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Family of 4 considering STX

benjammin
October 05, 2016 01:28PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 2

Good Afternoon everyone! How is everyone doing today? First off, I know this topic has been covered a lot. I am 35, my wife is 32, our boys are 4 and 3. We have visited STX on several occasions and every time we come back to the states, we miss the Island more and more. We are a very average, hard working, run of the mill family with simple tastes and pleasures. We are considering the move for many reasons; the huge disconnect among people in the states, the neediness here, the spoiled-ness here, the traffic, the unnecessary, and on and on. It almost breaks my heart to raise my boys in this environment. I know not everywhere is perfect and I just want what is best for my family. We live next to a city that has high crime rates, murder rates, almost all rates and I know that topic has been covered a lot also here. In honest, heart to heart opinions, are we crazy for considering this move? Our most current visit, a tourist couple was complaining that there was no 7/11 convenience store and they couldn't find a place to get their nails done. This is exactly what I'm talking about. It's like 1,000 times as bad here on the mainland and we are so tired of it. We love community, the water, family, real things that make the world go 'round. I believe everything happens for a reason and I believe we stumbled upon STX for a reason. I know it won't be easy but if this is possible, we are ready to put in the work and risk.

Re: Family of 4 considering STX

speee1dy
October 05, 2016 01:51PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 8,216

first, can you get jobs here or do you have a way to support yourselves?

just remember, all the baggage you think you will be leaving behind is found anywhere. the neediness etc will be everywhere even on an island. sometimes just being on vacation as opposed to living somewhere gives the impression these things dont occur but they do.

if both of you will work, you will need 2 cars and daycare or school for the children. some people dont like the public school system though there are 2 excellent public elementary schools. not many people seem to like any of the other public schools. there are private school options and homeschooling options.

health care. you get a mixed bag response to the health care. i have seen both excellent care and sub par care.

start up costs, some people say 10,000 to start out with is minimum.. There was another thread just the other day that touched on that.

crime rate-our murder rate per FBI stats was the highest in the world i believe in 2010 ?? i am probably wrong on the year, but you can look that up. most murder is gang banging murder, but certainly not always.

we have a very strict carry permit. not sure if that matters to you or not.

grocery prices are generally speaking about 30% higher than mainland.

we have 2 kmarts ,a number of grocery stores, a few hardware stores, an office supply store , a few shoe stores and some lower end clothing stores. we are getting a state of the art movie theater.

if you love boating, swimming diving and have the money to do these things, you will never be bored.

please utilize the search function at the top and read through some older posts.

any more questions, just ask

Re: Family of 4 considering STX

Islander
October 05, 2016 03:12PM

Admin

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 1,159

Good Afternoon Benjammin, welcome to the message board.

So you are ready to explore other places to live in order to have a different environment than the one you have now. That sounds like sane logic... its certainly the same logic that motivates many of the people that move here to the VI... BUT its also the same thing that motivates many to leave the VI too!

I read a blog the other day where a family sold their house, cars, put their careers and 'normal' lives on hold, and headed out with their two kids to travel around the world for 13 months... 33 countries and home schooling the kids along the way. Crazy is what first crossed my mind... and then immediately my next thought was how awesome that they had the opportunity to do it, and the willingness to make it happen.

Research St. Croix and the USVI... sit down and think of all the questions you and your wife have and then find the answers. Once you have as much of the information as you can gather, the pros and cons list, the what if scenarios... you should be able to answer whether it should be a good move for your family, or whether you might want to look at other places that might work better.

Let us know what your questions are, we will see if we can point you to the answers and help you with opinions and tips.

Thank you for joining the VIMovingCenter.com message board to help with researching your move to St. Croix.

Re: Family of 4 considering STX

WillPeterson
October 05, 2016 06:32PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 19

we moved down 2 weeks ago, and I think it's worth considering the hidden costs of moving and the logistics.

Both my partner and I (both 36 years old) work remotely, so we have work while we are here. We've already had issues with power outages and disconnecting from our employers, but it's pretty minimal (and it was because of Tropical Storm Matthew). We found Innovative to be a great ISP. We had been warned that they take a long time to set up and are hard to work with, but we found them quick and easy to work with.

