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VIsnorkeler
(@VIsnorkeler)
Trusted Member

I'm glad you resurrected this thread. I think I started reading this forum in the beginning of 2010, we moved in October of that year. I found this site invaluable. Nothing was going to stop us from giving this a try. I never really felt that anyone who posted here was trying to scare people away. Nor do I feel that way now.

I've been working tonight, ran my butt off, made some money, and am just too tired right now to address this properly, but I did want to say I am glad someone picked it up again and gave it a good bump. That's just how tired I am, did you just read that run on sentence from hell?

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Posted : December 27, 2012 3:51 am
Mytcar34
(@Mytcar34)
Advanced Member

Cant say enough about the message board many great suggestions from everyone. We have been following for years many different and very help full post. Unfortunately We have ruled out the US VI for now due to a number of concerns. We have decided to give Saint Lucia a try for a year, never know we might be back Water Island really caught our eye.

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Posted : December 27, 2012 4:09 am
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member

Mytcar, could you elaborate? What does St Lucia offer you that the USVI doesn't have? This can be really helpful information for others deciding whether to move.

VISnork, LOL! Come back when you're rested and tell us more. 😀

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Posted : December 27, 2012 12:24 pm
watruw8ing4
(@watruw8ing4)
Trusted Member

We're still not full timers - only here a little over half of each year. But this board and the Settlers Handbook(s) have been our top resources. I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to contribute. It sure made things easier.

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Posted : December 27, 2012 12:27 pm
jostvandog
(@jostvandog)
Advanced Member

I used this board many times. Got a lot of good advise and some bad advise. Took what I needed and discarded the rest.I came down a week after the announcement of Hovensa closing, a very rough time. Now things seem to be lookng up. Roads getting better, new restaurants opening,buildings being painted and the bypass soon come. We've been here almost a year and have zero regrets. My advise to any newbie. Do your research come down for a few PMV's at different times of the year. Then jump in with both feet.

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Posted : December 27, 2012 12:43 pm
rosesisland
(@rosesisland)
Trusted Member

My husband and I just moved back to STX in Mid November after a 15 year detour to take care of my elderly parents with dementia AND Alzheimer's...yes, double whammy! We were able to keep Mother in her own home as I promised my dad we would until last year when she passed away at the great age of 93! I think we did a good job!

Now, is our turn! I did the PMV with a couple of girlfriends and for us it was really unnecessary as I found the current house we are leasing for next 18 months online through a realtor.

I found many good suggestions on the board as well as conflicting ones as well. I feel as if I muddled through the shipping of our household goods and vehicles all alone and made many mistakes along the way.

Getting here and once again muddling through getting WAPA connected as well as vehicles ready for the road was covered in so many convoluted posts I just gave up and went with my gut and asked help from local friends, in person!

I truly feel for anyone without a good consistent source of income coming here to ANY of the VI without a job! My husband will be working off island for 6 months out of the year. He's been working that way away from me for 8 years now and we had much rather spend our winter months here as to being in Arkansas. This will work for us!

We have no regrets, but we did not come here blindly...we have been here before and under much worse circumstances. Husband came in 90 and I came in 94 and lost everything in Marilyn! We DO know what to expect!

I am glad the board is here!

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Posted : December 27, 2012 1:36 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

arkansas does get way to hot in the summer. much better temps here. hope you enjoy

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Posted : December 27, 2012 7:37 pm
Mytcar34
(@Mytcar34)
Advanced Member

We really had a hard time trying making a decision on our relocation. We are not new to Saint Thomas been there eight times. We are in a little different situation we are retired so not really looking for work, no kids etc. One of the major problems is the cost of housing, It seems everyone thinks there rental is worth a lot of money, they build a lean to on the side of there home and rent it out. Been in contact with a number of Realtor with some very nice rentals. We have been to Saint Lucia, have friends there we can get a comparable long term rental for 1/3 the price. After a year in Saint Lucia we will look again at the US VI.

