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Lessons Learned on moving to STX

 
Judyshouse
(@Judyshouse)
Active Member

My husband and I are moving to STX March 1. We have a few questions regarding what to bring and what to leave behind. Looking for any lessons learned from those that have made the move before us.

1. Do you bring your non-perishable food items, such as spices, coffee, etc? And what about cleaning supplies and paper goods?

2. We have gone back and forth on the auto decision and now have decided to purchase a car when we arrive, good idea?

3. Is it reasonable to utilize your US bank account or is it advised to open an account at a local bank on island?

4. Are there items you wished you have brought? And, what things did you ship that you didn't need to?

We appreciate all input! We are very anxious to make our home on beautiful St. Croix!

Judy & Mike
Texas

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Topic starter Posted : January 4, 2017 10:10 pm
NugBlazer
(@NugBlazer)
Advanced Member

1. No.

2. Yes.

3. Either or. Local banks offer obvious conveniences, but they aren't free like in the US. They'll charge you a small amount to write checks, etc.

4. That's too long to answer.

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Posted : January 5, 2017 2:56 am
rosesisland
(@rosesisland)
Trusted Member

1. No, not really, but, you can get spices cheaper in the States.

2. If you like and trust your vehicle, bring it! We brought two! Oldest one, we sold here for more than we'd gotten in the States and still came out ahead as is was manufactured there.

3. We kept one there and opened another here. You will need one here if you rent. Most landlords want local checks. Pop Money doesn't appear to work here yet.

4. If renting, even places at $2500/month seem to come with cheap linens, towels, pillows, flatware, dishes, pots, faded artwork for decor, so we brought that stuff. If you sew, you might want a sewing machine here. Husband brought all his tools, power and otherwise ( he's a carpenter), but his table saw and compressor we left in states.

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Posted : January 5, 2017 9:43 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

1. i brought mine
2.i brought my car
3.i have both
4.no, because anything you need can be bought here or online.

i get most of my household things like paper towels etc... on walmart. i have the shipping pass which gives you free shipping on anything you buy. there is a great local bookstore if you read, they can order you what you cant find.there is an art supply store on island. nothing like michaels or hobby lobby but not bad.

also when i go back to the states i peruse the grocery stores for fun new items and spices and buy those.

good luck and relax

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Posted : January 5, 2017 10:51 am
Ca. Dreamers
(@ca-dreamers)
Advanced Member

My husband and I are moving to STX March 1. We have a few questions regarding what to bring and what to leave behind. Looking for any lessons learned from those that have made the move before us.

1. Do you bring your non-perishable food items, such as spices, coffee, etc? And what about cleaning supplies and paper goods?

A: We live on an island, not Mars. We have all that stuff readily available.

2. We have gone back and forth on the auto decision and now have decided to purchase a car when we arrive, good idea?

A: We brought both of our cars, 2003 Ford Excursion and 2004 Explorer Sports Trac. That being said I maintained them in California and I do the same here. It's true we have some pretty rough roads and the sea takes it's toll but we don't have a freeway system so speed is not a concern, even though I like to blow them out on occasion on the four lane.

3. Is it reasonable to utilize your US bank account or is it advised to open an account at a local bank on island?

A: What ever you prefer. We closed all of our mainland accounts and have a local bank. I rarely even go into my bank here as most all transaction are electronic.

4. Are there items you wished you have brought? And, what things did you ship that you didn't need to?

A: Tools, Tools and more tools. I sold almost all my tools when we left and have since brought a bunch back but that's just me, I'm a tool whore!

We appreciate all input! We are very anxious to make our home on beautiful St. Croix!

Judy & Mike
Texas

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Posted : January 5, 2017 11:10 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Won't hurt to bring spices. Expensive here.

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Posted : January 5, 2017 12:00 pm
watruw8ing4
(@watruw8ing4)
Trusted Member

1. Do you bring your non-perishable food items, such as spices, coffee, etc? And what about cleaning supplies and paper goods?

We still get spices and extracts from off-island. Much cheaper and more variety. We also order our coffee beans from Florida for the same reason. We buy most cleaning supplies and paper on-island.

3. Is it reasonable to utilize your US bank account or is it advised to open an account at a local bank on island?

We kept our old stateside account for the perks, discounts and ease of use we couldn't find here. But also have a local account with Bank of St Croix because sometimes a bank teller or manager comes in handy. We do almost all of our banking with the stateside account, and usually just ATM withdrawals from Bank of STX.

4. Are there items you wished you have brought? And, what things did you ship that you didn't need to?

More linens! Selection here is boring, and expensive if you want good quality. We usually come back with a suitcase or two full of sheets, towels, blankets and throw rugs when we go back. Much of that can be ordered online. But sometimes the picture and description are not what you finally get. Also, if you have good pots and pans, you'll save money by shipping those, rather than buying here, and that's if you can find them.

We brought too many jackets, sweats, sweaters and long pants. 🙂

I left out the car dilemma. We shipped one, and bought one here. Less hassle to buy here. But, depending on the vehicle, you can save money by shipping. Of course, there's the extra cost of getting the car from your home to port to consider.

