of online ordering-plenty of threads that talk about who ships here.
Re: Newcomer
February 19, 2012 07:13AM
St John is the most expensive island to live on, followed by St Thomas and then St Croix. Have you gone to the top bar on this page and read through everything from "Home" to "Message Board"? A lot of people miss it but there's a ton of information right there which will answer more questions than you thought of asking! You can also access the main weekly newspaper, The Virgin islands Daily News online. Also on that site is a link to the Island Trader advertising paper which East Ender mentioned.

LOTS of bugs here but none much to worry about. The mosquitoes can really make your life a misery until your body gets used to them but repellant always works - and NEVER chase out any lizards from inside or around your home as mossies and other insects are on their diet! Roaches are everywhere and little sugar ants can be a real pest too. You learn quickly to wipe off countertops and put away food in sealed containers. There are actually a lot more snakes around St Thomas now than in previous years because a virus wiped out a large number of the mongoose population a few years ago. But no worries, the snakes are small and absolutely harmless. My cats bring them inside to mess with them on a regular basis and I just pick them up and put them back outside in a safe place. Same with the baby iguanas.

Have fun researching!
Re: Newcomer
February 19, 2012 07:18PM
Hey "Mr. Big Kahuna" here smiling I wonder East Ender what my "agenda" is? But I write about everything and anything in St. Thomas. And I write the truth and some people really don't care for that. Including cisterns, water testing and maintaining them. New comer i would strongly suggest a whole house water filtration system with UV light if you can afford it. You'll shower, brush your teeth and drink clean water. Good luck with your move and if you have any questions send me a private message, i'd be happy to help.
Re: Newcomer
February 19, 2012 08:46PM
"swhitey"??? I would say it is the truth as you see the truth through your "swhitey" eyes...wink

P.S. I notice that you used this board 5-6 years ago when you were moving here.Then you stopped participating and started a blog for your own purposes (selling advertising, IMHO). Welcome back, and sit in the corner. mad

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/2012 08:52PM by East Ender.
Re: Newcomer
February 19, 2012 09:42PM
I am not allowed to use my company email address here so I use an alternate. And yes my blog just like this website sells advertising. I've written thousands of articles and helped thousands of people and yes, I'm 100% honest. Everyone knows my name, I stand behind everything I write. I love the Nay sayers like you who do nothing but bash. Like above when he mentioned he read my blog and your reaction was to be childish. The last thing I do is sit in the corner. My name is Scott White (hence the swhitey), what's your East Ender?

I'll bet you read my blog often although you won't admit it, all the haters do.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/2012 09:43PM by swhitey.
Re: Newcomer
February 19, 2012 11:25PM
Good Afternoon...

I have been reading the [] & got to look at the trader as well with link from there that I've been hearing so much about....Thank you so much, "Old Tart."

Much helpful, I don't think I've ever in a lot of years read all the classifieds & looked at the grocery store ads so closely. I did see a lot of products on sale that compare to the sales prices here. Made me much happy to see that happy. The rentals did look a bit more affordable than all the websites I've been going on to look at additional rentals, etc. MADE MY DAY! Also got to enjoy some local Island news, etc...

I'm originally from the country & married & moved to the city so wells don't alarm me. The cistern I guess is just another way of collecting water that seemed to alarm me. I'm glad I got some much needed information on it. Also, got to print a map of the St. Thomas area today which helped tremendously with looking through the trader at areas that way I could see if they were in St. Thomas without having to surf elsewhere on the Internet.

I'm curious does anyone sell on EBay in your Island? I do here & I enjoy it, I also enjoy making an extra buck or two here & there. I'm still wandering if they are second hand shops or thrift stores?

The hubby & I have lived in all different types of areas, some of which we never want to go ever again in our lives. In many situations. We currently own a home here at the beach in Virginia. Love the home~Hate WINTER MONTHS!!!! We love the beach life, they are always something going on. But we lived in apartments, town-homes (Compared to Condos), trailers, etc. None of which we couldn't do again. Being retired military we have adapted to a lot of different situations. Where I'm going with this is I guess you prepare yourself as much as you can in the beginning as anyone person should do & you adapt. I love the fact as to the input from, "Old Tart," concerning the snake issue~ I just am not a snake person & that is putting it very mildly. We were actually looking to move to Florida in the beginning of this venture, BELIEVE ME, THEY HAVE TONS OF SNAKES & VERY BIG SNAKES AT THAT! SCARY...

Are there any other rodents I should know about that may not be common to me?

I'm still awaiting my book it should arrive this week, I'm happy with the amount of information I've been able to read, mostly on this site. It's been very informative. I will keep reading. Thank you to all that have been posting & answering my silly questions. It has helped a lot.
Re: Newcomer
February 19, 2012 11:51PM
It's not really the snakes you have to worry about, it's the centipedes...I got bit by a 6 inch long one and man, I thought I was going to die. I hate those things with a passion - i don't even mind the cockroaches or the ant herds migrating across the kitchen counters, but centipedes aaaaaaaaaaaaargh.
Cane toads are pretty awful too - i guess they can kill a dog.
Re: Newcomer
February 19, 2012 11:55PM
Ahhhhhhh Babe is that military wife thing kicking in again.......Research Research Research when we would get orders to move somewhere else again ????

