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jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 187
February 18, 2020 5:24 pm  

@janeinstx

How long have you lived on STX are you glad you made the move?  We’re still in the early stages of finding our way around the island and community.  The range of possibilities for things to do on the island seems remarkable, I think the hard part will be deciding what to become involved in or with.  So looking forward to being there full time versus catching a week here and there. 


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Brenda1017
(@brenda1017)
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Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 8
February 18, 2020 5:30 pm  

@jaldeborgh

This is interesting


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Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
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Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 2300
February 18, 2020 11:25 pm  
Posted by: @gators_mom

When insuring your home in STX calculate the value to insure as the replacement value of the structure - not what you paid for the property. Many come to the VI and overpay for home insurance because they want to cover their investment rather than their potential loss (which is really all you can insure here).

So assuming a $300,000 purchase price for a 1,000 square foot home - first remove the price of land from the formula. 

$300,000 - $100,000 (cost of land) = $200,000 is the price you paid for the structure of your house.

Then make sure you know the insurance square footage replacement value of your home structure. After Maria, Lloyd's calculated square footage value at $150/square foot (as I recall) for under roof finished areas of an average house - so they would put a maximum loss value using that calculation at $150,000. 

Ultimately, $200,000 (price you paid for structure) x 80% (full coverage in VI)  = $160,000 - $15,000 deductible = $145,000 maximum insurance payout.  

I would insure for $200,000 to assure full coverage at 80% if there is a storm loss.

The insured value should have nothing at all to do with the purchase price.  It should be based only on the replacement cost of the structure not including land as noted.  You can use a rough square footage cost but that's not very accurate.  Better to get a replacement cost appraisal broken down by all the structure components,  ie. foundation/cistern, walls/floors/roof,  plumbing, electrical, HVAC, finished foor, etc. for the actual finish grades for the specific rooms in the house.


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rewired
(@rewired)
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Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 29
February 19, 2020 9:45 am  

@Brenda1017

Here's a link to a story about market pricing on groceries across the VI. 

https://viconsortium.com/vi-business/virgin-islands-plaza-extra-east-offers-most-savings-on-groceries-in-st-croix-dlca-finds-in-st-thomas-another-plaza-extra-took-the-top-spot-

It may provide some vague context for relative food pricing, although they don't provide a link to the actual report (that you might be able to use for a more direct comparison to where you are now).

Regarding the crime, it seems like much of the non-violent crime is opportunistic. If you leave valuables in your car in plain sight, there's a chance you'll come back to a broken window and no valuables (similar to many other places). Many people I know leave nothing of value in their car and leave the doors unlocked. If it doesn't look like it's going to rain, you may also see cars with their windows down...

Visit all of the Islands if you can (and as many different parts of them as you can fit into each trip) - there is a great diversity to be found in the VI. Talk to people - even if you don't drink, bars are a great place to learn about the island and it's opportunities. 

Best of luck!


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40isthebetter20
(@40isthebetter20)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 62
February 19, 2020 12:29 pm  

We are doing our first PMV in about 4 weeks to STT. In my mind I already live there but since my husband and 5 year old haven't been there yet, I have to slow my roll a bit.... 🙂  When I met my husband I was actually on my way to STX and was about to sell everything but obviously I stayed stateside for him and our now family. 

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I can't provide an on island experience (other than a day stop on a cruise ship), but hopefully my past research will help a little. People who live there can weigh in and tell me if I'm completely wrong. 

Sorry it's long... it's almost 10 years of advice I've read... 

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I have been researching moving to the USVI for almost 10 years now. Primarily STX but I recently switched to STT bc I think my husband would like it there better since there's more to do. What I have seen through the years is that basic common sense goes a long way and it's actually not as bad as you think.

