Moving in July - He...
 
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Moving in July - Help!

 
RelocatingTeacher
(@RelocatingTeacher)
New Member

Hello all!

I have been reading several posts and they all seem to mesh together. I just registered and decided that I was going to reply with questions today. The problem is I have seen so much great advice and attempted to find those again and I am becoming overwhelmed so I decided I would just write myself.

My fiance and I are planning on relocating to STX in July. I am on a month to month lease so our dates are flexible. We are planning on renting first just because we will not be able to visit before July to view condos/homes to purchase. Our goal is to purchase and own. We have three wonderful, declawed, litter box trained cats.

After reading on the website and posts this is what we are planning on doing. Like I said it is "planning" all information would be GREATLY APPRECIATED as we are new to this.

We will come with the kitties and suitcases to start. We are going to store everything in PODS until we find out home and then have them delivered to a moving company who will bring them to the island. Anyone have a great experience with theirs?

We need a short/long term rental. Any suggestions? I have seen tons of real estate agents. Who should we go with? I read in one post that someone was willing to help out new movers, yet they were not an agent them self. I cant find that post to save my life so if you read this, message me!!!

I am going to sell my Toyota and get an American made car to avoid custom taxes. I read on a post that someone paid $150 to have a company transfer and deliver the vehicle with new tags to boot. I am assuming that the $150 was on top of costs and I would be more than willing to pay that to avoid some of the horror stories I have heard about.

I know we will need insurance for our vehicles once we get there. Any suggestions?

The cats are scheduled to have updated shots and papers in June to make sure there are no problems with bringing them over. Anything else we need to know about them? They are our only children as of now so we are very concerned about messing anything to do with them up.

I have also read that the US Postal Service will be our best friend. We plan to leave several boxes already packed and hopefully labeled with our rental address with my future Mother-in-law to mail to us. I read that it takes about 4 weeks, is this accurate?

Finally, our jobs. I am a certified 2nd - 6th grade teacher. I have researched public schools and I have found one private school that had an open call for resumes. What are your opinions on the schools, public and private?

My fiance has a degree in marketing, not that he has used it. He has 15 years in food services (restaurants) and 3 years in management. What would be the best route for him to acquire a job? Also I am planning on waiting tables/bar tending because we are moving in the summer and school is out. What would be a great place to do this? I am very personable and use to make a lot more money waiting and tending than teaching so I may decide to stick this out if I can keep away from the kids long enough!

Also, should we purchased the Settler's Handbook?

I know this is a lot of questions. If I am forgetting something or have not considered something, let me know. An answer to just one of my millions of questions would be fabulous! Thank you in advance for your help!

Debi

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Topic starter Posted : May 11, 2008 5:45 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Leave the cats at home with friends or family. It will be difficult to find something to rent with pets. And whatever you do, don't rent sight unseen. Get a hotel room for a week while you look for a rental. After you are settled, go back for the cats.

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Posted : May 11, 2008 9:48 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Hi RelocatingTeacher,
I think you sent me an email. If it was you, I have answered. In case it wasn't you...I have month to month rentals on St. Croix. Unfortunately, I don't know what I will have in July. All apartments are currently rented to one company. They have indicated they will be leaving island mid-summer, but I don't have an exact date yet.

You can be comfortable renting from me sight unseen. I live on property. I have a full time maintenance man who lives on property and a cleaning lady between tenants. We are conveniently located in a pleasant area about 3 miles west of Christiansted. Our minimum rental is for one month, but we are much less expensive than a hotel. You can check out my website at: www.virginislandsrentals.com

Let me know if I can help, and good luck. Welcome to St. Croix!

Juanita

The cats are welcome.

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Posted : May 11, 2008 10:50 pm
billd
(@billd)
Trusted Member

I have guest rooms that we rent out by the day, with a three day min. They are 100/night. They are designed with the PMVers or budget minded vacationers in mind. We are right next to Sapphire Beach which you can walk to. . Each room is a private room with bath, a frig, microwave, cable TV, ac, king size bed, pool and large shared living room.

If interesed please contact us by PM or by sapphirebeachcondos@gmail.com.

Good luck.

Billd

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Posted : May 11, 2008 11:01 pm
terry
(@terry)
Expert

I would leave the cats home for the PMV then bring them later.
As far as a Realtor when you are ready to rent and / or buy, I can't recommend Alexandra highly enough.
We bought our condo through her, and was so happy with her that when the time came to buy a lot, we went with her again.
She will answer all of your questions by email and of course show you around when you are on island. She is very knowledgeable and has many years of experience.

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Posted : May 12, 2008 12:22 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

She is looking on STX.

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Posted : May 12, 2008 12:31 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Juanita,

I meant no offense. Let me restate to my make my opinion clearer. I don't believe anyone should sign a 6 month or year's lease or give a non-refundable deposit on anything - car, housing etc - that they have not seen. Too many variables. What if they get a great job near F'sted (a 40 minute drive away)? Or just don't like the apartment? Or get here and happen upon some wonderful, perfect, cheap, cheap, cheap place?

