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Anonymous
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October 17, 2006 12:04 am  

I would like to move to St. Croix from the states. However, it seems the only thing I can afford is Mon Bijou in St. Croix. What kind of neighborhood is this? I inquired about a place here, and a real estate agent told me this is not the best of neighborhoods. Any information would be greatly appreciated.


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terry
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October 17, 2006 1:00 am  

You should not do anything WITHOUT a PMV! Then you can see for yourself.


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Anonymous
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October 17, 2006 1:14 am  

Thanks. However, I have spent so much money traveling & trying to find a place to live. It's getting very hard to live in the states now. I figured if I asked around it would give me an idea of what's what. Then eventually, I can do a PMV. I just wasn't sure if the agent was trying to get a bigger commission by selling me something more expensive. But thanks.


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Alexandra
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October 17, 2006 2:15 am  

Mon Bijou can be a bit of a rough neighborhood sometimes. It is populated mostly by locals and people who have moved here from down-island and Puerto Rico. It's a lower income environment but a step above the housing projects. Some of the occupants are owners and others are tenants. It is rare for someone from the mainland to move into Mon Bijou, but it does happen.

There are sometimes houses that come on the market at low prices in neighborhoods that many mainlanders would not object to. It is wise to find a way to make a trip to the island to explore and figure out which neighborhoods you might be able to afford that would also be places you would be comfortable living. Then you can watch for new listings to come on the market if you don't find something right away that would work for you.

If you want to send me a private message or an email at stcroixhomes@hotmail.com with a little info on the type of house you are seeking and the price range you are trying to stay within, I might be able to suggest properties or neighborhoods that would be a match. Sometimes if you can swing the down payment for a slightly more expensive property that has a second unit to rent out to cover some of the mortgage payment, that can give you a few more options.


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Anonymous
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October 17, 2006 4:17 am  

Alexander,

My childhood home was in Mon Bijou and Frangi Pani which is the adjacent neighborhood to Mon Bijou.

It is interesting to read and learn from you that my childhood home in Mon Bijou is a step above the projects. Personally, that was an insult to the working and middle class families such as my parents and former neighbors. While Mon Bijou may not be your choice of preferred neighborhoods, it is nevertheless home to some working class natives.

My childhood was not tainted by crime, drugs, or violence. Instead, what I saw daily were honest citizens like my parents working hard to provide for their families.

As a child, my siblings and I climbed trees and picked fruits such as mangos and coconuts in our yard; we took long cool walks with my mother at night. Often, we rode our bikes to Salt River. We were never afraid to be outside at anytime.

While someone from the mainland may not be interested in moving to a working class native neighborhood; Mon Bijou and Frangi Pani is home and will be home for many others.

My memories of Mon Bijou and Frangi Pani is not a distant memory. Although my parents no longer live there, I visit childhood friends and neighbors when I come home to visit my family.


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Linda J
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October 17, 2006 9:43 am  

I live in Betsys Jewel, which is just above Mon Bijou. It is indeed a working class neighborhood, with homes fairly close together. IMO it is no better or worse that similar neighborhoods in the US. If you are white and a native english speaker, you would probably be the only one in the neighborhood.

That said, I cannot strongly enough recommend that you NOT buy anything without being here and touring all areas of the island. Find something to rent for 6 months.

You cannot possibly make an informed decision on property without being here. And is true whether you are considering Mon Bijou or Judith's Fancy.


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Melody
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October 17, 2006 1:19 pm  

I know someone who purchased a home in Mon Bijou last year. She is from a pretty affluent neighborhood in Northern VA. Perhaps I connect you with her and she can give you her perspective as homeowner. Send me a private message if you are interested.


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terry
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October 17, 2006 1:42 pm  

Johnnycakes, you don't say how old you are. How long ago was that?
I'm not sure where Mon Bijou is, and I can't comment on how the area is. What I can comment on is that the neighborhood that I grew up in, in AZ., and raised my family in for 31 years is no longer the neighborhood that I knew. Things change, neighborhood change, somethimes for the better, but sometimes for the worse. We left that area 16 years ago, and when we go back, it's a crying shame to see how the area has detoriated.


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Anonymous
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October 17, 2006 3:11 pm  

Thanks everyone for your opinion and information. I am a Black female. I don't have a problem living among the locals. In fact, I welcome it. I would prefer to live around the locals, this is because, tourist come and go. I need to get to know the locals and long-term residents.


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Anonymous
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October 17, 2006 3:26 pm  

Hello again. I saw the posts just below mine. I would really like to move to St. Croix. However, I will have second thoughts if there are problems of racism. We are all people with different skins tones, features...but it all boils down to the same, we are all human. Please, someone tell me this is a joke!


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dougtam&jj
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October 17, 2006 3:42 pm  

Anjell,
I'm moving to STX November 22. I have been to STX for 6 extended visits. I feel like there is a lot less racism on STX than anywhere else I have lived in the US. I am a white female and my two best friends on the island are black locals. The postings that I have read in the last 8 months have been wonderful and very helpful to people moving to the island. The postings that you saw today were a fluke. There are always a few people everywhere that are angry, racist and ugly. I prefer to just ignore them. Please don't think the statements you read today are a bad indication of how things are on STX. It's a beautifull wonderfull place and very nice people, both local and continental.
Tammy


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Anonymous
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October 17, 2006 3:45 pm  

I shall make it clear! When I asked what kind of neighborhood is Mon Bijou, I was specifically referring to - is it locals, is it mixed with new residents, working class, is it in an area with industrial buildings.

