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I want to live here, but the topics are so negitive..... what is good about the islands  

 

JohnH
(@JohnH)
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January 13, 2011 4:04 am  

Although the topics seem to be about the bad, I am still interested in living on STT. What are the good things, the good times, the good aspects of living on STT. I have read that so many people leave, not finding what they are looking for... or not running away from thier problems. What about the many how stay... I noticed that there are not that many homes or condos for sale... compared to Houston, TX. So there must be some good in it all. What is so good? Please help validate my suspisions. After all... I want to live here.


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stjohnjulie
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January 13, 2011 7:36 am  

I think that the answer to your question is a personal one. Everyone is different, and even though people tend to be drawn here for similar reasons, their experiences are very different. Personally... I love it here because life is much slower. Some people HATE that though! If you can learn to accept and embrace 'island time' fully, I think you will be a lot more content to live here. Nothing is going to happen in a hurry here and that has good sides and bad sides. My life is so much simpler than many of my statesider friends and family and I really like that. I don't have much, but I don't need much. You will also find that life on the three islands is pretty different. Being on the smallest of the three, my life is much different than someone in STX. So some of the things I love the most are very specific to this island.

I also think that you will see a lot of 'negative' stuff on the forum because people who have been here awhile see lots of people come and go because they were very unrealistic about what life is like here. I cannot even tell you the number of people I have met throughout the years who came here and 'crashed and burned'. Most of these people would fit into the 'running away' category, and many of them had struggles with addiction, and that is not a good mix for the islands!

If you think you want to live here, then move, but make sure you have enough money to carry you over for awhile and have a back up plan in case things don't work out. You wont know if this is the place for you until you see for yourself. For me, I am home, and I never want to be any place else.


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glynnswife
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January 13, 2011 11:36 am  

You don't see many homes for sale because the population is a lot smaller than Houston. Compared to a few years ago there are a LOT of homes on the market.


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billd
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January 13, 2011 12:19 pm  

STT has a population of 50K. Houston is MUCH MUCH BIGGER! I would have thought that you would have guessed that.

What is good about the islands is the quality of life. There are many, many problems down here. Crime is a major one that you need to accept. But you can protect yourself to a large degree.

Housing comes in several modes. There are beach front condos, beach front houses, beach view condos and houses. They come in different prices. The closer you are to the beach the more they cost,. But there are some mansions that are up on the hill. There are places you can buy, or rent, very cheap. But they may not be in a place that you want to live.

But back to the quality of life. I find that many people come here to escape some problems that they had in the main land. But the problems generally follow them. Young kids come down to live in paradise and find that they need to work two jobs to survive or need to live in 6 to a house. But again it is the quality of life that brings them here.

My suggestion is to come down and live here for a while. See what you like. What you don't like. Don't bring anything from the main land. Rent a place. Look into getting a job.

See for your self.

billd


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speee1dy
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January 13, 2011 6:11 pm  

food for thought, we do have desert dust, Montserrat dust and the Hovensa refinery. these could and have been problems for those with asthma problems and allergy problems. it does not really seem to be too seasonal as far as i can tell. some days are clearer than others.
the beaches and the water are the best parts of this island. the weather is usually warm-sometimes very hot.


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bathiel
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January 14, 2011 12:22 am  

My wife and I had been vacationing on STX for about six years and I always fantasized about living here. I knew about a lot of the "issues" that people confront (and that some complain about), but until you're here to live and not on vacation, it's hard to know how they will affect you. It's easy to think island time is charming when you're on vacation and have nowhere to be, but it's not so charming anymore when you have to wait in line at the bank for an hour just to deposit a check--and are late for other appointments because of it.

For me, a few years ago we started spending four months in the winter here and, frankly, it's turned out to be a perfect mix. We spend the four worst months (weather-wise) in a beautiful place and the rest on the mainland. It's the best of both worlds. We're fortunate that we have "portable" businesses so we don't need to rely on the job market here. And it there's one thing that spending winters here taught me is that four or five months at a time is really about right for me. I think if I live here year-round some of the formerly "charming" things would get to be real irritants to me, and that it's highly likely I'd be bored out of my skull after a few years. But that's just me--I know lots of people are very happy living here full time.

