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Three 24-year-olds moving to USVI

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JayhawkVI
(@JayhawkVI)
Active Member

I'm sure this type of situation has been discussed ad nauseum throughout this forum but I would really like to have some direct contact with some people about my questions/comments/concerns in relation to relocating to the USVI (specifically St. Croix or St John). The main question I have is, how feasible it that three twenty-three year olds could support themselves on one of those two islands?? As for some reference, we are all college graduates(University of Kansas, University of Dayton, & Pitt State University) that are gainfully employed and have extensive work backgrounds in everything from the food service and bartending to various sectors of the financial industry. Point being, we would be willing to do ANY TYPE of labor that would allow us to afford a three bedroom residence in a safe area somewhat near our job. Is that something that is even possible?? I understand that due to the struggling economy finding work anywhere is going to be difficult but is it going to be so bad that three people with above adequate education and employment backgrounds would be unable to make enough money to support themselves on the bare minimum?? And I do mean we are prepared to live on the bare minimum. We have read all the forums about how it is way different than on the main land when it comes to every day conveniences and we are more than prepared. We are looking to spend around $650 dollars a month a piece and would be willing to double bunk in one room to gain easier access to the beach or proximity to our employment (so whatever $1950/mo would afford us for a 2BR). Our main reason for this relocation is to be happy. We are all miserable in our current situations and have more or less lived in Kansas our whole lives. We don't want to do what our parents did which was get married too young, have kids and get bogged down with responsibility too early. Any, and I mean ANY information, knowledge, or tidbit of information you think three boys looking to move to the USVI would benefit from knowing, please please share. Any references for housing or employment would also be MUCH MUCH appreciated. Thank you again everyone and I hope you aren't tired of answering these questions!!!

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Topic starter Posted : August 13, 2013 2:42 pm
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
Trusted Member

Not really tired of answering but they have been! You can find a a ton of stories above where you can read and find the answers. St John and St Croix are two different places with St Thomas being the most busy. Wonder why either STX or STJ? You will find all this in those stories. As worldly as you are with all that experience, you will find that most of the folks you find here working when you get here are all probably be doing what you want to do are very similar to you. You won't be the first nor will you be the last. Ask away.

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Posted : August 13, 2013 3:12 pm
JayhawkVI
(@JayhawkVI)
Active Member

The reason we were looking more to St. Croix or St John is to avoid the big businesess, chain retailers, and other things we are looking to escape by leaving the mainland. Obviously that means employment will be more difficul to come by due to the smaller size, but that is what we are looking for. I guess out main concern is if we move there, is there any chance we won't be able to find employment?? Like I have said we are ablebodied young men looking to do just about anyone will hire us to do.

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Topic starter Posted : August 13, 2013 3:43 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Although you'll probably gather this once you start reading all the information right here on this site (as I suggested in your thread on the visitor's forum you should start from top left and go through everything on the scroll-down menus all the way to the right) the living here isn't inexpensive by any stretch and basic sticker shock will hit you! It's almost impossible to get around without your own transportation, plus in most places you need to come up with three months rent upfront - first, last and security - and enough money to last you for a couple of months in case you don't find employment right away. The economic situation here is VERY poor right now. if you go to virginislandsdailynews.com later this evening you'll be able to read today's front page news which will give you an idea.

Anyway, you've a ton of reading to do so pore over it all and see what you think.

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Posted : August 13, 2013 3:45 pm
mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
Trusted Member

Ooooooh, how I envy you. I wish I were that age again. I say GO FOR IT, you are still young enough to where if you find it was a mistake, no harm no foul. There shouldn't be any problem finding a two bedroom or bigger apartment for less than $2000.00 a month. But I would suggest St. Thomas as well, it's much more touristy and your chances of employment greater. Plus if you want to get close to the water and like to surf, The North side of St. Thomas near Hull Bay would be my suggestion, it's great surfing there.

But like Oldtart pointed out, you will need to have some backup cash to live on for at least three months emergency fund, which should include first, last and security deposit, which could total $5000.00 just to cover startup rent, then utilities to have turned on. To me, for the three of you, a minimum of $10,000.00 wouldn't be out of the question and that might be a bit lacking for the long run. Then there's the transportation issue, you will have to have a vehicle there is no question about that and with three of you sharing one vehicle might be a problem.

I SAY GO FOR IT as long as you can safely swing it and enjoy the adventure, how ever it turns out.

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Posted : August 13, 2013 5:22 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

What you describe is feasible and if you are talented and hard working you will find people who will be glad you are here to offer your services. Be prepared to do without a lot of things you never thought you could do without though at first. Over time your reputation can be built into something positive and you will find that opportunities will follow.

