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Should we consider moving???

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sealdog
(@sealdog)
Active Member

Hello,

Newbie here. My husband MAY have a job opportunity in STX, so right now we are just in the "what if" stage. We currently live near Atlanta, GA and are a very typical suburbanite family. We have two young boys, ages 4 and 5, so they are a big factor in whether or not we'd consider a move there. If it we didn't have children we'd move in a heartbeat. But, we do, and we want what's best for them. I know we'd definitely put them in private school. Are there any of you who moved there with young children, or who have young children now? And if so, what are the positives and negatives? I've never been to STX, but have spent time in STT and the BVI, so as far as everyday life I kind of know what to expect, just not with children. Any advice would be appreciated!

Thanks!

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Topic starter Posted : May 31, 2009 6:20 pm
billd
(@billd)
Trusted Member

The first thing to determine is IF your husband will have a job offer. The next thing is come down and do a PMV. Determine where you will live, what the costs are, where your children will go to school (private at about 10,000 a child or public), what your transportation costs will be and then add this all up, add about 20% error and budget your new life. If it does not work then be careful that you don't argue yourself in to a situation that you will regret. This is of course if you are not independently wealthy.

Bringing up kids can be a a problem. But it can be done and they will get a wonderful life. If you do it wrong then it will be a miserable life.

BUT DO A PMV!!!!

billd

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Posted : May 31, 2009 6:51 pm
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

We moved here when our son was two. He is five now. He goes to Country Day School and loves it. Excellent education. Tuition is around $8,500 for the whole school year and with a second child I believe there is a discount. We don't qualify but there is financial assistance. Children can start school at Country Day at age 3 and must be potty trained. There are also other good private schools that are much less expensive. We are very pleased with the nursery, pre K and kindergarten program. Food and electricity is much more expensive here but some cost are offset with other things such as not needing winter clothes and being able to entertain children for free with beach activities and moms groups. There are summer camps that go all day long at a low cost. Children here, in my opinion, are more self reliant, experience a vastly diverse culture, are better behaved, less materialistic and well rounded. If you can afford to live here and have a salary that supports the higher energy and higher food cost, I think is a wonderful place to raise children.

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Posted : May 31, 2009 7:54 pm
sealdog
(@sealdog)
Active Member

Thanks for your quick responses! Dougtamjj, is safety an issue? I've read all of the posts about robberies, etc., but do you ever worry about the safety of your children (more than you did in the States)?

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Topic starter Posted : May 31, 2009 8:02 pm
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

I personally feel very safe here but I have never been a victim of crime here. I feel that my child is safer here than where we lived in the states. We live in what I would consider a bit out in the country. He plays outside alone. I don't worry about a car hitting him or someone kidnapping him. Most of the neighbors know each other by sight and all keep an eye out for each other. There were some robberies in our area a few months back but it is rare around here. I do not know the circumstances of the robberies other than no one was home at the time or the house was unoccupied.

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Posted : May 31, 2009 10:38 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

just remember with two growing children your food costs will be at least 30% higher maybe more. i have not been to the states in awhile so not sure of the costs there.
i like vit d regular or 2% milk, half gallon here is about $5-$7 . i do not buy island dairies milk because the taste is horrible. that milk is a bit cheaper though. cereal is about $5 a box from what i remember, bread is about $3-$5 dollars a loaf. fresh produce is not what you are used to, quality is not good at all.
dont let the crime scare you. most crime is drug on drug gangster stuff. just regular precautions. we do lock everything.
mom was here for two weeks and we went to the grocery store. i asked her to guess the price of what we bought, she was off by about $100.

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Posted : June 1, 2009 11:18 am
sealdog
(@sealdog)
Active Member

Yeah, tell me about the higher grocery prices with kids...they eat a lot! I feel like while we would pay more in groceries, we'd spend less on gas (cheaper and wouldn't be driving nearly as much as we do now), so it may come close to evening out. All of this is still a big "what if," but we'll know more this week.

