My girlfriend and I plan on coming down to St John in November for a pre move visit. We are both 24 and have been working in the Washington DC area for the past 2 years. I have been fortunate enough that my earnings have allowed me to save up a fair amount of money which will act as a buffer for our trip down. That being said, I would obviously like to use up as little of my savings as possible. I am currently work as a real estate investor and flip homes for a living. I am hoping that my experience in the field of real estate will help land me a job with either a real estate brokerage or a property management company on STJ. My girlfriend works for a government contractor currently. We are obviously both open to any kind of work that comes our way, be it part time or full time. I realize that it will likely be harder to find jobs on STJ but the reason for choosing this Island is that my girlfriend has traveled there many times as her parents lived there many years ago and still have many contacts on the island. Now that you have the back story, here are some questions.....
How hard will it be to find a real estate based position on STJ?
How difficult will it be to find a 1 bedroom place to rent for around $1200-$1500 a month (does anyone know of any places opening up in November)?
If I have a car shipped in to use for this time and at the end of the 3 months we decide not to stay, how long will it take to sell and would I be able to regain my investment?
Any general advice or pointers for two young people looking to move to STJ?
If you're looking for a roomate in St. Croix let me know. I'm looking to sign a short lease 6 months if possible... my girlfriend won't be down for 6 months after I relocate.
Anyway, if you're looking for a move buddy let me know, I'd rather go through the initial trials with a couple other people.
Sorry I can't add more to your post... but the best advice I can give you would be to read everything on this website and order the pre-move books in the store. I've also researched all the ideas thrown out there on this forum, google was great.
Take care and good luck.
Mike, I appreciate the thought. I think Im pretty set on STJ though or maybe STT at the moment so that might not work out for the roomate situation. I have been reading this website for the last few weeks and these are questions that were still lingering after reading all the info. Hopefully someone will be able to answer at least a few of the questions.
Good luck on your move, let me know if you decide STT or STJ instead.
Most Brokers are willing to take on new people, but you have the whole licensing process and all the memberships and fees associated with that. There will be a big learning curve, too. Heck, just finding the properties for sale will be a hugh challenge! You might blow through all your savings before making your first sale. Don't know what to say about property management on St. John. Again, local knowledge is always a help, but worth sending some resumes. As for flipping, I think that would be a disaster. Properties just don't move here very quickly, getting construction type jobs completed will have you pulling your hair out. Just not worth it, IMHO.
Your rent range for November might be a bit low on STJ, and be prepared to get less apartment for the money. Of course DC is a high rent area, so it might not be too much sticker shock for you.
About the car, there are so many variables. What is the car? If you do go back to the states, would you want that same car? If so, leave it for a while. You can always ship it later. If you don't mind parting with it, do the math...figure out the shipping costs and how much you could sell it for and make your decision simply based on the numbers. To sell it in a hurry, you will need to offer it at a really good price, so it may still come up a lose. Also, the car most likely will need to be paid for before you can ship it. There have been some exceptions, but not many.
As for general advice...come down as unencumbered as you can, with the idea of returning in 3 months. If you get jobs you like, meet some friends, get a swell place to live and adapt to island life, then make it permanent and start putting down roots. I, personally, would give it even more than 3 months.
Just saw your other post about cars. A Wrangler is a good choice. Just make sure to get a good deal on it, and still do the math, but they sell fairly easy. New got out that I was selling mine, and people started calling. I sold it without even posting it or putting a sign on it.
Number of Realtors on St John = 65 active (if memory serves me correctly)
Number of homes sold so far this year = 19 (and this best year in the last 3 years again going off memory as I'm not in the office)
I wouldn't plan on making a living as a Realtor 🙂
Realtor on St John