Ronnie can you hear...
Clear all

Ronnie can you hear me?

Posts: 10
Active Member
Topic starter

I've always wanted to live on St. Thomas since I visited in 2000 and thought I may never get too. Well luck has that I got married in Nov. and my dream man is going to share my dream. He is as excited about moving as me! We are in our late 20's and have no kids. I have a degree in advertising and am in sales. He has lots of work exp. as well. Over the next 8 months we are saving to move! Plan to move on Sept. 1. We have budgeted the best we can. Problem we have no time or money for a Pre-Move visit. Question: Do you think we can make it? Is a pre-move visit necessary?

Plan is to stay at your place "Villa Fairview" for awhile and find a small apt. and jobs with money saved for (apt. move in) and living expense for a couple of months. We are thinking of buying the plan tickets and booking a room this next week. We wouldn't be bringing anything except the necessities. Tell me what you think? Everybody- Help!

Posted : January 4, 2007 5:59 pm
Posts: 31
Eminent Member

Your idea sounds great. My husband and I are planning to move down to either STT or STJ by 2009 with our 2 children, ages now 4 and 18 mos. I have got a ton of useful information on this site and its patrons, something I would find extremely useful is an actual breakdown of island living costs. We want to be as acurate as possible in planning our move down and in planning our living expenses once we arrive. It would be nice to have a total cost for moving down and a total cost of living expenses and maybe even broken down for each island as a comparison.
For example, we would like to know the following:
1) Total cost of moving basics (furniture, etc and one car) compared to moving the car only and no furniture
2) Total cost of living including rent (2-3bedroom modest place in safe area), current cost of gas, auto and medical insurance, average WAPA costs, what about hurricane insurance?

I just think it would be great to be given an idea of these costs specifally taylored to our needs- we are not millionaires, we are not fresh out of college either. We would live there and have decent, save home for our family.

Posted : January 4, 2007 6:04 pm
Posts: 10
Active Member
Topic starter

Exactly! that would be nice. You hate to say how much money you have saved on here, but it would be nice to know what people have moved on before. I would like to hear, You have $10,000, sure you can do it! Move, find a job, an apartment and get settled within 2 mo.! We expect it will be tight and tough, but we are gonna do it.

Again, Why must we have a pre-move visit? That would cut into our savings!!! I've been to the island and if we hate living there we can come home. Its not like we are selling a house or leaving alot behind. Our $1000 a mo. place we rent now will be up in Sept. what would we have to lose besides a little money and our mediocre jobs. haha. I know someone on here is about to rip into me.

Posted : January 4, 2007 6:35 pm
Posts: 1428
Noble Member

Megan - if you choose to come to the island without a PMV first to prepare, just be sure to keep a nestegg in the bank that you don't touch during your first year of living here in case you find you need to move back to the mainland to make a living or if you just don't like the new lifestyle. Many people dream of relocating to a tropical island. Some move here and it works for them and others move here and find they got into something different than what they envisioned in their fantasy.

If you are coming here without kids or pets, you will find it much easier and more affordable. The more baggage or complications in your life, the harder it is to settle in successfully. Try to have reasonable expectations about what life here will be life. It's not about living in a vacation. This is just another place to live that probably has better weather than where you are from, but with its foibles and difficulties that you will have to live with or overcome. The culture is different from the mainland and that surprises some new arrivals who assume that since this is a US Territory that it will be just like the mainland. There are some similiarities, but also many differences. Differences aren't inherently bad. An upbeat attitude and the ability to let silly stuff roll off without having it ruin your day is very useful here.

The cost of living is higher here since all consumer goods have to be imported. Expect groceries to be at least 10% higher, sometimes more depending on what you purchase. Many things you take for granted as being readily available won't be on the shelves here. Roll with it! There are many threads on the website detailing the cost and procedure for shipping cars and/or household goods. Most properties come furnished, whether you buy or rent. Moving a lot of furniture usually isn't cost-effective. There are many discussions about WAPA rates. Bills vary widely depending on the type of property, size, and if you run A/C or not. Modest properties are probably somewhere from $150 to $250 per month without A/C usage. Hurricane insurance can be pretty pricey. It's included in most condo HOA fees, but a few properties don't include insurance. For houses, figure on an annual premium approximately this way: take 80% of the purchase price (since you don't insure the land) and multiply that times 2-4%. There are a variety of things that reduce or increase your premium rate. The more discounts you get, the closer to the 2% multiplier you can reach.

Posted : January 4, 2007 7:00 pm
Posts: 83
Trusted Member

Yes Megan, I think your no pmv option is just as valid as a pmv. The only way to really know if you're going to make it is to give it a shot and just do it, at some point, no matter how long your pmv is that is what you've got to do. If you could afford to play it safe there is nothing wrong with being prudent, but as you've said that will cut into what you need to live on whilst you get settled. What's the worst that can happen, you go home and pick up life. You are both young and you've got each other. Obviously, I am sure that you and your husband are intelligent enough to know that it is different when you are living here than being here on vacation. I came down here to STX single and without a pmv and it worked out fine for me. I do know married couples who have had problems coping with the small 1 bedroom apartment/condo living. That is a LOT of togetherness! Also one spouse may feel better about isalnd life than the other. Try to get a six month lease.

Posted : January 4, 2007 7:39 pm
Posts: 10
Active Member
Topic starter

Yeah! Thats what I've been looking for. Encouragement!

Togetherness is right. Not only will we be cramped but we will only know each other when we get there. I guess this will bring out the best and worst in our new found union. ; )

Posted : January 4, 2007 7:44 pm
Posts: 3904
Famed Member

I moved here alone & had never been here before but I came for a job interview, got the job & within a week I was here. I didn't bring any pet but one found me in a short time. 🙂

September (assuming no hurricane is looming) is probably an easier time to find a place to live than mid-season. You sound like you have marketable skills so if you're willing to work harder than you're used to, you will probably do well.

Gas was $3.159 last time I looked. I also think groceries are higher than 10% more, at least for what I look for but I could be out of the loop on that.

I would think moving costs would depend on where you're moving from but I didn't move furniture down here so others know better on that. After you're settled, one advantage here is most stateside stores that have catalogs will ship here for things you might not find at our usual stores. Good luck! Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Posted : January 4, 2007 7:56 pm
Posts: 2259
Noble Member

If you need to reserve, go right ahead! I am away right now. More later.


Posted : January 4, 2007 8:32 pm
Posts: 372
Reputable Member

You can DOOOO IT!

There you go, some encouragement. Tell us how it goes.

Posted : January 4, 2007 11:14 pm
Posts: 31
Eminent Member

Island Ed, are you from Kansas City?

Posted : January 5, 2007 12:07 pm
Posts: 10
Active Member
Topic starter

You guys are great! I we can't wait to be there. Keep me posted on jobs or places to live that come open!

Posted : January 5, 2007 1:45 pm
Search this website Type then hit enter to search
Close Menu