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madcap
(@madcap)
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Joined: 8 years ago
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July 30, 2012 12:46 am  

Hey everyone, I've been wanting to make the move to STT or STX now for a while.
After trying to find work on either island (online), it is apparent your best bet is to go to the island and apply in person.
My plan is to find a place to rent beforehand preferably in STT (more job opportunities), and find a job after I've already got a place.
I plan on bringing somewhere around 2k. This should cover the security deposit, first months rent and food etc...
STX might be a better choice however, due to the fact it's cheaper living (although there aren't as many job opportunities).

Does this sound feasible? It may be risky not having a job when I move down there. I really dont see another option, if you need to be on the island in order to find work.

I would appreciate any feedback from you guys.


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OldTart
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July 30, 2012 1:53 am  

$2K won't get you very far at all. Most landlords require first, last and security and, when you figure in utilities, etc,, a furnished rental which will be easily accessible to transportation (presuming you won't have a car right away) will be hard to find for much less than $1K/month. You can find rentals for less off the beaten track but without a car your choices are pretty narrow. An alternative would be to look for a share situation so keep an eye on the classified section here and also on craigslist. There are the usual scams on the general (craigslist) rental listings but the share situations are pretty legitimate.

If you haven't already done so you should read all the general information under the bars at the top of this page which will give you an idea of what to expect. The food prices are rather outdated but the average of 30% higher than stateside pretty much holds true.

The economy is really bad here and although I don't want to deter you from your dream, I'd definitely wait and save more money before making a move. Our unemployment rate is over 10% right now and things aren't looking too bright all around. Finding a job to walk into right away may not be realistic so best to have a more substantial cushion.

I'm sure you'll get more opinions. Good luck!


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STXBob
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July 30, 2012 1:56 am  

Does this [$2K] sound feasible?

No, but I'll be optimisitc and say "Maybe," if everything goes perfectly, such as finding a low-rent apartment or roommate situation, and a job very quickly. Aim to move here Oct/Nov when hiring for high season picks ups, and have an exit strategy if it doesn't work.

Read this thread if you haven't already: https://www.vimovingcenter.com/talk/read.php?4,184563


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fdr
 fdr
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July 30, 2012 2:13 am  

Good night madcap,

I would shoot for closer to $3K if you are able to -- if you only have $2K and no return ticket, you won't have much (if any) leeway if you're unexpectedly sick or injured and can't work or can't secure work as quickly as you'd planned.

Assuming you can find a place to live that requires first + security only (many require first/last/security, which would likely add up to at least $2K on STT) and you are able to find work pretty quickly (it can happen, but how quickly depends on what your industry/experience is) -- then what you propose is possible.

Keep in mind that you could be limited by your transportation options. If you don't have a vehicle, you will want to live close to where you plan to work, and the rent for that area may be more than you are planning on.

I personally wouldn't try it for less than $5K, knowing what I've learned from my own experience -- but everyone's tolerance for risk and living standards is different. Some people will say you're insane to come with less than $10K. Others will say you can manage for $1K if you're employable.

Since a job is important to you, if you are working in a seasonal/tourist industry, make sure to plan your move around the time of year that industry is ramping up.

Good luck, and keep us posted on how it goes when you get here!


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AandA2VI
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July 30, 2012 6:17 am  

Good advice above.... 2k = no way but thats just MY opinoin and im sure people have done it with less!! Im NOT trying to be a downer at all (I really hate downers lol) but we just got back today from our PMV and spent over 3k (with airfare and rental car) for just 2.5 weeks! Granted we did splurge and eat out a lot but IMO in order to be successful I wouldn't bring less than 5k, 10 is better and were planning on double that! Paradise ain't cheap, but we just got back to AZ today and already I'm TOTALLY MISSING the Crucians!!!! Ugh people here are just so damn rude! I said good evening to someone getting off the flight and didn't even get a response, nod, smile.... NOTHING!!! Ack! #hatedrivingontheright lol!

Good luck madcap, I'm interested to see what happens too!!


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Alana33
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July 30, 2012 11:56 am  

August and Sept. may not be the right time to move toVI if you do not have a job already lined up as many businesses close in Sept. for vacation, renovations, summer doldrums, etc. Sept. is our slowest month and not much tourist activity. Oct./Nov. better as business tends to start picking up and places begin to hire for "high season/winter months."

Always good to bring more $$ than less.


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blu4u
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July 30, 2012 1:47 pm  

The economy is really bad here and although I don't want to deter you from your dream, I'd definitely wait and save more money before making a move. Our unemployment rate is over 10% right now and things aren't looking too bright all around. Finding a job to walk into right away may not be realistic so best to have a more substantial cushion.

I'm sure you'll get more opinions. Good luck!

Unemployment rates by state (doesnot include the millions of unemplyed former workers with questionalbbe documentation in the hosipitality and construction businesses in CA and NV, or the millions of sole propetiers who have gone under)

http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm/

Depending upon your profession you may be able to narrow down some jbb offers befor arriving on island. I ithink you success depends upon on well you adapt, your attitude and willingness to compromise. Lots of folks from other islands move to the VI from places of abject proverty and manage to carve out a simple life. Good Luck.


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OldTart
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July 30, 2012 4:38 pm  

Unemployment rates by state:

http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm/
/blockquote>

Which figures demonstrate what dire straits we're in comparatively. Food for thought for anyone thinking of making a move right now:

http://www.usviber.org/UN12.pdf


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blu4u
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July 30, 2012 5:30 pm  

According to the tables cited above:
STT 8.4
STX 11
USVI TOTAL 9.6

AZ = 8.2
OR = 8.5
NY = 8.9
USVI TOTAL 9.6
NJ = 9.6
CA 10.6
NV 11.7,
USTotal 8.6.
High unemloyment is not just a USVI problem. Would you rather spend a winter job hunting upstate or in the VI? I would suspect the nubers are under reported for CA and NV due the population of "off the books' employees from the hosiptality and construction industries.