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Topic starter Posted : June 1, 2009 11:41 am
jerrydcs
(@jerrydcs)
Advanced Member

just remember with two growing children your food costs will be at least 30% higher maybe more. i have not been to the states in awhile so not sure of the costs there.
i like vit d regular or 2% milk, half gallon here is about $5-$7 . i do not buy island dairies milk because the taste is horrible. that milk is a bit cheaper though. cereal is about $5 a box from what i remember, bread is about $3-$5 dollars a loaf. fresh produce is not what you are used to, quality is not good at all.
dont let the crime scare you. most crime is drug on drug gangster stuff. just regular precautions. we do lock everything.
mom was here for two weeks and we went to the grocery store. i asked her to guess the price of what we bought, she was off by about $100.

can tell you have not been in states for a while
wa. state here
bread $3 to $4 a lofe
gas $2.75 to 2.80 a gal.
milk $4.00 to $5..gal
steaks $6 to &8 a pound
hambuger $2.80 to $4.00 a #
box of cereal $4 to $6

just to name a few so as you can see prices here have gone up a lot in last few years
now prices on east coast are a little less then in westen wa.

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Posted : June 1, 2009 7:31 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Ah, the redistribution of cost of living, huh??

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Posted : June 1, 2009 7:47 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

wow, i guess you are right

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Posted : June 1, 2009 8:29 pm
islandtyme
(@islandtyme)
Trusted Member

If you have the job offer, can deal with being far from family and willing to make new friends & can deal with things that will blow your idea of "normal" out the window...come on down! The weather is great, people are generally really nice just things tend to be expensive here.
Even if you decide the island life isn't for you, it will be an adventure you should experience!

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Posted : June 1, 2009 8:45 pm
pamela
(@pamela)
Trusted Member

that makes me feel better!

bread $3 to $4 a lofe - about the same
gas $2.75 to 2.80 a gal. paid $266 this morning
milk $4.00 to $5..gal $4.99 1/2 gal but I buy the three day before the xpiration date and get it for $2.99. Doesn't take me more than 2 days.steaks $6 to &8 a pound OHHHH , this might be an issue.
hambuger $2.80 to $4.00 a # - $2.99 for ground chuck

No heating bills. No dry cleaning. Minimal water bills. No panty hose. Sandals. Makeup melts - a really great reason not to wear it. Banaquits. Saw a whale out the window yesterday. Sailboats. Giving your children an experience to grow up in a culture in which they will learn many good things that are outside the US mainstream. Clean air and you are not going to believe the night skies.

We have crime. We have racism (that was so hard for me when I first got here). We have guns and drugs and thugs and murders and corruption in the government. But we are talking about just anywhere in the US these days, aren't we?

If you can make the $$$ work and are involved parents it should be all ok. Move carefully.

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Posted : June 1, 2009 8:56 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

now after this i went to safeway.com and pretended i wanted to place an order for delivery. looking at that the prices were better out in the pheonix area. they had gallon milk for about $2, one brand of cereal i like for less than $3. i guess some things are cheaper and some arent. oh well

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Posted : June 2, 2009 12:11 pm
sealdog
(@sealdog)
Active Member

At least you don't have a Target store on the island. That's what breaks my bank, not groceries. And if we moved there, I wouldn't miss it. It's a budget killer. Go in expecting to get two things and end up spending $100. ????

Anyway, we're getting closer to knowing more about the job status. I'm starting to get really excited now. I hope it pans out!

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Topic starter Posted : June 2, 2009 1:10 pm
billd
(@billd)
Trusted Member

The cost of food is greater. I believe that it is on the average 1.5 or TWICE what it is in the main land. Just to prove the point I will take the shop rite flyer (east coast food store) that comes out this weekend and when I get to STT on the 7th I will do some spot comparisons. Truly not a in depth study but one that will tell you what the price relationship is. Also, remember that although there is no sales tax in the islands you are actually paying an import tax on everything you buy. (Remember the Department of Waste wanted to put a consumption tax on products based on how they would end up in a land fill?