Here's the deal. I have lived in Newport Beach California & Mission Viejo California, so I have lived among rich, and I have also lived among middle class and working class.

My opinion, middle class and working class are more friendlier, easier to get along with. The well-to-do and rich at times, and IMO tend to be more rude.

I also asked about the neighborhood as I will be moving there alone. As long as I am safe in my home, alone, that is a plus.


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terry
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October 17, 2006 4:32 pm  

Anjell,
I have been to StX 5 times for atotal of 10 weeks. I have yet to encounter any racisum. I'm sure there is some, as there is everywhere. The people I have met are the most friendly I have encountered. I believe that you get what you project. If you are warm and friendly, most people will act like that as well.
I don't know if it is more of an issue on STT.


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Linda J
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October 17, 2006 7:35 pm  

Mon Bijou is primarily west indian, middle and lower middle class neighborhood. Like so many similar neighborhoods on the continent, some folks are "house proud" and some are not. As a continental even tho you are black, you would stand out. Come on down and look around. Do not buy before you see the neighborhood for yourself.

This area sits very low and has been the victim of flooding during heavy rains in the past. There is presently a flood control project being completed which should mitigate the problem, but this is another factor to consider.


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Anonymous
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October 17, 2006 8:31 pm  

Wow, Linda J., you are on the right track. That is very important to know, is it in a flood area. This let's me know that I would probably have to acquire a flood insurance policy, or that my rates may be higher.

Actually, I really appreciate everyone's response. However, as I said before, this is the type of information I am looking for when I asked what kind of neighborhood is it. More specifically, this house could have been near a waste treatment plant (there are some here...I worked across the street from one a few years ago and some of my co-workers became ill).

As far as race is concerned, I don't have a problem with it. What I do have a problem with, and one of the reasons I want to leave the states is the gang problem. Here, they put graffitti everywhere, on the sidewalks, on street signs, on buildings, cars & trucks, go figure. Yes, I know there is crime everywhere. Yet, it some places it is not as bad.


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terry
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October 17, 2006 9:10 pm  

Linda, where is Mon Bijou?


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Anonymous
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October 17, 2006 9:21 pm  

Hello Terry,

Thanks for your comments. That's nice to know. Have you considered moving to St. Croix or is it just a chance to get away?


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terry
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October 17, 2006 9:32 pm  

32 1/2 monyhs until my wife can get her full retirement. At that time we are planning to split our time, until we see if we could make the move. I'm ready now, but she's not sure that she could move full time. We own a condo now. We will be there at Thanksgiving, her for 2 weeks, and me for a month.


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Anonymous
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October 17, 2006 10:45 pm  

Terry,

I was looking at the condos, but the monthly fees amount to 2x car payments. I thought that Mill Harbor & St John QU are awesome. However, being I am from the west coast, such as you, I would maybe come back to the states during Hurricane season. But the fees make it impossible for me to do such. So, I would have to look at homes instead.


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Anonymous
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October 17, 2006 10:59 pm  

Hello Melody,

I would love to send you a private email. Don't laugh, but I am not very computer savvy. What am I to do, am I to click on your name to do this? LOL


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Linda J
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October 17, 2006 11:08 pm  

Hi Terry,

Pretend you are at Cane Bay (hard work, I know...lol). Take the road east until you get to the corner store. Then turn right and take Cannan Road up and over the hill. You can stop at the top, by the black wrought iron fence with the white columns and wave at Ric and me. Anyway, go on down the hill. At the bottom is the floor control project and the neighborhood across the street from that is Mon Bijou.

I gotta learn the road names and numbers!!!

When will be be back down? Ric is always looking for dive buddies.

Linda J


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terry
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October 17, 2006 11:33 pm  

Before you buy, check out homeowners insurance. VERY expensive. that is one of the reasons that the condo fees are so expensive, they include huricane insurance. We were looking at a home 4000 sq ft including 2 rental apartments. The insurance was going to be about $10,000 per year. If we didn't want coverage on the roof, and outside finish ( paint?) it could drop to about $7,000 per year. That house was not on the ocean, but I'm not sure that made a difference.


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terry
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October 17, 2006 11:35 pm  

We will be there in time for Thanksgiving. My wife will be there 2 weeks, and I will be there a month. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.LOL.
I will look forward to diving with Ric


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Anonymous
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October 18, 2006 1:45 am  

Terry,

Wow, this is making me wonder if I will ever be able to live in Paradise! So far, it seems as if you have to pay cash for the property and just pay the monthly insurrance premiums, food...


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jane
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October 18, 2006 3:04 pm  

We were lucky enough to pay cash for our lovely house - and did not have HO Insurance. However, our house had withstood all the big hurricanes with no damage and was pretty much a 2,600 sq ft bomb shelter. We gambled that any damage sustained would be cheaper than years of high premiums - and we were right. However, this is a personal choice only, NOT a recommendation.
You get what you pay for in the VI. The housing prices are not that far off many stateside locations (higher than some), so...there really are not any cheap, beautiful Caribbean Island homes waiting to be snapped up by savvy adventurous home buyers. It is just like everywhere else - you get what you pay for.
If you want a modest home, with no views, no pool, in a modest neighborhood inland, then you will pay a modest price. As your expectations increase, so too will the price and the need for a mortgage and the insurance etc.
Do your research Grasshopper - talk to a Realtor etc. BUT do not make a decision of any kind without a PMV!!!!!


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