A new relocatee's chances of landing a job are more contigant upon skills, training, personal attributes, connections than unemployment stats.

Also worthing noting, not everbody considering a move to the USVI is coming from "the land of plenty" with a suit case full of cash.


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TX9920
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July 30, 2012 6:08 pm  

We just moved here about 4 months ago and we had about $15,000 saved for the move. $2,000 seems almost impossible to stretch to cover housing, transportation, food, incidentals, etc. I'm sure people have made it work before, but why set yourself up for such stress/failure especially if you don't have a job lined up. I would say $5,000 - $10,000 is more realistic.

I feel like we were the most prepared one could be for the move (PMV, cash, reading this forum, already had jobs, vehicle) and it still has been a huge adjustment. Living here is not like vacationing here. I know a lot of people have said the advice/comments on this board tends to be negative, but I think they are spot on with their comments. I would rather have the honest truth then be told everything is great here only to be disappointed. I enjoy it here and the advice I read on this forum definitely gave me realistic expectations which made my transtition so much smoother.


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Linda J
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July 30, 2012 8:10 pm  

Your advice is probably more valualble that most. As a real "newbie", please continue to chime in.


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noOne
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July 30, 2012 8:21 pm  

Yeah TX9920 tell us more. It is good to hear that this board prepared you well.


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OldTart
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July 30, 2012 8:22 pm  

Your advice is probably more valualble that most. As a real "newbie", please continue to chime in.

(tu)


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madcap
(@madcap)
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July 31, 2012 12:33 am  

Thank you everyone for your responses, keep em comin!
I'm interested in everyones thoughts and experiences.


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jbatl
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July 31, 2012 1:19 am  

We just moved here about 4 months ago and we had about $15,000 saved for the move. $2,000 seems almost impossible to stretch to cover housing, transportation, food, incidentals, etc. I'm sure people have made it work before, but why set yourself up for such stress/failure especially if you don't have a job lined up. I would say $5,000 - $10,000 is more realistic.

I feel like we were the most prepared one could be for the move (PMV, cash, reading this forum, already had jobs, vehicle) and it still has been a huge adjustment. Living here is not like vacationing here. I know a lot of people have said the advice/comments on this board tends to be negative, but I think they are spot on with their comments. I would rather have the honest truth then be told everything is great here only to be disappointed. I enjoy it here and the advice I read on this forum definitely gave me realistic expectations which made my transtition so much smoother.

+1. Could not have said it better myself.


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VIsnorkeler
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July 31, 2012 1:39 pm  

I would like to hope I am still considered a "newbie", too. I have been on island for a year and nine months. 🙂 I read this board faithfully before we made the move, but waited until I got here to join, commenting and asking questions.

And I can ditto nearly word for word everything TX9920 said. Thanks, TX. I had planned to leave this thread alone, but you said exactly what I was thinking.


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TX9920
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July 31, 2012 5:10 pm  

Yeah TX9920 tell us more. It is good to hear that this board prepared you well.

This board was a huge help with everything to do with island living. I wouldn't have known about really how much food costs (still can't get over that sticker shock), lines at the post office, having to go to 3 or 4 different grocery stores to get everything on your list and sometimes you can't get everything (couldn't find refried beans anywhere last week), WAPA costs and the unreliability of the service, the annoying taxis and them stopping traffic, whether or not to ship a car (we shipped ours and it was the best decision we made in my opinion) just to name a few. I really appreciate the abundance of valuable information this board has for people like me. I had no huge surprises when we moved here and I owe that all to you guys, so thanks a bunch!


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speee1dy
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August 1, 2012 11:13 am  

tx9920, glad to hear we were doing our job by letting you think everything is all rosy peachy keen. we do try to be factual even if some people who think they want to move here do not appreciate it.


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madcap
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August 1, 2012 7:04 pm  

Working in the food service indusrtry may be something I was looking for. In order to do that I need a food handlers card? Even for a non management position?
I've managed in food service for a while now and have a servsafe (food handlers card) already, would this be good enough?
If not, is it easy to get a food handlers card? Is it cheap?


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Exit Zero
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August 1, 2012 7:23 pm  

madcap- you will need a Food Handlers card from the VI Health Dept.for any restaurant job - no reciprocity for your current stateside card - they are issued at the hospital on each island - cost is $35 -45 depending on your choice of lab report. Time in line anywhere from 30 min. - 2 hrs depending on luck.


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OldTart
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August 1, 2012 7:43 pm  

The easiest way to do it is get the paperwork from the clinic at the hospital and take your stool sample to the lab behind the hospital. They process it by the next day, you pay them and pick up the paperwork and go back to the clinic to get the health card. Call the hospital clinic first to make sure what days they issue the cards. If you search this forum you'll find a long thread from not too long ago which includes some amusing posts about collecting your stool sample, how much to collect, etc. Lovely subject. 😀


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madcap
(@madcap)
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August 1, 2012 9:51 pm  

Thanks guys, sounds lovely, I'll try to remember to stay away from the jerk sauce prior to my sample.
Is that basically all you have to do is give them your sample? Pay, then you get the card?


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OldTart
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August 1, 2012 10:01 pm  

The search feature is your friend:

https://www.vimovingcenter.com/talk/read.php?4,166878,166921


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madcap
(@madcap)
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August 1, 2012 10:04 pm  

I entered food health card in 'search' and came up with no results.
Thanks for the link.


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OldTart
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August 1, 2012 10:06 pm  

"Health card" alone will bring up a ton of results.


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