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Posted : December 28, 2012 2:25 am
trainwreck82
(@trainwreck82)
Advanced Member

We really had a hard time trying making a decision on our relocation. We are not new to Saint Thomas been there eight times. We are in a little different situation we are retired so not really looking for work, no kids etc. One of the major problems is the cost of housing, It seems everyone thinks there rental is worth a lot of money, they build a lean to on the side of there home and rent it out. Been in contact with a number of Realtor with some very nice rentals. We have been to Saint Lucia, have friends there we can get a comparable long term rental for 1/3 the price. After a year in Saint Lucia we will look again at the US VI.

I would contact realtors about rentals if money was no object and that's about the only reason. Every property i've seen whether it was in person, on CL, or in a paper was way overpriced. The best luck I've had is word-of-mouth and even better, just driving around finding a place I like and looking for For Rent signs stapled to a tree. Island Trader can also be good.

What kind of rental are you looking for and how much is reasonable?

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Posted : December 28, 2012 12:58 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Can't speak to STT, but on STX, driving around and making contact with owners is the only way to go. The rental we had was 2 bed, 2 bath, with a lovely covered front porch in a very private setting. Rent when we left was $1,000 a month. Word of mouth is the best way to find these hidden gems.

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Topic starter Posted : December 28, 2012 1:03 pm
VIsnorkeler
(@VIsnorkeler)
Trusted Member

Completely agree with the above! We found the most amazing place (still here after two years) by driving around, looking in areas we liked and found a sign stapled on a pole. Very reasonable rent.

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Posted : December 28, 2012 3:06 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

I have only ever rented to tenants by word of mouth - I would rather have the apt. [ which is not a lean-to shed] at my house be empty for a month until I find the right tenant, than advertise it and deal with the respondents - I tried it once and didn't enjoy the experience or find a suitable renter.
Also I rent it basically unfurnished - it narrows the rental pool to vested longer term tenants who have a life, possessions and a commitment to living in the VI - over the last 30+ years the rentals have stayed in the apt 3-7 years which makes for a good feeling of stability for me, developing a longer relationship and remaining friends.

I would never turn the rental process over to a real estate company - just paying the monthly percentage would irk me and having the tenants calling the RE Co. about anything instead of dealing with me personally would skew the interaction and make me uncomfortable. I can keep the rent lower not having to pay 10-20% to a middleman.
There are many owner occupied homes here with very nice rental units attached - legal ones with separate electric and water meters - well maintained and secure - offering reasonable prices and fair leases - that will never be advertised, although a discrete sign on a neighborhood pole is not an uncommon ad, that a newcomer can find if they have the patience to establish some personal contacts through their jobs, churches and peers.
Finding a suitable and comfortable place to live is a huge part of being a newcomer here that will ease the inevitable VI frustrations of adjusting to a new life and lifestyle - it is one of the reasons many on this forum stress the PMV -which is really a time to arrange for your initial short term accommodations for your arrival -- and afterwards during that 1st month allow you to secure a job, car, mail and bank connections, find compatible community activities and get a feel for what part of the island you want to live on.
Surely these are just my own observations and experiences but I felt that -------------- "It seems everyone thinks there rental is worth a lot of money, they build a lean to on the side of there home and rent it out" ------------------ was an unfair characterization of the housing situation here.

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Posted : December 28, 2012 4:53 pm
Mytcar34
(@Mytcar34)
Advanced Member

You are completely right about housing availability and i understand completely. We have been watching Craigs list, local real tors, and listings on this site which i feel most newbies do until they make a PMV This is the only thing newbies can do before they decide to make a move. We have been to Saint Thomas and know the island fairly well. .Its great to have honest folks out there to help guide us new guys and many thanks .But if you were in our shoes we have found a number of scammers, overpriced housing furnished with what looks like garage sell junk, and lean tos. along with some very nice rentals. As i said we have been to Saint Thomas numerous times the last time was for two months Any one considering making the move will probably do the same research as we did with probably similar results hopefully that will in no way keep them from following there dreams. I hope if we decide on the USVI we will be lucky enough to find the right telephone pole. thanks

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Posted : December 28, 2012 7:33 pm
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