Possibly moving to St. Croix
It looks like I will have a job offer soon to work at UVI. Any advice / recommendations on moving to St. Croix will be greatly appreciated. We have two small dogs and a cat. My husband will retire but I will be working.
We live in GA now.
We are nervous about such a big move. Should we do it? We do love the water and island climate.
There is certainly a lot to consider and be nervous about and a lot to learn. A very wide open question. Best advice is to read the forum postings and other links at the top of the page. And don't plan to buy property until you've been here at least a year or two and confident of staying longer unless you can afford to hold a property for possibly a few years before selling it without a great loss.
What an exciting opportunity for you both! That is going to be quite a move and culture change. I would recommend a long term rental while you explore different areas that you would like to live permanently. Best of luck to you!
Joanledbetter, although 'on paper' renting may seem like a waste of money it is SO very important to do here. You HAVE to figure out where on island you want to be...what area resonates with you, and, in my opinion, you have to have lived on island for awhile before you know where that may be. On any of the islands, not just STX. I rented while on STT - moved several times, and had I stayed there, I know EXACTLY where I would have wanted to buy because I had lived in several different areas and drove all over island (knew where I did NOT want to be). Here on STX, my husband had been here a long time and knew the specific areas he wanted to be. It would be more of a wasted of money to buy in an area you really didn't like.
It would be more of a wasted of money to buy in an area you really didn't like.
There's two distinct divisions on STX, "east and west" and then sub-area's with in that.
East is white picket fences and people who want to live in America, but not in America.
West is the local population.
Christiansted is technically near the center of the island, but it's not uncommon to hear about people from Fredericksted or Christiansted that have not or do not go to the other town.
Out west there's a smattering of projects that it's best to not live right next to & a few gated communities plus some really nice neighborhoods, the rain forest etc... UVI's main campus is fairly central to the island but closer to "west".
I live west, dunno much about the east that's not biased.
a house "with a view" is expensive, but you don't really need AC either, so that could be a cost savings (plus they sell for more, so maybe an "investment" of sorts). I don't have a house with a view, I rented one for a while when I first got here, got tired of the drive and the view I quit looking at after a week or two.. haha
You might love a view and have to have it... I'd visit for a bit first, good advice.
oh, and your homeowner maintenance costs are dramatically higher here vs anywhere else... Most HomeDepot employees know me by now 😉
Thank you for the advice.
We were wanting to buy right away. Renting seems like such a waste of money.
Something to think about...
If you take away only one thing from your research heed the advice you get here about not buying a home right away.
The turnover rate for newbies here is high - many find they are not suited for island life and leave in less than a year. Others who stay move several times before they find the best area for them.
Don't be in a rush to buy. Things are no always what they at first seem. Get to know the island then look for your "dream location".
Good luck with your plans.
Agree with all the people promoting renting. While you'll probably be happier living closer to UVI in the west, please know that the east is great too, and has plenty of locals. One of the reasons to rent for a while is so that you can find out for yourself what part of the island you prefer, instead of listening to the many overly biased voices you'll encounter.
That location info. is very helpful. Thank you! We are fairly flexible but are keeping in mind where our small doggies would be happy. I'd love to live near 'locals,' just want to live in a safe area. We have been looking at houses and condos. A condo with a low HOA may be the way to go.
I am so glad you have a Home Depot!
We plan to visit to find a place once my official job offer comes through.
So, you are happy living there?
You may find it more difficult to find low HOA fees than a condo that allows multiple pets but both will be a consideration for you when it comes time to buy.
Financially the amount of interest the 1st year of your mortgage that goes to the bank not your equity may be fairly close to paying rent to a landlord for that same yearand you won't have any property taxes or maintenance costs incurred either.
So, you are happy living there?
I love my location,it's afforded me a lot of opportunities.. plus I love the vibe out west & hanging out at lost dog never disappoints (there's a lot of fun hangout spots however..)
there's lots of variety, make sure you check out a few locations..
It's probably best if you just get a hold of us when you get down here, we'd be more than happy to help you out as our family just made the move ourselves about 4 years ago.
I agree with above statements about not buying for at least a year or two. We are into our 5th year back after leaving in the late 90's. We sold two houses in the states after completing family responsibilities and moved back. In the 90's we lived in Christiansted. Since back we've leased in Hermon Hill, La Grande Princesse and now we've ventured west. I'm retired, my husband works off island 6 months every year. I, still, do not know where I want to live, but, right now I'm leaning West!
Buying a house and later, as many more do than don't, you find island life isn't for you, you could be stuck with a property not selling for up to 5 years. Basically, we don't have neighborhoods like the ones you find in the states. It's just different here and if you haven't lived here you couldn't possibly understand that notion.
Come, lease, get the feel, then, make your decision.
I moved here to STX six years ago and was very familiar with the island before moving here. I knew exactly where I wanted to live (East End) so I rented there for 5 years. Well guess what? after living here, making friends, finding more favorite play spots, etc. as time went on I decided i wanted to live somewhere else. Now after 5 years we are buying something more mid island (St. John) area. Close to everything, including UVI. So now like my rescue dog I have found my "forever home".
I looked up Lost Dog. It looks like a blast 🙂
Yes but Dog is also the only thing out here for entertainment past 8:00. West is DEAD and ZERO to do at night... but I still wouldn't live anywhere else on STX. We do go into Csted when we want something to do and even then... it's no red hook. My main reason for west is the Fsted pier and the diving around it. From east you'd drive an hour west. No thanks!
Reality is I bet less than 20% of transplants make it past a year, 10% 2 years. If you buy you'll regret it. Island homes and the things that go with them are REAL different than the states.
Read the countless threads here on buying homes and those who'd wish they would have not.
Ok, will do. Thanks for the input.
I plan to be in my job for a while there so it doesn't seem to make sense to rent, but who knows.
Admittedly, those already living there know more than I do.
I'll look at all the possibilities.
PS: How is the cell service? 🙂