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VanFaasenC
(@VanFaasenC)
Advanced Member

I am considering relocating myself and Family (wife and 2 kids maybe dog) but have many questions.
First are their any relocation specialists that can help threw the process and help set up a PMV to get good exposure and be able to look for housing.
I will also be looking for a Job and/or business. I have strong sales experience and have run my own company, also are there recuiters or job placement agencies? Any good business brokers?
I am looking for a complete change of lifestyle. I want to simplify as much as possible.
I will ask much more soon but wanted to get some ideas.
Thanks
Christian

Adding more background. I currently live in the Midwest and have always wanted to move to the islands and feel staying within the safety and fimiliarity of the US will be an easier transition. I want to set a Vacation but not a tourist style, I want it to be more research.

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Topic starter Posted : April 29, 2008 9:06 pm
trw
 trw
(@trw)
Expert

start by using specific keywords in the search engine on this site, such as jobs,schools,employment,housing,economy,then figure out which of the 3 islands seems suitable to your lifestyle needs

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Posted : April 29, 2008 9:29 pm
VanFaasenC
(@VanFaasenC)
Advanced Member

I have been looking at career.vi , monster.com, and searching some of the real estate. I found a business that I might be interested in purchasing but need to find a local buying agent/broker for both the business and maybe a place to stay. I also want to work with this person to shedulea visit to go into further details on everything but have not be able to locate someone that may be able to handle all that.

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Topic starter Posted : April 29, 2008 9:47 pm
Talonz82
(@Talonz82)
Advanced Member

Hello, I must insist; please come and visit. Do your research, I do not think this is a great place for childrens education unless you have a great deal of money and can afford a private school. Your whole staying within the safety of the US is something to consider differently because this Island is totally different than the mainland US. (PM me for details)Talk to locals, ask your questions, come and stay, pretend you live here and after a significant length of time, make your decision if you can live within the parameters you experienced

Peter

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Posted : April 29, 2008 9:59 pm
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

Which island? A good sales background is great for a lot of different jobs/businesses. What type business were you thinking of buying?

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Posted : April 29, 2008 10:05 pm
trw
 trw
(@trw)
Expert

which island are you interested in?

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Posted : April 29, 2008 10:06 pm
VanFaasenC
(@VanFaasenC)
Advanced Member

I am trying to find the island that might be right but have not committed yet. I have a BBA in Business and have been doing business to business sales at a high level for over 5 years now. I, in that time have my owned agency. I have a strong automotive background and really enjoy anything with an engine. I could do sales in any aspect or even work in a Marina or something. I know it sounds bad but I have always wanted to be a bar/ restaurant owner.

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Topic starter Posted : April 29, 2008 10:12 pm
trw
 trw
(@trw)
Expert

ok well then use the search feature on this site, these islands are different stx is the midwest without the midwest attitude and mindset, it is a "working"island STT is a busy port and thus very urban and busy like manhattan and nice and STJ is wealth full of wealth and elitist nimby's

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Posted : April 30, 2008 12:03 am
Sabrina
(@Sabrina)
Advanced Member

VanFaasenC, I'm just worried about your "maybe dog" comment. I hope you aren't planning to abandon the dog if you move.

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Posted : April 30, 2008 3:20 am
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Yeah, Sabrina, I caught that too. That would be a switch. It's usually the dog getting left here and not always to family or a loving home. We have a mutt, whose history we don't know, but we think that's what happened to him.
Van, please don't take offense, since we have absolutely no idea what you meant by that or what your plans are.

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Posted : April 30, 2008 3:30 am
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Did you say you want to simplify as much as possible AND something about owning a bar and restaurant in the VI in the same thread? Being a little sarcastic, at your expense. Sorry. But I bet the hot dog lady at five corners gets stressed out on a regular basis. Seriously, I would recommend talking to a few restaurant owners here before you get your heart set on it.

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Posted : April 30, 2008 3:45 am
SunshineCruzan
(@SunshineCruzan)
Advanced Member

Van, Juanita's advice regarding the bar/restaurant is right on target. I've enjoyed 25+ years in the industry but wouldn't think of owning or managing. I'm just a "pro worker-bee". It is quite the challenge here (STX) but when it works, the rewards are worth it all! Good luck with all of your possible ventures, the folks here are worth more than gold! Keep us posted.