But all of this aside. The is only one reason to consider moving to the VI is if you will be overall happier. You have one life to live. Try to make the best of it. If you can afford it, and it meets your criteria then do it. But don't do it without Considerable thought.

billd

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Posted : June 2, 2009 1:43 pm
LuckyGirl56
(@LuckyGirl56)
Advanced Member

Shopped Plaza Extra on STX over the weekend...
Brown sugar ham lunchmeat was $6.99.
Johnsonville Bratwurst was $7.23 for 5 links. (This same pkg of brats at Walmart in the states 3 weeks ago was $3.99)
Beef Brisket (in the cry-o-vac pkg) $7.99/lb. Same brisket was $ .99/lb -yes ninety-nine cents- at Walmart
Lays potato chips (lg. bag) $5.99

And in my opinion the bread here is terrible.

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Posted : June 2, 2009 1:55 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

This may be a ways off for you, but....

Your tuition costs will go up as the kids get older.
Upper School tuition at CDS or Good Hope is currently around $11,000.

We're also experiencing "16 year old's Drivers Insurance Shock" right now.
The lady at Marshall Sterling told us, "take your insurance and double it when you add a 16 yr old your car's policy."

Eating out is a big expense for families, and it's fun to eat out down here. So, if that's what you like to do ...whatever you're spending on "eating out" in Atlanta, double it for here.

The other "sort of hidden" cost of living down here is all the plane tickets back and forth to visit family on the mainland.
Even if you go back just once a year, it's $550 X ___ people. (and anyone with college kids, look out!)

I refer to all these extra expenses as "the sunshine tax" ...and sometimes, it's pretty bright. 😎

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Posted : June 2, 2009 3:07 pm
sail2wind
(@sail2wind)
Advanced Member

Sorry poor comparison on the brisket, I am in the food business and the only brisket you will get anywhere near .99, would be whole fat on brisket. When you find the 30% of meat left and all the labor involved, let me know. I pay about $3.75 a pound whole sale, 80 lbs at a a time for trimmed cryovacted brisket in Colorado and it is excellent. Yes, still probably cheaper then the $7.99, but lets compare apples to apples, which are also more expensive.:D

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Posted : June 2, 2009 3:11 pm
bethburnett70
(@bethburnett70)
Advanced Member

You can get steak for a lot less than 6-8 bucks a pound if you shop at Anally for local beef. We buy all of our meats there... great deals on catfish filets and Mahi, too. Also, there bagged frozen veggies are cheaper than Plaza. So is the bacon, and various other things. We probably cut about 40 bucks a week off of our grocery bill when we started making that a regular stop.

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Posted : June 2, 2009 9:25 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

kussco and merchants market are good places to buy meat, fish, chicken and the like for good prices

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Posted : June 2, 2009 9:34 pm
stcmike
(@stcmike)
Advanced Member

stay in atlanta

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Posted : June 5, 2009 12:02 am
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

stcmike,

You don't live here, so you have no first hand experience with matters that concern people who are considering a move, and you seem to hate the place, so you aren't moving here. Why then do you read and post on this forum?

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Posted : June 5, 2009 12:34 am
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

STAY IN ATLANTA????? (td) WHY?

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Posted : June 5, 2009 12:35 am
sealdog
(@sealdog)
Active Member

Well, we have decided not to move. Too much of a major lifestyle change and too many things to consider with small children. We'll save STX and the VI for vacation for now. 🙂 Thanks to everyone for your feedback.

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Topic starter Posted : June 5, 2009 1:05 am
Greg _STT
(@Greg__STT)
Advanced Member

hope stcmike did not discourage you. 🙁

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Posted : June 5, 2009 6:44 pm
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