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Cheaper to ship furniture or to buy on the islands?

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klpmtm
(@klpmtm)
Advanced Member

We were wondering if it's cheaper to ship our furniture across the country and then to the islands, buy our furniture when we get to STX, or I found a online furniture store that ships to USVI and they have package deals for rooms of furniture.

What did you all do when you moved?

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Topic starter Posted : September 22, 2014 11:50 pm
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

I would be careful of anything made of wood, most of which will deteriorate in the high humidity/heat and termites of the islands.

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Posted : September 22, 2014 11:53 pm
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

I should add my experience to that - we shipped a lot of our Stateside furniture down when we moved, and a lot of it was real antiques. We had to send a few select (wood) pieces back to the States to my aunt, so it cost...

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Posted : September 23, 2014 12:13 am
klpmtm
(@klpmtm)
Advanced Member

Thanks for the heads up on the wood furniture. With that, what is the furniture made of over there? Cuz I would think metal would rust. OR is it just better to get wood furniture down there made from the trees that are native to the area?

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Topic starter Posted : September 23, 2014 1:36 am
Finatic
(@Finatic)
Advanced Member

Put your furniture in storage stateside and rent a furnished home for at least a year. Don't move or buy anything until you have lived on STX long enough to know if it will be long term or not.

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Posted : September 23, 2014 1:36 am
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

Well as far as metal it does get tarnished faster, but I think if you keep up with cleaning anything metal (even including your refrigerator and stove) you should be OK. We had some mahogany furniture, and quite a bit of rattan (two seats, couch, coffee table, glass topped dining set with 8 chairs, etc.) The rattan deteriorated over the ten years we were there and it didn't help with Great Danes sleeping/jumping on.

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Posted : September 23, 2014 2:09 am
klpmtm
(@klpmtm)
Advanced Member

How did the mahogany hold up?

As for putting our furniture in storage, that won't be happening. We live in CA and we know that if the VI doesn't't work out we will not be coming back to the west coast. So that wouldn't't work for us.

So that is why we r trying to figure out what to bring and what to buy.

We were looking into buying a fully furnished place but all the homes that are furnished want WAY more than what it would cost us to buy furniture.

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Topic starter Posted : September 23, 2014 2:51 am
noOne
(@noOne)
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Properly prepared mahogany is very tough =)

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Posted : September 23, 2014 5:21 am
Phizz
(@Phizz)
Advanced Member

What's with this "no wood" statement"?? I have had oak, rattan, birch, mahogany, rosewood and teak here for 25 years with no issues. What you don't want is pressed wood. I would never have metal furniture!! --It rusts or corrodes and is generally uncomfortable.

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Posted : September 23, 2014 10:54 am
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

All of this is completely irrelevant. There is good furniture, cheap furniture, low priced furniture and expensive furniture. If you like your furniture and it's paid for, bring it. If you don't, then buy it here. It's a matter of personal taste and preference.

Pressed wood/particle board furniture does not hold up well down here.

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Posted : September 23, 2014 11:15 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

As for putting our furniture in storage, that won't be happening. We live in CA and we know that if the VI doesn't't work out we will not be coming back to the west coast. So that wouldn't't work for us.

If this is furniture you care about, you should really reconsider. Poster "Finatic" took the words right out of my mouth. If island living ends up not working out for you (and one has to be realistic that for the majority it doesn't), shipping furniture out of here is considerably more expensive than shipping it in (which isn't cheap anyway). Put your furniture in a "pod" and in a year's time you'll have a better idea of whether you're staying for a while or leaving and can ship it to "wherever" then. The majority of rentals come furnished and, if you find something unfurnished, there is always plenty of furniture for sale on island at house and moving sales to choose from.

That apartment or house you first move into may turn out to be unsuitable for a whole variety of reasons once you get settled in and many people move a few times in the first couple of years before finding the right place - renting a furnished or semi-furnished unit is so much more practical.

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Posted : September 23, 2014 11:18 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

we have a solid wooden bedroom set and table/chairs, we have had them for over 9 years and they have held up very well. if you can excuse a few cat claw scratches. micro fiber stinks.

