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Dgas
 Dgas
(@Dgas)
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April 26, 2016 1:14 am  

Hi, I've been monitoring this board for 6+ months & appreciate the discussion on various topics. My wife & I will make our first visit to STX this Saturday (yay!). We are looking around for potential retirement locations over the next few years and have been considering USVI for the last year or so. This will be a 2 week stay, not long enough to make a decision but enough to have a look around. We are both scuba divers so we'll plan on blowing bubbles at some point. Other than that, any suggestions for areas to see, things to do? We would like to talk to a realtor to get a feel for prices, locations, etc. Any suggestions on realtors would be greatly appreciated (positive or negative). Private message on that topic I presume. Looking forward to Saturday!


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Scubadoo
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April 26, 2016 2:58 am  

Well if you've been reading around here you've probably come across Kim Lucas' name and her crew at Island Life Real Estate and there is also Chris and Kerri Hanley who like to show houses on camera. I recommend doing additional homework this week to get an idea of what kind of real estate you might be looking for and general locations, budget etc. Most of the realtor web sites have the MLS on them, you don't have to wait for a realtor to get started. You can do a lot of browsing with pictures, location map, etc. North shore diving on the wall is great, Salt River and Cane Bay. A dive at the pier is great too as long as there's no ship in port. There's plenty to do on STX for two weeks. Of course the general advise you've probably seen is to make a few PMVs and then plan on renting for a while before buying if you're planning full time residency. You've likely ready the topics on health care and health insurance (or lack of it) and have a plan for that during retirement if planning for full time residency as well.


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AandA2VI
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April 26, 2016 5:29 am  

Why waste your short time here with a realtor? You haven't even decided on the VI, and you're years out - or did I misunderstand? To be honest - that's kinda a waste of a realtors time. No offense!

When you have one way tickets booked, then pop on MLS and start looking and setting up showings. That's besides the point, if you've read and learned one thing, it's to NOT BUY anything for at least a couple years after moving here. Not to mention, so much will change in the years you are planning for anyways.

Just come - relax - drive around - get lost - scuba A LOT and eat & drink. That's pretty much daily life here anyways... Except for the getting lost thing which is short lived. Lol.


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rosesisland
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April 26, 2016 9:23 am  

Since you've been reading this forum for quite awhile now, I'm sure you've seen many give the advice! DO NOT BUY FOR AT LEAST A YEAR! After twenty something years of living here off and on, I can tell you I've seen more than a dozen that have made that regrettable decision.
More people come here and leave within the first two years than not. People who have bought homes are stuck until it sells. Many, many reasons why it doesn't work out for them. Living here isn't necessarily the dream as being on a dream vacation here. One eighty degree difference. Be sure and have your eyes wide open!
I, too, am retired and not dependent on the island for my living. We moved back here 3.5 years ago and still haven't decided exactly where on the island we want to live. Husband moved here first in '90, I met him in '95. I've sold two houses in the states and even though I am totally familiar with the island, I'm enjoying leasing and discovering the variances of different areas of the island. Still not ready to buy yet my plans are to never move from STX unless I must due to failing health. Hopefully not until years from now.
Good luck on your decision.


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speee1dy
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April 26, 2016 10:56 am  

so, if you want to do a fun tourist thing-tan tan tours is the way to go.
beer drinking pig
2 casinos-neither like stateside but something to do
both forts are pretty cool
frederiksted is such a pretty town, christiansted has more shopping.

estate whim and laewetz museum-both pretty nifty
boat tour to buck island

if you want to do things like locals-go to the grocery stores post office etc....normal everyday things like you would back home. checkout sunshine mall ( not like stateside , dont get too excited ) and sunny isle

we also have a movie theater and community theater


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caribstx
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April 26, 2016 11:10 am  

Traffic will be a huge hassle on Sunday. Don't plan on going very far until well into the afternoon.


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speee1dy
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April 26, 2016 11:58 am  

oh thats right, the triathlon


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terry
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April 26, 2016 12:20 pm  

be sure to dine at
Mt. Pellier Domino Club, ( Norma's in the rain forest
Off the Wall at cane bay
Bombay Club in C-sted
Beachside Cafe in F-sted
Pier 69 in F-sted
You are here in C-sted
Deep End
No Bones in Gallows Bay
Blue Water Terrace
LaRein Chicken Shack
TLC

Go to the rum factories
do a tour with Sweeny's Tours


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Alana33
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April 26, 2016 1:24 pm  

Just be aware that there is no individual health insurance available in the VI and that many people go to the states for surgery and other procedures before you make the decision to relocate in retirement.


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speee1dy
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April 26, 2016 1:50 pm  

OFF THE WALL AND YOU ARE here are not that special.


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watruw8ing4
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April 26, 2016 2:22 pm  

OFF THE WALL AND YOU ARE here are not that special.

I second that. And would add that there are better places to eat than Domino Club (Sorry, Norma). My last burger there was swimming in grease. But you really should go anyway for the ambiance, pigs, and Mamma Wanna. Johnny cakes are decent, if you're really hungry.


