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Ghost Rider
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April 8, 2015 11:59 pm  

Hello everybody. My wife and I are thinking about moving to the islands when I retire in about 2 years... We want to learn as much as we can about both islands. My friend Terry ( member here) told me about this group and it is a wondeful source of information. We are considering visiting both islands for about 3 weeks each to see it for our selves but I will still like to hear some pros and cons about the two islands... Like why choose one over another.
Thank you so much in advance.


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Alana33
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April 9, 2015 12:42 am  

Better run hospital in STT, for starters!
Closer to other islands like STJ and the BVI for visits, day trips and weekends, always lots to do with different events happening at Richold, Pistarkle Theater, music venues at Tilltet's Garden, and other places, for example.

Each island has its own unique charm and challenges.
Sure you'll figure out which suits you best.

Make sure your health insurance covers you in the USVI since you can't get individual policies here.

Good luck and have fun deciding.


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East Ender
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April 9, 2015 1:32 am  

Have you been to both? You should visit and see which one floats your boat. 😉


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Ghost Rider
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April 9, 2015 3:40 am  

Thanks everybody. We have been on STTthis year and have a dear friend that is a part timer in STX. We are going to visit both places this summer and spend about 3 weeks in each one of the islands to get a better idea where we want to be.... We have Blue Cross Blu Shield and will see if they will cover us if we ove there. This forum is what I was looking for toe get some first hand info from people like you that have the experience of living there.... Once again, thank you very much for all the info. If there is anything else that you are willing to tell us, please do so when ever is convenient to you.


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Linda J
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April 9, 2015 7:10 am  

Terry is also a friend of mine. Feel free to private message me if you have specific questions. We lived on STX for 9 years.


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speee1dy
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April 9, 2015 10:44 am  

3 weeks on each should give you a good idea of what life is like on both islands. i personally like the slower pace of stx, but i think stt has more conveniences than stx. of course on cruise ship days it will be busier in stt.

stt is closer to many more other islands. stt has ferries to other islands which is great for daytrips.

you will have fun on both islands


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Alana33
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April 9, 2015 11:39 am  

STX has cheaper rentals and properties for sale than with comparable properties on STT. Might be easier flying in and out from STT for direct and connecting flights.


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Ghost Rider
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April 9, 2015 12:09 pm  

Thanks for all the info... Every little bit helps and things that you guys might not think that it is a big deal after living there, for a new comer can come as a bit of a shock. All this info could make it easyier for us to get ready for the move. We are looking at 2 years from now but will like to get all of our duck in a row before we make the move. I still think that we will keep one of our homes in FL just to have a place to go to once in a wile but will rather spend most of the time in the islands....


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Alana33
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April 9, 2015 12:34 pm  

Where in FL?
I'm considering a relocation to Sw FL, around Sarasota, Port Charlotte, Englwood, St. Pete, next year for a year to see if I can acclimate to stateside life and living since I've lived here for just about forever.

Don't want to sell my home prior to seeing if such a move makes sense for me and my 3 dogs and if I can adapt to smooth roads, recycling, cheaper groceries and electricity, better supermarkets, healthcare insurance, etc.

I'll have a hard time adjusting to all that flat land and lack of gorgeous views, every waking moment! Lots of other things too, I'm sure.

It's daunting, quite honestly but as they say, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."


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OldTart
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April 9, 2015 12:42 pm  

Maybe you could do a house swap for a year!!!!


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Alana33
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April 9, 2015 12:56 pm  

No. I plan on moving myself into the rental apt. when my tenant leave at end of Sept. and renting upstairs where I live to keep an income flow.

Downsizing to a 500 square. ft. space will be challenging but temporary. I'll keep the apt. for my use and have a place to keep my belongings and truck until I figure the rest out. That's the present plan, anyhow.


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Ghost Rider
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April 9, 2015 12:57 pm  

We live just NW of Tampa.. It is a small town called Weeki Wachee. There's is a creat state park in our town and again it is a very small town. About 10 minutes from Brooksville and Spring Hill. Taking the expressway it is about 50 minutes from Tampa Airport and that is good for me because I fly every week and 1 hr doesn't seem much...


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Ghost Rider
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April 9, 2015 12:59 pm  

OldTart, That could be a possibility....


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Alana33
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April 9, 2015 1:06 pm  

I'll be checking out different areas. That might be one.
A smaller town feel suits me after living here all these years.
Not looking for big city living, that's for sure.
Lots to try to figure out! Yikes!


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Ghost Rider
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April 9, 2015 1:27 pm  

I'll be checking out different areas. That might be one.
A smaller town feel suits me after living here all these years.
Not looking for big city living, that's for sure.
Lots to try to figure out! Yikes!

I know what you mean... I wouldn't recommend the East coast of Florida... Too overly populated... Us, on the west coast of Florida we call the East coast, New York South... Nothing wrong with New Yorkers, just so over pupulated...


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speee1dy
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April 9, 2015 2:36 pm  

alana, check out indian rocks beach. we lived there for three years. it is on one side the causeway so it has that small beach town vibe but when you go back across the causeway there are plenty of stores. it is like having the best of both worlds. just a short drive to tampa, clearwater ( where hulk hogan used to live ) and st pete. plenty to do to keep you occupied. the water is not like it is here but still nice. and the airport is close by -less than an hour


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FLLisa
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April 9, 2015 2:51 pm  

Alana, if you would like small town AND a water setting, check out Palatka or Green Cove Springs. They are both in north east FL on the St. John's river. Don't know if you specifically want coastal FL, but places on the river are much more affordable than beach areas, yet within driving distance to the beach.


