general living stuff
I am considering a job near Bolongo Beach Resort at Bolongo Bay. Does anyone know whether I could manage without a car as far as grocery shopping, banking and other daily necessities are concerned if i find an aprtment within walking distance? do you think i need to buy a car immediately after i arrive?
You will need a car or some sort of transportation to do what you need from bolongo.You will find that friends can help you it is a common problem and everyone is aware of it.Co workers will be helpful also.Good luck
Thank you Richard,
If I rent my place in town (Charlotte Amalie) instead of Bolongo,
1. Can I take a bus to Bolongo Bay Beach Resort Hotel area early in the morning like 6 or 7 o'clock?
2. Can I manage daily life ( grocery shopping, banking, post office etc) without a car in Charlotte Amalie?
Impossible to live in STT without a car ????
You can't take a bus from Charlotte Amalie to Bolongo. You could walk to Pueblo grocery store but it's a hike. I'd get a car.
Living in the port would be much easier for you to get around.I think you will find that you will eventually need transportation.It would be to your advantage to buy a car in the usa and have it shipped down,you would save a lot of money.Many cars on the island are what they call island beaters.Unless of course you buy new and in that case you probably will still save money if you buy in the states.Shipping from Jacksonville fl.would cost you about $1000.00 to get the car to St.Thomas.
Bolongo is not on the bus or safari route.
I am thinking about relocating from Texas. I don't understand something. If the cost of living is so high and the income is so low - how do you guys do it???? I was on a website that says the cost of living is 33% higher. When looking at jobs for secretaries, legal secretary, admin. or something the salary is less than $40k/yr. How do you do it?
Good question. I have been wondering the same thing myself.
Now you know why some transplants only stay for a cup of coffee. It takes them about that long to figure the math, but they don't do it until they get on island. Seriously, it is a big challege making ends meet if you don't have other income... i.e., retirement or investment income. You have to conserve, do without, lower your standard of living, or just live on rum because it is real cheap. Just kidding... you may not have to lower your standard of living. You may want to ask Richard Harris how much it costs to get the car you just imported for $1,000 street legal so you can drive it. Surprise! It's probably more that the shipping. That's the other aspect... unexpected or hidden costs of moving to paradise. Search this board thoroughly and all your questions will be answered.
As quoted in a recent article from st. Croix Source:
"The U.S. Virgin Islands' child poverty rate is higher than any state in the nation, with more than one-third (35 percent) of the territory's children living below the federal poverty line".
Apparently, as these numbers suggest, some some locals are having a hard time making ends meet. The above numbers reveals the status of children living below the poverty line but there are also working class and middle class parents who are struggling to provide for their family with the high cost of living.
The cost of living in the VI has steadily increased over the past few years. I believe that the influx of mainlanders or gentrification has certainly contributed to the price hike in real estate and rental units. Eventually, for good or bad the recent developments or changes will have an impact on the local populations way of life. Only time will tell.
I have been researching st. thomas and am very serious about moving there. However, I am a little apprehensive. I have heard random rumors that it is not very safe. Some people have said that it is not safe to walk after dark, and that they did not feel welcome because they are new to the island.On the contrary, I ahve heard that it is very safe and that the islanders were very friendly and welcoming. Does anyone have any input? Any hepl would be greatly appreciated.
All that's needed is common sense. You don't walk in many areas of the towns you live in after dark, do you? So why would you think you could stroll everywhere here at any time of night? Many leave common sense at home & when they get here, they party hard. Booze & cigarettes are cheap. Not much else is.
Different lifestyle. Nobody is very impressed by big fancy cars. The one driving the most rusted out 10 year old car might be a multi-millionaire while the one with a pricey new one might be living in one room. Lots of people have roommates because of the high rents.
Without skills you're going to have a hard time making it. If you have a good attitude & a very good work ethic you can make it.
Depending on where you are from, the cost of ulities may be cheaper. Yes the cost of electricty is MUCH higher per KW, but in our case, we have a ocean breeze 90% of the time, and never use our A/C. Here in AZ, our monthly power bill is over $600, compared to $125 on STX. Our neighbors in STX always run their A?C and their power bills are around $800 per month. They say that the salt air is hard on their TV, and without it you would need to buy a new one every year. I can buy a lot of tv's for $800 per month. Plus we LOVE the sea breeze, and the sound of the ocean, especially at night. Some people don't have a breeze, and run their air, but then again some people in the colder climates are paying awful heating bills.
