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Advice and opinion on a move to STJ  

 

djacobh
(@djacobh)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 20
August 30, 2011 9:00 pm  

Hello everyone,

My name is Daniel, I have been browsing these forums religiously for about month since I secured employment on STJ.

This is my first post seeking your opinions and advice of all you very nice ladies and gentlemen.

I will be moving down between Sep 28th and Oct 17th (depends on my current job) until well... who knows, june or forever.

Obviously my main issue i am overcoming is Housing, so if anyone has leads on housing near Cruz Bay (Mongoose Junction is where I will be working) I would love to hear it. all I need is a place to sleep, a place to shower, some wifi, and a mini fridge, and I will be all set. I am trying to keep it all utilities included under 800 if possible for a room. More is acceptable if its a whole apartment because I can get a roommate or have friends come vacation for a fee (many are already volunteering haha)

Also, as far as I understand many people talk about the expense of groceries bt it seems that based on my research they are not much higher than where i live now as long as you look for the deals (I currently live in the oh so expensive Cape Cod, Massachusetts working for the summer) But would love recommendations on which markets are better for what on STJ.

And finally, I am a slight bit of techno geek and play my video games, but wasnt sure if anyone could tell me about how internet connectivity is for Xbox and how available video games are on the islands? Also, how expensive is snorkeling gear and such? I hope to do that and learn to surf while in the islands.

Anyway, I understand it is a very long post and tried to cover everything though I am sure more questions will arise.

Thank you all for any help you may have.


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stjohnjulie
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August 30, 2011 10:18 pm  

There are a few places up on the board at Connections for $700 a month right now. I wouldn't image they will last long, so the earlier you can get here and secure a place, the better. The places close to town go first. I am guessing you won't have a car??? If you do get a car, that opens up your choices considerably. Housing is tricky because you really want to see a place before you sign a lease. And most people will want you to sign a year lease. Now is a good time to find a place, and as you get closer to November, you will see less and less available.

WiFi is available, but pretty slow in my experience. I have Choice 3mb service ($58 a month) and get about .4mb in reality. You can get online gaming here. Not a gamer myself, but the hubby does it. You can't rent or buy games on St. John. They used to have them at the video store, but not any more.

Groceries... Pine Peace is the cheapest. Dolphin will be closest to where you will be working, and they have ok prices. Starfish is the most expensive (considerably more expensive on most items). The biggest problem seems to be getting everything you want, at a good price, at one store. Starfish is the best one stop shop, but you are going to pay for it.

Good luck!


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speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
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August 31, 2011 12:14 am  

the deals the grocery stores have in the states, not so much here


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jgprudhomme
(@jgprudhomme)
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August 31, 2011 2:51 am  

Hi, I will also be moving down to STJ but will not be there until October 31st. How difficult is it going to be finding an apt? I would ideally like to live in a one bedroom but wouldnt mind having a roomate either. I plan on having a car and can afford to spend about $1000 a month all in. Am I going to have difficulty finding a place? If so is there anything I can do to make things easier on myself?

Thanks in advance for the advice!

Jeremy


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djacobh
(@djacobh)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 20
August 31, 2011 3:19 pm  

Thank you for all the responses so far everyone.

There are a few places up on the board at Connections for $700 a month right now. I wouldn't image they will last long, so the earlier you can get here and secure a place, the better. The places close to town go first. I am guessing you won't have a car??? If you do get a car, that opens up your choices considerably. Housing is tricky because you really want to see a place before you sign a lease. And most people will want you to sign a year lease. Now is a good time to find a place, and as you get closer to November, you will see less and less available.

WiFi is available, but pretty slow in my experience. I have Choice 3mb service ($58 a month) and get about .4mb in reality. You can get online gaming here. Not a gamer myself, but the hubby does it. You can't rent or buy games on St. John. They used to have them at the video store, but not any more.

Groceries... Pine Peace is the cheapest. Dolphin will be closest to where you will be working, and they have ok prices. Starfish is the most expensive (considerably more expensive on most items). The biggest problem seems to be getting everything you want, at a good price, at one store. Starfish is the best one stop shop, but you are going to pay for it.

Good luck!

@stjohnjulie you say there are a bunch now, what do you think are the chances of there still being some come Oct 1st? And no Iwill avoid purchasing a car until I know whether or not it is a permanent move.

As for wifi that is kind of what I figured, trying to decide if i should bring my xbox or not.


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fdr
 fdr
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September 1, 2011 9:33 am  

October is the time that season starts ramping up, so there will still be many housing options on October 1. By the end of October, the choices will be fewer. By mid November, it will be challenging to find housing. Most restaurants here are closed for September and part or all of October, so it is a quiet time around here until the seasonal workers move down next month. Now is a great time to get a place, terrible time to get a job.