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Posted : January 5, 2017 10:50 pm
Idlewood4
(@Idlewood4)
Advanced Member

1. Do you bring your non-perishable food items, such as spices, coffee, etc? And what about cleaning supplies and paper goods?

Plenty of cleaning supplies available on island. I would bring spices. Have had a hard time finding cinnamon sugar on island. Also hit a dollar store and buy several containers of bay leaves for 99 cents. You'll want the leaves to store with your dry goods to keep out weevils. Much cheaper to purchase stateside. If you are partial to Dunkins or Starbucks, bring it. You can find them here, but will pay dearly.

2. We have gone back and forth on the auto decision and now have decided to purchase a car when we arrive, good idea?

My employer paid to ship my car, but it was a hassle waiting for it. If I had to do over, I'd have just bought here. Also if you buy from a dealer here you may be able to get roadside service. AAA doesn't exist here. Already had 2 flats, one from a screw I think I picked up at a dumpster, and one from a pot hole. Oops. It's worth every penny to have the shipping agent do all the paperwork to register/inspect your car.

3. Is it reasonable to utilize your US bank account or is it advised to open an account at a local bank on island?

I have both. Opened one at Firstbank here for rent checks, WAPA, places that don't take electronic payments.

4. Are there items you wished you have brought?

More decor/holiday items, although I did great getting Christmas decorations at the STT Humane Society Thrift Store. Chair cushions and tablecloth and towels. The stuff with my apartment is crap. It's hard to find linens I like on island.

Get a Walmart shipping pass. Worth every penny, although they won't ship certain things here (like books??) I get my Damprid through them, much cheaper than on island. Ziplock bags, all sizes. Plastic storage containers for kitchen goods. Keep dry goods, in a ziplock, in a plastic container with a liberal supply of bay leaves. Keeps the critters out.

And, what things did you ship that you didn't need to?

I didn't need to bring the papers I brought with me. Had to move in a hurry to report to work, and didn't have time to pack stateside. I ended up with heavy socks, file cabinets full of papers. Wooden spoons and utensils got moldy very fast. Ended up throwing them out.

It's an adventure, but I'm loving almost moment of my island life. Welcome!

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Posted : January 6, 2017 1:35 am
rosesisland
(@rosesisland)
Trusted Member

I'll add to my answer above.

I wish I'd never brought so many leather shoes...they all eventually mold...or, at least mine have. Invest in a couple of good flip flops, I prefer Reef Sandys!

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Posted : January 7, 2017 2:32 pm
Judyshouse
(@Judyshouse)
Active Member

Thank you to all that responded, the information is excellent and much appreciated! If anything else comes to mind, please share.
Judy & Mike

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Topic starter Posted : January 7, 2017 3:56 pm
NugBlazer
(@NugBlazer)
Advanced Member

Regarding getting a car, yes, you can bring one from the states, many have done so. But, it can be a hassle. And, does the island really need another car from elsewhere? We have too many as it is.

If you buy your car here, you're pumping a nice chunk of change into the local community, which is now YOUR community. Also, you'll begin forging relationships by doing so, which is the whole point of life, isn't it? The islands are a small world. You'll end up bumping into that salesperson that sold you your car before you know it. Trust me. Remember, in the islands it's all about who you know.

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Posted : January 7, 2017 9:26 pm
Judyshouse
(@Judyshouse)
Active Member

Thank you so much for the info, it is very helpful. We have been looking on Walmart.com regarding the 'shipping pass' you mention. We did find the cost of pass, but we don't see any products listed as being eligible. Are products noted on the site as eligible or how do you know if they covered under your shipping pass?

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Topic starter Posted : January 8, 2017 10:14 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

next to the product it will say shipping pass. it is in green.

i dont know about others, but i have to order each item separate. if i add more than 1 item to the cart it charges me 7.95. when i go to edit the shipping, it only deducts shipping for the 1 item and then adds shipping for the second item.
no problem, i but one thing at a time.

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Posted : January 9, 2017 12:16 pm
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

Also filter on Walmart.com Retailer and Ship to Home to filter out a lot of stuff that won't ship.

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Posted : January 9, 2017 1:44 pm
Judyshouse
(@Judyshouse)
Active Member

Thank you! We will take a closer look at the site.

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Topic starter Posted : January 9, 2017 4:02 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

DON'T LEAVE YOUR CAR AT THE MECHANIC OVERNIGHT UNLESS THEY HAVE A GATE! Even then..... maybe not....

We learned that lesson today. (td)*-) She gan.

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Posted : January 9, 2017 6:37 pm
Bigfacemoe
(@Bigfacemoe)
Advanced Member

Did people stop reading the VI Moving Stories?
All these are answered in the most abundant way you can possibly think if you read the short stories of people moving.

https://www.vimovingcenter.com/what_to_expect/

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Posted : January 11, 2017 12:23 am
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