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Re: Moving to St Croix

STTsailor
February 05, 2017 07:53AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 496

Rents and RE prices are About 30% higher in STT. Not sure about everything else.

As a general comment food and alcohol in USVI is way more expensive than SXM.

Re: Moving to St Croix

Afriend
February 05, 2017 08:35AM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 458

Based on the questions you are asking it appears you really haven't done much research on what life is like in the Caribbean (in general) and the USVI's (in particular).

There's a lot of helpful information on this website. Start at the top left of this page and click on all the dropdown minus. There you'll find links to every topic imaginable that will have answers to all of your questions about life in the USVI's and many more you haven't even thought of yet. If you are serious about moving to the islands read EVERYTHING (there's so much info it could take you a week or more). Now, some of the data (especially about prices) may seem a bit dated but I assure you the information itself is all relevant. Once you've done that initial research browse through the archives on this forum to find threads on topics where you'd like additional information. Every conceivable topic has been discussed in detail hundreds, if not thousands, of times.

When you are doing your research and estimating what your particular cost of living might be you'll come across estimates that will give you various price ranges for things like rent, food, utilities, etc. Human nature being what it is you'll focus on the lower ends of those price spectrums which will probably result in you under estimating what your actual living expenses will be. To be on the safe side, always use the higher estimates when calculating your anticipated living expenses. You should then take that number and add another 20% to 25% in order to avoid "sticker shock" once you actually make the move. If the new total doesn't frighten you you'll be in good shape.

Lastly, once you've done your preliminary research the next thing you should do is make a Pre-Move Visit (PMV). Come for an extended stay (a few weeks at the least, a few months is better), not as a tourist, but on a fact finding mission. Stay in a condo and do everyday chores like housekeeping, laundry, grocery shopping, paying utilities, running errands as those are the things you'll be doing everyday when you actually make the move. Spend your time checking out housing costs to see what you can get for your particular budget. Try to identify areas where YOU would like to live.

After your PMV go back home and spend time studying all you've learned - you'll be in a much better position to evaluate whether or not island life is YOUR CUP OF TEA.

Good luck following your dream.

Re: Moving to St Croix

East Ender
February 05, 2017 09:08AM

Registered: 13 years ago
Posts: 4,967

Sharon: I wonder HOW you all decided you wanted to move to St Croix in retirement? Have you been to the VI on vacation? Are you water people and want to sail, dive, snorkel, kite board, etc? Have you seen the pictures of the beaches and thought that is your happy place?

The lifestyle in the VI is very different than in Oregon. That is why everyone suggests the PMV. I'm not so sure it has to be 2 weeks. Ii came down for a week and decided to try it out for a year. But I was young(er) and unencumbered. Slowly the life here was more attractive than the life I left back home. But I had an exit strategy; I just never used it. Things like children, animals, need for high maintenance, can all change the way you feel about the territory. Good luck!

(P.S. I have lived on St Thomas for 20 years and have never been to St Croix, so I can't help you with St Croix issues.)

Re: Moving to St Croix

sharevey
February 05, 2017 10:57AM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 14

Yes, I have done all these things. I have been to St Croix and St Thomas. We have done extensive research on the Caribbean. We do like the water etc and do understand the cost of living is higher. In fact we just got back from spending time on another Caribbean Island. We had done extensive research, talked to lots of people, figured out budget etc. Then during our trip decided that it wasn't the place for us. Now we are considering St Croix. I'm trying to get a feel for the people there,the place etc. but can't seem to do that as I'm not getting any answers the the questions I'm asking just getting the run around about doing my homework.

Re: Moving to St Croix

LiquidFluoride
February 05, 2017 11:24AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 1,940

Quote
sharevey
Yes, I have done all these things. I have been to St Croix and St Thomas. We have done extensive research on the Caribbean. We do like the water etc and do understand the cost of living is higher. In fact we just got back from spending time on another Caribbean Island. We had done extensive research, talked to lots of people, figured out budget etc. Then during our trip decided that it wasn't the place for us. Now we are considering St Croix. I'm trying to get a feel for the people there,the place etc. but can't seem to do that as I'm not getting any answers the the questions I'm asking just getting the run around about doing my homework.

Give my wife a call, we help newbies out all the time, we've been on STX 4 years and live on the west end.

www.cruzancowgirls.com

Re: Moving to St Croix

Afriend
February 05, 2017 11:35AM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 458

Sorry you don't like the answers you are getting. Your original questions about whether buying cars is difficult or whether rental houses are furnished or unfurnished or what neighborhood is best, etc. are all so rudimentary which is why responders suggested more research. I've re-read your questions and all of them have been given straight forward responses so I'm not sure why you feel you are getting the run around.