Getting a car down here is a real project. My jeep cost about 2300 to ship, and I shopped around extensively. I settled on Blue Ocean Transportation for ALL our stuff; car and household items. What I learned from the car: it's expensive, make sure everything on your vehicle is stock. The DMV doesn't like my window tint (factory done) and they didn't like my tail lights (also factory) so, I have a car here but it was not approved for plates until I fix these issues. Hidden cost, about $600.00. Add to that the road tax (also $600) and other various fees and it really starts to add up. Now add the cost of the rental while I'm having this all fixed and it almost doubles the actual shipping cost. Note: If you ship a car, find a local agent to get your plates. Most times the inspectors at the DMV won't even need to see the vehicle. I've been told by virtually everyone, including my local insurance agent, that most of the DMV folks really dislike off-islanders and will use any reason to fail the inspection. So, find a local agent.

House hold goods are easier. Blue Ocean Transport (GREAT GREAT customer service and INCREDIBLY HELPFUL with everything!!) priced it out in increments of 500lbs. We tried to cut weight under 500 to save money; not how it works. The price was straight forward, but when the shipment gets to the container port (near the airport) you need to either have a truck to pick up your stuff or pay someone to get it to you. This can cost up to a couple hundred dollars depending on your stuff. Weather can and will delay a shipment, especially during hurricane season.

Get a post office box immediately. Street addresses don't really work here and if you're relying on something like Amazon to get hard-to-find items on the island, just give up. Amazon doesn't understand how to ship here without a post office box, and you won't find their call center folks of any use. They don't understand the problem and will waste your time. If you think you can't get it here, buy it there and ship/bring it down.

Water is expensive, like .07 a gallon. Kids use a lot. so, 5 flushes a day with a low-flow is going to cost you over $200. Our apartment has older toilets, so more water. Dishwashers use a lot, so do washing machines. Power, same deal. I sell solar power systems, so I know that STX has some of the most expensive power on the planet. Bring LED bulbs smiling

Anyway, we're only a couple weeks into this, so we're still learning. We had studied this site extensively and are still nearly triple the expected cost to move. Surprising to say the least.

All that said, when we walk out onto the deck for morning coffee to our amazing view of Gallows bay, Protestant Key, and all of Christiansted harbor, we look at each other and say "still worth it".

I'm curious to see if anyone else on this site has recent moving surprises.

I'm happy to make recommendations for businesses that have helped us. Feel free to message me if you have questions.

Re: Family of 4 considering STX

Trixie_b
October 05, 2016 06:35PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 37

A great post - thanks for taking the time to write it

Re: Family of 4 considering STX

Alana33
October 05, 2016 09:34PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

For older toilet tanks, you can add a brick or something (even a plastic container filled with water) to displace water in holding tank to use less water for flushing.

There's a saying here:

"In this land of fun and sun, we rarely flush for number one but if the water does turn brown, please, won't you flush it down!"

There are a lot of hidden fees or things you don't think of that eat into funds when moving. That's what so many of us say: "Bring lots of $$$$!"

Welcome and hope you'll enjoy your new life in STX.

Re: Family of 4 considering STX

SunnyCyn
October 06, 2016 12:48AM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 65

I'm reading these thoughtful and thorough responses carefully too!

Re: Family of 4 considering STX

speee1dy
October 06, 2016 08:05AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 8,216

Get a post office box immediately. Street addresses don't really work here and if you're relying on something like Amazon to get hard-to-find items on the island, just give up. Amazon doesn't understand how to ship here without a post office box, and you won't find their call center folks of any use. They don't understand the problem and will waste your time. If you think you can't get it here, buy it there and ship/bring it down.


you can have things sent to the Mail Boxes and More for a fee. so you can still get a po box but if you have items needing a " street address" you can just use them.

Re: Family of 4 considering STX

benjammin
October 08, 2016 12:39PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 2

Hello Everyone!

Thank you all so much for the terrific responses. I started to read through them and thought I should stop. I'd like to sit down with my wife so we can read them together and get our reactions. I am the biased one who is all for it, let's go now and she is the "let's really think about this" one. We balance each other out haha. I will sit down with her this weekend and we'll read all your responses. Thank you all so much and look forward to some good conversations coming up!

-Ben

Re: Family of 4 considering STX

Alana33
October 08, 2016 01:04PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

Read other posts as well.
There's a search option at top of page.

