Living in St. Thoma...
 
Notifications
Clear all

Living in St. Thomas

 
Steph
 Steph
(@Steph)
Guest

I am looking around for places to live and am curious about St. Thomas. I am a single 27 caucasion female and would like to know about the cost of apartments in that area as well as where a good place to live would be where I can be around younger people. Any information would be appreciated.

Quote
Topic starter Posted : October 9, 2001 11:29 am
Anonymous
 Anonymous
(@Anonymous)
Guest

If you want to be around younger people you may want to look into Red Hook area, there are lots of little bars, restuarants and hang out places in that area. The northside of the island is a good residential area, however it will be more family residential rather than 'single, younger people'. Cost of apartments really differ in terms of location, size, # of rooms, if utilies are included are not, furnished or not.... however you probally could find apartments starting at $500 and up.

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 11, 2001 9:12 pm
Burt Carrasquilla
 Burt Carrasquilla
(@Burt Carrasquilla)
Guest

My parents are looking to retire to St. Thomas. He is 73 and she 61 years old respectevly roughly 2000 dollars per month plus some extra money from my brother and sister, maybe an additonal 700per month. They have moderate income they both recieve SS. Would it be feasible for them to move there. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Thank You
BURT

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 12, 2006 4:48 pm
Island Paul
(@Island_Paul)
Advanced Member

For folks their age I would definately recommend serious consideration of: the robustness of their health, potential health problems that might need care and the availability of necessary medical services being available on the island, and any long term future nursing home type issues.

Ease of getting around, and any very established patterns of behavior which when broken, might make a transition to the islands more difficult than a stateside move to a location where facilities and services that they are used to, are available.

As we get older, as I'm sure you might know, making any move is stressful. When you add in a great number of things that would truly be "different" (islanders please note that I am saying different and not bad!!!), you have an added ingredient that might make things either uncomfortable, or resoundingly triumphant!

At 63, I had made the move to the islands, feeling in my heart of hearts that they would be my home for the rest of my life. But, for reasons economical (a limited income can be a definite negative factor), medical and personal - St.Thomas was not the fit that I had thought it would be - and I tried for over two years to make it ok. Perhaps not a long time in the scheme of things and I had really wanted things to work out, but alas, it was not to be.

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 13, 2006 1:26 pm
STT Resident
(@STT_Resident)
Trusted Member

Sage advice from Island Paul and I would add that on the income you indicate your parents can expect they would, in my opinion, have a difficult time making ends meet and their quality of life would probably be considerably less than it is now.

During the many years I have been here, countless older friends and acquaintances have left for precisely the reasons that Paul writes of. Having now reached that age category myself I can only hope that I'll continue to be able to keep working to minimally keep a roof over my head but protracted thoughts on that subject are rather scary and I tend to simply ignore the issue!

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 13, 2006 3:52 pm
Loyal Reader
(@Loyal_Reader)
Advanced Member

I second STT Resident's thoughts. $2700 is not a "comfortable" living in St. Thomas, in my opinion.

Breaking it down further:

Rent or mortgage: Presumably, they would want something comfortable, safe and secure. Real estate is quite high here, so here's an example: a modest 2br house in my neighborhood is on the market for $500k. A nice 2br rental may run anywhere from $1000-$2500/month.

Electricity- rates are very high here. If your parents choose a place with Air Conditioning, which, depending on which part of the island they live on, may be a necessity for comfort, expect higher electric bills. My guess is $200-$500/month for a fully air conditioned house.

Well, that's used up most of their $2700/month right there, but let's continue:

Food- groceries are more expensive here. Presume about $500/month on groceries for two people.

Gas- despite being near a major oil refinery, STT's gasoline prices are astronomical- far ahead of the national average or even metropolitan areas. Add to that poor fuel efficiency due to mountainous terrain, and you're talking $50 fill-ups for a 15-gal tank. Times however much you drive...so let's say $150/month on gas.

Insurance- home and car.
Taxes- home (if you own)

Phone- if you go with Innovative, expect to pay $35 minimum/month excluding long distance.

Internet- also not cheap here. If they want broadband, they'll expect to pay at least $35/month.

Medical care- does their insurance cover doctors here? How much are any prescriptions?

Flights off-island to visit family- depends on where your folks live now.

Then there's the one-time costs....

Moving here- shipping household items, a vehicle, etc- one time moving expenses can be much larger than people anticipate. Depending on how much they brought, this could cut into several thousand dollars of savings.

So when you add it all up (and that's just the finances, nothing mentioned about cultural differences, availability/convenience, knowing people, etc) it's a spendy proposition.

If nothing else, they should come for a PMV and check it out, doing the "everyday" things- going to bank, post office, grocery shopping, etc. I think people come for PMVs/visits some times and go to the beach every day expecting that will be their life when they move here. Unfortunately, I just don't think that's reality. There's a lot of "life" to contend with!

Hope this helps...it's not a decision to be taken lightly by anyone- young or old!