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Posted : April 30, 2008 4:01 am
VanFaasenC
(@VanFaasenC)
Advanced Member

The "maybe Dog" comment was more due to he is a big dog and If we came down to an apartment or condo it might not be enough space for him. I have lots of family up here that he would be left with until we found a time to bring him down. He would be completely taken care of.

About the bar and simplifying. I am someone who is more relaxed running my own business and that type of stress as apposed to working a job where I don't have the right possibilities. That is why I have been in Sales because I have more control over things.

I thank everyone for their time and information on responding with questions or comments.

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Topic starter Posted : April 30, 2008 11:59 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Rose, the hot dog lady at 5 corners, just came back from a 21-day transatlantic/Mediterranean cruise. So I assume her stress level at this point is manageable!!! LOL.

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Posted : April 30, 2008 12:34 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

That's kind of my point. You don't have control over things in the F&B business here. You can't get the items you need from the purveyors, you can't get a repair person to come fix your refrigeration or flat-top. Your employees will come in late, if at all, and maybe on something, some of your servers will be rude to your customers and suck their teeth at you, if you reprimand them, and they will steal from you because it's their "right". The list goes on. I don't mean to be negative just for the fun of it. And, of course, it's not always this way. There are lots of good people working in restaurants here (right trw?). You have to be very flexible, and know that if you order romaine on Wed., and they deliver iceberg at 6:00 pm on Fri., you are going to be stuck with it. A good read is "Don't Stop the Carnival" by Herman Wouk. It was written a long time ago, but is still spot on.

I'm through bashing the restaurant business.:) It can be a lot of fun, if you get lucky enough to have the right spot and put a good team together. Good Luck.

There is always a thread going about traveling with dogs. If you do a search, even just going back 30 days, you should find lots of good info.

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Posted : April 30, 2008 12:59 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

The hot dog business must be really good!

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Posted : April 30, 2008 1:02 pm
stxmama
(@stxmama)
Advanced Member

It is difficult to find housing here sometimes if you have pets. I have 2 small dogs and none of the condos I called that had rentals would let me have pets. So look for a house or apt. It seems like there are bars on every corner here (St Croix) so there would be a lot of competition.
We need a good Greek restaurant here. Do you cook? LOL Or we need for you to open a Walmart.....Expect to pay a fortune for school. Country Day is around $10,000 per year now.

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Posted : April 30, 2008 1:21 pm
VanFaasenC
(@VanFaasenC)
Advanced Member

My hope was to be a family run with me doing 80% of everything or just two or three other people.

The school thing has been brought to my attention and maybea deal breaker for my wife. I was going to see if the girls could get scholarships or Finicial aide or even if my wife could get a job and one and that they could get in that way? Not sure though.

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Topic starter Posted : April 30, 2008 1:47 pm
T
 T
(@T)
Advanced Member

Why not look at homeschooling your kids? I think there is a new group that is forming on STT specifically to address the needs of the islanders and the new people from the States who can't afford the tuition while only getting a lackluster education. Anyway, just a thought for you to ponder....

Oh, while we're at it.....bring buckets of patience and kindness..... those of us who have moved from the states, miss those qualities in the businesses we spend our money..... I'd buy from any store that would improve customer service and focus the attention on actually solving problems instead of passing the buck all the time...

Argh...

T.

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Posted : April 30, 2008 4:07 pm
simkiss
(@simkiss)
Advanced Member

we're in the homeschooling camp. ... the best

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Posted : April 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

A scholarship would be hard, at best you would probably get a partial covering $1k or $2k worth of expenses. So many people want to get into these schools on scholarship, it would most likely go to locals first. With homeschooling one of you will need to stay home or only work partime. Jobs pay less then stateside and depending where you are coming from costs here are usually higher. It doesn't sound like you should have any trouble finding a job on either island.

