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VIsnorkeler
(@VIsnorkeler)
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June 24, 2012 2:17 pm  

If I've met someone on this board, I didn't know it. Although, I probably have since this island is pretty darned small.

The majority of the folks on this board seem to be on STX. Maybe they get together...but now that I'm thinking about it, I believe I saw a different thread where someone mentioned that they used to get together, but haven't in years.


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USERNAME1
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June 24, 2012 2:17 pm  

Thanks blu4u. That is very good info the VA would be if needed. What about boats most people have them or does it cost to much. Enough with the question
enjoy ur day


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Alana33
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June 24, 2012 4:24 pm  

I have heard that the VA here has vastly improved but many things do require a trip to PR.
Contact them.

If you live in STJ, it shall be more expensive for food, gas, and travel back and forth to STT especially for a very long commute to UVI on STT's West End or even to work on STT east end. That being said, we pay more for just about everything here in islands than most places stateside, especially our unreliable electricity.

Where to live depends on what you wish to do when living here. Are you and wife planning on working? Are you retired? Can your son fit in work with a full course of studies once he is elegible and is accepted or will he only work the first yr. prior to starting school? Does UVI offer what he wishes to study or would he be better served at a stateside university?

I would not recommend driving a scooter on any of our islands due to the fact that most roads are pot hole ridden, there are practically no sidewalks, our terrain is mountainous and steep with overgrown bush on roadsides, lighting at night is terrible and let's not mention all the idiot drivers we have roaming the roads. (No offense but true) Driving a regular vehicle is hard enuff some days! Low to ground vehicles will not like our roads so if you have such to ship you may want to reconsider. If you have any suvs, truck, etc. it would make sense to ship, especially if you have a newer vehicle.

There is very little public transportation on STT. There are Safari buses but they only go to specific locations/routes. Taxis are expensive. There is NO bus service for St. Thoma's northside or southside. If you expect to depend on public trans to get back and forth to get to work on time or school, forget it, as even the bus line does not know its schedule.

May starts our Off/slow season so not many places hire during this time and quite a few places shut down in Sept. for vacation.
Sept. also being the height of hurricane season. Cruise ships and tourism picks back up in Nov. so better chances of finding a job
if you are looking for the various jobs catering to tourists.

If you and your wife do not have to work (or even if you do) there are many non profit organizations that are always looking for volunteers and helping hands which is a good way to meet people from all walks of life.

Vacationing here is very different than living here, full time. It can be a wonderful and rewarding experience but it is not for everyone.
I would suggest not burning your bridges at home/selling your home if you own so that if you discover island life is not for you and your family after a year, you have lost nothing but gained an adventure and perspective.

There are always rentals to be found, just depends on your budget and expectations.
That all being said, continue to do your research and good luck.


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Linda J
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June 24, 2012 6:09 pm  

People here eat pretty much what people on the continent eat. Goat is probably as exotic as it gets. And, of course, there are fruits and veggies here that are not available in the states.

In general, you life here is going to about the same as if you were living in a coastal town in the states, just way more expensive.


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blu4u
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June 24, 2012 6:15 pm  

Transplanted state siders can find familiar foods (at a price). Common west indian staples are available as well. Rice and root vegetables are easy to find. Where are you relocating from? What type of food do you wish to find?


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USERNAME1
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June 24, 2012 8:55 pm  

Thanks Linda j and alana33pw
Very insightful.....the boy can work that 1st year if he wishes.
This is an adventure for him and us....and he would not be better off at a school stateside without us. First 2 years are basic courses. Anyway. Thanks again.


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sallyf
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June 25, 2012 3:01 am  

If both partners are not 100% on board, then the move is usually short (VERY) lived. and IMHO your first couple of posts were quite hard to understand, maybe that is why you didn't get the quality of answers that you were looking for.


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USERNAME1
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June 25, 2012 12:22 pm  

Thanks sallyf
All are on board. So far only one
Person has told me how much they
love it there And that bothers me.
Thanks to all


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Alana33
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June 25, 2012 1:40 pm  

Wait until you try salt fish and fungi, bullfoot soup, kallaloo, souse or gundy! MMMmmmmm!

