PMV from San Diego, CA
Good Afternoon All,
My fiance and I bought our tickets for our wedding and PMV for May 2nd and it's not coming soon enough. I know what expensive is like...it seems most people move from small places like Kansas and Connecticut where EVERYTHING is inexpensive and when they get to the Island they are in shock. Is there anyone on the Island from Southern California who could compare the two???
We are looking to slow down and smell the ocean, pick fruit off a tree and enjoy. San Diego is impacted with too many people and we are exhausted from catering to these high maintenance demanding people in the corporate 9-5 job. We need a big change. We are both educated, no kids, have savings, have income property, but is tired of the rat race....We so hard....for what? Nice big cars? Nice big houses? Go on a two week trip to Europe that we've earned at work??? To some people that may sound nice. I guess I haven't heard of anyone moving from San Diego to a struggling Island...
I guess I don't really know what my question is...any thoughts? Would you move from a nice place like San Diego to a place like the VI?
I lived for five years in orange county (newport beach) and 2 in the palm springs area before coming here. San Diego is very beautiful for a large city but it is so populated and expensive. So if you would here at least you wouldnt have the over populated part, well if you move to stx or stj. If you do come, dont bring everything you really will not need it. Bring the memories and dump the stuff. Set a limit from the start of how much you will dip into your savings, because like san diego it is very expensive here and your day to day options are sooooo much smaller. Just figure that everything in your day to day life is going to be a little harder to get done but if you are patient and persistant it will get done. The trade off will be if you like the beach, snorkel, dive etc. The bonuses are easy to see. Which island are you planning on?
Amanda, I live in the Los Angeles area, also very overpopulated, but moreso than San Diego. You don't mention if this is your first trip. I'm sure you're going to have a great wedding and honeymoon. We love St John and although older than yourselves, love the race here in SoCal and have been very fortunate to have everything available to us.
Make sure you look carefully and if you own a home in San Diego do youself a favor and do not sell it unless you know you aren't coming back. Once you sell the house here, you may never be able to get that same type house back. That is a fact of SoCal real estate.
Although housing is high here, the basic costs of living make it very easy to live here. It's nice to have Costco, Best Buy, et al. Want to go to the desert, it's a couple of miles away. Want to go to the mountains, it's a couple of hours away. Want to taste wine, it's a couple of hours away. Want to go to Rosarito Beach, it's a couple of hours away.
I'm not sure what you do for work, but you might not find it there. If the corporate world is not your thing, try something else. The opportunities in SoCal are great and whether or not you call if a rat race, there are ways of escaping.
People come out here in droves for some reason. I'm a big proponent of SoCal and the benefits of enjoying life here. I'm trying to give a SoCal perspective and know nothing about why folks go from other communities. Today I have ribs on the smoker. A very nice mid '70's here.
I lived on the beach in Del Mar...........3 blocks down the beach from Jakes...........this is a much slower cheaper and friendlier place in my opinion..........I lived in Hawaii for 14 years so the Island life style has always appealed to me.............Yes I would move from San Diego............as fast as I could............... I did not like much of anything there......I moved for quality of life ......I also took a 70% cut in pay.... ..good luck..........
Thanks everyone for the input! I'll be there in May for 2 weeks staying at the Bluebeards Castle, I am 25 and my finance is 35. We don't plan on selling our investments or our homes especially since they are in So. Cal. I am a Commerical Property Manager for retail and office centers throughout San Diego and he is an Executive Account Manager for UPS. I know we won't find "great" jobs out there but the quality of life may be worth it!
Be careful. The quality of life you find while your on your honeymoon may not be the real quality of life that exists. I would suggest coming home and maybe consider a PMV at another time as many suggest not doing the vacation/honeymoon thing.
I lived for a long time in La Mesa, just outside of San Diego. Believe me when I tell you that St. Croix beats in nearly every way, so far as I'm concerned. If you're into shopping in Fashion Valley, you'll miss that...but you'll enjoy the fact that you really don't feel the need to shop here. Life is good and your lifestyle is much simpler. Take the plunge...it's worth the risk!