Best,

LR

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 13, 2006 7:48 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

We are a low-maintenance couple in our late 50's. We live simply but comfortably on about TWICE the $2,700 monthly income you mentioned. We could not stay in the VI on that income.

Please consider a PMV and more research.

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 15, 2006 10:07 am
bns4656
(@bns4656)
New Member

Wild Question:
I had a rather long discussion with a friend about working with him as a sales agent for a gold and jewelry concern that pulls gold, jewels, etc from Tunduru Rift Valley in Africa.

He suggested moving to St. Thomas (because apparently the jewel/gold trade is good there).

He talked and talked about the plans that he had put off previously because the company wasn't ready for him to start selling.

He talked about a million-dollar home - two-level - with a view. (didn't ask about how much land, should have) Not sure what area of the island it was on.

I asked about my major concern about my wife... 56 with debilitative osteo arthritis, high-blood pressure, thyroid problems, and overweight (round, but not grossly overweight). Needs knee replacement, after she "loses the weight". Losing weight is impossible when you can't walk.

We have a less than 50 lb dog. We would not kill our dog to transport her by plane.

We lived in W. Palm Beach before, although we don't live there now. We live about 50 miles inland from the SC coast right now.

1) How different is the weather in ST. Thomas from W Palm Beach?
2) What sort of medical and surgical facilities are in St. Thomas?

I don't think there will be any deal breakers. As I write this message, more and more questions come to mind.

3) We live in a 2000 Sq ft home. What's a planning estimate of moving the "stuff" from W.Palm Beach, FL?
4) My current home is 2000 Sq Ft on a quarter acre of land? Which Real Estate companies should I contact
to start a non-committal initial long-distance search.
5) Legal Paperwork -- do I need to get another certified copy of my birth certificate, or will a SC DL suffice?
I saw something on the forums about a St.Thomas working id/certificate. How
required is that when being employed by an African company?
6) Transporting Dog -- Never priced it. How much is a good boat that would make the regular trip from
US (FL or SC) to St. Thomas?
7) Do you have DirecTV yet? What about a Staples/OfficeDepot/BestBuy?
8) Is there good high speed DSL or Cable connections available on the island yet?

Last Question (for now) --
9) Is there a good (huge) website full of good data that I should read to prepare for my move?

Thank you for your help in this BIG change in life for me.

Peace,
Barney

ReplyQuote
Posted : June 25, 2010 6:06 am
jenford
(@jenford)
Active Member

hi barney. you seem like a nice guy. i am writing to let you know primarily about your dog situation only. please, if you move, do not put your dog down. there is an easy and affortable way to get your pet to st. t. if he/she is small, you can count your dog as your carry-on with american airlines. here's the rules: if your dog plus his carrier is 20 pounds or under, you may simply bring him on board and stow him under your feet as you would do with a small bag or briefcase. they will charge you exactally $100 extra because its a pet instaed of a bag. but good news is that he will be right there with you during the entire flight, and many times they don't care if you take him out and put him in your lap during the main part of the flight. seriously. i've done it before. there are no hidden rules or restrictions here. if your dog is larger, there is a restriction (100 pounds total i believe) that says you have to check him in as a checked bag/live animal, and that it has to be 85 degrees or less or they will say no on the spot. check out other people's messages here, such as the one that is titled something like "traveling with a beloved pet", and that shoud help you out too. good luck to you both! sounds to me, and i'm no expert, as if there may be alot of other concerns you two need to check before you consider this, mainly medical for your wife. i think that if a person is commited to something they will find a way to do it. it you were my parents though, it sounds risky on the medical front but i admire anyone who has the will and gumption to do this. reasearch is the key here. and more research. call the hospital until you get someone who has time to really talk with you and explain your situation in detail. good luck to you. i sincerely hope it works out like you want it to. - jenford

ReplyQuote
Posted : June 25, 2010 7:04 am
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Steph,

I don't believe you can find anything in the $500 range, certainly not in Red Hook, unless you enter into a roommate situation. I would plan on double that, or more, at least to start out. Once you have been on island for a while, have a job, start to make friends, you may find something via word of mouth for less money, but not via the Internet. If you do find something advertised in that price range, be very cautious. It may not be somewhere you would want to live.

ReplyQuote
Posted : June 25, 2010 11:37 am
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Barney:

There is one hospital on St Thomas. All surgery, except for office based stuff, is done there. There are two orthopedic surgeons currently. There are some excellent internal medicine docs, too. Your wife''s ailments are fairly common here. Lots of folks use swimming as their exercise of choice.

I would not buy anything or maybe even bring the dog down until you personally come for a long visit to see if the terrain, working environment, culture, etc. suits you.

If you are a US citizen, you can work here. If the African company is trying to set up a business, that is more problematic.

We don't have a lot of the stuff you have up in Big America. If you can't get along without any of those places and services you mentioned, you really need to rethink the move. K-Mart, Home Depot and Office Max are about the limits of big convenience stores.