I feel the same way about pets as I do about furniture - come down traveling light, stay for 3-6 months to make sure it's for you and then bring down your valuables, including pets.

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 12, 2008 1:03 am
meowruff
(@meowruff)
Advanced Member

Relocating Teacher,
Your post could've been written by me a year ago. My husband and I are both teachers and will be relocating to St Croix in mid June. We were here in April, completing our PMV. During that time, we interviewed with the public school system, and were vey exciting about the opportunities. Previous to our interviews, we spent a lot of time completing the application process, as there is a lot of paperwork that needs to be completed, in order to be considered for employment with the public school system. We had been told that there was a shortage of qualified teachers in the USVI and decided to pursue the idea of teaching here.

We have a dog that we will be bringing with us, and found that there are plenty of pet friendly places available. But, they want to meet you first. Initially, when we were looking at places, nothing was noted regarding pets; but, after meeting owners, etc., they were very open to us bringing our "child" with us.

We, too, will be renting initially, as we are only basically familiar with the island.

But, take the leap. We're going to make this a reality very soon. Good luck!

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 12, 2008 1:05 am
limetime2
(@limetime2)
Advanced Member

Hi Debi... I'll chime in with a few of my opinions.

Be aware that July is a tough time to come. Job ways it is the hardest time as business is slower, some restaurants actually close for summer, so there is more competition for the jobs that are out there, and its the beginning of hurricane season so our tourism is usually very slow . You are stuck with us locals. 🙂 Weather ways it is our hottest time of year and depending on where you are from you may find it exhausting. (although its better than summer in US south 🙂 ) I'm just saying this so you set your expectations that it will be slower to get started in the wait service area so bring sufficient money to hold on for a couple of months.

Many of the schools here start in August ... so you should check with them on a start date. We do need good teachers and I surely hope you will decide to teach once you are here. There are several schools and if you have the necessary credentials you likely will not have a problem. Many teachers have part-time side jobs, so you may be able to teach and do some waitressing as well.

Bring your cats. I understand about pets being your children. My experience is that you will be able to find a place to have them. I could not imagine leaving my pets behind. Are your cats indoor? Many cats are indoor/outdoor here and it is hard sometimes to have indoor cats as we all live with the doors open! Also... if they are hunters check with local vets once you get here to know what to expect. Although my cat never did have a problem, some cats have problems with the lizards.

Before you sell your Toyota, check the VIN number. Many toyotas are actually made in the US and have a VIN number beginning with 1. You may want to bring it down. They are great cars for here. Drive it to Florida with all your stuff and ship from Jacksonville or Miami. (Note...if you choose to sell/buy US, check the VIN # first... my Ford that I shipped here origianlly was made in Canada and taxable). There are several car insurance companies here (three of dem?) so once you get here shop all for best deal. (Note on the Toyota... if its a good car and you wind up not 'making' it here... you'll probably be able to sell it here before you flee and get as good or better price as you would up there).

You never say why you are coming? Have you been here before? Do you know what you are getting into?

I wish you well!

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 12, 2008 2:00 pm
Alexandra
(@Alexandra)
Trusted Member

Debi,

Pet-friendly properties can be found, but they aren't in great abundance. I have one furnished, 1-BDR, pet-friendly condo that will be available starting about June 8th. Rent is $850 per month plus power for a 60month or longer lease or $900 if you want month-to-month. If you'd be coming early in July, the landlord would probably be OK waiting a few weeks for a tenant to arrive. Its location is north/central, so it has good access to most anywhere you might wind up working.

One insurance company to try would be:
Marshall & Sterling
340-773-2170

USPS often gets packages to you in the islands on a quicker schedule than expected for parcel post shipping. They say it can take 4 weeks, but sometimes you get them in 7-14 days. I'd suggest taking a photo of the items going into each box and numbering the boxes so that if a box goes missing you have the information you need to make the insurance claim to the post office.

Some Toyotas are American made, so check your VIN number before you sell your car.

The airlines have a maximum number of pets allowed in the cabin per flight (first come, first served) and any one passenger can only bring one pet, so if you and your husband are bringing 3 cats, you'll need a travel companion to bring the third animal.

You can read lots of info on the public and private school on this webite. The public schools need good teachers badly, but you would have to decide if you wanted to be in a classroom with the combination of issues the teachers are currently faced with.

Even in summer, there are waitressing jobs available at many places. When the snow birds leave, so do many of the restaurant workers and that can leave openings that need filled. Restaurants carry smaller staffs during the summer, but they have to cover all shifts with a basic staff.

Good Luck with your move!

