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Hawaii vs USVI

Posts: 5
Active Member
Topic starter

Hi there,

This is a great site, I just wanted to ask a question: prior to deciding to move to USVI, my spouse and I wanted to move to Hawaii, but his job would not let him move any further west (we live near SF in CA). Of course we were very disappointed and realized we could still live on an island but it would have to be more to the east.

Would anyone comment on comparing the USVI to Hawaii? Culture, crime, prices, type of environment, housing ect?

Thanks so much!

Posted : March 12, 2009 1:27 am
Posts: 2045
Noble Member,15389,85862#msg-85862

Always try doing a search if you want instant info, almost everything has been hashed over. 🙂 Just click search, keyword (in this case Hawaii), all forums and all dates and then hit search.

The main thing is Hawaii is going to be alot more like living in the states and crowded to boot. Probably not as bad as SF and it would be a similar culture to where you're living now. You have all the shops and stores you have now. You'll have traffic. You won't have the slow pace of living you would get in the Caribbean but you wont have to go to 3 stores for one grocery list either. You would still have the high cost of real estate like SF, but food and items like that would be more because they have to ship them in as well. If you're surfers Hawaii's also a much better choice, but if you like to dive and snorkel and like you water like a bath tub the Caribbean is more you speed.

I know very little about Hawaii's schools or crime. Our public schools are horrible, you'd have to do private. Crime is not good here, to live here you need to be able to take care of yourself. But at the same time a good chunk of it can be avoidable. Stay out of the drug seen and avoid high risk areas, especially after dark. Get dogs for security and don't let people know what you have or where you live. Think of it kinda like living way way out in the country. You CANNOT every relay on the police to be there when you need them, 911 is a joke here. 4 hours to a day later maybe. You need to be self sufficient.

Both are good places just very different. Mainly one is still like living in the US. IF you can afford to live on either one you're doing good.

Posted : March 12, 2009 10:41 am
Posts: 2104
Noble Member

Having lived on the North Shore of Oahu for 4 years I choose the VI. Hawaii is incredible and the islands are much larger, there is a lot more fresh water and rain, there is Honolulu where you can get anything you want, there is all the stateside convince and the government is well run and the environment is well cared for. But the cost of living and real estate is high. The ocean is about 10 degrees colder and the Pacific is very power full with waves and currents. My last winter there it rained tropical hard for 40 days with landslides and flooding. But then there are the public beach parks with restrooms and parking, pleasant and somewhat friendly locals, killer waterfalls and mountains. My commute was 35 miles each way into Honolulu. It took about 1.5 hours. I loved it and may return someday as I have family there. I'm planning a trip back this spring and I cringe when I read the flight times from 13 to 23 hours, ey yi yi!
There is a thread on the Vacation Board that discusses HI vs VI.

Posted : March 12, 2009 11:06 am
Posts: 615
Honorable Member

Real estate here ISN'T cheap but it isn't as bad as San Francisco.

... You would still have the high cost of real estate like SF, but food and items like that would be more because they have to ship them in as well...

Posted : March 12, 2009 4:26 pm
Posts: 2045
Noble Member

I was referring to real estate in Hawaii, which is not much different from SF.

Posted : March 12, 2009 5:45 pm
Posts: 44
Eminent Member

I have never lived in Hawaii, only visited. As much as I love STX, Hawaii is hands down. Crime, Culture and Acceptance is not even comparable to that of USVI.

Groceries are expensive. Rents can be pretty reasonable.

Unfortunately, I lost my heart to STX not Hawaii!!! Spouse and I are working on 5 year plan to return to STX.

