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To container or not to container; that is the question.

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AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

So this is by far my most FRUSTRATING descision of this move situation. I am so conflicted on what to do. As it stand my house in AZ is going up for rent Oct 1. I've got about 10k in nice furniture and decorations that I can sell for about half of that if I decided to. I can't find ANY pricing online for how much containers from AZ cost. I need them to drop one off at my house and then ship it to STX. I've got serval places to call tomorrow but seems that this is pretty hard to find, especially since I'm not on the coast. I would like to see if a container would be worth it to transport the car and the furniture, if it's around say 5.000 then IMO it's worth it and I would take it all with us.

The second issues this creates is how do we get the goods from the container to our rental? Do they drive the container to the house like they do here or do you need to get a moving company and trucks to move the items?? I saw containers on people property when on my PMV last month but I can't imagine that's included in the cost.

The third issue is that we do have a house that we would like to rent but it's for sale right now. It's unfurnished. IF that house sells before January we will need to find another place to rent and what if it's furnished? Where can we keep our stuff? Can you keep it stored in the container at the yard?? Cost of that??

Our game plan is to rent for about 3 months and then buy a house if all goes well. After all this its a buyers market!! I do think it would be easier to just sell it all and move with just our clothes and a few small things but when we want to buy we need a lot down so I hate to spend the money to re-furnish.

Can you furnish a house with nice stuff for $6k there?? I'm including pics at the end of my furniture and my style. I dont want to buy junky stuff but do like the option to buy more Caribbean looking furniture.

Any personal experiences on the container situation?? Any good contacts?? THANKS everyone!

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Topic starter Posted : August 5, 2012 6:34 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

A lot of us have faced this same conundrum.

If you haven't lived on an island before, I would recommend storing most of your stuff in the States while you get settled down here in a furnished rental and decide if you're long-terms or short-termers, and decide what of your stuff is really worth spending the money to move here. Most people live with less, and with time, you'll probably look at your stored "treasures" differently. We did.

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Posted : August 5, 2012 6:42 pm
Ca. Dreamers
(@ca-dreamers)
Advanced Member

I would like to see if a container would be worth it to transport the car and the furniture, if it's around say 5.000 then IMO it's worth it and I would take it all with us.

5Gs won't even scratch the surface.

We are shipping a 20 footer with just HHG/PP, no car, from central California and have quotes any where from 10-14 G's.

The car is an extra 3,200 and I have to drive it to Florida.

Good Luck

CD

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Posted : August 5, 2012 7:53 pm
divinggirl
(@divinggirl)
Trusted Member

I would do as Neil suggested & store it back there for a while. I stored my things - only the items I knew I "couldn't live without". When it came time to get a container & move things down I got rid of 70% of those things I "had to have". Your needs & tastes change here. Also, many types of furniture don't like the environment here. I have an antique china closet (no glass) that I can't open the drawer on anymore. I wish I'd given it to a family member instead of bringing it down!
FWIW - 8 years ago it cost is $8,000 to move a 20' container from the Midwest - no vehicle was allowed by that shipper.

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Posted : August 5, 2012 8:27 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

Well that's the info I needed! Thanks for those prices!!! I'm gonna SELL IT ALL! 🙂

You are all very right about your changing of taste. I LOVE my AZ home but after looking at STX homes when we got back I was like, Eh, my as home ain't all that lol! STX homes just have more character than these cookie cutter homes here. Thanks again for helping make that decision I live my furniture now but realistically it's nothing I can't live without!

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Topic starter Posted : August 5, 2012 8:44 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

CA dreamer; what kind of car is it?? Is that cost including the drive to FL? I've been looking and looks like about $1500 for our Honda civic were bringing. Is yours an suv? That cost seems high.

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Topic starter Posted : August 5, 2012 8:50 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

we did not ship any furniture, just stuff i couldn't live without. and i still have most of that. we used vi cargo, in medley florida. we lived in the keys so were able to drive the stuff up there. good luck and enjoy your move here.

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Posted : August 5, 2012 9:34 pm
CAtoSTX
(@CAtoSTX)
Trusted Member

We've been storing our stuff in CA - not furniture (just a couch), mostly wedding gifts... we thought it was only going to be a year.
It drives me nuts that I've been paying storage fees for almost 3 years and now we have no idea how to get our stuf OUT of storage.