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stxsailor
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April 26, 2016 2:22 pm  

I will echo the don't buy right away plan. When i moved here we were on the 5 year plan. We have been renting for 5 years and thought we knew where we wanted to live-Cotton Valley, well our lives have been moving on and we decided mid island. so after 5 years in Cotton Valley we fell in love with a house more mid isle. So take your time, rent a few spots on the island, they are all vastly different. Come down with an open mind. Remember the 3 phase of moving to an island.
1. Excitement- woo hoo I live in the Caribbean
2. Regret- What did i get my self into
3. Happiness- through all the ordeals and headaches, I still live in the Caribbean, and wouldn't change a thing.


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AandA2VI
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April 26, 2016 3:10 pm  

Pier 69 is closed. Permanently.

You want good food-

Zion
Balter
Galangal
Lost dog
Sandwiches at turtles
Food at domino??? No. The banana daiquiris YES!! They are so freaking good.

In that order lol.

We hiked to annaly tide pools yesterday for my finances birthday. It was beautiful but a pretty serious hike for me. And low tide was at 2 so it was H.O.T. I'm pretty out of shape with no water job for a year. Tan tan does it by jeep - do that, as long as you can scramble over medium sized boulders, if not, skip it. Pretty!

Capt Morgan rum tour is terrible - Cruzan all the way.

Point Udall

You're divers so do the pier! Night and day dives. Message me and I will go with and find u some seahorses. Adventures in diving is my go to shop in Frederiksted. They're so nice! Tell them squid sent u.

Cane bay dive on northshore - the water was sooooo flat yesterday, I bet the vis is killer! I've seen 100ft days there.

I still haven't dove east. I want to.

I can't go to buck - it's so dead out there I get so depressed. Last time I was almost in tears and got back on the boat first. All that elkhorn, hundreds, maybe more of years worth. All dead. It was nice to see actual parrotfish, they don't seem to exist out west - overfishing is my guess.


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stxem
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April 26, 2016 5:12 pm  

Come on Lyric Sails out in Frederiksted! Sunset sails with live music! And go for a horseback ride on the beach with Cruzan Cowgirls 🙂


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JohnnyU
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April 26, 2016 6:07 pm  

Why waste your short time here with a realtor? You haven't even decided on the VI, and you're years out - or did I misunderstand? To be honest - that's kinda a waste of a realtors time. No offense!

If a realtor isn't willing to invest a couple of hours cultivating a potential client, they're either too busy or lazy. Either way, I'd move on


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Dasher
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April 26, 2016 6:41 pm  

Dgas -

Congratulations on your decision! St. Croix and the USVI are beautiful. I can whole-heartedly recommend Chris Hanley as a Realtor. He and his staff are very professional and have a complete understanding of all the neighborhoods and areas of the island. He gave my wife and I a grand tour of the island, visiting nearly every corner! Everywhere we went everyone knew him.

My wife and I visited St. Croix this March and are planning a return later this year. We stayed at Tamarind Reef. Some of the things we tried to do to get a grasp on life in the Caribbean (as much as can be grasped in our short trip!) were to go to grocery stores and the such. Look at prices and what is available. Go up and down every aisle of KMart and the other stores to get an idea of what is sold and not sold.

Learn about the geography of St. Croix - the east end of the island is drier and browner. The west end more green and lush. There are some hilly areas and some flat areas. The north side is indeed nice. Frederiksted is very nice to tour, it's on the west end of the island. To the east Point Udall is a nice day drive - there's also a nice beach/park at Cramer Park on the way to Point Udall. Be sure to stay on the left side of the road! It's pretty easy to do except, for me, the intersections where I didn't quite know who had the right of way! Ha!

I would most certainly go out to Off the Wall for the bingo night (Tuesday). It's a nice bar RIGHT ON the water - very lovely backdrop to a fun evening. The bingo caller is a member of this Forum - go up and introduce yourself - she's a hoot! (Hi Jane!!!)

La Reine Chicken Shack is a fun place too - with an awesome menu that deserves multiple visits.

There are many other places to eat as well and I encourage you to get out and try as many of them as you can.

There you have it - get out and do your best to "go native" as often as you can. That'll help with your decision too.

Now I'm jealous...have a wonderful time!!

Dan
Atlanta, GA

ps - I forgot to add, in addition to this Forum, I highly recommend the book "Life in the Left Lane" by Emy Thomas. Extremely informative book about St. Croix.

D.


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Dgas
 Dgas
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April 27, 2016 1:46 am  

Thank you all for the helpful suggestions & info, I am most grateful. We are looking forward to our first visit to STX over the next several weeks.


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janeinstx
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April 27, 2016 2:24 am  

(tu):D


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Scubadoo
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April 27, 2016 3:00 am  

Pier 69 is closed. Permanently.

.

What happened to Pier 69? I loved that place after diving or in the evening. Great sandwiches.