Sean

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Posted : August 13, 2013 5:31 pm
JayhawkVI
(@JayhawkVI)
Active Member

Thank you all for the feedback! It's definitely going to be an experience that will undoubtedly contain some bumps in the road and some hardships but I honestly think we are prepared. We are hardworking, polite, educated Kansas boys and I have no doubt that if someone gives us a chance we will not disappoint. I guess the issue is just finding that opportunity...

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Topic starter Posted : August 13, 2013 6:02 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

JUST DO IT. stx is more laid back, stt is busier, stj is more expensive. but at your age, i think it would be a great adventure-no kids, no spouses, not elderly, basically nothing to tie you down.

do it, you will either love it or hate it. just make sure you have money to get back home if you hate it

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Posted : August 13, 2013 6:56 pm
mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
Trusted Member

Thank you all for the feedback! It's definitely going to be an experience that will undoubtedly contain some bumps in the road and some hardships but I honestly think we are prepared. We are hardworking, polite, educated Kansas boys and I have no doubt that if someone gives us a chance we will not disappoint. I guess the issue is just finding that opportunity...

You will have the time of your lives. If you are fairly clean cut and dress nicely and pretty articulate, places Like Diamond International & Little Switzerland are always looking for sales people especially during the high season winter months. Down Town would be your best bet for sales jobs. My Nephew worked for Diamond International for a couple of years before he graduated college and moved up to Orlando Florida. He loved it and got some pretty good commissions as well.

Also, if anyone of you are real handy, handymen are always in demand on island. You don't need to know a lot about anything, but you need to know a little about everything hahahahahahahaha. Just repairing window screens or patio door screens would be a start. They never last long on the islands, fixing swollen sticking doors. Just stay away from plumbing and electrical unless licensed. I went down to visit my sister in Law last year and spent the whole two weeks, repairing screen, fixing patio doors, painting, fixing sticking doors that wouldn't close. It was a lot of work in that two week period, but my sister in law would have gladly paid someone to fix the stuff, but there wasn't anyone close around to call. Most guys wind up getting into full blown construction when they go down, which leaves a niche for the handy person. You don't have to be a guy to do most of this stuff, my wife is quite handy herself and was working right along with me and in some cases did a better job than me.

I will also add that before we left, two of her neighbors asked what we would charge to do some repairs around their houses as well and if we decided to move back to the islands, they would keep us busy with customers. But I told them that I didn't know how my wife felt about it. But I was getting a bit too old for all that work hahahahahaha, but appreciated the kind words anyway.

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Posted : August 13, 2013 7:05 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
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We are looking to spend around $650 dollars a month a piece and would be willing to double bunk in one room to gain easier access to the beach or proximity to our employment (so whatever $1950/mo would afford us for a 2BR).

If that's your rent budget, you'll be just fine on STX. The rent on STJ is higher, but I don't know how much higher.

If that's your total living budget, then don't even think about moving here.

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Posted : August 13, 2013 10:45 pm
JayhawkVI
(@JayhawkVI)
Active Member

Thank you again everyone for your input! It is making this large decision to move a lot more educated and is helping me feel more comfortable. Please keep posting and I will keep checking in. Hopefully I post in 3 weeks with an update saying I'm living in paradise!

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Topic starter Posted : August 13, 2013 10:46 pm
St X
 St X
(@st_x)
Advanced Member

Yes you absolutely can.
It'll be hard to get started. Bring a lot of money for deposits and at least one car. You can live here (STX) very cheaply once you're all set up, but it'll take a while to find the right place and jobs for you (which will eventually happen by networking with people you meet). Be nice, work hard, and show up on time and you will be just fine.

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Posted : August 13, 2013 10:55 pm
stx_gb
(@stx_gb)
Advanced Member

The hardest part for me was making the decision. It's not always paradise, everyday life still has to be lived but it is unique. You'll definitely get gain a new perspective of the world that is harder to get when growing up in Kansas. (Speaking from experience)

Plus, St. Croix could use a few more Jayhawks...

Rock Chalk!

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Posted : August 14, 2013 6:37 pm
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

I'd go to hawaii

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Posted : August 14, 2013 7:30 pm
Tiberius
(@Tiberius)
Advanced Member

Just increase your current cost of living by about 40%.

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Posted : August 14, 2013 8:36 pm
rosesisland
(@rosesisland)
Trusted Member

Oh, come on! I've known many a 20 something coming to STX and if willing to work will do just fine no matter the economy.

Three young educated guys rooming together should have no problems! STX has your much better rents. Since you are from Kansas and lived there most of your lives, I'll just bet that surfing comment for going to STT didn't sway ya much.

