Rent now vs Rent when there?
Hope you had a wonderful start to 2011! Had my first "yard sale" in preparation for the move...so things have started moving in that direction for us and we are so excited.
After reading the board, I have seen a lot of people suggest the local news paper as a good source for rentals once in St. Croix. Is that really the best way to go? I guess I am a little scared by the idea of temporary homeless-ness.
As always, thank you for your input thus far and look forward to hearing from you on this question as well 🙂
I think renting after arrival on island is the best way to go.
Now, having said that, I have rented to visiting nurses sight unseen, for the same reason you cite--they didn't want to feel that they had no place to move directly into. Also, some nurses have expressed concerns about cost--temporary housing can be pretty expensive, especially in high season. Agreeing to rent before seeing a place can be risky, though; IMHO sending your money off to an unknown landlord is way scarier than landing without a rental set up.
A stay in temporary housing after arrival would give you the chance to look around and make a more informed selection.
I agree with Islandlola. I offer short term rentals, so it may sound self-serving for me to say this, but truly, to commit to a long term rental, sight unseen, can be a gamble. Better to go short term, get to know the island and what area works best for you, your job, your off time recreational interests, etc.
If you do want to go ahead and line up a longer term rental because it will be less expensive, or it just looks perfect for you, ask for references and / or have someone on island check it out for you. Pictures and descriptions on the Internet can be so deceptive, either on purpose or just because a landlord is obviously going to post their best looking pictures and play up their best features, while not mentioning the crack house next door.
Don't send more than one month's rent deposit and be sure you understand the refund policy.
Is there a way to get hold of police records on crime, break-ins, assaults, drugs and such?
I second the ladies above. And I have heard nothing but great raves about living in Juanita's places... I would not want to rent anything sight unseen. Getting here and checking the paper and just asking around it the best way. We found our last two great places by just telling everyone we know that we were looking for a place west and there is always someone who has heard of something. Word of mouth is the best.
Have been renting here on STX for nearly a decade, I agree with the others who've said that you ought not lock yourself into anything long-term before getting here, getting word out, reading the local paper (I found my current apartment in The Avis), and checking things out in person.
@jtbaylee: There's no way to get crime stats on specific neighborhoods or estates that I know of (other than by reading the police blotter in The Avis) and it really doesn't matter. I've lived in fancy estates and I've lived in C'sted and F'sted, and you can become a victim of violent crime or theft anywhere on island. Staying safe is mostly a matter of common sense plus a little bit of luck.