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Just stuff like- don't get drunk enough to not have your wits about you when you're out in public (We don't drink so that's not an issue for us), go home at a reasonable time (2am is not reasonable) and don't hang out in shady places. Don't do dumb stuff like drugs or hang out with people that do. Essentially, protect your safety just as you would stateside. We carry. And we'll research the laws there, do the right thing and carry there.
The majority of the crime you hear about concerns people you wouldn't necessarily choose to associate with if you're busy showing up for a job and trying to live your best life. It does occasionally cross over into the general population but that's the case everywhere you go. It's a small island which is essentially a small town and people know what Betty Jo 3 streets over is doing...so its amplified, if that makes sense. One small instance becomes the talk of the town when in a regular small city it wouldn't even make the paper. 

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This may be naive on my part, but I'm on a group on FB called 'What's going on St.Thomas". Some of it is really good info and some of it is a total s**t show but most community pages are like that when the general public can post freely. What I have found is that crime and things that bother people are called out on that page bc that's just what people do when they hide behind a keyboard and they're bored.

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They've shouted out simple stuff like a guy breaking into cars, a jewelry store was robbed, a sweet man loved by the community was hit by a car on a dark road, and I think? there was a murder on one of the beaches but pretty sure that happened in the middle of the night? I don't remember the situation exactly, but I do remember thinking it was something that we as a family with a young kiddo most likely wouldn't have been involved in or near.  Even so, there hasn't been many instances in the last few months I've been on the page but what I will tell you is that it appears there is a ton more good going on there than bad. There aren't enough characters in this comment thread to list what all happened in Nashville, TN last night and this is supposed to be a great city. (I live just south)

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Either way- you should join the FB page just for fun. 🙂 And to keep up with customs at the airport... LOLOL You'll see lots of blonde people on there, too. 😉 (had to, sorry!)  But not me- I have long red curly hair so I'll stick out even worse. Haha!

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The one constant I keep hearing is how amazing the people are there and how important it is to say hello and smile. That's def something I want to be a part of despite all of the other things you have to sacrifice and live with. <3


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Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 1096
February 19, 2020 12:33 pm  
Posted by: @rewired

@Brenda1017

Here's a link to a story about market pricing on groceries across the VI. 

https://viconsortium.com/vi-business/virgin-islands-plaza-extra-east-offers-most-savings-on-groceries-in-st-croix-dlca-finds-in-st-thomas-another-plaza-extra-took-the-top-spot-

It may provide some vague context for relative food pricing, although they don't provide a link to the actual report (that you might be able to use for a more direct comparison to where you are now).

Regarding the crime, it seems like much of the non-violent crime is opportunistic. If you leave valuables in your car in plain sight, there's a chance you'll come back to a broken window and no valuables (similar to many other places). Many people I know leave nothing of value in their car and leave the doors unlocked. If it doesn't look like it's going to rain, you may also see cars with their windows down...

Visit all of the Islands if you can (and as many different parts of them as you can fit into each trip) - there is a great diversity to be found in the VI. Talk to people - even if you don't drink, bars are a great place to learn about the island and it's opportunities. 

Best of luck!

That answers so much! $59 on STX vs $84 on STT vs $152 on STJ - for the same bag of groceries. 

Now I understand why those who live on STT and STJ complain so much about food prices. Wow.


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rewired
(@rewired)
Advanced Member
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 29
February 19, 2020 8:23 pm  

The Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs posted pictures of the Market Survey report pages on their Facebook page today. The address is https://www.facebook.com/dlcavi/  

No idea why they don't put them on their web site, but I digress...

It appears that the number of items compared on each island are different, so it's really only valid as a comparison between stores on the same island (unless someone wants to identify the matching items across the islands to compare).

It's also a bit disappointing that they listed 'canned turkey' (Spam) and Chef Boyardee spaghetti and meatballs under 'Meat' on STX... Maybe they couldn't figure out 'commodity' items like ground beef, pork chops and chicken breasts to compare there.

I better stop now (I feel myself digressing again)...


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vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 2447
February 20, 2020 7:58 am  

The DLCA market basket survey has no basis in reality for the average shopper whatsoever.

I don't know why they even bother.

It would be far more useful if they compared prices between, for example, STX and Miami so people can see how they're being ripped off and how much profit the grocery store barons are making.