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Posted : September 23, 2014 12:02 pm
divinggirl
(@divinggirl)
Trusted Member

I stored my furniture for a few years. Once I bought a house here I went back and reduced it all by 50% then shipped a container down. We were also remodeling so we shipped a lot of tools & supplies (including tile).
Do not bring any leather unless you will be shut up and air conditioning 24/7. Don't bring any pressed wood.
I know that several of the family pieces I brought will not go back with me whenever I leave which makes me a bit sad but it is expensive to move things off the island.
I really recommend storing it for awhile but if you are against it then only bring items that will hold up to this environment.

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Posted : September 23, 2014 12:32 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Bring your furniture. It's expensive to buy new, quality items here, IF you can find exactly what you want. I have excellent quality rattan and wood pieces. My bedroom set and some other pieces survived 2 major hurricanes, is still in excellent condition and have only had to restain some pieces once over the years.

Don't bother with pressboard construction pieces or leather. The pressboard will fall apart and leather is too hot, attracts mold/mildew in the tropics. Yes, metal rusts out more quickly here.

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Posted : September 23, 2014 12:45 pm
Finatic
(@Finatic)
Advanced Member

OldTart gives good advice. You have yet to even visit STX. Put your furniture in storage somewhere. Slow down and rent a furnished house on STX until you are sure of where you want to live and that you will stay long term. This takes one or two years for most people. Most lose the stars in their eyes and leave during that time. You have young children to consider which makes it harder.

It is easy to move furniture to STX. It is easy to buy furniture on STX. It is easy to buy a house on STX. It is much more difficult and expensive to ship furniture back to the states from STX. It is also much more difficult and expensive to try to sell a house on STX. You will lose money, probably a lot of money, if you rush into moving and buying and then later decide to move again or leave. I have seen it many times. No matter what anyone assumes STX is very different from anywhere on the mainland.

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Posted : September 23, 2014 1:13 pm
klpmtm
(@klpmtm)
Advanced Member

Thanks for all the info. A lot of the furniture we have is either soft pine or, unfortunately, pressed particle board (we didn't know at the time of purchase), and microfiber. So how does soft pine hold up?

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Topic starter Posted : September 23, 2014 2:58 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

The termites will love your pine if it's untreated (which is the norm), the tropical weather will likewise enjoy it (negatively). Sounds as though the decision is being made for you!

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Posted : September 23, 2014 3:49 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

stx has a new ashley furniture showroom where plaza is, sion farm area. unless your furniture is heirloom, i would not store it. if you dont want to bring it, sell it

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Posted : September 23, 2014 3:54 pm
rmb2830
(@rmb2830)
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Cheech from the Leap told us years ago that termites LOVE oak. His rec was to never bring oak onto the island.

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Posted : September 23, 2014 4:37 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Cheech from the Leap told us years ago that termites LOVE oak. His rec was to never bring oak onto the island.

Interesting. I have and have had several oak pieces (love the wood!) and never had a problem with it. Seems there are different kinds of oak but only a couple which make "least resistant to termites" lists with most being on the "most resistant" side. Pine reads the opposite.

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Posted : September 23, 2014 4:54 pm
klpmtm
(@klpmtm)
Advanced Member

OK. Sounds like we are not bringing our furniture. One decision made for us. YEA!

Thanks everyone!

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Topic starter Posted : September 23, 2014 5:02 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Thanks for all the info. A lot of the furniture we have is either soft pine or, unfortunately, pressed particle board (we didn't know at the time of purchase), and microfiber. So how does soft pine hold up?

If it's not good quality (pressed particle board, etc.), I'll say "don't bring it."

If you have realy nice things/solid hard wood that would hold up in a tropical climate, bring them. If not, you are indeed incurring a useless expense.
You can check the island papers for house sales and/or buy items that will last.

Can't remember if you'll be renting or buying but if buying make sure you have a home inspection as well as a termite inspection.

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Posted : September 23, 2014 5:03 pm
sunshinefun
(@sunshinefun)
Trusted Member

I've never had a termite problem with wood furniture. But partical board definitely won't last here.

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Posted : September 23, 2014 5:04 pm
klpmtm
(@klpmtm)
Advanced Member

We are planning on buying. And we will definately have an inspection and termite inspection too.

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Topic starter Posted : September 23, 2014 6:50 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

20 posts lol!! Your answer is no.

Termite inspection ROF. Have you ever been here? EVERYONE has termites especially after it rains. There's giant brown termite nests in every other tree. Hopefully you'll be in a cinderblock home.

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Posted : September 25, 2014 6:09 am
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