Cotton Valley East End of Island
Can anyone tell me about the east end of STX such as Cotton Valley and Judith's Fancy?
Cotton Valley is on the East end. Judiths fancy is a gated community west of Christiansted. Judiths is high end homes some on the beach and others may have a view of Salt River. It is about 4_5 miles from Christiansted. Cotton Valley is a mix of homes populated by snowbirds, continentals and locals. It is not that close to the water but as the elevation increases offers some nice views. It is about 6 miles from Christiansted.
Cotton Valley is HOT unless you get up on the hill, and Judiths Fancy is horrible for mosquitoes and salt spray. Other than that I have lived in both places and enjoyed each for different reasons. If you are living in one of these spots and travel across island on a regular basis (i.e. to work), then it will matter to you what traffic you will have to drive through at the end of the day.
The two neighborhoods or "estates" both have a good reputation and moderate to upscale houses, although Judith's Fancy has stronger HOA covenants that have resulted in fewer small cottages or partially built structures whose building cycle goes on and on forever. Both neighborhoods are a mix of architecture from the 60's to the present with everything in between.
Cotton Valley is right for some and not for others. If you like the sense of remoteness, it may be the place for you. If you have children to commute to school, the extra distance multiple trips each day can eat up a lot of your free time. Some people find that the extra 10-15 minutes drive to get home keeps them from socializing as much as they'd like. It seems funny when you first get here that people would object to a much shorter commute than they have on the mainland, but the longer you are here the smaller the world gets and an extra 5 miles begins to seem like "forever" on the drive home. Largely for this reason, there are many people who choose Judith's Fancy for it's central location on the northern coast of the island. Also, JF is a gated community with 24 hour guard presence and is only 5 minutes commute from one of the more popular private schools (Country Day).
Both neighborhoods have view properties on hillsides and non-view properties in the lowlands. They have some sandy beaches available in both areas, although neither is truly a beach destination. The further you go east, the further you get from all kinds of services. There is one gas station and a couple small convenience stores and a few restaurants at the east end. Judith's Fancy is within 15 minutes of pretty much everything the island has to offer... including the hospital and other health services at Sunny Isle and La Grande Princess. Access to medical services is important to consider for some arrivals, especially those moving here for their retirement years.
There is lots more that can be said to compare the two neighborhoods. If you have specific questions, that might be an easier way to address the information you hope to find.
We lived for a year in Cotton Valley Shores (on the water) and can 'second' everything Alexandra says, especially the travel time issue.
Two things I'd add:
1) It's hotter on the east end compared to the NW/mid-isle by a few degrees, which can make a big difference in Aug-Oct.
2) More mosquitos (which is surprising considering it was the 'dry' side of the island compared to where we live now.
Thank you for your responses. I had looked at a few homes in those areas for rent. I have three children and I talk a lot so solitude from the rest of society won't work for me. I am also from a big city so I like to see people outside:-) not as many as usual of course but I come from a neighborhood where the neighbors sit and chat or share a pot of coffee. I am fine as long as I am not running a marathon to get to the next house.
Neither one of those locations is islolated or remote like you're thinking of stateside. Your neighbor might be ten paces away, twenty , fiftey but usually just an acre away at most. You really really need to see properties here in person before you rent. Arrange for temporary housing and then go looking your first week.
The two neighborhoods you mentioned are both very safe. Judith Fancy in particular is gated and people are often walking, walking the dog or jogging in the mornings and evenings. And JF is centrally located on the island and I think pretty ideal for a new comer with a family.
If you have kids I would pick Judith Fancy
Thanks, I have actually found a place in the Shoys that I am leaning towards but will make up my mind this week. I am about 95% sure it will be the east end.