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janeinstx
(@janeinstx)
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 665
February 21, 2020 8:33 am  
Posted by: @jaldeborgh

@janeinstx

How long have you lived on STX are you glad you made the move?  We’re still in the early stages of finding our way around the island and community.  The range of possibilities for things to do on the island seems remarkable, I think the hard part will be deciding what to become involved in or with.  So looking forward to being there full time versus catching a week here and there. 

10+ years for us. We still love it here most days. Others... well I guess that's the same with any place. It takes a bit to find where you feel most comfortable an for us that was North Shore. We've made extraordinary friends who really are more like family. My husband and I both still work (me refinery, he pharmacy) so for the most part that's what we are involved with. One day I'll start diving again...


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NugBlazer
(@NugBlazer)
Advanced Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 342
February 22, 2020 4:12 pm  

I've spent a lot of time on all the Hawaiian islands and all the US and British Virgin Islands, and here's my take:

$1,500 is way too low on STJ.  It's enough on STT or STX, though.

Crime is high here, but manageable.  Just be smart.

As for the blonde thing, I can't comment.

If you used to live in Hawaii and liked it, then I think you'll like STT better if Oahu is your favorite.  You'll like STX better if Kauai or the Big Island is your favorite.

Speaking of Kauai, it's by far the smallest and quietest of the Hawaiian islands.  Also, it's the only island where the road that rings the island doesn't go all the way around, making for some loooong distances sometimes.  Personally, I find the Big Island to be the best.  It most closely resembles STX, which is my favorite of the USVI's.

Hope that helps.


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Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 2300
February 23, 2020 12:36 am  

We like the Big Island best and have always preferred STX for living.  The climate change going from the rain forest on one side of Kilauea to the other desert side is amazing.   A little like going from one end of STX to the other, but much more dramatic.  Never cared much for Kauai, other than the canyon and the West shoreline.


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speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 8762
February 24, 2020 8:30 am  

the regular crime isnt that bad, seriously. we have petty car break ins and the other odd situation. 

yes, our murder rate is high. sadly it is mostly youth killing youth. 

my cousin lives in washington state and was telling me about all the crime they have, a whole lot more than we do. 

 

you dont worry about it as much as you think you will.

 

we have had petty crime happen to us numerous times. 


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speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 8762
February 24, 2020 8:31 am  

btw, those rental rates you are looking to spend-probably not feasible add another thousand to that 


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East Ender
(@east-ender)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 5351
February 24, 2020 1:51 pm  

WGOST is a great source of entertainment. I really don't think it has much to offer those who are seriously thinking of a move to the VI like Brenda the Haole  😆 and 40/20 😉. That is why some of the participants try to send you all here to this kind community. 

WGOST reminds me of the level of education and communication skills many people have. And that helps you to understand that although the USVI is nominally part of America, it is not America. The weather is great, the outdoor activities are great. However, there is a murky underbelly that sometimes becomes visible quickly and sometimes takes a lifetime to perceive.

Unless you are a single person without baggage, you need to do a pre-move visit. This is the way you'll find out about cost of living and how people will welcome you (or not).

Re: crime. 99% involves criminals. They are the only ones allowed to have guns. LOL


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fhpooiks
(@fhpooiks)
Advanced Member
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 26
March 5, 2020 4:10 pm  

I think a little more background would be helpful as the USVI’s are very different than Hawaii.  There is a lot of information on this site on crime so I won’t try and comment as my wife and I are relative newcomers ourselves.  We’re nearing retirement and STX will be a seasonal thing for us.  


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fhpooiks
(@fhpooiks)
Advanced Member
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 26
March 7, 2020 3:28 am  

Moving to a new city is a serious challenge. We used to live in a small town for many years, but due to certain reasons, we had to move to a bigger city. There are many benefits, of course, but there are also many disadvantages. The population in Mexico is big and the rhythm of life is very fast. I still need time to get used to it. And I also need to make a lot of new acquaintances. But I hope everything will work well for me.


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