Relocating to St. J...
 
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Relocating to St. John in august

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Alliekelly
(@Alliekelly)
New Member

Hi! My boyfriend and I are moving to St. John at the end of August and I was wondering if anyone had advice for finding an apartment without making a pre move visit. Based off what I've read online it seems that the best way to locate an apartment is by word of mouth but I figured I would ask to see if anyone had any website suggestions or real estate companies that can assist with findig a place. Thanks so much!

Allie

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Topic starter Posted : June 16, 2015 7:44 am
stjohnjulie
(@stjohnjulie)
Trusted Member

You can call Scenic Properties at 340-693-7777 and see what they might have. They are the biggest long term rental management company and generally have several listings.

That having being said, I would recommend not renting anything sight unseen. If it's in your budget to do so, rent short term until you can find a long term that suits your needs. Places like Samuel Cottages and Tamarind Inn are pretty affordable and close to town. If you don't plan on getting/having a car, you will probably want to find a place in or very close to town.

Once you are on island you can also check the board at Connections for listings. I was just in there the other day and there were quite a few long term rentals posted. The number will probably grow by the time you are here.

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Posted : June 16, 2015 9:13 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

My advise...bring lots of money!

Good luck!

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Posted : June 16, 2015 11:26 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

and patience

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Posted : June 16, 2015 12:05 pm
C_Ray6
(@C_Ray6)
Advanced Member

Good luck and keep us informed. especially those of us still stateside for another couple years.

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Posted : June 17, 2015 12:06 am
Alliekelly
(@Alliekelly)
New Member

Thank you for the information! I agree it would be best to not actually commit to a rental until seeing it in person, and we will have enough money to rent short term once we are there. I guess I just want assurance that we will be able to find something relatively quickly once we actually get there.

Stjohnjulie, as far as the listings at connections go, what would you say the average monthly cost of a small 1 bedroom or studio apartment would be?

Thanks so much!

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Topic starter Posted : June 17, 2015 9:09 am
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member

Good morning Alliekelly,

St John rents are all over the map, because what you get for your money is not at all standard here. That said, the typical range is about $800-$1400 for a halfway decent studio or a nicer one-bedroom. Housing on the Coral Bay side is usually less expensive.

I moved here during the same time of year, and it's a bit of a weird time on St John. Many seasonal businesses are shut down or about to close for a month or more. Many people take long vacations during this time, and there aren't many visitors, so it is very quiet.

Also, August is when our hurricane season traditionally starts crankin', so you could find yourself having to prepare immediately for a big storm. On the other hand, sometimes the weather is beautiful and you get the beautiful beaches almost all to yourself.

Take your time looking for a place if you can. My experience has been that because August and September are often so quiet, there is sometimes much less available in the housing market until late September/early October when seasonal workers start coming down. Once you start making some friends, word of mouth should help you find even more opportunities.

Regardless, St John has a way of making sure you end up just where you need to be, and when. 🙂 Congrats on the move!

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Posted : June 17, 2015 11:39 am
Jstevefit
(@Jstevefit)
Active Member

Hi Allie, my name is Jessica and my boyfriend and I want to move to the usvi around October, maybe even September! We have found that checking the usvi classifieds is really helpful. We check them about once a week to see how often new things pop up and how fast they go away. This site has also been very helpful. Another thing we do is spend time sitting in a library reading about the islands and we have been studying up on their celebrations, how they act, how the government works, etc. I would love to talk more!

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Posted : June 17, 2015 1:53 pm
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member

We have found that checking the usvi classifieds is really helpful. We check them about once a week to see how often new things pop up and how fast they go away.

Craigslist is not usually the best indicator of what's really happening in St John's rental market. Most (not all) desirable places are rented through word of mouth or ads on the board at Connections.

There are also a lot of fake ads on Craigslist, including ones that spoof actual photos from real ads and advertise with a much lower rental amount to try and scam $. Those usually disappear quickly (not fast enough).

The genuine ads are often rentals at slightly higher than market value. Usually there is some reason it has not rented through word of mouth already (e.g., noisy location, no cell phone coverage, crazy neighbors or landlords, etc.). Not always. But ads online do not give the complete picture. Hence the foregoing advice not to rent sight unseen!

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Posted : June 17, 2015 3:10 pm
Jstevefit
(@Jstevefit)
Active Member

FDR, Ben and I were planning to relax our first night and stay in a temporary $37-47 a night place. The next day we were going to go on an apartment search. Is that a good way to do it?

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Posted : June 17, 2015 3:32 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

FDR, Ben and I were planning to relax our first night and stay in a temporary $37-47 a night place. The next day we were going to go on an apartment search. Is that a good way to do it?

In my opinion that's the only sensible way to go about it. You can certainly make some initial contacts and appointments through the usual sources (including craigslist) but just don't take anything sight unseen. Good luck!