The only real way for you to "get a feel for the people and the place" is to make a visit. Island life is "different" and it is a concept that is difficult to both explain and comprehend without actually experiencing it first hand.

Like anywhere else people are people. You'll encounter some very friendly ones and others not so friendly. A lot depends on your own personality and how others perceive you.

As far as describing "the place" that too is in the eye of the beholder. STX is an island, it's a bit arid on one end and less so on the other. Like most places there are areas with wonderful views and others with no views. There are nice neighborhoods and some areas one should avoid. It has a more rural feel that say St. Thomas and it isn't as hilly as St. John. But what I just wrote is about the physical island. The psyche of the island is something altogether different and depends on how one views their surroundings and their outlook on life in general. I can only tell you that some people embrace island life, other tolerate it and still others find it is not their cup of tea.

Best of luck.

Re: Moving to St Croix
avatar

Exit Zero
February 05, 2017 11:38AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 2,255

I'm not getting any answers the the questions I'm asking

I think every question you asked has been covered - some in detail.
Furnished rentals are available - more expensive in general.
Cars are not difficult to buy.
Some vacation rentals accept pets - the fewer and smaller the easier it is. Most condos do not.
Almost all homes have cisterns.
It rains more in the West.
West vs. East on STX needs personal assessment.
VI debt is going to take some research on your part and is complicated and political.
Not much public transportation, you will need a car.
People like different things about STX.
$1000 is not unreasonable but will likely be the low end depending on what you need.
The neighborhoods on STX vary greatly and need personal assessment to decide.
Except for rents STX costs are comparable to STT

That covers every question I found that you asked.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2017 11:39AM by Exit Zero.

Re: Moving to St Croix

Alana33
February 05, 2017 12:46PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 12,049

What are you going to do about healthcare insurance?
Individual health insurance is not offered here unless you work for the government or a company that provides it.
If you have any serious health problems, moving to the VI may not be the right retirement option for you. Most people I know, opt for going stateside for testing and required surgeries, etc. Something to think about.

Government's Fiscal Problems May Impact JFL Hospital Certification

[stthomassource.com]

Re: Moving to St Croix

sharevey
February 05, 2017 01:26PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 14

I'm sorry if I sound frustrated. I spent 4 months talking with people prior to going on the trip we just returned from. Maybe I asked better questions but I was able to get an idea of different areas, a sense of place and the people who live there prior to arriving. I will try to get this info another way.
Sharon

Re: Moving to St Croix

pilatesgal318
February 05, 2017 03:06PM

Registered: 13 years ago
Posts: 407

Sharevey,

I would certainly say you sound frustrated from this comment you made: "trying to get a feel for the people there,the place etc. but can't seem to do that as I'm not getting any answers the the questions I'm asking just getting the run around about doing my homework." Moving anywhere takes a great deal of research - some of it should be from online resources, some from speaking with people and hearing of their personal experiences in an area, and some should be from YOUR personal experiences in the area you are contemplating moving to. I always find it interesting when people consider moving to the VI, they don't necessarily think that it is important for them to do a pre-move visit, as most people would do when moving anywhere else in the US mainland. Not always, mind you, but, as a generalization, this seems to be the case. That being said, you have told us that you have, in fact, "been to St. Croix and St. Thomas", however, your questions indicate to us (or to me, anyway) that you haven't been on these two islands long enough to scope out particular areas, what they are like, nor have you been on these two islands long enough to be able to discern what the people are like, or whether you need a vehicle on St. Croix, etc. Not meaning to offend, but forum members have, in fact, answered your specific questions AND they are also pointing you to the plethora of information on the 'search' feature of this site, that gives detailed information that is specific to the US Virgin Islands. You stated that you have done "extensive research on the Caribbean", and while this may be somewhat helpful, it will be much more useful for your move to St. Croix, if you do extensive research on the USVI, and St. Croix, in particular, if that is your island of choice. As I said previously, that research would include visiting this (and any other) VI forums, researching ALL the information that you can on this (and any other) VI moving forums, asking specific questions on that/those forum(s) (as you have done above, and taking the answers you have been given, and doing MORE research), and visiting the particular island you would like to move to for a period of time so that you can look at different areas, get a feel for the people, neighborhoods, areas, etc. Now, not to simply chastise your 'frustration' with us, I would like to give my feedback on some things, having been here for approaching on 11 years, and having lived on BOTH St. Thomas (8 years), and St. Croix (3 years): St. Thomas rents are more expensive than St. Croix. I find the beaches, water, sailing and snorkeling to be much better on St. Thomas (as you have the BVI in your backyard there, as well as my favorite island, St. John). It is also my opinion that the views on St. Thomas are better. The people - again, I have found that there is a MUCH greater sense of community on St. Thomas than on St. Croix - this is simply based on MY experience...I know of other people who would say the opposite. I would say the 'people' on island make up what the 'places' feel like - that being said, St. Thomas and its beautiful Northside, will always feel like 'home' to me...one that I have never seemed to find on St. Croix. My experience in that regard, however, is somewhat limited on St. Croix, since I have only lived in one area on this island, versus 3 different areas on St. Thomas (West End/Botany Bay, Northside, East End-briefly!). I hope that I did not offend, however, I felt the need to point out that 'we' (on this forum) tend to get a little defensive when newbies come online to get answers to questions posed (that are, indeed, answered) and yet they don't like what answers they get...Hopefully, you can see 'our' point of view. Good luck with your research and feel free to PM me if you have other, specific questions, about either island. Happy Sunday!