Thank You all for helping us and I too have been reading and look forward to a new road in life.

Back to reading till my eyes bleed red again....LOL
Re: Newcomer
February 19, 2012 11:58PM
Thank you for the insight, I had no clue centipedes & toads could bite. Ouch... I also have seen some enormous ones in pictures from there. Wow
Re: Newcomer
February 20, 2012 01:27AM
There are second hand stores on St Thomas and St John...the prices are pretty high....but there is always a bargain to be found.....if at all on St John it is by far the most enjoyable island for long term living....and the ferry goes to St Thomas starting at around 6 am for commuting....a lot less crime and less hassles....
Re: Newcomer
February 20, 2012 06:36AM
I have to say that there are more posts about centipedes from STX residents than those on STT. I've lived in many different areas of STT over many years and have never come across the gargantuan critters of that ilk which apparently are the norrn on STX. I don't think the Bufo toad population is as large on STT as on STX either but of course there are tons of frogs and their night-time peeping is a lullaby to most and a terrible irritant to others! The toads' toxic skin excretions can be fatal to a very small dog but it's not too common an occurrence.

The Humane Society on St Thomas has a great thrift store with wonderful bargains to be had. The Salvation Army apparently has one too in town although I've never been to it; and there are a couple more "commercial" stores dealing in second hand goods although their prices tend to be considerably higher as gparrot noted. There are always yard sales going on and you can find great bargains there. Many people who relocate end up moving back stateside for various reasons and have either shipped or purchased furniture here. It's cost prohibitive to ship it all back so you can seriously get steals on all sorts of stuff!

There are a few people who sell on eBay and it's something you can certainly do from here.
Re: Newcomer
February 20, 2012 06:42AM
Welcome back to vinow, Scott. I will look forward to your opinions here. My name is East Ender, but you may call me EE.wink I find the term "haters" an interesting piece of rhetoric. If someone says something youu don't like, you can say "hater" and all is well...

WSP: Do not worry about critters. There are no poisonous snakes on St Thomas. I have never run into any centipedes or cane toads. If you are going to fret about these things, you won't have time to fret about the important things. Home Again in Red Hook is a home decor and furniture reseller. The Humane Society has a second hand store. When you come down for your extended visit, you will be able to see the lay of the land.happy
Re: Newcomer
February 20, 2012 06:31PM
Eastender when you make statements like I have an agenda they are hater statements. Everyone that knows me knows I don't care what people think. You say that and hide behind your fake name, I don't. I'm open, honest and transparent. maybe you should have re-worded the statement to read I don't always agree with Mr. Kahuna's opinions. I have no agenda except to write about my experiences living here in STT. Find a story I told an untruth won't.

Like I said, the Nay sayers and haters are usually my regular readers. I have lots of them smiling Anytime you write an opinion blog you're bound to have people disagree.
Re: Newcomer
February 20, 2012 07:36PM
Gosh. I really want to read your blog now. You appear to be a warm and open person. big grin

The purpose of this board is for people to get opinions and suggestions from the vinow community. You asked and we gave when you were planning to move here. Once you were here, you disappeared from the board and never provided any feedback to the others; payback as it were. You started a blog in which you give your opinions, based on your experiences during the 5 years you have lived here. I was 'splaining to the OP that if she wanted a nice variety of views, she would find them here.

I don't care for your ad hominem attacks. I think you make your living selling advertising and other activities you shamelessly promote. That is all right, but readers should be aware. Islander also sells advertising, no problem. There is not the continuous sell that you do for your restaurants, real estate agents etc. Yes, I believe you have an agenda. I am not a regular reader, but I have on occasion looked at something that was linked. You are certainly allowed your opinions, but so is everyone else, Big K.wink
Re: Newcomer
February 21, 2012 05:46PM
The cistern thing really has me worried. Does all homes with cisterns have a water purifying system? I seen one last night on the web, I really need to educate myself on this.

I heard a story the other day about a cistern that was so full of toads that, when they opened the cover, they started jumping out.

No, all homes with cisterns do not have a water purifying system.
Re: Newcomer
February 21, 2012 07:07PM
Iris Tramm
The cistern thing really has me worried. Does all homes with cisterns have a water purifying system? I seen one last night on the web, I really need to educate myself on this.

I heard a story the other day about a cistern that was so full of toads that, when they opened the cover, they started jumping out..

Another good reason why you should always do regular maintenance checks to make sure that the cistern inlet on your roof, and your overflow pipe, are properly covered with a wire mesh guard!

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

The Ultimate Resource for Moving to and Living in the Virgin Islands - St. Thomas St. John St. Croix Water Island
Copyright © 2002 - 2013 VI Moving Center All rights reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertising