Blizzard of 2013, STX looks beautiful today!
I've been reading this board for over a year now and did a premove visit in January. We (husband and I and one dog, one cat) are looking to move at the end of our lease May 2014 giving us just one more year to save! I did apply for a job at the DOE but didn't get it. I believe like many had mentioned its because I didn't have a STX address at the time (we've since got a po box). Not in a rush now that we've decided to save more. I've gone all the way back to the start of the boards and read most! Thank you for the great advice. Now that we've had no power for 3 days from the blizzard, STX minor power outages don't look so bad. I was wondering if anyone who moved to STX was from a tourist area themselves? I live on Cape Cod and honestly when we went to STX for a premove visit groceries and gas was actually lower than what we pay and cheaper than Marthas Vineyard and Nantucket! I know the wages are slightly lower than here however. My question is, we pay on the high end of $150 a month in the summer for electricity and in the winter $250 a month for heat for a small apartment. While heat is not necessary, for a small two bedroom apartment, what is the highest electricity bill in STX? We are planning to go with 5 months of living expenses saved. The plan is for one year no matter how great or miserable and at the end decide to either stay or move back home. As for jobs I see that people don't rely on you until you've been there 6 months. Would finding a job get easier around the 3 month mark especially with Hovenesa closed?
Thank you so much for your help and of course for providing endless information on these boards! I have read "Life in the Left Lane" which was more fun reading than informative compared to these boards and also ordered today the "Settler's Handbook" for more reference.
The electric bill depends on so many things, but for a 2 BR apartment, I think most people will fall in the range of $200-$500/month.
I'm not sure that you become significantly more eligible for jobs after 3 or 6 months here. I think just saying that you now live here gets you most of the way over the hump. Having a 340 phone number may help too.
Great, thank you for the quick response. It seems comparable with where we live now. We currently rent and have no children (only been married for 1 1/2 years) so now is the time to try something new. Especially since we have parents to move home with in a pinch. We want to be fully prepared and are extremely excited! Thanks
Good way to estimate your electric bill is to look at your existing electric bill.
What is your KWH for the month on existing?
Multiply that by .50 cent, ie the expected rate here in US Virgin Islands, this will give you a good estimate.
Most households here in the USVI baseline for household electric bills include:
Fridge($35 a month), Hot Water Heater ($40)......so you staring with about $75, Have electric stove instead of gas, add another $50, giving you an average of $125. From there, its how much you use TV, AC, lights, etc.....AC will be the biggest factor after the above items.
From RI and working for many years in the Cape, I think you will use AC minimum here , except during those stretches its in the 90s for several days in a row. If you use AC currently alot in June, July, Aug, living in the Cape, you will be using it alot here. ie add another $100-150 a month to your bill.
As far as the job front, its challenging . Very competitive. I was unemployed for awhile, however, the jobs I landed came from networking. When the right position was advertised, ie I work for the Virgin Island National Guard as Energy Manager, I didn't get selected the first time, but did the second time. Now, it seems job opportunities are offerred to me monthly----and most pay better , however, I politely decline as the organization I work for is where I want to be----and end my working career in 10 years.
Simply put, when you arrive on island and job seeking, network out. Its easy to start immediately, volunteer for many of the non profit organizations: St Croix Environmental, Woman's Coalition, WHIM, Boys and Girls Club, Vi Emergency Agency, soup kitchens, etc.....You will meet great people dedicated to helping the Virgin Island community----and also business owners and government officials who become a baseline for networking.
Anytime you are visiting again to the islands, PM , I might have available weekly rentals .
Thank you Inn this provided a great deal of help! We generally don't use our a/c in the summer which will be good for us for comparrison. Also very helpful for job hunting. We hope to have enough saved to live without a job for a minimum of three months if need be. I will keep you in mind for next May when we make our big move!!!