ReplyQuote
Posted : June 25, 2010 12:09 pm
RockyDock
(@RockyDock)
Advanced Member

Juanita, You have got to start looking at the post dates. You are answering a question from October 2001, however you answer seems to be correct.

Steph,

I don't believe you can find anything in the $500 range, certainly not in Red Hook, unless you enter into a roommate situation. I would plan on double that, or more, at least to start out. Once you have been on island for a while, have a job, start to make friends, you may find something via word of mouth for less money, but not via the Internet. If you do find something advertised in that price range, be very cautious. It may not be somewhere you would want to live.

ReplyQuote
Posted : June 25, 2010 1:15 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Oops!:@)

ReplyQuote
Posted : June 25, 2010 2:07 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

1) How different is the weather in ST. Thomas from W Palm Beach?
I haven't spent much time in West Palm Beach, but I'm sure you can find statistics on Google that will enable you to compare.

2) What sort of medical and surgical facilities are in St. Thomas?
See East Enders response above.

3) We live in a 2000 Sq ft home. What's a planning estimate of moving the "stuff" from W.Palm Beach, FL?
Moving companies in your local area will give you an estimate.

4) My current home is 2000 Sq Ft on a quarter acre of land? Which Real Estate companies should I contact to start a non-committal initial long-distance search.
Real estate listings can be found on line. Once you're serious about moving here you can find local agents on line as well.

5) Legal Paperwork -- do I need to get another certified copy of my birth certificate, or will a SC DL suffice? I saw something on the forums about a St.Thomas working id/certificate. How required is that when being employed by an African company?
A raised seal copy of your birth certificate and SC drivers license will suffice, but a passport is easier and required if you want to visit the BVI.

6) Transporting Dog -- Never priced it. How much is a good boat that would make the regular trip from US (FL or SC) to St. Thomas?
The only way to transport a dog here is by air, and yours sounds too large to travel in cabin, so you're looking at either shipping as cargo or chartering a plane.

7) Do you have DirecTV yet? What about a Staples/OfficeDepot/BestBuy?
I don't watch TV, but I think so. We have an Office Max, but like everywhere else on island they have stocking/ordering issues.

8) Is there good high speed DSL or Cable connections available on the island yet?
Good is relative. We have high-speed Internet service, though it's slower than in the states, and flakier.

Last Question (for now) --
9) Is there a good (huge) website full of good data that I should read to prepare for my move?
This forum! Using the search function, and choosing all dates, you can read years of past posts from people who have done what you're thinking of doing, and below the orange banner at the top of the page are blue tabs with lots of detailed relocation information.

ReplyQuote
Posted : June 25, 2010 10:09 pm
stxer
(@stxer)
Advanced Member

Wild Question:
I had a rather long discussion with a friend about working with him as a sales agent for a gold and jewelry concern that pulls gold, jewels, etc from Tunduru Rift Valley in Africa.

He suggested moving to St. Thomas (because apparently the jewel/gold trade is good there).

He talked and talked about the plans that he had put off previously because the company wasn't ready for him to start selling.

He talked about a million-dollar home - two-level - with a view. (didn't ask about how much land, should have) Not sure what area of the island it was on.

I asked about my major concern about my wife... 56 with debilitative osteo arthritis, high-blood pressure, thyroid problems, and overweight (round, but not grossly overweight). Needs knee replacement, after she "loses the weight". Losing weight is impossible when you can't walk.

We have a less than 50 lb dog. We would not kill our dog to transport her by plane.

We lived in W. Palm Beach before, although we don't live there now. We live about 50 miles inland from the SC coast right now.

1) How different is the weather in ST. Thomas from W Palm Beach?
2) What sort of medical and surgical facilities are in St. Thomas?

I don't think there will be any deal breakers. As I write this message, more and more questions come to mind.

3) We live in a 2000 Sq ft home. What's a planning estimate of moving the "stuff" from W.Palm Beach, FL?
4) My current home is 2000 Sq Ft on a quarter acre of land? Which Real Estate companies should I contact
to start a non-committal initial long-distance search.
5) Legal Paperwork -- do I need to get another certified copy of my birth certificate, or will a SC DL suffice?
I saw something on the forums about a St.Thomas working id/certificate. How
required is that when being employed by an African company?
6) Transporting Dog -- Never priced it. How much is a good boat that would make the regular trip from
US (FL or SC) to St. Thomas?
7) Do you have DirecTV yet? What about a Staples/OfficeDepot/BestBuy?
8) Is there good high speed DSL or Cable connections available on the island yet?

Last Question (for now) --
9) Is there a good (huge) website full of good data that I should read to prepare for my move?

Thank you for your help in this BIG change in life for me.

Peace,
Barney

Barney
First start a NEW thread. The one you attached to is from 2001...almost ten year old. That is hiding you from most people here.

You have a lot of good questions, MOST of them can be answered by searching on this site. This is best USVI moving site on the internet.

Search by going to the top of this page and putting in your question. Be sure to select 'all dates' to get the most complete response.

Good Luck

ReplyQuote
Posted : June 26, 2010 2:24 am
Close Menu