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A few questions about moving to STX

Pamela&Curtis
May 25, 2017 04:47PM

Registered: 8 months ago
Posts: 3

My husband and I are starting the process of looking for a home (simple, nothing extravagant) and eventually moving to STX (ETA 1.5 years). He will be retired, I run my own Virtual Assistant Business out of my home. I've read through many posts and just want some help with a few things:

Are there filings or other registry for home-based businesses? I've read there are for brick and mortar locations.

My husband is a veteran. Are there veteran health services available - clinic, hospital? He will not qualify for Medicare for 5 more years.

What are the health insurance options? I currently get mine through ObamaCare in New York State (we live in Buffalo, escaping the cold weather & snow smiling ).

We have 2 cats and a dog. Hoping the dog will be around to come (she is 12.5 yrs old). She is just under 20lbs and probably won't fit under the seat in a plane and I don't want to fly her cargo. Any suggestions?

Thanks so much for your help.

Re: A few questions about moving to STX

Alana33
May 25, 2017 05:43PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,584

No healthcare insurance for individuals unless you work for a company that provides it, work for VI Government or you can get Medicare.
There are Veteran health services but I'll let someone more knowledgeable address that question.

You can check the airlines website about requirements for traveling with pets. There's also threads on this site if you do a search on link at top of page. You won't be able to bring your dog cargo in summer months, due to heat restrictions. You need a certificate from your veterinarian dated within 10 days of departure and required vaccinations, including RABIES.
There's a limit on how many animals the allow on any given flight and you cannot make a reservation for your dog. It's first come, first served basis only.

Also no animals are transported on any AIRBUS plane so you need to make sure your reservation takes that into account. AA is probably your best option for traveling with a dog in cargo or you'll have to fly private with a pet transportation airline. It's expensive even if a shared flight with others.

I recently bought my 60 lb. dog with me to FL in cargo on AA.
Tho I wanted to fly into Orlando I had to go to Tampa as the only planes that flew from Miami to Orlando were Airbus planes. Just took a bit longer to arrive at my ultimate destination from Tampa and cost a bit more for the shuttle to get me to Lady Lake but we got there.

Good luck.

Re: A few questions about moving to STX

Scubadoo
May 25, 2017 09:17PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,753

You can read up on business license requirements at DLCA

Re: A few questions about moving to STX

rosesisland
May 26, 2017 05:03AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 601

I wouldn't advise buying a home without having lived here for at least a year.

More people move here and find its not for them than come and stay. So, you or your husband may find you hate it here and be stuck owning a house you can't get out of quickly. Houses sell slow here, IMO. Different parts of STX have completely different feels. I've been here for years and just now have decided on an area. I'm retired and healthcare isn't a problem for me or my husband as we have insurance, his through his work, me, Medicare.

Re: A few questions about moving to STX

speee1dy
May 26, 2017 07:51AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 8,261

Puerto Rico has VA facilities. not sure if we do

Re: A few questions about moving to STX

Pamela&Curtis
May 26, 2017 08:12AM

Registered: 8 months ago
Posts: 3

@rosesisland thank you for that advice. We have visited several times and know we love it. But, yes, finding a neighborhood I'm sure can be tricky. Do you have any suggestions on the good and the not so good? I live in the city of Buffalo, NY, so I know all too well about how different a couple blocks can make. I bought my house here in 2009 in an up-and-coming neighborhood, and thankfully it went up smiling.

Re: A few questions about moving to STX

ernieandmaryjo
May 26, 2017 08:36AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 107

We have an excellent VA Outpatient Clinic here on St. Croix. VA also provides airfare and shuttle service if a veteran has to go to the VA hospital in San Juan.

If your dog can't fly carry-on, the only options are cargo or charter/private.

Re: A few questions about moving to STX

pilatesgal318
May 26, 2017 08:59AM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 404

Pamela&Curtis,

As rosesisland (and many, many others of us on this board) suggest, it is not a wise decision to buy a home before actually living here. Visiting and knowing you 'love it' is one thing....living here, day to day, and dealing with ALL of the 'issues' of island life (and STX), and THEN knowing you 'love it', is a completely different thing! Please do NOT take this advice lightly.

I lived on STT for 8 years (and LOVED it), and only after about 2 did I decide where I would want to be, without a doubt (the Northside) - I did not buy because my husband (at the time) was miserable on island and did not want to settle there. Now, having been on STX, I can say visiting here and living here are two totally different things - visiting was fine....living here (for me and my current husband), not so much. We own a home (as my husband's business was here and he has lived here for many years) and we will now have to deal with the task of selling it. Real estate is very slow to move here (especially in comparison to STT or STJ), as rosesisland also shared with you.

Not only is it a matter of not knowing IF you want to actually be a resident (not just a visitor), but WHERE you want to be on island can take quite a bit of time to decide. STX may indeed be where you absolutely love, as I know many people it suits - my husband and I are not those people. Our experiences here have not been good and I miss STT (and STJ) every day - others find it to be right up their alley. Nobody can tell you that...you simply HAVE to experience it all for yourself.

I am not trying to discourage, just trying to express the need to proceed with logic and caution. Please don't be blinded by the dream of 'living in paradise' and make a poor decision!

Re: A few questions about moving to STX

Gator's Mom
May 26, 2017 09:05AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 701

For shipping your pets year round -- we have a bid for shipping 5 pets of $1600 from Ft. Lauderdale to STX from the below linked kennel service. Another poster highly recommended as an option.