You really need to check on whether your healthcare provider will cover the VI. There is presently no "individual healthcare insurance" available in the VI unless your employer whether private sector or government provides it.

Re: Family of 4 considering STX

Scubadoo
October 08, 2016 03:28PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,640

Quote
speee1dy
Get a post office box immediately. Street addresses don't really work here and if you're relying on something like Amazon to get hard-to-find items on the island, just give up. Amazon doesn't understand how to ship here without a post office box, and you won't find their call center folks of any use. They don't understand the problem and will waste your time. If you think you can't get it here, buy it there and ship/bring it down.


you can have things sent to the Mail Boxes and More for a fee. so you can still get a po box but if you have items needing a " street address" you can just use them.

Amazon has nothing to do with the delivery, you give them an address, that's what they ship it to. They may ship USPS, sometimes UPS. You need to use an address that USPS delivers to, street or PO. UPS most likely delivers to all addresses as long as they can find them. USPS not so much. UPS (and FEDEX) considers STX international service, when they show up at your door they will have their hand out to collect customs duty. If nobody there, no package, I have no problems with USPS or UPS delivery to my condo street address and have everything delivered to the office.

Benjammin, there are many things, pros/cons, to consider when making the move but perhaps by far the most significant are the basic financials. Most folks typically will not have jobs lined up before moving unless they are keeping an existing job and will be working remote. You will need to bring a significant nest egg to cover moving expenses, initial deposits/purchases, living expenses until you have jobs as well as keeping something left over if you need to return back to the mainland. There is much to be read in the previous postings on recommendations for that. Do not underestimate how much you will need or how long it will take to find jobs. There are currently no individual health insurance policies to be had in the VI so you will be on your own until (and if) you have employer provided coverage.

Even with several vacation trips a few more PMVs focused on actually living here to answer the remaining questions are always recommended. Don't buy property for several years until you are sure you want to stay long term as property is slow to sell (unless you are independently wealthy and can afford not to sell) and do not rent anything site unseen.

Re: Family of 4 considering STX

speee1dy
October 08, 2016 07:15PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 8,216

my comment was the second paragraph not the first i did not do the quote function. that must have been what threw you off.




Quote
Scubadoo
Quote
speee1dy
Get a post office box immediately. Street addresses don't really work here and if you're relying on something like Amazon to get hard-to-find items on the island, just give up. Amazon doesn't understand how to ship here without a post office box, and you won't find their call center folks of any use. They don't understand the problem and will waste your time. If you think you can't get it here, buy it there and ship/bring it down.


you can have things sent to the Mail Boxes and More for a fee. so you can still get a po box but if you have items needing a " street address" you can just use them.

Amazon has nothing to do with the delivery, you give them an address, that's what they ship it to. They may ship USPS, sometimes UPS. You need to use an address that USPS delivers to, street or PO. UPS most likely delivers to all addresses as long as they can find them. USPS not so much. UPS (and FEDEX) considers STX international service, when they show up at your door they will have their hand out to collect customs duty. If nobody there, no package, I have no problems with USPS or UPS delivery to my condo street address and have everything delivered to the office.

Benjammin, there are many things, pros/cons, to consider when making the move but perhaps by far the most significant are the basic financials. Most folks typically will not have jobs lined up before moving unless they are keeping an existing job and will be working remote. You will need to bring a significant nest egg to cover moving expenses, initial deposits/purchases, living expenses until you have jobs as well as keeping something left over if you need to return back to the mainland. There is much to be read in the previous postings on recommendations for that. Do not underestimate how much you will need or how long it will take to find jobs. There are currently no individual health insurance policies to be had in the VI so you will be on your own until (and if) you have employer provided coverage.

Even with several vacation trips a few more PMVs focused on actually living here to answer the remaining questions are always recommended. Don't buy property for several years until you are sure you want to stay long term as property is slow to sell (unless you are independently wealthy and can afford not to sell) and do not rent anything site unseen.

Re: Family of 4 considering STX

Scubadoo
October 08, 2016 08:26PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,640

Quote
speee1dy
my comment was the second paragraph not the first i did not do the quote function. that must have been what threw you off.
Yeah I was just continuing on with the OPs original from your quote instead of starting a new one.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2016 08:27PM by Scubadoo.

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