And, our Seaplane here goes very often all day, every day to STT where you can catch ferry to wonderful but, extremely expensive to live and hard to find work, St. John! For me, STT is too crowded and hard to get around!

Know two people recently like this summer here on STX, that have leased very nice places with pools between 1600-1800, and the 1600 one comes with yard, pool service AND a weekly maid. So, good deals here you will find once ya'll are here.

My suggestion would stay at The Pink Fancy, downtown Christiansted for a month or two while getting your bearings, I.e., job, transportation, etc. if ya'll aren't shipping vehicles, then you'd be near taxis stands and downtown has several places to walk to to eat.

Ya'll are young enough to just come, love it here and will just make it work. Great Happy Hours and meeting locals with job tips downtown as well. The Boardwalk is a good resource for networking! I'm sure I'll get a snide comment on that, but, probably from some old person who doesn't go down there! And, I'm old too just wishing I'd done that in my twenties, than, waiting after being widowed and not moving here til my 40's!

DON'T SPEND ANOTHER WINTER UP THERE DREAMING...COME OWN DOWN, STX IS WAITING! Best of luck to you guys and keep in touch here it let us know ho it goes!

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Posted : August 15, 2013 12:34 pm
ikory
(@ikory)
Advanced Member

I went with coldwellbanker on STX and got a place 2bedroom condo on the beach with awesome views of the sea for 1200 a month. They did not want last months rent, but they wanted $600 for a WAPA deposit. Lots of privacy on the beaches on STX which I enjoy greatly so far. Pool is ice cold which has been great. Money has been super tight the first month here. So we went to Cost For Less and bought a big box of chicken quarters 33 pounds for 28 dollars and bought 12 pounds of frozen vegetables for 22 dollars. 45 pounds of food for 50 dollars is pretty awesome. We are not running air conditioning which I am from Illinois and is killing me. Some nights I go sleep outside on the balcony but I seem to be getting use to the temperature. We have been told we are averaging about 10 dollars a day in water so that is horrible.

I am constantly told there are no jobs in STX. The president of UVI speech on Monday was saying that USVI only has 19% adults with higher education. So being educated is really going to make you stand out.

So we had to change a few things living on STX but it is all worth it to wake up to a million dollar view everyday.

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Posted : August 15, 2013 1:18 pm
JayhawkVI
(@JayhawkVI)
Active Member

Thank you guys once more for all of your input. I'm not kidding when I say that the information I've received and the direct contact I've had through this forum have been the deciding factors to take the plunge. I really appreciate the support AND the cautionary tales. I check back in three times a day because I love hearing what everyone has to say. Thank you again.

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Topic starter Posted : August 15, 2013 3:22 pm
mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
Trusted Member

OK, so which island are you planning to go to?

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Posted : August 15, 2013 5:46 pm
JayhawkVI
(@JayhawkVI)
Active Member

St. Croix I think. Mostly because of the price of living being the most manageable and the fact that St. Thomas is too touristy and busy. I wouldn't rule out St. John, but from what I'm hearing It's too pricey to live in our current situation.

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Topic starter Posted : August 15, 2013 6:06 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

"Touristy and Busy" means jobs and income.

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Posted : August 15, 2013 6:55 pm
rosesisland
(@rosesisland)
Trusted Member

You will love St. Croix, I'm just positive. And, after being here awhile, ya'll just may try STT or STJ. I came there in '95 with two large duffle bags and a computer and a Labrador and two cats and 21 y/o daughter and a BBA and got good job, albeit not in my field of Comp. Sci., but, did manage an Architech's off with 4 Architechs.

Ya'll may fall in love with boating and eventually buy a boat and live on. The possibles are endless with brains, education, and a good work ethic! Don't let the negative people deter your dream. Yes, this is far from Kansas or even be close in similarity. There are no Wal-marts here, but, we do have K-Mart (2), Home Depot, getting more solar companies, so, when you get here you can have a lot to look at. Saw ads for needing school teachers...you can always do sub teaching for interim money to live.

When ya'll thinking about making the leap?

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Posted : August 15, 2013 7:28 pm
JayhawkVI
(@JayhawkVI)
Active Member

We are completely on the same page rosesisland. I love hearing stories like your's, gets me excited. We are aiming for second week in September!

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Topic starter Posted : August 15, 2013 7:57 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Not trying to be a downer but you will be arriving at the height of our hurricane season.
May want to rent someplace that either has a generator or will allow one in the event of a prolonged WAPA outage(s).
Good Luck to you. Sure you'll do fine.

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Posted : August 15, 2013 8:54 pm
mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
Trusted Member

"Touristy and Busy" means jobs and income.

Amen to that sister.

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Posted : August 15, 2013 11:16 pm
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