Roger W. Morgan
Roger W Morgan, wasn't there a radio guy here in Los Angeles with a similar name.
Rog, apples/oranges kind of thing. Shopping is only one of the many lures of the south coast. from Newport to San Diego.
Is there UPS on St. Thomas? Could he xfer?
Like promoguy I come from Los Angeles and know that compared to living prices in Southern California, the VI isn't that expensive. I totally understand where you are coming from. The rat race could get old real quick especially if buying new cars and clothing isn't your thing. Southern California is full of great opportunities and great people but you pay the price for it.
By the way are you the same Amanda that posted earlier this year about whether you should move to the VI or Hawaii?
IF so how did you make your decision?
"Like promoguy I come from Los Angeles and know that compared to living prices in Southern California, the VI isn't that expensive."
Wait a second, Vay, (and with all due respect) as much as you've visited a couple of times and are planning to move here, you aren't yet a resident and are relying primarily on basic statistics posted on this forum to come to that conclusion.
I don't have a problem with the conclusions you might have reached thus far by doing your research but the reality of living here where general living expenses are concerned can only be glimpsed from the outside and often turn out to be far, far higher once you are really thrust into the melee of doing daily business.
You sound like a really nice person and this isn't meant to be an "attack" by any matter of means but I have to beg that you don't subjectively "know" and won't until you've actually lived here for at least six months.
Amanda, the advice you've been given thus far and for the most part is right on target. Promoguy is absolutely right when he says, "Be careful. The quality of life you find while your (sic) on your honeymoon may not be the real quality of life that exists. I would suggest coming home and maybe consider a PMV at another time as many suggest not doing the vacation/honeymoon thing."
Your honeymoon is your honeymoon is your honeymoon.
Continue to research this forum extensively, read the moving stories and all else but also understand that the majority of those who come here and leave here DON'T post on this forum. And I'm serious about "the majority." You'll only get a teaser glimpse of that transient majority on this forum. Cheers, dear, enjoy your upcoming nuptials and let us know how things progress!
And congrats to you, Amanda....finding that forever love is so special!
Amanda, I will have to second Promoguy....we didn't understand just how expensive it is - you see the big things (sometimes not to clearly, but I digress - maybe that was just us), but you don't see the smaller things that add up -electronics have to be replaced much more frequently, grocery costs are high and there isn't as much choice.....gas is higher on STT than STX, but it's high right now in the states, too, as you well know....but just going out to lunch can cost if you aren't careful -
I'm not from L.A. - and boy, I didn't have a single thing to go by and went into sticker coma within a couple of weeks (yep, it's what it sounds like - one step up from sticker shock)......within 6 months I was wondering if I'd missed the money tree or something.
Your quality of life, unless you are very fortunate, most likely will not be like your honeymoon....just go slowly. I agree with STT Res that you should do a bona fide PMV - call it a second honeymoon - but look at things from a different perspective....a total life perspective.
Vay, in all due respect, you are misleading folks here if you are saying the pricing is comparable. it isn't even close. It is much less expensive living here in So Cal.
I just don't know where you are getting your information.
Give me one item that is less expensive than here other than booze and other duty free items from the streets of STT. Remember everything is shipped and by shipped I don't mean trucked.
"compared to living prices in Southern California, the VI isn't that expensive"
I'm sorry if my comments came off as I was implying that the VI is less expensive. True I haven't spent years in the VI, only months. I was saying that if you are use to the costs of Southern California then moving to the VI wont be a dramatic change. Sure there are things in the VI that are more expensive than in SoCal but its nothing that, as long as you prepare for will break the bank.
I see where you could have assumed I was just looking at number from websites but I am talking about actually expenses I experienced. The big difference I noticed was the price of electricity and of eating out.
I think you offered Amanda good advice but while there are cheap places to live in SoCal for the most part you pay the cost to live in the most populated areas and while it might not be exactly the same cost of living in the VI it is pretty darn close.