Re: Moving to St Croix

sharevey
February 05, 2017 06:50PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 14

We are doing a pre-move-visit in October. The plan is to spend a month in a vacation rental, explore the island and then rent for 6-7 months and go from there. We will be retired with money to live on. Insurance is also covered. Currently I'm trying to get some ball park numbers for cost. But most importantly at least to me is to get a feel for the place, the people who live there, what people are interested in, what's available in terms of activities. Is there easy access to a gym, what about yoga? I mentioned I'm a teacher - I may want to be involved somehow. I made some nice friends when I was looking into this kind of information for our most recent visit to the Caribbean and was hoping to do this on St Croix. Maybe this isn't the forum for that endeavor. I will continue to explore other options.
Sharon

Re: Moving to St Croix

Alana33
February 05, 2017 07:21PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 12,049

Good luck to you.
Enjoy.

Re: Moving to St Croix

pilatesgal318
February 05, 2017 07:41PM

Registered: 13 years ago
Posts: 407

That's great that your insurance is covered, as that is a 'deal breaker' for many! I really can't specifically answer rent costs on St. Croix as we own our home - as was said previously in this thread, I believe $1,000/month to be on the lower end of what you would get for a rental. There are gyms, places to take fitness classes and a decent yoga community on STX, and I am sure there are ways for you to get involved with children and helping with education (they really need it!) - I'm sorry that I can't help more in that regard. There are activities available on island - diving, sailing, SUP, cycling, etc. - plenty of things to suit many interests, I believe. I found many more options myself on St. Thomas, but, again, this was my personal experience. I'm sorry that you have found this forum to not give you what you were looking for - I am happy to help in any capacity that I can, should you choose to ask.

Re: Moving to St Croix

Idlewood4
February 05, 2017 10:35PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 82

I just moved to STT in May. I had very little time to prepare, as I was transferred here for work. That said, get the Settler's Guide, it answers a lot of questions. Read the VI Source, the Consortium, subscribe to the online Virgin Islands Daily News. If on Facebook, join the STT/STX groups.

It's definitely paradise with warts. For me, key to happiness here is to go with the flow. Accept island life for what it is. Housework-totally different. Sahara dust/mold remediation, cistern water, high humidity, driving around with trash because dumpsters full, sugar ants. Packaging dry goods in ziplocks with bay leaves in plastic containers. Read the information on this web site.

People have been tremendously helpful. They have also seen a lot of people who come unprepared, and although you appear to feel they aren't being helpful, they are realistic. Don't come with a chip on your shoulder, because it isn't going to bode well for long term happiness here.

Unfortunately, I can't offer advice on STX, as I'm on STT. But if I can help with general information, feel free to PM me. Good luck, and enjoy your island life whereever you end up.

Re: Moving to St Croix

AandA2VI
February 06, 2017 12:37AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 2,288

