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Relocation/Utility Costs

 
justozcar
(@justozcar)
New Member

Good Afternoon:

I'd appreciate it if someone might let me know:

1) what I should expect for utility costs on a 1 bedroom apartment (ie gas, electric, water),
2) public transportation options (is taxi the only option?)
3) what would you consider a "central" location on St. Thomas

I appreciate your time and effort and hope you are having a wonderful day.

Oscar

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Topic starter Posted : January 19, 2012 7:14 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

utilities might go up now that Hovensa is closing, gas would go up as well as all other things you buy.
i live on stx. we have a 3 bedroom no air conditioner, no dishwasher and no dryer. we pay from 150-220 per month

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Posted : January 19, 2012 8:06 pm
HappyFace
(@HappyFace)
Advanced Member

speedy1dy,
It really doesn't matter how many bedrooms you have, It would be where you are located- breeze available, energy saving appliances,fans, cross ventilation of windows, time of the year, and the sq foot size of the home/apt/condo. You really have to compare apples to apples.*-)

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Posted : January 19, 2012 8:57 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

The utility cost question is almost impossible to answer as noted above but, given that our electricity rates are the highest under the American flag, be prepared for a shock. Much depends on, as has also been remarked upon, what conservation measures you as an owner. or your LL if you're a tenant, exercises. My electricity right now is included in my rent and in fact I just had a long chat with my current (new) LL about exactly that. She can save a bundle by getting rid of the non energy-efficient 'fridges she has right now both in her unit and the two rental units by replacing them. I cut my electric (WAPA) bill almost in half over a couple of years by going to energy-saving lighting and replacing aged appliances with energy-saving alternatives. The propane tank gas prices fluctuate quite a bit but I never had an issue with that and there's really not much you can do to save there.

You can't rely on public transportation, period. Well, depending on where you live, you can manage for a short while but that gets old very fast as can be attested to by many newbies. Your own transportation is pretty much a must.

A "central location" question is also pretty impossible to answer. On an island only 13 X 3 miles you're never too far from anywhere but all depends on where you're working, what transportation you have and a host of other factors which have next to nothing to do with "central".

If you haven't already done so, read through all the information available on this site ("Home" through "Message Board" from left to right on the bar above this forum) so you have an idea of what living here is all about. Then plan a PMV (pre move visit) and live not as a tourist but as a resident for a couple of weeks to see if island life will suit you. The attrition rate of newbies is and always has been HUGE so do your homework before even thinking about utility costs, transportation and locations. Good luck!

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Posted : January 19, 2012 9:28 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

ok happyface, bite my head off.

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Posted : January 19, 2012 9:42 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

actually, number of bedrooms will matter if people are living in them and using electricity like lights and televisions.

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Posted : January 19, 2012 10:20 pm
Alexandra
(@Alexandra)
Trusted Member

The utility costs are as varied as there are properties and the people who live in them, as we each have our own manner of living and make choices about conservation of resources in our daily lives.

I'm on STX in a 1-BDR condo. Water is included in the HOA fee at this property, although other properties pay about 5 cents a gallon for metered water usage. Some places charge up to 7 cents a gallon. As a Realtor/Property Manager, I've had tenants who had water bills at other properties ranging from $20-$300 per month, depending on how many people in the unit and whether they bothered to conserve or not. It's up to you.

For electricity, I don't leave much turned on when I'm not using it, but my power bill was running $60-$80 for a couple years and now recently has bumped up to a little over $100 a month due to the LEAC increase. What does that power per month? A refrigerator, water heater, occasional lights and TV and cable box, stove/oven/microwave, laptop computer and router, a ceiling fan on the occasions the breeze fails, a few washer/dryer loads, clock radio, occasional blow dryer, charging my cell phone and nook, not much else. I don't use A/C but fortunately have a great breeze most of the time so don't miss it. You're wise to carefully select where to live with breeze in mind.

There is no propane or natural gas bill for this property. A few complexes allow propane stoves but most do not due to fire concerns and what that does to insurance rates. Propane is the one utility on the island that is quite reasonably priced. If you get an apartment in a private home, you may have a propane stove and sometimes even a propane dryer. This is a money saver.

For other utilities, expect about $50 for internet and $50ish for TV if it's not included. Condos often include TV service. If you want a landline phone, that's about $35, but most people live with a cell phone since the landlines aren't all that reliable anyway.

On STT, you have the option of the open safari taxis in addition to regular taxis. You can get a ride for $1-2 to various places along the main road route and the safaris come along pretty frequently during daylight hours. Nighttime you'd be pretty much stuck. The trick is getting a place to live and work that are close to the main safari route to make this workable. Most people need a car of their own but newcomers sometimes use the safaris to start while they decide if they are staying.

"Central" for STT depends so much on what you plan to do on the island. Charlotte Amalie is the center of cruise ship tourism, but Redhook is central for some of the boating activities and other things and there is also a business district in the middle of the island where you might find work. Even though the island isn't all that big, getting around is slow, especially when traffic is bogged down during cruise ship times in town. Living close to work is desirable.

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Posted : January 19, 2012 11:14 pm
justozcar
(@justozcar)
New Member

Good Afternoon:

Thanks to everyone who responded. I am planning on a 1 bedroom or studio; I will be working on a project in the VI for 2 years to bring training and new jobs to the islands (if the project is approved in March). I will need to be located on St. Thomas for this project.

Thanks for the thorough reply Alexandra...I appreciate the time and effort everyone took thus far.

Oscar
🙂

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Topic starter Posted : January 24, 2012 6:56 pm
justozcar
(@justozcar)
New Member

Alexandra:

Good afternoon. I just wanted to take the time to thank-you for the detailed response to my request for information. I do very much appreciate your time and effort.

If our project is approved, I will be the Senior Manager for a project to bring training and new jobs to the under employed and unemployed in the VIs. The project would begin in April or May and last two years. I'd be stationed in St. Thomas.

Do you know of any good Realtors I might make contact with there? I tried Marsha Maynes but received no response from her.

Hope you're having a great week and thanks so much again.

Oscar

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Topic starter Posted : January 24, 2012 8:37 pm
jay
 jay
(@jay)
Advanced Member

I'm in a one bedroom condo and my electric was $116 this past month.....I do have a washer and dryer and use it 5 or 6 times a month. Water is 5 cents a gallon and I use about 900 gallons per month living alone.

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Posted : January 26, 2012 1:35 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

SEEMS HIGH jAY

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Posted : January 26, 2012 3:22 pm
katherined
(@katherined)
Active Member

We are planning a previsit in feb. what do the apartments cost on a monthly rare,,one bedroom in St. Coix

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Posted : January 31, 2012 7:11 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

one bedrooms can vary a lot depending on location. one of these threads has a couple of web sites for you to check out that should list rentals. there are a lot of variables on what a one bedroom rent will cost.

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Posted : January 31, 2012 9:41 pm
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