Gasoilne is usually cheaper. Sometimes only a few cents, sometimes $.75 per gallon. It seems strange, but people on the mainland don't think anything of driving long distances to work or to eat out, but when they move down here, won't think of driving to the other end of the island for something. Maybe it's a % thing/:) It's only 27 miles long!:)
Food is higher, and there is not as many selections. It seems you don't need as many or as expensive clothes. Insurance is much higher on homes, in fact I know several people who self insure on the damage part,( they only carry liaibility). entertainment cost are cheaper, but then there is not the choices either :). It seems that people do more socializing then on the mainland.
I guess it all comes down to what you are willing to spend or do without to enjoy where you live, ( or want to someday live). I just read a article in the paper this morning about a closet sized room (77sq ft) in London's exclusive Knightsbridge area that was a former storage room. It will have a coffin sized shower, two hot plates and a small sink, with shelves cut into the wall. This place is selling for $335,000. It will cost another $59,000 to get the plumbing and electric installed.:) CRAZY HUN?
Just a quick comment on safety on STT:
I do go out on Friday/Saturday nights and walk between the Green House and Walter's/Changes but I always go out with a group of local girlfriends who seem to know everyone. My advice is to move here, make some local friends and enjoy the STT nightlife.
STT is as safe as any other place in America...I mean, in Everytown, USA there are places to avoid, such as dark alleyways, low income housing developements, etc. But, on STT, use your head and you will be just fine. I lived there for 9 years and NEVER had a problem. Of course, that may be because I wasn't out stolling down dark alleys looking for drugs. If you are walking somewhere and you start to get uncomfortable...DON'T keep walking there! If the area looks 'shady' (and I ain't talkin' about from the sunshine here!), just avoid it. Many people go on vacation to 'paradise' and forget that it is a place where people live and work, so they tend to 'not use their heads'. And, being a place where people grow up, live, work and one where people visit and don't use their heads...there will always be some that prey on those that don't....and there will always be those areas that one should 'avoid'. Just use your head, don't sit, stand on or touch the coral, wear your sunblock and enjoy vacation (or new home, as it were).
I totally agree with marty about using your head and your common sense. However the people I know that have been robbed on stx were not doing anything i would consider foolish. They were all out late, but other then that, they were not alone or drunk.
gemail - Some things are more expensive and some things are cheaper. You find that you need a lot less "stuff" on the island and the quality of life is valued more by living here and the activities you include in your life, most of which are free, rather than how many belongings you acquire. So, while the things you buy may be more expensive than if you purchased them on the mainland, you may not spend as much over all if you purchase less in total quantity and if what you buy is not always a name brand item, etc. You can spend a lot less on your car and your wardrobe here and nobody judges you for that. You don't need a huge mansion to live comfortably and happily. You never need to heat your home in the "winter" and you can skip A/C and enjoy the breeze or use a fan when the temp picks up in August. It is definitely possible to spend a fortune here to live, but it is also possible to live frugally and still live an OK lifestyle. Many people opt to "lower their standard of living" compared to the mainland ethos of "he who collects the most toys wins", but that doesn't mean they all suffer horribly by doing without some non-essentials. There are unfortunately many locals who do truly live in poverty. If you come here and don't have children to put in private schools, you can get by with a lower total income than many people feel they must have on the mainland. Some people adjust to the new lifestyle here and others never will.
Just being nosy - what would you say yr family income is compared to yr average every day joe and joanne transplant. Also, compared to yr average blue collar employed local family?
Is it really worth it to ship a car?
IT depends on the car and how much you have to spend. I know one couple that paid $5K for a jeep wagon. It has been in the shop constantly and another $5K. If you have a good car that is in good running condition it might be worth the $2K to $3K to ship it down. If you can spend more for a car $8K to $10K9IMHO) then you might get a good one there.
Whatever you do, stay away from Nationwide Transport in the states. If your carrier wants to use them say NO!!! The STX carrier used them to transport my car from AZ to Fl. They put it on the ship. They charged me an extra $500 more than the STX carrier was going to. They must not have paid the ship, because the STX carrier had to pay to get the car from the ship. Still trying to get credit one this. STAY AWAY FRAOM Nationwide!!!!