Quote
pilatesgal318
Sharevey,

I would certainly say you sound frustrated from this comment you made: "trying to get a feel for the people there,the place etc. but can't seem to do that as I'm not getting any answers the the questions I'm asking just getting the run around about doing my homework." Moving anywhere takes a great deal of research - some of it should be from online resources, some from speaking with people and hearing of their personal experiences in an area, and some should be from YOUR personal experiences in the area you are contemplating moving to. I always find it interesting when people consider moving to the VI, they don't necessarily think that it is important for them to do a pre-move visit, as most people would do when moving anywhere else in the US mainland. Not always, mind you, but, as a generalization, this seems to be the case. That being said, you have told us that you have, in fact, "been to St. Croix and St. Thomas", however, your questions indicate to us (or to me, anyway) that you haven't been on these two islands long enough to scope out particular areas, what they are like, nor have you been on these two islands long enough to be able to discern what the people are like, or whether you need a vehicle on St. Croix, etc. Not meaning to offend, but forum members have, in fact, answered your specific questions AND they are also pointing you to the plethora of information on the 'search' feature of this site, that gives detailed information that is specific to the US Virgin Islands. You stated that you have done "extensive research on the Caribbean", and while this may be somewhat helpful, it will be much more useful for your move to St. Croix, if you do extensive research on the USVI, and St. Croix, in particular, if that is your island of choice. As I said previously, that research would include visiting this (and any other) VI forums, researching ALL the information that you can on this (and any other) VI moving forums, asking specific questions on that/those forum(s) (as you have done above, and taking the answers you have been given, and doing MORE research), and visiting the particular island you would like to move to for a period of time so that you can look at different areas, get a feel for the people, neighborhoods, areas, etc. Now, not to simply chastise your 'frustration' with us, I would like to give my feedback on some things, having been here for approaching on 11 years, and having lived on BOTH St. Thomas (8 years), and St. Croix (3 years): St. Thomas rents are more expensive than St. Croix. I find the beaches, water, sailing and snorkeling to be much better on St. Thomas (as you have the BVI in your backyard there, as well as my favorite island, St. John). It is also my opinion that the views on St. Thomas are better. The people - again, I have found that there is a MUCH greater sense of community on St. Thomas than on St. Croix - this is simply based on MY experience...I know of other people who would say the opposite. I would say the 'people' on island make up what the 'places' feel like - that being said, St. Thomas and its beautiful Northside, will always feel like 'home' to me...one that I have never seemed to find on St. Croix. My experience in that regard, however, is somewhat limited on St. Croix, since I have only lived in one area on this island, versus 3 different areas on St. Thomas (West End/Botany Bay, Northside, East End-briefly!). I hope that I did not offend, however, I felt the need to point out that 'we' (on this forum) tend to get a little defensive when newbies come online to get answers to questions posed (that are, indeed, answered) and yet they don't like what answers they get...Hopefully, you can see 'our' point of view. Good luck with your research and feel free to PM me if you have other, specific questions, about either island. Happy Sunday!

Why are we not hanging out wink ! Great post!

Re: Moving to St Croix

speee1dy
February 06, 2017 07:55AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 8,628

it sure seemed like your questions have been answered. not sure what else you need?

Re: Moving to St Croix

Alana33
February 06, 2017 10:47AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 12,049

Your pre-move visit should answer your questions.
Much is subjective to personal preferences, needs, wants, lifestyle and ability to embrace change.

Meanwhile, you can use the search bar to explore the various topics that have been already been discussed.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/2017 10:49AM by Alana33.

Re: Moving to St Croix

Nic295
February 07, 2017 05:51PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 14

Quote
Scubadoo
You won't typically hear simple life, lower cost of living, hurricanes, droughts, free range chickens, or Sahara dust though. America's paradise is not utopia and not cheap.

I just recently learned about Sahara dust. Are there any concerns for that other than the obvious (dust on everything and possible allergy/asthma reaction)?
I had never heard of it. It is definitely an interesting phenomenon. At least from the perspective of someone who has never had to live through it. Lol

Re: Moving to St Croix

vicanuck
February 07, 2017 06:32PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,285

Its not that bad really. Kind of looks like a smoggy day in a big city. It could be a problem for people with more severe asthma. You get used to it.

Re: Moving to St Croix

Alana33
February 07, 2017 06:46PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 12,049

Check the search topics.
More Sahara Dust - less Tropical Storm/Hurricanes.
More to clean (everything), harder for breathing impaired, lack of beautiful blue skies.

Re: Moving to St Croix

AandA2VI
February 07, 2017 07:37PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 2,288

Alana I think it was you back when I was doing my research before moving here, that said the VI was dusty. I remember I laughed at that since I lived in AZ and we have haboobs....

For the record I stand corrected! Tha VI is ridiculous when it comes to dust. And damp dust is the worst! Our house gets ripping wind, especially down our hallway to our rooms (which is really nice) but I have to clean my screen door at the end of the hallway every every two weeks now!

Sahara dust gives me real bad headaches and makes my finances eyes water BUT when we went to Morocco last year we got caught in an ACTUAL Sahara storm. It was insane!!! That sand is like powdered sugar and got into everything. Wild! I had all my camera gear wrapped in multiple layers of plastic bags and cloth. Still need to send that in for cleaning but I do see how it makes it all the way across. Pretty amazing, our planet.

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