Moving Jan 20th
I'm sure you get this all the time but any advice would be GREAT! I'm moving to St. Thomas at the end of January. I already have a job (just got it today) and have to be there by Jan 20th. Are there any good sites to find an apartment available to rent? I haven't been able to find too much and was going to call a realtor if need be. I also have 2 cats that are moving down with me - any advice on moving them? Another question regarding a vehicle - is it worth shipping my car down? I have a Jeep Liberty and am still unsure as to whether to ship it or just buy a car when I get there. Any advice would be much appreciated!
irish, this place is great for help... from one board to another haha.
Island Trader for Apts. and cars - read more on this site for answers about the pros and cons - you can look up a lot of info here rather than wait for the same advice - not just on the forum part.
Irish, you may want to consider the value of the car before you pay to ship it.......I'm moving to St. Thomas myself in three weeks looking for an apartment can be a nightmare......Please do not commit to one before seeing it and you may want to look at short term rental.....I'm a little more fortunate as I have a few friends and family scheduling apartment viewings for me....Most of the apartments advertised are sooo overpriced as they target people with little knowledge of the island.
Apartments rent for what the market can bear. Rentals here are more expensive than a lot of stateside places in general as is most everything. Check the Classified section of this forum by clicking on Forum List above. You'll be trying to find a rental in the midst of high season but you should be able to find something. If your car is paid off, it may be worth it to ship it. Some lien holders won't allow you to take the car from the mainland so check into that. If you have a reliable car (lots of Jeeps here) it may be worth bringing than to try to buy an unknown with possible problems.
Best of luck.
La Chat -- the overpriced targeting comment is not really valid - overpriced, yes possibly, -- but no landlord wants to have tenants with no knowledge of the island particularly, many of the apts here are attached to the primary residence of the landlord and family and having high transiency and tenants with no clue about island living has absolutely no advantage - at any price really - we do not have many apartment complexes managed by rental companies who just want to fill spaces - many people live in their apts for years and become almost part of the family of the owners as they watch the children grow up over the years.
Overpriced?? - with furniture and stocked kitchen and dining items, often sheets and carpets,appliances and commonly some or all utilities included -- you can often move in with your suitcase and live comfortably for years with little other investment on your part but rent and food and walk away from it.
Thanks for all the info! Yeah, I currently have a Jeep Liberty that's fully paid for, so that's my big debate. It's pretty much what I would want to get (or a wrangler) when I'm down there but still not sure. Thanks for all the advice!
Regarding shipping the car, I would consider how long you plan to be here. Your looking at $2 to $4k in shipping fees to get it here and back. Or you could just get it here and then sell it. Or you can sell it there and avoid the hassle of shipping. Everyone comes expecting to stay forever but most stay 6 months to 2 years. To buy a decent island car I would want to have 5 to 10k unless you are fairly mechanicly inclined. Now it this has been one of those rare jeeps that runs great even after you've paid it off it might be worth bringing and selling here. I've heard a myth about those.
I've gotta agree with Exit Zero. While apartments here often do cost more that similar digs stateside, expenses are also more, sometimes FAR more, so it's not really fair to say that apartments are "overpriced" as a whole. As Exit Zero says, the cost of offering a furnished unit, for example, means extra cost, such as frequently changing textiles, appliances and furnishings and repainting inside as well as out. There is also re-staining or repainting decks, maintaining septic, electrical and plumbing systems, paying for pool maintenance...the list goes on (and on, and on, and on.)
Also, as Exit Zero says, there are probably few landlords that would prefer a newbie over someone with a sound knowledge of the island as a tenant. With an experienced tenant, you are more likely to have someone who knows what they want and what many of the other options are out there when they select your unit , and who can also appreciate it if a landlord offers upgraded features beyond the standard. A knowledgeable tenant is more likely to be a happy tenant.
And let's not forget the price of real estate here is very high.
Where will you be working? I have a studio apartment in Red Hook that will be available Jan. 15. You can walk to Molly Molones, the "Irish Yacht Pub". Pictures and info on my website: http://www.virginislandsrentals.com. Look at the Red Hook Studio 2A page and also the FAQ's. Almost forgot, also a one bedroom starting January 1. (4A on the website).
Yeah, if I bring my Jeep down, I would sell it after I left. My job is a 2 year internship with the possibility of permanent. So I'll be down there for atleast 2 years. I'll be working more at the ports and airport but where I live doesn't really matter as long as it's a decent area (I have to travel a good distance for my current job anyway!).
Juanita - I emailed you with my issue of needing an apt for a month then one after April (I have 2 months of training in MD). Thank you for the information! I've heard Molly Malone's is good and it's at the TOP of my list to go to when I'm there _
I do have another question about cell phone service - what services (if any) are best down there. I currently have verizon and they say that I would have roaming charges down there so I'm looking for a new service. Any advice would be great!
I would recommend AT&T, National Plan. They have the best coverage in the VI.