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Posted : June 17, 2015 3:37 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

you can find a place that cheap?

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Posted : June 17, 2015 3:39 pm
Jstevefit
(@Jstevefit)
Active Member

Speee1dy, some hotels offer lower prices of stay specifically for those moving to the usvi. But I am not sure how long you can stay.

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Posted : June 17, 2015 3:51 pm
Alliekelly
(@Alliekelly)
New Member

Thank you all so much! Jessica, it seems like we're pretty much in the same boat. We're basically planning to do the same, just find something cheap for right when we get there until we can find a more permanent place. I've definitely seen a ton of scams on craigslist, some more obvious than others so I wouldn't pay any money until you are on st john and have seen the apartment. Where are you guys relocating from? It'd be nice to know some people who are moving down about the same time as us!

Thanks so much FDR, any good advice on getting a job in the slow season? We're open to just about anything when we initially get there. We have money saved up but we'd like to start working as soon as possible.

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Topic starter Posted : June 17, 2015 3:52 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

A bare tent site at Cinnamon Bay Campground in St. John runs $47 for 2 persons. If you can find something as inexpensive, go for it but it might be wise to up your budget for a daily/weekly rental.

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Posted : June 17, 2015 3:57 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

Thank you-Good to know

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Posted : June 17, 2015 5:10 pm
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member

FDR, Ben and I were planning to relax our first night and stay in a temporary $37-47 a night place. The next day we were going to go on an apartment search. Is that a good way to do it?

Yes, that's the right strategy. It sounds like you are not looking on St John specifically, Jstevefit. All the islands are different, and your money will go much farther in STT or especially STX. Like Alana says, the only thing you'll be able to find on STJ for that price is a tent site, tent not included. STJ's cheapest hotels and Air BnB rooms are well above that price range.

Alliekelly, seasonal work starts to ramp up mid-October. There really is not much happening at all, let alone hiring, on STJ in August and September. Make a positive impression with everyone you meet, and you should be able to find work as soon as help is needed. But I definitely would not bank on making a living wage for the first couple of months.

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Posted : June 17, 2015 6:20 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Bunk beds at Tillets Gardens/ Rhoda' s Guest house run $50 plus 10% room tax per night. Most small vacation rental apts. will run $90 and up during August, Sept. You'll need to rent a car to get around to look for housing and jobs. At least on STT.
GOOD LUCK!

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Posted : June 17, 2015 6:55 pm
stjohnjulie
(@stjohnjulie)
Trusted Member

On St. John, staying someplace cheap in town is going to be the way to go. Cinnamon might be cheap, but what ever you save is going to be eat up by taxi fares to and from town and eating out. You could hitch, but I still think staying somewhere in town is a better way to go about it.

I agree that for St. John, Craig's List is a little tough. There are places up there for rent, some scams, some over priced, some are just not places you would want to live, and very very rarely, a good one will pop up and last about a day before it rents.

There are jobs up there as well, but much more can be found on the board at Connections. I was just in there the other day and there were quite a few jobs (mostly in the restaurant industry). Two places I would check for jobs when you get here if you want to work in the restaurant industry are High Tide and The Longboard.

If you see something posted that you are thinking about, you can send me a PM with a link and I will try and help you determine whether or not it is legit.

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Posted : June 18, 2015 9:12 am
Jstevefit
(@Jstevefit)
Active Member

Allie we are relocating from Michigan and we want to go to STT. Both Ben and I have been to the islands before and agreed these arctic winters are not for us! This discussion board is so imformative!

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Posted : June 18, 2015 9:55 am
stjohnjulie
(@stjohnjulie)
Trusted Member

What part of Michigan if you don't mind me asking??

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Posted : June 19, 2015 8:57 am
Jstevefit
(@Jstevefit)
Active Member

Stjohnjulie, were from northern michigan in the pinky area. Not sure how much i shld say on this site but its kind of a vacation area for a lot of people! Beautiful, but the usvi is more beautiful!

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Posted : June 19, 2015 11:58 am
westonkaley
(@westonkaley)
Advanced Member

Me and my girlfriend are moving down to stx August 13th. We found a place on airbnb.com to stay at for a month when we arrive for $550. This way we have a month to get our bearings, find a permenant living space, make friends, get social, look for work, etc... For me this seemed like the best option. Can wait to arrive in stx!!

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Posted : June 19, 2015 2:30 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Hope it works out. They've had some scams that I've heard of as well as those on Craig's List. $550 for a month is pretty darned cheap for a month's stay.

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Posted : June 19, 2015 2:40 pm
westonkaley
(@westonkaley)
Advanced Member

I'm renting from a guy who is very well known for his rentals

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Posted : June 19, 2015 2:53 pm
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