People here eat pretty much what people on the continent eat. Goat is probably as exotic as it gets. And, of course, there are fruits and veggies here that are not available in the states.

In general, you life here is going to about the same as if you were living in a coastal town in the states, just way more expensive.


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wenchtoo
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June 25, 2012 10:35 pm  

Wait until you try salt fish and fungi, bullfoot soup, kallaloo, souse or gundy! MMMmmmmm!

People here eat pretty much what people on the continent eat. Goat is probably as exotic as it gets. And, of course, there are fruits and veggies here that are not available in the states.

In general, you life here is going to about the same as if you were living in a coastal town in the states, just way more expensive.

Alana you forgot fish head soup> OMG I miss the Quarter Deck!


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Alana33
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June 26, 2012 5:45 pm  

I also forgot stewed conch, whelks and rice and about a dozen other goodies!


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USERNAME1
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June 27, 2012 4:45 pm  

Thanks to all
the one thing that bothers me in all of the comments is
that only one person has said how much he loves it there only one
thanks to all


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OldTart
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June 27, 2012 4:55 pm  

I've enjoyed living here for the past 28 years. Sometimes I love it, sometimes it frustrates me beyond belief. I don't know that anyone who lives here could gush that they "love" living here unless they're fresh off the 'plane and the rose-colored spectacles are still firmly in place. But then I've lived in many different places over many years and don't recall ever feeling a steady rush of "love" about any geographical location. All have their upsides and downsides.


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USERNAME1
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June 27, 2012 5:35 pm  

Thanks oldtart
what do they mean by 1bedroom apartments. How important is credit there. Do people get paid in cash in some jobs. When do people do the main hiring and when is the best time to rent there. How do I get the classified section of a local papered on line. Can I rent a place if I have the money in my pocket. Please help with these real questions. I have done the settler handbook map and DVD it answered nothing for me. What up with all the low rent houseing I see. What would be the cost of scuba lessons as a local. Are there discounts for locals. I have a thousand questions and all help is most welcome. No souse no fish head soup for me. Thanks again to all.


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USERNAME1
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June 27, 2012 5:41 pm  

Thanks oldtart, what do they mean specifically by a one bedroom apartment? What else is there in a one bedroom? How important is credit, can I rent a place with cash in my pocket? When is the best time of year to find a job And a place to live? Are they're discounts on things for locals? And how much for scuba lessons for locals? Thanks for your help.


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STXBob
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June 27, 2012 6:28 pm  

the one thing that bothers me in all of the comments is
that only one person has said how much he loves it there only one

I don't think you asked us if we love it here, so until now there was no reason to state that we do.

I love it here.


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VIsnorkeler
(@VIsnorkeler)
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June 27, 2012 7:10 pm  

When I was looking at one-bedroom apartments, all the ones I saw had some sort of a main living area, a kitchen area, a bathroom and a bedroom. I think that is the standard definition of a one-bedroom.

I needed no credit, but I rent from an individual, not a complex or even a real estate agent. So, while there are places for rent that you may need credit for, know that there are plenty of others that are GREAT with cash in your pocket.

A job depends on what you want to do. Some places seem to be always hiring. The Ritz is known for doing a LOT of interviews before they hire. Duffy's always needs help, but I think you are waiting for someone to die to get a job at Caribbean Saloon. (All personal opinion, of course!!) Just prior to our high season is probably the best time to find a job -- maybe late October or November. The best time to find a place to live is tricky, too. Seasonal folks leave in droves at the end of May, so places seem to come available then, but other people leave for other reasons, too, so you can have luck any time of the year. I'm not going to directly address that get paid cash thing as I kinda think that could be illegal. As a server, however, I make cash everyday I work, if that counts.

The local paper is on-line and you can look at the classifieds there. Google Daily News VI and I am sure you will find it.

I don't know "what up with all the low rent housing" as I'm not sure what you mean.

Most dive shops give discounts to locals for scuba diving lessons (and just going diving) but you need to contact them directly. There are several on island. Aqua Action (in Secret Harbor) Red Hook (duh) St Thomas Dive Club (Bolongo) Water World Outfitters (Havesight) Coki Dive Shop (duh, again) Pretty sure they all have websites, too, so that can be a start.


