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Questions-Visiting before we move + how much did your move cost?

 
LifeRemarkable
(@LifeRemarkable)
New Member

Good evening VI.

My family is currently in the first steps of planning our move (research and saving).

My husband and I are hoping to have time to visit STT around July to get a better feel for the islands and confirm our desire to relocate.
I guess my question is, what questions should I be asking :D. Once we get to STT (for the visit) do you have any suggestions for things to see, places to go etc.

Also, how much did you spend on your move?

I know this will be very different for everyone based on where you moved from, how many people moved, how much stuff was moved and so on.
Right now it's looking like our family of 3 will be spending 10-15 thousand.

Shipping the car (or potentially buying a new one there)
Plane tickets
Shipping our belongings (not everything but a good chunk)
Spending a few hundred on new wardrobes (lack of summer clothes)
Hotel reservations for two weeks.
And a million little random things.

Does that sound like an absurd number?

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Topic starter Posted : April 15, 2011 10:10 pm
FlorifdaRN
(@FlorifdaRN)
New Member

I am a Registered Nurse living in Florida...just got offered a position at Herbert Grigg Home for the Aged in St. Croix ..any opinions/suggestions from other nurses...the first contract will be for 30 days...any info is appreciated...florida

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Posted : April 15, 2011 11:43 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

LifeRemarkable and FlorifdaRN: Welcome to the board!
FlorifdaRN: Please start a "New Topic". This thread is about moving costs.

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Posted : April 16, 2011 10:48 am
lc98
 lc98
(@lc98)
Trusted Member

You can save a lot of money by shipping as little as possible. The reasons: (1) Most rentals here come furnished, so you won't need much; (2) We live very simply here compared to the states, which won't really sink in until you start living here; (3) In the event that you change your mind and want to move back home (happens a lot more often than most newcomers expect), you'll have less to ship on the return passage, especially useful when you're already broke from our high cost of living *-). You can always store things stateside and ship more down later if you find you are missing it; you will have a better idea in a year or so about what you really would like to have. Several posters on this board have found that they never needed what they stored.

People move with all kinds of budgets. Some come with nothing but a plane ticket and a suitcase; others bring a couple containers and spend thousands. Your budget sounds appropriate for what you are currently planning, but you will probably find you can bring much less than you expect.

Oh, in the clothing department, buy some summer clothes but don't go overboard in planning the perfect tropical wardrobe until you have spent a little time actually living here. We dress very casually and practically almost all the time, so don't shop as though you'll be living in an extended vacation.

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Posted : April 16, 2011 12:59 pm
roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
Trusted Member

I second that about the summer clothes. I brought down about 2/3 of my summer clothes from Phoenix (yes, Phoenix, so most of my clothes are summer clothes), and I probably wear about half of them on a regular basis on St. Croix. You just don't need as much here as you do elsewhere. You will probably also want a light sweater/fleece/sweatshirt for the cool evenings in the winter (and maybe even long pants), and you'll want some cold-weather clothes for plane travel and when you visit people in the winter back in the states. If you'll be working indoors, bring more warm clothes, because the air conditioning is always on full blast! I wear long pants and a fleece most days at work.

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Posted : April 16, 2011 4:19 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

I know the "pre-move visit" has been discussed here a bunch. You might want to check the archives... But basically you should spend time checking out the mundane aspects of life: go to the grocery stores and see the price and quality of food, go to the mall and see what is and is not available. Visit banks, pharmacies, etc. In July, you will be limited in being able to see schools, if needed. Look at rental properties. Network for work, if needed. When you meet people, tell them what you are doing and ask for hints.

Are you reading the on-line newspapers- virginislandsdailynews.com and stthomassource.com? Good way to find out the pulse of the community.

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Posted : April 16, 2011 5:17 pm
billd
(@billd)
Trusted Member

1. Go to tropical shipping and will tell you how much it is to ship a car.

2. Go to travelocity or what ever airline yoy fly and get a price.

3. Don't ship anything except a few things.

4. DON"T brig a pet.

5. Stay at a a guest house or something else and DON'T stay at a hotel. Go to VRBO there are a few guest houses there.

6. Come down to set up your life. Don't go to beaches and do the vacation thing. Set up a job, car, home etc. Get an idea of what it will cost you. Yes you can enjoy the life but your primary deal is to determine if you can and want to live here.

Your post is the same as many that have been posted.

billd

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Posted : April 16, 2011 5:59 pm
mgpilot
(@mgpilot)
Advanced Member

That price seems quite low, especially if you're including two weeks of hotel stay. Our move (shipping alone) cost almost $12,000 for a family of four to STX. Once you add in 14 days at around $300 a day for just one hotel room, you're looking at another $4,200 right there. Then you figure a rental house will cost about $2,500. First, last and security would be another $7,500. So now you're talking about roughly $25,000. Read the forums carefully, please. The cost of moving and living here is incredibly high!

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Posted : April 17, 2011 11:42 am
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

You don't need to stay in a $300/night hotel,
and costs here are not "incredibly" high unless youve been living really cheap somewhere. Suggest you send one person in advance to find housing and receive packages rather than all coming together. Strongly recommend not moving all your stuff until you've been here AT LEAST 1 yr and sure you're going to stay. Shipping via Priority Mail figure $35 per large box.

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Posted : April 17, 2011 12:13 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

Don't pay attention to Bild, don't bring a pet. There are PLENTY of landlords like me that take pets, frankly I prefer people with pets.

Other then that, come with plenty of cash but don't burn through your retirement savings, no debt, don't burn your bridges back home, don't bring a ton of stuff (just bring clothes and hobbies), don't buy a condo/house your first year, and have fun.

And be prepared to change how you live.

