Need info about moving to St.Croix
Hello everybody, I'm thinking about moving to St.Croix, but I have a few questions and was hoping there'd be someone who can help, First a little background info about me, I'm 21 years old, I've been a 911 EMT for 3 years so far, I work in a very heavy Caribbean community which has fueled my desire to move to USVI, anyway My questions are, I know the cost of living is high, but what would be the average yearly salary one would need to make to live comfortable alone in an average area? And how is the job market? Preferably I'd like to stay in the medical field, I do hold a few emergency medical certifications, also many people have told me there is a lot of racism towards white people, personally I don't believe it but I'd like your opinions on that too...all in all, how easy or hard is it to just drop everything and move to St.Croix? And any additional info you have will be great, Thanks
I would think that a certified EMT would have job opportunities on St Croix. I do not think that race is an issue. There is nepotism however, at least with government jobs.
You are correct in that most everything costs more but you should be fine on an EMT salary. Locals get by on much lower paying jobs.
I assume that you are aware that this may not be the ideal time to be looking for a rental. Lot of stateside people on island working hurricane recover right now. Lots of competition in the rental market.
If you are young and don’t have strong ties to family & friends where you now live you’ll probably find it fairly easy to “drop everything” and relocate to STX as long as you have a enough savings to tide you over until you find employment. Just how much this “nest egg” should be depends on the type of life style you are accustomed to. Most people will advise you to bring enough to support yourself for about 6 months. You’ll need 3 months rent (first, last & Security deposit) just to walk in the door of an apartment, deposits for utilities, money for a car and money to stock your home with food and other incidentals.
Now, how much of an annual salary you’ll need will, again, depend on your lifestyle. On average you can expect it will cost you anywhere from 20% to 30% more to maintain the same lifestyle on STX as compared to where you now live. You can get by on less if you are willing to sacrifice some of the “daily comforts and needs” that you now take for granted. Only YOU know how much you need.
As the previous responder pointed out right now things are in a state of flux as the island recovers from the recent storms. It will be a while before everything gets back to normal.
You might find it helpful to come down for a few weeks to check out the island, explore employment opportunities (if you are able to secure a job in your field while on the island you can certainly stay or negotiate a starting date that is convenient for both you and your potential employer.
In the meantime continue your research - use the drop down menus at the top of the forum’s home page. There’s lots of very helpful information there. Also, search the forum archives for threads on topics that interest you - again you’ll find lots of great info.
Good luck following your dream.
A pre-move visit is always recommend to confirm you really want to move and line-up options for housing and perhaps work. This should not be treated as a vacation but rather living as you would after moving, shop the local stores, cook your own meals, maybe some networking.
Thank you for all of the info everybody, one question I did forget to ask is about my vehicle, I'm currently pretty fresh into a car loan, I was wondering what the ideal car would be down there? How are the roads? Right now I have a 2011 Dodge Challenger RT, im thinking this probably is not the best car to have in St.Croix, What are your thoughts?
You can pretty much choose what you want. I've seen one of those new old T-bird convertibles around. You don't need 4WD on STX unless you really plan on drivig in the bush. That being said the roads aren't great, potholes sprout like mushrooms after the rain, driving something with a good suspension/larger tires like a truck or midsize SUV isn't a bad idea. Be aware that many lenders will not authorize a car under loan to be relocated to the VI. You will need to provide clear title or a letter from the lien holder to any shipping company to relocate a vehicle. However, it's general a good idea to ship one from the states vs. trying to pick something up locally.
Expenses depend on where your coming from and what your used to. Someone moving here from Florida will feel a far greater increase in expenses as opposed to someone coming from New York.
As far as a vehicle, if it's assembled in USA, and has a clear title (paid off) then it's worth it. I went with Blue Ocean Transport (see ad below). They shipped my 09 Chevy pickup from Miami to STX for $1250.00 plus another $250 for the good folks at Ferrol to receive it, and get it registered, inspected and new plates. Ready to drive from the port. Shipping took only 5 days from Miami.
Singlefin is correct, I live in NY, not near NYC but I think the pricing is comparable on lots of things, plus 7% of my pay is taken unwillingly from my paycheck each week, so that's a bonus for me when I move down. Food is hit or miss, just need to know your prices and where to shop, you will learn that pretty quick. Gas is the same as NY, electricity is where you will really see though. The community as a whole is great and the people are awesome, I have never felt racism towards me, but I haven't been there enough possibly to experience it.
Go for it, your young, have a job in demand and if it doesn't work out, your young enough to hop on plane and try it somewhere else.