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Seeking some impartial advice about possibly moving  

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cswimccc
(@cswimccc)
New Member

I am new to this site, and have been reading through the posts and soaking up as much as I can. My goal is to make an informed decision before committing to anything.

My wife and I got married a few years ago in St. Thomas and loved it! We fantasized about moving to St. Thomas and even started looking into it 2-3 years ago but decided that unless we had a job lined up for at least one of us, it wouldn't be a responsible decision to uproot our lives and move. With that in mind, I set job alerts for openings that fit my skills (Information Technology). Well, this week, after passively looking for a few years, I found a perfect match and submitted my resume. While this may be putting the cart before the horse, I received a very positive response from my resume submission that I now have an interview lined up.

Being pragmatic about making such a decision, I am not sure how to proceed. I set up a video chat interview and I am confident that I'll do well on it. As of now, I don't know what the salary would be for the position, nor do I know what the cost of living is like in St. Thomas. As a result, I find myself having tons of questions. My biggest concern is that I am sure there are things I should be considering that I don't even know about yet! If the interview goes well and I receive an offer, what things should I consider? Housing, cost of living, transportation are some of the things I've been reading about but I'm sure there is more. Also, I'd have to take into consideration what I'd be giving up and compare it to what I'd be gaining. While salary and benefits are easy to compare, I'm sure life would be different than living just outside of NYC. In the end, I think what I'm trying to ask is what are the most important things to consider in making a decision like this if the opportunity presents itself?

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Posted : January 21, 2017 2:44 am
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member

Do you have the patience and personality to deal with a radically different work ethic in every part of your daily life.
can you come down with a good amount of savings to set up a house and cars.
Will you be able to live on one salary until your wife gets work she enjoys.
Are both of you committed to this change and distance from family.

The cost of living is high in some regards and overall more expensive but rent will be cheaper than NYC, clothing expenses less with no seasonal wardrobe changes, no winter expenses, personal income tax will be lower, food is much higher and less selection, no one cares what kind of car you drive, travel costs can be high if you want off island time, technology speeds may be hard to adjust to, utility cost can be surprising and unreliable service is standard --------- it is very different living than suburbia or urban life and inconveniences are a way of life that will be frustrating.

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Posted : January 21, 2017 3:15 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

it is hard to be impartial about the islands as the majority of us live here.

health care, schools if you have school age children. driving on the "wrong" side of the road.

no air conditioning for a lot of places and if you do have it, you need to make sure you can actually afford to run it.

food costs are higher than stateside and we dont get the sunday paper for coupons.

you will not always find food that you want and if you do it might be because you had to shop at 3 stores to find it. one year i was looking for blueberries, i went to at least 5 places before i found any. i now keep some in my freezer.

bought cereal thursday, had to take it back on friday due to bugs.

shopping for quality clothing. most of that is done online

so much more to add.

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Posted : January 21, 2017 12:27 pm
Afriend
(@afriend)
Advanced Member

You also have to realize that the island is small (only 31 sq. miles) so it's a bit like living in a small town without the ability easily leave that town and get a "taste of the big city". For that you have to fly over to San Juan or back to Miami and that costs money.

The slow pace of island life can be frustrating. For instance, if your refrigerator goes on the fritz and the repair guy says he'll "be there later, mon". He doesn't actually later TODAY but rather he means "not now". LATER can be tomorrow or maybe next Thursday (you get the idea. Than when he finally does show up he tells you he needs a part which has to be shipped in from Miami. Now you have a decision to make. Do you bite the bullet and have the $10 part sent by Fed-ex for $85 or do you wait 3 weeks while the part comes by snail mail.

Read everything you can on this website and then make your decision. The islands may look like paradise but they are not heaven.

Good luck making the transition.

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Posted : January 21, 2017 2:51 pm
singlefin
(@singlefin)
Trusted Member

I'm originally from NY as well. I never felt I fit in there. You can not bring the attitudes, the expectations, or the hurried NY lifestyle with you. If you do, you won't last very long.

I have found that telling people I'm from somewhere else is just plain easier.

Unfortunately the New Yorkers before us have not left a very positive impression on the locals. Go with the flow, expect delays, embrace the Lime!

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Posted : January 21, 2017 3:03 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Trusted Member

bought cereal thursday, had to take it back on friday due to bugs

Always open the box of cereal right in the store and inspect carefully before purchasing.

We do that all the time now as a result of finding bugs a few times after the purchase.

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Posted : January 23, 2017 11:39 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

this was a first for me for cereal. i had that once in a bread mix, never bought another one.

she was cool about the return. lol.

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Posted : January 23, 2017 11:52 am
daveb722
(@daveb722)
Advanced Member

I'm originally from NY as well. I never felt I fit in there. You can not bring the attitudes, the expectations, or the hurried NY lifestyle with you. If you do, you won't last very long.

I have found that telling people I'm from somewhere else is just plain easier.

Unfortunately the New Yorkers before us have not left a very positive impression on the locals. Go with the flow, expect delays, embrace the Lime!

I'm from NY, but I always tell people I'm from Buffalo, as no matter where travel to, people always assume NYC and the attitudes that come with it.

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Posted : January 23, 2017 12:20 pm
janeinstx
(@janeinstx)
Trusted Member

You didn't say who the employer is but if it's a VI Gov't job I'd do some serious research into our financial position. The OMB predicts an $11 million deficit by the end of the month and 60 million by the end of the fiscal year. Our bonds (our mechanism for paying normal operating expenses) are at junk status. The territory can no longer borrow to keep ourselves afloat.

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Posted : January 23, 2017 12:56 pm
islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
Trusted Member

Plaza East seems to be infested with those flying moth like bugs now. I saw a bunch of them flying around in the cereal aisle the other day. They are also frequently found in bags of dry dog and cat food.

bought cereal thursday, had to take it back on friday due to bugs

Always open the box of cereal right in the store and inspect carefully before purchasing.

We do that all the time now as a result of finding bugs a few times after the purchase.

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Posted : January 23, 2017 1:04 pm
Famof8
(@Famof8)
New Member

CSWIMCCC,

When I read your post, I almost thought it was me writing it. Similar scenario casually looking for job and then the "dream" job stares me in the face. It makes me wonder if we are after the same job. If so, I wish you the best.

I have 4 children living at home still, so cost of living looks like a kick in the face. The houses I've seen that are 3 bedroom appear to have an apartment attached. Is this common?

This forum is great and I appreciate the comments people offer.

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Posted : January 24, 2017 7:29 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member

@famof8
Many homes do have an apt. as part of the lower concrete structure because each home must have a cistern below it to catch rainwater off the roof for the water supplied for all usage.

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Posted : January 24, 2017 11:08 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

I always thought that the extra apartment was a way to help the homeowner pay for their property.

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Posted : January 24, 2017 11:33 pm
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

It is. It just so happens that due to terrain and requirement for cistern it makes including a lower level apartment in the building that much easier.

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Posted : January 25, 2017 1:11 am
MaryZ67
(@MaryZ67)
Active Member

What a great opportunity! If you and your wife can make it work, even if it's just for a few years, I would encourage you to go for it. My husband and I still live in the same the state that we were both born in but we are trying to work out a big move. It's much more challenging with kids, school, etc. Best of luck to you!

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Posted : January 25, 2017 3:55 am
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