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Posted : April 17, 2011 1:37 pm
lc98
 lc98
(@lc98)
Trusted Member

You will probably also want a light sweater/fleece/sweatshirt for the cool evenings in the winter (and maybe even long pants), and you'll want some cold-weather clothes for plane travel and when you visit people in the winter back in the states. If you'll be working indoors, bring more warm clothes, because the air conditioning is always on full blast! I wear long pants and a fleece most days at work.

This is so true. I remember somebody posting on this board a few years back: "Don't bring jeans, you won't wear them." So I didn't, and promptly had to buy a few pairs. I generally wear long pants between Thanksgiving and April, and I always bring a sweatshirt when I have to go anywhere I'll be sitting in AC for a while -- doctor's office, BMV, etc. Low 70s with a trade breeze is not as warm as it sounds! Unless your body temp runs hot, you'll find it chilly here more than occasionally.

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Posted : April 17, 2011 2:29 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

I always keep a jacket in my car. Had to grab it this afternoon at Plaza Extra. So cold in there I was really uncomfortable. And I wouldn't even think of going into Food Town without it!

I also keep a jacket on my patio, for the evenings, during the cooler months. Still wearing it, as of last night. I'll probably put it away next month.

You may not find it chilly the first year you're here, but if you stay long enough, you will.

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Posted : April 17, 2011 6:06 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

i also have plenty of quilts for the chilly night. for me it does get chilly. i have flannel pj's and slippers and a nice thick bathrobe for when it gets really chilly. i used one of my quilts yesterday and my sweater for most of the day. i wear long pants/jeans often.

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Posted : April 18, 2011 12:51 pm
davidryder
(@davidryder)
Advanced Member

That price seems quite low, especially if you're including two weeks of hotel stay. Our move (shipping alone) cost almost $12,000 for a family of four to STX. Once you add in 14 days at around $300 a day for just one hotel room, you're looking at another $4,200 right there. Then you figure a rental house will cost about $2,500. First, last and security would be another $7,500. So now you're talking about roughly $25,000. Read the forums carefully, please. The cost of moving and living here is incredibly high!

Figuring $2500/mo for a place to live is absurd.

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Posted : April 18, 2011 8:58 pm
mgpilot
(@mgpilot)
Advanced Member

I don't know where you people live, but $2500 a month for a 4/4 with a pool and a view is a very good price.

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Posted : April 18, 2011 9:25 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

David does not live here, he doesn't know.

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Posted : April 18, 2011 9:32 pm
lc98
 lc98
(@lc98)
Trusted Member

If they're looking for a nice 2 or 3 bedroom place on STT, they should be able to find something in the $1,500 to $2,500 range, depending on location. Figuring $2,500 for monthly rent for a family of three on STT is on the higher side but definitely not "absurd."

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Posted : April 18, 2011 9:42 pm
davidryder
(@davidryder)
Advanced Member

David does not live here, he doesn't know.

Does David have to live there to see all the classifieds, listings and all the personal accounts of how much people spend on housing?

You can also spend $10k/mo on housing if you'd like. But it's not the norm. Neither is $2,500. Saying "expect to pay $2500/mo for housing" is absurd. Because what you can EXPECT to pay falls in a pretty big range.

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Posted : April 18, 2011 9:55 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

The initial poster mentioned $2500 a mo. for rent that is closer to the higher end but depending on the furnishings not absurd at all - but as an overall budget it is very realistic --- Maybe just including paying for these utilities - WAPA especially if you use a lot of A/C time - a pool pump and filter - electric stove and dryer - outside lighting - --- --- then you have the TV costs Cable or Sattellite -- phone and ISP costs -- water! -- if you come from the states you may not really understand how precious or expensive it can be - maybe even the gardener or house-cleaner - ALL these costs should be considered in the Housing Budget - not just rent.

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Posted : April 18, 2011 11:30 pm
davidryder
(@davidryder)
Advanced Member

The initial poster mentioned $2500 a mo. for rent that is closer to the higher end but depending on the furnishings not absurd at all - but as an overall budget it is very realistic --- Maybe just including paying for these utilities - WAPA especially if you use a lot of A/C time - a pool pump and filter - electric stove and dryer - outside lighting - --- --- then you have the TV costs Cable or Sattellite -- phone and ISP costs -- water! -- if you come from the states you may not really understand how precious or expensive it can be - maybe even the gardener or house-cleaner - ALL these costs should be considered in the Housing Budget - not just rent.

I totally understand. I was only pointing out that suggesting that someone should expect to pay $2500/mo for rent - is an absurd statement. Not that it's not possible, or even ideal, I'm not even saying that it's absurd to pay $2500/mo for a rental. You COULD pay that much. But you could also get by on much less.

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Posted : April 19, 2011 4:14 am
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

If you have a family you will want to live in a nice area/street not a questionable one,especially when you are New to the Island, if you want a view, a pool, $2500 is pretty much what you are going to pay in stt. You might be able to get it for $2200, but I seriously doubt lower then that.

Looking at the classifieds does not give you a real picture of the rental market. This why EVERYONE says don't rent a place till you have seen it in person. Neighborhoods here are often street by street as to whether the are safe, sometimes by area. For example I would tell all new comers to stay away from estate Whim, you will stick out like a soar thumb and it's nice a safe neighborhood. But it is right next to Estate Carlton which is mostly a good neighborhood.

There are many variables in price in the islands.

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Posted : April 19, 2011 6:39 pm
billd
(@billd)
Trusted Member

we rent guest rooms with a private bath, king size bed, ac, pool, laundry for around 100/night. On the east end.

As far as pets are concerned if you bring one you will be reducing the number of places you can rent.

We have a one bedroom up in July that rents for 1250/month. And we do take some pets.

PM me if interested.

Billd

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Posted : April 19, 2011 7:13 pm
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