Depending on what you buy, your sticker shock at the grocery store may not be too bad. What costs the most, besides milk, are packaged "convenience foods" that are mostly cheap in the states. We are very fortunate to have a lot of variety available now compared with even ten years ago, but you still might not be able to find a particular basic item you want at any grocery store sometimes.

Expect to pay around $60 or so for a good quality mask and snorkel. If you need fins, you can often buy used ones fairly inexpensively. (don't buy a used mask, though -- high odds it will leak sooner rather than later)


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JoeyBallgame
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September 1, 2011 1:15 pm  

My 1st grocery shopping experience on STT......I bought a certain amount of groceries that would have cost me $30-35 back in Detroit......here, $70.

I am use to it now after that 1st shocker, you learn to live without. I have even lost some lbs. learning to live without the food/goodies I just don't need.


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djacobh
(@djacobh)
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September 1, 2011 2:58 pm  

@fdr Well fortunately I already have a job lined up, now its just a matter of housing. I know the latest I will be down there is the 17th but I am aiming for the beginning of Oct when I talk to my current employer about notice.

Thanks for the heads upon gear.

@JoeyBallgame Yea i completely understand the sticker shock, here on the Cape the further out you go the pricier things get so hopefully my sticker shock experience will be milder than yours.


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WGAF
 WGAF
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September 1, 2011 3:48 pm  

If so is there anything I can do to make things easier on myself?

Thanks in advance for the advice!

Jeremy

If you want to make things easier on yourself, you might want to consider staying right where you are. You may not be prepared for island life.


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jgprudhomme
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September 1, 2011 4:36 pm  

WGAF. Though I much appreciate the advice, I think I will adjust to Island life just fine. I was born and spent my childhood on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and have spent the majority of my life living in the 3rd world. My comment was not a general request for advice on making my life easier but rather was aimed directly at housing in STJ. As in, is there anything I can do before I come down there to make it easier to find housing?

Thanks for the response. Any further info is greatly appreciated.

Jeremy


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WGAF
 WGAF
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September 1, 2011 6:08 pm  

WGAF. Though I much appreciate the advice, I think I will adjust to Island life just fine. I was born and spent my childhood on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and have spent the majority of my life living in the 3rd world. My comment was not a general request for advice on making my life easier but rather was aimed directly at housing in STJ. As in, is there anything I can do before I come down there to make it easier to find housing?

Thanks for the response. Any further info is greatly appreciated.

Jeremy

My bad, I'm from the NY area and my first trip down I was looking for the high food prices etc. Most prices were close to the tri state area. Housing was way cheaper when you look at some of the apartments. But that is offset by the very high energy costs. Electric is four times what it is here but a gallon of regular gas is some times cheaper in the VI. It's a balancing act.
I've PM'd other people that have lived there and told me they loved it but if you're going just for the weather then don't. You've got experience living on an island but you didn't say when or for how long. Just read this forum thoroughly first.
Good Luck


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Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
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September 1, 2011 8:58 pm  

And while you may be prepared for the higher prices most aren't prepared for the lower wages. Things cost more in the northeast or similar to here but generally the pay is better then here.


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stjohnjulie
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September 2, 2011 9:46 am  

I think you should bring the xbox 🙂 Plenty of people have them here and play online. Just trying to let you know that there will be times that you may not have service, or really slow service, and to bring your own games. Also keep in mind that you want to have good circulation around the thing as well. They tend to fry out fast here if they are stuck in an entertainment center. It's just too hot and not enough cool air for the fans to pull.

You should be able to find a place in early October. I guess if you can't get down here early, there isn't a whole lot of sense worrying about it. You can't do what you can't do! Do you know someone here? Have someplace to stay when you first get here? That will help out a lot.


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CayleeBea
(@CayleeBea)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 11
September 2, 2011 11:58 am  

Hey Daniel!! Small world!! I've been reading this message board like a book. I'm glad you've found it useful and helpful too!! See ya when ya get here!


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djacobh
(@djacobh)
Advanced Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 20
September 2, 2011 1:50 pm  

@Stjohnjulie Actually it looks like I do know someone there, two posts below you Ms. CayleeBea haha

@Caylee I thought that may be you but didnt want to assume, yes small world, or at least small islands haha 😉 I think I have managed to move my date from mid october to LATE so with any luck I'll be there to celebrate my birthday 🙂 Keep in touch. Yea this forum is so far def the most comprehensive guide to helpful resources ive found.


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