I also would not suggest owning a business here until you've lived here a year or two. The challenges are just much bigger here then stateside. Get in touch with island living first before you sink alot of money in a home or business and make sure you want to live here. Selling either is not going to be easy if you don't like it here. After waiting a year or two you should also have some connections to help get the business started. On the islands its very hard to get by on your own, you have to network and keep a good reputation.

And you really need to get some Food & Beverage exp before you open a restaurant. So say if you bartender at a place for a year and build up some reliable customers you will already have a built in customers and a MUCH better idea of what it takes to make it happen here. Everything Juanita said about Food and Beverage here was spot on.

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Posted : April 30, 2008 6:07 pm
VanFaasenC
(@VanFaasenC)
Advanced Member

Home school is an option, My wife wants to be home taking care of the kids but she would need help teaching and socializing them. She also is a smart woman and Has a BBA in Business and Hotel Restaurant Management, but would rather just raise our children.

I see that their is a Car dealership on the islands. Do car sales people make a OK living down there. I figure that would be a job I could take just to get down there. Up here they work long hours though. I am a hard worker and focused. I have looked on careers.vi but have not gone as far as applying for anything yet.

I am a very patient and kind person that is part of the reason I would like to come down for the change in style. I have an islander attitude but am stuck in Michigan. Everyone says the cost of living is high but I believe it maybe easier to have less stuff down there, in turn reducing some of the expenses. Up here we have 2 car payments, big house payment, lots of taxes and on and on. If I moved I would try to live close to work (walk or bike) maybe a cheap used car for the wife and kids. A small apt or house rental. Let me know if I am out of my mind or if this is realistic.

I hate to sound this way but I would like to enjoy life and look back and say I at least had fun or tried a few things.

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Topic starter Posted : April 30, 2008 7:50 pm
VanFaasenC
(@VanFaasenC)
Advanced Member

As I read lots of other threads. It seems there are lots of people from Michigan. I hope it really is not that bad up here that everyone is trying to leave.

I have found a local travel agent "Cay"? but am not sure they are someone I would use to do a PMV as I would want different experiences. I do want to visit as a tourist I would rather try to visit more as a friend or possible local.

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Topic starter Posted : April 30, 2008 7:59 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Hi Van,
Well, here I go being the nay-sayer again. When you say that you see there is a car dealership on the island, to me, that implies that you didn't realize we have numerous car dealers. We have fast food, malls (not quite what you're used to), TV stations, office supply stores, florists, shoe stores, spas, doctors, lawyers and probably a few Indian chiefs. In other words, we are not as laid back as you might be thinking. We DO wear flip-flops and shorts year 'round and very little make-up. We do pretty much all the same things here as in Michigan, or wherever. We're just warmer doing it, and we don't expect things to happen as quickly, which is not always a good thing! A PMV will help you get a better feel for things.

About the PMV, you say you have found a local travel agent you are considering using to do the PMV. I don't understand. Are you looking for someone to show you around and introduce you to the ways of the island? I don't know of anyone who does that. There may be. Most Realtors would consider themselves Relocation Specialists, and that may be what you're looking for.

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Posted : April 30, 2008 9:02 pm
VanFaasenC
(@VanFaasenC)
Advanced Member

I want a cross breed between a Travel agent and a Realtor. I want to learn as much as possible when I would be down there. I would not want to stay in a resort. I would want to be learning about the area instead of sitting on a beach.
Example: I found it is much cheaper to fly into STT and would want to spend some time on that Island but would also want to get over to St Croix and spend some time there. I am not a specialist and the area and where I would want to stay on each island and how to get between them. Also may need someone to spend some time with us giving us some insight while on the islands.

I do realize there are lots of businesses there. I need that or I would not be considering moving. I still want to work and live a normal life-style I just think the move and location would allow me to change my families current attitude. I am not trying to retire just live in a place that allows a different style than we are used too. I am not looking for a "Corona commercial" (don't know if that example works for you to relate). I just want a BIG change in order to readjust perspectives and direction of waking up on day and realizing I fell into a rut and now it is to late to change.

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Topic starter Posted : April 30, 2008 10:07 pm
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