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AandA2VI
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April 27, 2016 3:25 am  

Why waste your short time here with a realtor? You haven't even decided on the VI, and you're years out - or did I misunderstand? To be honest - that's kinda a waste of a realtors time. No offense!

If a realtor isn't willing to invest a couple of hours cultivating a potential client, they're either too busy or lazy. Either way, I'd move on

A couple hours?? I have several realtor friends and it is an half or all day event especially the client wants to see east and west - which can thy usually do. He also said that that are years from making the move and only visiting to check it out. It doesn't sound like they've even decided on STX or the VI. If a realtor spent time with every "maybe" they'd bever be able to pay their own bills. Not being rude - just honest. Totally a different story of the person is pre approved, and has one way tickets.


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daveb722
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April 27, 2016 9:00 am  

JohnnyU, I agree. This is a client relationship building business. We spent a day with a realtor to see what was available and if there would be locations that we could see us living in someday. You can't make a decision to move solely on going to sites, restaurants, bars and various shopping centers. Every place has those and they are for the most part all the same. It's where you plan to live each and everyday of your life that will make that final decision to move. Yes it unfortunate that some will come down and never buy from a realtor, but if he does sell today or 2 years from today, he just earned a good paycheck for a day's work. Also referrals are huge, so if the realtor took care of me today and I was pleased with their efforts, I would push business there way on a forum such as this or with people I know. This is part of being a realtor, you win some, you lose some, it's the same there as it is here in the states. BTW, we ended up buying a vacation home in STX, so our realtor won that day, without knowing if we were truly going to buy or just someone who they shouldn't waste their time with.


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OldTart
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April 27, 2016 9:07 am  

There are plenty of realtors who are more than happy to show a prospective transplant around and form the basis of what might be a future mutually beneficial relationship. A realtor is perfectly capable of making his or her own decision on that score so I'm not sure why this emphasis on "Save The Realtor" and criticizing the poster.


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JohnnyU
(@JohnnyU)
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April 27, 2016 9:36 am  

Why waste your short time here with a realtor? You haven't even decided on the VI, and you're years out - or did I misunderstand? To be honest - that's kinda a waste of a realtors time. No offense!

If a realtor isn't willing to invest a couple of hours cultivating a potential client, they're either too busy or lazy. Either way, I'd move on

A couple hours?? I have several realtor friends and it is an half or all day event especially the client wants to see east and west - which can thy usually do. He also said that that are years from making the move and only visiting to check it out. It doesn't sound like they've even decided on STX or the VI. If a realtor spent time with every "maybe" they'd bever be able to pay their own bills. Not being rude - just honest. Totally a different story of the person is pre approved, and has one way tickets.

Would you mind sharing the realtors that share your opinion? I rather not waste either their or my time


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Dgas
 Dgas
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April 27, 2016 1:22 pm  

I can see both both sides of the realtor discussion. The "don't waste my time" realtor point of view that A&A2VI subscribes as well as the potential future payoff perspective that daveb22 & OldTart point out. I suspect in reality there are realtors that lean one way or the other in varying degrees, depending on current workload. My thoughts are similar to daveb22 in that I would want to experience properties realtime (not virtual) to determine if we could see ourselves living in that environment. We have looked at MLS online & viewed properties over several months. This is a good way to gain knowledge, narrow down choices, etc., however viewing a property real time with a knowledgeable & helpful realtor is far more useful than viewing listings on line. I would love to work with a person who could help us, fully aware that a purchase may be a couple of years out (but hey, you never know). We have lived many years in the far north (brutal winters), a decade+ in the mid-south (too hot in summer, too cold in winter). We have visited many Caribbean islands over the last 20 years so have some knowledge; however we are fully aware that a visit is quite different from living there. We like USVI as it is a US territory and would prefer not to be expats. We have medical insurance options (not ACA but as a retirement benefit from my former employer); at some point medicare will be available. I hope JFL will be medicare certified at that time. Neither us us plan to work unless we can gig or if there is a market for electronic instrument repair.
Anyway, we would plan to rent for a time however a 5 year buy plan is probably too long. As we approach these retirement years we need to make the most of it while we can.


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Dasher
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April 27, 2016 3:55 pm  

in that I would want to experience properties realtime (not virtual) to determine if we could see ourselves living in that environment. We have looked at MLS online & viewed properties over several months. This is a good way to gain knowledge, narrow down choices, etc., however viewing a property real time with a knowledgeable & helpful realtor is far more useful than viewing listings on line. I would love to work with a person who could help us, fully aware that a purchase may be a couple of years out (but hey, you never know).

So true! Chris Hanley looked over our Zillow listings that we thought were good and he told me "no, Dan, that's not a good neighborhood" in one way or another and he was right. It was so great to get him to show us around the entire island!

We like USVI as it is a US territory and would prefer not to be expats. Anyway, we would plan to rent for a time however a 5 year buy plan is probably too long. As we approach these retirement years we need to make the most of it while we can.

Amen, my brother, amen!!

Have a wonderful trip!!

Dan


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