If you do have a chance to spend an extended time here (say, six months) before committing to move here, it might help you figure out how you'd adapt.

Bernie


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Ronnie
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January 14, 2011 2:46 am  

I know people that have lived here longer than where they were born. I have known people that did not last a week. What's for you id for you to decide. Come on a pre move visit and experience some of it first hand. It's worth a shot!


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Neil
 Neil
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January 14, 2011 11:26 am  

I think we sometimes focus on the negatives because the positives are so obvious.

It's a gorgeous morning, ...and that's not much fun to debate. 😎


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roadrunner
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January 14, 2011 12:42 pm  

I think we sometimes focus on the negatives because the positives are so obvious.

It's a gorgeous morning, ...and that's not much fun to debate. 😎

So true!!


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Iris Tramm
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January 15, 2011 6:01 pm  

For me, a few years ago we started spending four months in the winter here and, frankly, it's turned out to be a perfect mix. We spend the four worst months (weather-wise) in a beautiful place and the rest on the mainland. It's the best of both worlds. We're fortunate that we have "portable" businesses so we don't need to rely on the job market here. And it there's one thing that spending winters here taught me is that four or five months at a time is really about right for me. I think if I live here year-round some of the formerly "charming" things would get to be real irritants to me, and that it's highly likely I'd be bored out of my skull after a few years. But that's just me--I know lots of people are very happy living here full time.

If you do have a chance to spend an extended time here (say, six months) before committing to move here, it might help you figure out how you'd adapt.

Bernie

True, dat.

I do the same thing. Roughly six months on STX and six months off. I lived here for several years full time before I stumbled upon the snowbird thing and, you are correct, all the irritating stuff (mostly people and things being on "island time", high cost of living, bad roads, crime, etc.) remains relatively tolerable when I know that I've got six months in civilization coming up.

There are a lot of great things about the VI, but living here is not like vacationing here and, unfortunately, often people don't realize that until after they've spent the time and money and effort to relocate.

ETA: As compared to Houston, based on my experience living in Houston for a few months last summer, what's better on STX is: (a) the weather isn't as humid; (b) there aren't as many freeways; (c) everything isn't 30 miles away; (d) the views are spectacular; (e) the Caribbean Sea is prettier than the Gulf; and (f) no one cares about the Cowboys.

IT


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stcmike
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January 15, 2011 9:24 pm  

you should rent before buying. St. John is beautiful but expensive. I think St. Croix is best overall but thats my personal opinion. One thing to keep in mind food prices are outrageious here and the education and health systems aren't the best but the weather and the sunsets are magnificent.


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Linda J
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January 16, 2011 9:28 am  

It's also easier if you aren't totally tied to the local economy. Having retirement income makes it a lot more fun to have fun in the sun. Working 2 or more jobs just to get by is hard no matter where you are.


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stephyjh
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January 17, 2011 2:17 am  

Also, it helps if you can get off island for a day or two every so often. When I was living on St. Croix, every so often I'd get hit with this overwhelming feeling of being cut off from the outside world, and I'd feel a lot better after spending a day or two in PR or STT. Not feeling stuck, feeling like you're in control of your own situation, helps. This time around, I'm coming with some money saved, enough to get set up comfortably and to be able to take a break once in a while if I need it. When I heard "come with at least 5-10K in savings," I didn't take it seriously, figuring that I'm used to being broke, and it wouldn't be all that different. If you come prepared to pay extra, and with the knowledge that you'll need to figure in day/weekend trips elsewhere every couple months or so to break up the feeling of "I'm stuck in the middle of the ocean with NOTHING," which being from a major city like Charlotte, was a big change for me, you should be fine.


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East Ender
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January 25, 2011 12:17 am  

I know people that have lived here longer than where they were born.

Ronnie: I just realized that this year I will have lived on St Thomas longer than I lived in my home state.


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DUN
 DUN
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January 25, 2011 12:00 pm  

John,
it's only usually negative here on this board.
in STT, it's actually usually pleasant!:@)


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Alexandra
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January 25, 2011 4:51 pm  

Although I've only lived on STX for a little over 7 years, that's the longest I've lived in any town in my adult life. In my childhood I did live in one town a few years longer, but I'm closing in on this being the longest I've lived anywhere in my life. It feels like home.


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