Alexandra Bentley
Great House Real Estate (STX)
340-514-5591
stcroixhomes@hotmail.com

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 12, 2008 3:52 pm
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

Please be very careful about letting declawed cats outside. In our neighborhood we have some pretty mean bush cats. Our cat was an indoor cat before we moved here. She never tried to go out and has been spayed. When we moved here we could not keep her in. If you open a door she shoots out before we can catch her. She has been in some terrible fights. Right now we have a cat trap outside trying to catch one that is terrorizing her.

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Posted : May 12, 2008 9:02 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

"...Drive it to Florida with all your stuff and ship from Jacksonville or Miami..."

Be aware that if you opt to ship a vehicle you must ship it empty.

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Posted : May 12, 2008 9:52 pm
RelocatingTeacher
(@RelocatingTeacher)
New Member

First, thank you so much for all the positive and helpful posts!

Second, I apologize for my absence on here. With the end of the school year smashing down on us I have found very little time to wash my clothes let alone fold them. On top of trying to solidify moving plans and closing out the school year we have had some medical scares in our families. My sister has been hospitalized for her final six weeks of pregnancy due to the fact that she has been 1 cm dilated for weeks and has gestational diabetes. The other scare was that my mother-in-law suffered a mild heart attack. Everyone is doing well as of my last check-in phone calls.

That leads me to answering one of the questions I was asked, Why are we moving? Mike and I have been living in separate states for the past year. He was going to move to SC (where we met and I currently live) but was not excited about it. We both agreed we needed to move closer to family, mine in Ft. Lauderdale and his in Jacksonville. We weren't sure where to go until I found a note from my uncle who recently passed away that I decided on the Virgin Islands and started investigating. The note was very simple and was attached to a book that listed odd jobs that people don't ever consider, like living in a polar region for six months as a cook for scientists. My uncle said (not verbatim as I would have to get up and search for it) that they need hostesses on cruise ships and that even paradise needs people to work there in order for it to be paradise. I know that there is no place in the world that is "paradise" for all. It is what you make of it. Mike and I need a new place to live, we have no children. Both of our jobs, or our qualifications are transferable, universal, and diverse. My family does not come to SC to visit, but I know they will to St. Croix.

I am not worried about the weather, I look forward to it! I lived in Ft. Lauderdale for 20 years and Miami for close to 3. When I first moved to SC I worked on the ramp at the airport and when ordering our uniforms they told me to get shorts because it gets "hot." I never wore them. Mike wears a ski hat in the middle of summer when the ac is on at 80 degrees. I don't know if I can survive another winter or ice storm. I understand losing your power for a week or two because of a hurricane, but because some idiot didn't bury power lines or trim some trees and now that there is ice I can't take a hot shower in my 55 degrees apartment?!?!

MY CAR IS MADE IN THE USA!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

We are going to plan on keeping the cats indoor. But notice I said, "plan." All 3 have been rescued and the oldest and only girl lived outside without claws for 2-3 years with two 80 pound dogs and would bring home treasures.

I know it is the off season and I am worried about that. We have some money saved. I did put myself through school going full time (15 credit hours) while working four jobs. I am not afraid to get my hands dirty or working 60 - 80 hour work weeks to make ends meet. I have directed planes on an international airport's tarmac, loaded luggage on the backs of airplanes, checked customers and bags in at the front counter and gate and that is just one job! I have made candles, been a nanny, babysitter, receptionist for a law firm, construction office, and brokers' firm, swim instructor, waitress, cook, bartender, tutor, leasing manager and consultant for multiple properties, and of course a teacher. Needless to say, I think I will find at least one job I can do and I love to learn new things and especially meet new people.

I hope I have answered any questions and again, THANK YOU for answering mine! This is such a great support to have coming to the islands and what I have read, and I have read a lot, it is an even more amazing support once you are there. Your posts are why people want to move to where you are. Trust me, I've read them!

Thank you again,
Getting more and more excited - Debi ;o)

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Topic starter Posted : May 30, 2008 2:16 am
SunOrSki
(@SunOrSki)
Advanced Member

I have a 1 bedroom cottage available in the Rain Forest, cats no problem - have 3 of my own which I could not imagine leaving behind. If you are still looking for a place let me know and we can talk.

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Posted : May 30, 2008 2:31 am
meowruff
(@meowruff)
Advanced Member

Your post made me laugh. We are down to the last couple of weeks in Indiana. WE SOLD OUR HOUSE LAST NIGHT!!!! Yea! I almost cried because I was so happy. And, I completely understand your ice storm statement. As I've been reading the posts about the lost power in the USVI, I had to laugh and think that at least there was warm weather when the power went out (in the USVI). We too have had to endure winter after winter when the ice storms would knock out power lines for days - and we would sit in our freezing house, huddled together with every blanket we owned and wearing every piece of clothing we could put on. Then, praying that when we finally got our power back on that the water lines hadn't frozen - then, later discovering that the lines had frozen and we ended up with a frozen flood in our house. Yuck!

Good luck in your move! Have you talked with any of the schools yet? Sent in applications? I look forward to meeting you when you finally make it to STX.

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Posted : May 30, 2008 10:13 am
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