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Alana33
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June 27, 2012 8:40 pm  

Thanks to all
the one thing that bothers me in all of the comments is
that only one person has said how much he loves it there only one
thanks to all

We all prbably love it and hate it, sometimes.
Maybe not the island itself because it surely is a beautiful place to live but frustations of daily living and the lack of choices can pile up from time to time, especially since one must get ona plane to go anywhere to escape.


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USERNAME1
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June 28, 2012 1:02 am  

Thanks visnorkler
U are the one who keeps me hanging in on the move there.
I wish all were as straight forward as u thanks for all of your help. Thank all again


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STXBob
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June 28, 2012 1:20 am  

Thanks visnorkler
U are the one who keeps me hanging in on the move there.
I wish all were as straight forward as u thanks for all of your help. Thank all again

Farewell USERNAME1.


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East Ender
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June 28, 2012 2:52 am  

If you need to go to Puerto Rico, the VA pays for your flight.


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OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
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June 28, 2012 10:48 am  

Thanks visnorkler
U are the one who keeps me hanging in on the move there.
I wish all were as straight forward as u thanks for all of your help. Thank all again

I'm sorry you feel this way. You've been given a lot of information and guided towards the tools already in place to enable you to find answers to your many questions which have been asked and answered countless times before and over many years. Unfortunately such repeated comments indicate that you somehow feel that the subscribers to this board have a duty to treat you as special and not only lead you to the water but assist you in drinking it.


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USERNAME1
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July 8, 2012 3:40 pm  

Good day once again to all
I have spent the last three weeks studying all of the info
I could find and I have a much better idea of what our family
Is about to do and we are ready. Now for a couple of straight questions.
1. My credit is not that good...can I find a 2br with at least a 3 month lease if I pay in advance.
2. What is the avg power bill for a 2bd..ballpark figure.
To let all know I am 62,wife 52,and son18. All will work to eat and extras. Will have approximately 20000 to start and social security to pay for apt or house.
3. Can we make it and enjoy life there on STD.
4. Need info on accommodations. For 7 day stay in Jan 2013 pre move. Moving there in may or June.
Thanks I owe all of u dinner once we are there.


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OldTart
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July 8, 2012 4:13 pm  

As far as a 3 month lease is concerned, it's not likely that you'll find one for that short of a term. A year is normal, occasionally a 6 month lease is offered but otherwise you would be on a month to month. Most rentals require first, last and one month security up front and a 2BR will run anywhere from 1400-3000 and up a month depending on location, furnished or unfurnished, etc. It's hard to say what your utility bills will be on a 2BR. If you have A/C, washing machine and dryer, etc. then it could be anywhere from 150-500/month and if the utilities are billed directly to you, WAPA requires a deposit. Some places include basic cable/satellite, some include utilities but either way you'll pay, of course, by a higher rent. Water is sometimes included, sometimes metered and for which you pay per gallon usage. Once you come here in January you can see what's being offered first-hand. Propane gas for cooking is usually at tenant's cost. A tank currently costs around $85 and will last about 3-4 months with regular family usage. Our electricity rate is currently 0.50/KwH which is the highest under the US flag and which you can compare to what you now pay.

Highly unlikely that unless the SSD cheque is very high it'll cover your basic COL expenses but you did say you would all be working so, as long as you can find jobs, that shouldn't be a problem.

There are several short-term options for your PMV but January is high season and you should figure on paying at least $150/night and even that may be a little optimistic.

As far as your poor credit rating is concerned, some landlords check and some don't so that's a question which is hard to answer. Most savvy landlords don't like to accept prepayment of rent as it indicates an inability of the person to handle their finances - but there's always the exception!


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Alexandra
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July 8, 2012 5:55 pm  

There ARE some 3 month lease options available, as there have been a lot of travel nurses and other contractors who come to St. Croix on 3 month contract cycles which may or may not be renewed for another 3 months at a time. You typically pay a little more per month for a 3 month lease rather than a 6 or 12 month lease as the landlord is taking on additional risk that there will be more frequent turn-over of the unit and that increases the cleaning/maintenance/advertising/vacancy costs, etc.


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