P.S. Promoguy it all depends where you live. You have mentioned you live in Van Nuys, of course you cost of living are lower than a person who lives in Los Angeles, or any metropolitan area. Please let me know what about the VI is way more expensive than LA.
I too came from southern california. I lived in newport beach for many years and i'm sorry but it is more expensive to live here. We also thought we would be breaking even by moving here. Theres no state tax and no sales tax, and rents dont seem that much different right? How wrong we were. There are so many hidden costs to living here, especially when you are a home owner. Groceries and Wapa go up so much faster then they do stateside. You are constantly trying to figure out what you can do without. You might be thinking how much better it would be to live simply and do without. Yeah its fun to go camping and rough it. But when you HAVE to do without its truely not as much fun. And that is what the middle class does here. Your income will also be lower and your cost of living will still be as high as so-cal as well.
prices here on STX compared to San Diego , Del Mar to be exact are far cheaper here ,than when I lived in San Diego...............4 years ago.........My family still lives there......... and prices from their point of view.......... St Croix is cheaper ..........
Trust me I've spent more cumulative time on vacations than you have spent on your two visits.
Listen to Betty.
Instead of saying that it is less expensive, give me an item that you find less again other than booze or anything that is duty free.
Tsk, tsk, you do seem to have the attitude today...
My personal favorites?
Velveeta - $11 for the large box
Milk - $7/gallon for reconstituted sh**
Chicken backs - 1.29/lb (we pay .42/lb for them and feed them to the dogs.....hello.....)
Campbell's clam chowder - $3.99 for a large CAN????
And no, I was not shopping at Schooner Bay.....
My new personal favorite (small disclaimer it was at the gallows bay hardware store know for rippin ya off) was a box of swifter duster refills for $19.95 which normally run for about 6 to 8 bucks when you can find them.
I think it's also what you get for your money. Our apartment on St Thomas and the one we're in here in Key West are of similar size and the same exact rent. Here we have central air and our electric bill is under $100 a month and we use the a/c quite a bit. On St Thomas we didn't have a/c at all. Here in Key West our wi-fi is included with the rent. On St Thomas our internet connection was $100 a month. Our water bill here last month was $18 dollars. On St Thomas the landlady would often turn off our water because the cistern was running low and then leave for the day or maybe even two and we would have to go out and buy water by the gallon in order to bathe and flush. Here our windows open and close. On St Thomas, some were rusted open and some were rusted closed and when it was foggy we had clouds in the apartment. We have an electric stove here and on STT we had to buy propane and have it delivered. Cable TV is included in the rent here. I can't remember how much it was on STT. Here we have on site laundry facilities. On STT we spent a small fortune at the laundromat. We have a pool here as well as tennis courts and a view of the Gulf of Mexico. On STT we had a million dollar view of Magens Bay and a big porch where we could have dinner while looking at the BVIs in the distance.
On St Thomas we had lizards running through the apartment and roosters crowing at all hours. On Key West we have lizards running through the apartment and roosters crowing at all hours. Some things didn't change even if our latitude did. And by the way, my boyfriend moved from San Diego to St Thomas and now is here in Key West. The poor guy is never going to get a financial break with me around.
The sticker price of grocery items is but the tip of the iceberg. We found....when we actually lived there...that almost everything is expensive. Goods, services, appliances, auto repairs, dining out, gardening blah blah blah. Economy of scale is non existant on island and stores and service providers can take advantage of monopoly or limited choice situations.
You also have to factor in the cost of getting to and from the Islands if you have to or want to leave. Burgler alarm monitoring service is a recommended cost.
If you live in a small apartment - no yard etc and live a simple lifestyle you will be hurting less than people with yards and larger homes. And don't get me started on the cost of maintaining a pool!!!
Private education is an absolute necessity unless one can home school. It does not come cheaply. Trips over to StT do not come cheap.
We moved recently to the Olympic Peninsula in WA - expensive real estate etc. We now have only one income and we have a larger house, a brand new boat, eat out more often and can afford trips to England.