Posted : March 12, 2009 8:48 pm
Posts: 5404
Illustrious Member

Rosalie: A lot of us who ended up here from the states also went through a similar thought process. If you are an American and you want to live in the tropics and you want to stay in America, you have basically those two choices, although there are people who go to Guam! It came down to the USVI being closer to the mainland, smaller in scale and offering the types of activities I wanted. I did visit Hawaii and loved the vacation, but felt so lonely standing on a beach and realizing there is nothing for bazillions of miles between you and California. Also, they got big ole sharks in Hawaii and I wasn't crazy about poi or Spam...:P

Posted : March 12, 2009 9:13 pm
Posts: 2045
Noble Member

I imagine though, that airline tickets back to from hawaii to sf would be MUCH cheaper then airlines tickets from usvi to sf. You will miss family and friends and want to visit them. Tickets from the usvi to mainland are not cheap. American has a monopoly on the Caribbean so check into that too. Not to mention how long the flight will be from usvi to sf. We go to Vegas every couple of years and its about 11hr for the shortest flight paths.

Posted : March 12, 2009 9:21 pm
Posts: 1842
Noble Member

Two words you should look up before you go to Hawaii. (Howlie or Haole). I've been there and prefer USVI.

Posted : March 12, 2009 9:57 pm
Posts: 5404
Illustrious Member

Lizard: I'm glad YOU came up with the spelling!

Posted : March 12, 2009 10:07 pm
Posts: 238
Estimable Member

i never lived in hawaii but i have been there a couple of times as recent as last year . Life is very much similar to any state of the union. Good roads, good public utilities , great people, great grocery stores, great retail shopping, great restaurants specially asian food there are about 200,000 asian or japanese decend people living in oahu. There is a great downtown area like any other city in the US. Hawaii is a state with probably one of the highest standard of living in the US and it shows on cost of living, Real state, grocery, gas,power are about 25-30% higher than mainland US. Property rental specially in honolulu, waikiki, diamond head,or north shore are very high. I was looking of relocating in hawaii and one of the reasons i did not do it that it is too far away from my family i will probably need to spend 12-14 hrs flying to see them also hawaii is very strict when bringing pets to the island even if they come from the US it could take almost 2-3 months to get your pet out of government quarantine facility and i could not do that to my dogs is like putting them in jail for 3 months because i want to live in hawaii. I hear now there is a fastest process but they still have to be quarantine for 7 days but there is no guarantees. The reason why they are so strict with pets is because allot of the pets in the islands are not vaccinated and the island are a rabies free zone. Also sales taxes are about to 10% property taxes are not that bad but the property has to be an old property or remodel property taxes are cheaper than some mainland areas in the US, but if your house is a new construction you will pay a high rate. Because properties are very expensive in general compare to the US government still collect allot of taxes. Hawaii as a very high gas tax as well as most cars sold in hawaii are california emission so they are more expensive. In regards to shopping if you live in hawaii they simply have everything a little more than Puerto rico Target, lowes, kohls, that puerto rico currently don't have yet. And great roads you could go from point a to b fairly quick but there is allot of traffic around honolulu and waikiki just like any other american city.

Posted : March 12, 2009 10:20 pm
Posts: 2104
Noble Member

Hawaii has a huge homeless problem. When you go over the to the west side of Oahu, Waianae, past all the pineapple plantations. There, every beach park is full of people living in their cars or in tents, whole families. Some are ice heads but most have been the victims of the escalating property values and higher rents. There is talk of building more housing but it's happening to slowly.

The VI does a much better, although far from perfect job of providing low income housing.

Posted : March 13, 2009 11:35 am
Posts: 309
Reputable Member

I agree with Lizard.....STX for me. I went to Hawaii every year for 18 years on vacation and loved Kaui overall. WE are not welcomed in my opinion. Signs that I saw many times on my last trip................."Katrina needs you, now go, we don't want you".

Posted : March 13, 2009 11:47 am
Posts: 2552
Famed Member

Hawaii didn't feel as welcoming as STX. I have a couple of friends who were born in Hawaii and left because of the feeling of reverse discrimination.
Met a couple at Full Moon beach bar last year who were visiting from Hawaii. They said that STX reminded them of Hawaii in the 60's.

Posted : March 29, 2009 2:20 am
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