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Gator's Mom
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April 9, 2015 4:08 pm  

Hi, Alana.

I live in St. Pete FL - and I advise a PMV to Florida as you're planning - and bring lots of money. $10-15K to get started. No, I'm really not kidding. St. Pete has many fine attributes but don't plan to live on less than in the VI.

The price of an apartment in a safe neighborhood will be $1,000+.
My electric bill (Duke) is one of the highest in FL - not as high as WAPA for sure - but you'll be running air conditioning for 6-8 months each year - plan for about $300/month for two people.
My water/sewer/trash bill is $100 per month.
If you buy a house (say for $300,000) your property taxes will be at least $4,500/year and property insurance will be about the same. Careful where you buy - flood insurance is losing its cap so don't get caught with another large annual premium.
Automobile insurance is about $1400/year per car.
Cable/telephone/internet costs about the same as in the VI - more reliable though.
Lunch per person at a moderate restaurant is $15, dinner is $25-30. (Without alcohol)

Gasoline is cheaper - but you have to drive many more miles to get where you're going.

There are lots of wonderful grocery choices - but not really cheaper on a whole than the VI unless you shop regularly at Aldi or Save-A-Lot. I still drive to 2-3 stores each week to gather up my groceries but then again I'm picky.

Medical services are very good and readily available if you stay on the beaten path in FL. Small town care can be similar to the VI - but at least you can drive to the nearest city rather than having to fly.

And please don't discount the negative political environment in FL. It's equally though not as blatantly corrupt as the VI. If that stuff bothers you in the VI it will bother you in FL.

Oh, and there is no curbside recycling in St. Pete - you have to drive your stuff to a dump site. LOL not kidding.


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Alana33
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April 9, 2015 4:34 pm  

I've got a good friend in St. Pete but overall found it a bit pricey, Sarasota as well so looking outside those areas and giving myself a year to do so. Have friends and family all over FL as there are a ton of relocated Virgin Islanders there and went to school in St. Augustine. It'll take me awhile to figure out "stuff" like driving on the right, what counties offer what, taxes, evacuation routes, should it be necessary, flood zones, sinkhole and all that good stuff that I wouldn't consider on buying or renting a property here.

I need to see water whether it be ocean, lake, river or pond.
I thank you all.
Didn't mean to hijack the thread. Sorry.


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Alana33
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April 9, 2015 5:30 pm  

Thanks gatorsmom,

I will be taking plenty of money and follow advice I 've given here
to making a move, myself. 😉 I've looked at housing prices online in various areas as initially I quite liked Sarasota but it's really on the high end of what I'll want to spend when I can get more bang for the buck as they say, elsewhere. Ditto for St. Pete. Looking to get away from high prices for a change. I pretty much know what I want and know moving with 3 dogs, is going to present its own unique set of challenges as I'll need to find a rental that allows pets, has a fenced yard, is furnished and has NO CARPETING while I explore and see what areas suits me and what doesn't.

Plus, FL is Republican land and last time I was there at an event in the Villages, they announced the were going to have Newt Gingrich and Sara Palin as guests at their next week's event and being me, I boo'd. You could have heard a pin drop and all those gray heads swiveling quickly to look at me, calling me an Obama lover! My sister quickly backed away from me less she become tarnished by my presence. Oh well!

So, yeah, there are definitely going to be challenges but if it does not suit, I can always come home. Only time will tell.
Thanks again everyone. As time draws near, I'll be asking a lot of questions, myself.


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wanderer
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April 9, 2015 5:57 pm  

Plus, FL is Republican land

Florida is actually right in the middle of the political spread between the democrats and the republicans. If you are looking for a blue state with a warm climate, that would Hawaii.


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Alana33
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April 9, 2015 6:03 pm  

Too far and another island....tho considerably larger.


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speee1dy
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April 9, 2015 6:09 pm  

have you checked into the destin area? the water looks nice and rentals seem cheap up that way, especially if you go out in the country a bit


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Gator's Mom
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April 9, 2015 6:18 pm  

wanderer -

Actually FL is bright RED.

Republican governor (FL resident for less than 10 years)
FL House of Reps - 26 Repubs, 14 Dems
FL Senate - 80 Repubs, 39 Dems

US House - 17 Repubs, 10 Dems
US Senate - 1, Repub, 1 Dem

Obama carried FL because of get out the vote efforts in the Tampa Bay area.


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Ghost Rider
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April 9, 2015 6:26 pm  

Alana,
Yes florida is a Republican state but you need to remember that we do not have a state income tax, or roads are much better than most other states... Most Democratic states are going bankrupt left and right because all the freebies that they offer to people that are not willing to work. If you decide to move to St. Pete, make sure that you can get flood inssurance since the drain system is not up to date and every time it rains parts of the town gets flooded and the insurance companies refuse to offer flood inssurance. Remember that we also have plenty of groceries stores here and you can also get your groceries at Walmart ( one stop shopping for everything))... My personal opinion is that if you move Fro STX to Florida, your expenses will be much lower than whet you guys are telling me about STX.... But with that you will also deal with traffic issues, no Good (Morning, Afternoon or evening) from anybody... Health and pet care is more accessible and of good quality. My opinion is that if you can make it financially in STX you will be doing fine here in FL


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