Happy New Year to All!!
So my husband and I are entertaining the idea of moving to the USVI but the early research I've been doing seems like cost of living and houses for sale are expensive there. Is this the case?
How are the schools there? We are expecting our first child next year so this is important to us in making a decision.
What is island life like? Is it easy to make friends there? Are people open and accepting of interracial families?
Any insight would be greatly appreciated and I thank you for the time you've taken to read this. Best wishes in your coming New Year!
Lot's of factors to consider. Start by reading this forum. The Settler's Handbook is an amazing resource.
Which island are you considering?
Do you have jobs here?
How about health insurance? Not available unless you get it through your employer or Medicare.
My kids are grown, but one of my employees just relocated here from the states. She has her 2 year old in a day care. They both love it, and she's learning so much. I've heard private is the way to go as far as school. There also are not a lot of activities for kids, at least not the variety you are used to stateside.
You have to be very flexible. If you're set in your ways, must have your Starbucks, are a shopaholic you'll want to reconsider. If you must have certain grocery items, be prepared to try 4 or 5 stores, pay dearly, and have to accept a near substitute if at all available.
If you are on Facebook, check out the What's going on in St. Thomas page. It gives a good sense of what's happening. There are a few good threads on there now about assimilating (or not) into the culture. I haven't had any problems. Smile, be genuine, wish folks a good morning.
I relocated from Boston, so the rent's here are actually cheaper than what I was paying. Water, gas, electricity, groceries, basic daily living expenses, much, much higher. Dpn't even think about buying until you've lived here at least a year, and have determined you like where you are.
Trash, bugs, mold, dust, humidity, potholes, corruption, roosters who have not been informed it's not appropriate to crow all night long, barking and feral dogs, feral cats---all part of life here.
Good luck, and PM me if you want more information.
Add to that you must do several pre-move visits, not vacation oriented so you can learn some of these things first hand before making the move decision as well as determine what areas you may be interested in living and what types of jobs are available (assuming you will not be working virtual from the states, bringing your own business with you or independently wealthy.)
There are several directions to respond to. Idlewood gave a good summary of information and there are tons of conversation threads to research.
Yes, housing is more expensive than many states. It just depends on what you are accustomed to. It is also likely that you will not need as much of a house. I agree with Idlewood because it is important to rent for 6 months to 2 years to make sure you expect to stay long-term. Otherwise you can end of up with a house you cannot sell at time you want to move back to the states.
I am confused at the question about schools when you expecting first child next year.
Schools --The daycare and preschool is fine for young children. When the child reaches pre-teen, then there could be limited activities depending on what they want to be involved in. Schools are not a serious concern for 5-10 years and you may have had enough of island living by then and be ready to return to the states. Actually, it is a good time to live in the islands before children reach school age and then determine the best options for schools.
First child next year? -- this would be the more immediate concern. There is still a ZIKA outbreak in southern states and Caribbean than can be serious during pregnancy.
Island life? ------ it takes a bit of an adjustment as you learn the differences in daily life and expectations, but that is reason it is recommended to rent for 6 months or longer. Inter-racial marriages are accepted for the most part. Make yourself friendly and you will find others that are friendly. It is good to get involved in activities that you enjoy or volunteer at some of the non-profit organizations to get to know people.
Island life is not for everybody and many people stay a year or less. However, there are many of us that stayed long term.
Wish you the best.
All of these questions have very recently been covered. Start with the drop down or the last 5 pages for more answers.
also be aware there is no individual health insurance down here
Health insurance should be your primary concern with a child on the way and in the Islands at this time it's little to none unless you can qualify for medicaid. Island living is no shirt, no shoes no problem mon to a point. But life also can get in the way in paradise like it does any where else.
As far as being accepting of interracial families, I would yes and no, but that is the way it is about every where and paradise is no exception. But I think it is excepted most any where these days unless you come across some ignorant, stupid, bigotted jackass, can happen any where even in 2017. But I wouldn't let this determine where I would want to live.
I wouldn't be looking for a house to buy. I would opt to rent a place, there are lots of rentals. Plus most folks longevity on the Islands is between two to five years, beyond this and it would be a mile stone and would be the time to consider buying a house. Island living does have it's drawbacks. Some people can tolerate the drawbacks while most can't.