[petboardship.com]

As with real estate anywhere - location, location, location

You will need to get a job with insurance - or expand your business into a 2 person operation to get health insurance through your small business.

Self insurance is an option - but we all know the risks.

Why not do an extended visit? Come down, look for a job for 3-6 months THEN sell your house in Buffalo. Your ACA plus a travel health insurance plan could work then.

It's going to be expensive no matter what.

Re: A few questions about moving to STX

rosesisland
May 26, 2017 10:29AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 601

P&C, describing actual neighborhoods here is hard at best. We are so spread out with pockets of different neighborhoods. I, personally, do not nor want to live in a neighborhood. I currently live on the side of a mountain, one way up and same way down. You really need to experience living here to understand real estate here.

I sold two houses in the states in '12-'13 and just now, even after having moved here first time in '95, have decided the area I'd consider buying.

Will all your ties in the states resolve? Many people are forced to leave for many reasons. I left at the end of the '90's to take care of my parents. Many leave when their first grandchild is born in the states. There's all kinds of reasons you'd not want to be stuck with a house here and needing to move back. Renting here doesn't have stigma some places have in the states. Lots of rental properties and many former homeowners rent here in the islands.

Re: A few questions about moving to STX

Fishbait
May 26, 2017 11:54AM

Registered: 9 months ago
Posts: 18

Good morning! I'm following this thread because my wife & I are in a similar period, 2 years from moving out of NY permanently. I think renting to get a feel of the place is an excellent idea.

Where are good places to rent, furnished & unfurnished? We would need 2 bedrooms in order to have a extra space..

Thanks!

Re: A few questions about moving to STX

Pamela&Curtis
May 26, 2017 12:25PM

Registered: 8 months ago
Posts: 3

I very much appreciate all this feedback. My husband and I do not have children and his parents will be well taken care of by his 4 siblings should the need arise. So, hating it would be the only reason to return stateside. We are still in our planning stages and will be making more trips back and staying longer.

Can anyone give their thoughts on buying a home vs. living in a condo? More in terms of cost to upkeep and expenses you would not think of (for example, in Buffalo we don't need pest control).

Again, many thanks and I look forward to more input. It is extremely helpful and much appreciated.

Re: A few questions about moving to STX

Gator's Mom
May 26, 2017 04:27PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 701

Most condos associations on STX won't allow pets. There are a few exceptions though - talk to a realtor.

There are neighborhoods with strong associations on STX - Judith's Fancy, Shoy's, Cotton Valley, Green Cay to name some.


Quote
Pamela&Curtis
I very much appreciate all this feedback. My husband and I do not have children and his parents will be well taken care of by his 4 siblings should the need arise. So, hating it would be the only reason to return stateside. We are still in our planning stages and will be making more trips back and staying longer.

Can anyone give their thoughts on buying a home vs. living in a condo? More in terms of cost to upkeep and expenses you would not think of (for example, in Buffalo we don't need pest control).

Again, many thanks and I look forward to more input. It is extremely helpful and much appreciated.

Re: A few questions about moving to STX

Scubadoo
May 26, 2017 11:10PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,753

There are a lot of pros and cons with condos and it varies from condo to condo complex. Which ones is for you depends on you. If you want more space, want outdoor space you can do with what you please, space between you and the neighbors and don't mind all the outside upkeep then a separate home may be for you. If you 'd rather have amenities, pool, maybe tennis, some nice landscape that you don't have to take care of and can deal with the HOA fees then maybe a condo is for you. You can get a decent condo, maybe on the beach for less than an equivalent house. Condo HOA fees vary widely from a few hundred to over $1K/mo. Some banks will not grant mortgages for some condos depending on the HOA finances and insurance situation which may be a consideration. Condos work well for part timers on island, maybe not so much for full time residents.

Re: A few questions about moving to STX

rosesisland
May 27, 2017 05:58AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 601

Quote
Fishbait
Where are good places to rent, furnished & unfurnished? We would need 2 bedrooms in order to have a extra space..

Thanks!

From east to west, furnished and unfurnished. Not being sarcastic, but, very nice rentals, furnished and unfurnished are all over. Northside is different from the east end, east end is different from center island, west is different from Northside. Each area has a unique difference. You must be here to feel those differences. Another reason to rent for at least a year before buying.

The rental market here is different. Many, many, many come furnished, where in the states furnished rentals (long-term) are usually unfurnished.

To really understand the real estate market here, you need to come here and experience it for yourself. As a former Realtor, I am behooved so many people actually want long-term renters but, furnish everything even towels and sheets, making it easy for someone to just pack their bag and skip back to the states. IMO, furnished rentals, unless short term, should only have furniture. The person renting doesn't need a container to supply the rest of the household needs. Sheets, towels, kitchen stuff can be bought locally and transported to rental in a vehicle.

I've rented all over STX from $800-$2800, from east to west. I've felt safe in every area I've lived, but, locked my doors anyway.

Re: A few questions about moving to STX

terry
May 27, 2017 08:28AM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 2,526

Exterminator fees
Pool??
Cable
Insurance if you don't pay cash you will need hurricane and VERY expensive
Liability insurance
Yard care. If you DIYS, you need mower etc
Security
Phone- can't get cell service everywhere
General upkeep. I would budget $100 + a month. Some months 0, then some big ticket items

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