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Posted : August 6, 2012 1:26 am
cookieboss
(@cookieboss)
Advanced Member

Hi! My wife and I are planning a move to STT soon. the price we were quoted is $12,196 for a 40' container with car and personal belongings. We have a Ford Escape. The cost averages $159 per 100 pounds. This includes "door to door" service; Good Luck and keep us all posted!8-)

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Posted : August 6, 2012 2:45 am
stxrocks
(@stx_rocks)
Advanced Member

Another option is to consider a 2-stage more. You could use PODS, or a similar company, and then ship your goods to an ocean shipper for transfer into a container. While shipping an entire container (20 foot or 40 foot) is much cheaper, most of the major shippers, VI Cargo, Crowley, Tropical Shipping, etc. will take partial shipments and combine them in a container. Most of them ship from FL (Tampa, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and maybe Jacksonville), however I'm not sure if anywhere else along the Gulf coast is an option.

One good thing with the PODS is that one month of storage is included with your shipment. They drop the PODS off in your driveway, you load them, and they take them to a storage / transfer facility. You'll need to check on their website as they do not service all parts of the country, but are generally present in the larger US cities. What the storage option does for you is gives you a buffer to come down here and get settled. So, if it takes longer than a month to find a place to live & get established, you can leave your things in storage another month for a reasonable charge. You are much better off leaving your stuff stored in the states versus obtaining storage here as storage is expensive here.

When you're ready to move, time the delivery of your PODS to an ocean freight company and account for ocean transit & customs. Ocean freight takes about a week from SFL, and then don't forget to allow some time (a few days to a week) for clearing customs. All of the freight forwarders I've heard of will clear your shipment through customs. Make an itemized list of things you are shipping and have receipts for any newer, or high dollar value, items.

If you're bringing a vehicle, I'd suggest driving it to FL and then shipping it from there. To get the basic essentials down to STX, you might consider using USPS, although remember that while parcel post is the cheapest, delivery is also the longest. If you ship parcel post, insure the expensive stuff & put tracking on the lower value stuff. Hopefully you have someone on-island who can receive your things well in advance of your arrival.

In the moving process, you will become very good at determing what is worth bringing & what should be sold, or given away. Craig's List was my friend before we moved here! Once you're here, you'll also become very good at ordering things on the internet. If you haven't picked up a copy of the VI Settler's Handbook, it's available at http://www.vitraders.com/product/21-01.html I found it to be a good resource both before, and after, our move.

From your questions, it sounds like you're doing your homework correctly to plan a smooth transition. As you found, your PMV was invaluable, so you know what awaits you. Good luck with you move.

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Posted : August 6, 2012 12:49 pm
rosesisland
(@rosesisland)
Trusted Member

I've moved to STX before in the 90's and got rid of all my "stuff." Only took the things I could not live without out. Marilyn hit and big hole in roof with windows boarded up by landlord for days afterward and all my "stuff" ruined.

We are moving back at end of November, for good this time, and I just sold my house and all my belongs...sold some of furniture with house and donated the rest to charity. Only bringing car and truck loaded with personal things this time that I cannot live without. Storing only things I'm leaving to my children anyway...will not bring those things to the islands.

What if you move and get all your furniture here and then you lose your job or don't find one, how will you get your stuff back to the States?

I'm 61 years old and all that furniture isn't worth bringing here and it is easier to find a furnished place than an empty one anyway...just my opinion and experience.

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Posted : August 6, 2012 1:48 pm
Ca. Dreamers
(@ca-dreamers)
Advanced Member

CA dreamer; what kind of car is it?? Is that cost including the drive to FL? I've been looking and looks like about $1500 for our Honda civic were bringing. Is yours an suv? That cost seems high.

You better get a quote from a shipping company as it isn't just shipping that cost $.

Our vehicle is an Excrusion, BIG! The price of $3268 includes the transport from Port Everglades to STX, In transit Insurance $300, Customs & Licensing fee $330, Road Tax on 7000# $1134, Registration & Title $135. Total $3268 and I have to get it to Port Everglade. Which really isn't a problem as I'm traveling X country to deliver 5 dogs and 3 cats to be flown down from Miami.

Good Luck
CD

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Posted : August 6, 2012 2:26 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

Roses; I'm inclined to agree. We're in this for the adventure and the islamd lifestyle of STX. I think I'm gonna sell it all, and like you said it seems most places are furnished anyways. We're going to be renting from 3-6 months and if all goes as planned were going to buy a house so looks like selling it all off is our best option. ~~I am curious thou, why are you moving off island?

CA Dreamers; have you been tomSTX?? I too have a massive truck, bigger than yours it's a Chevy 2500 lifted diesel crew cab. I of course am NOT bringing it lol, I don't even know if it would fit on the damn roads!! I'm actually REALLY looking forward to simplifying life. Smaller house smaller truck less "crap" that's un needed lol. Do you have a contacting island that I can call to give the VIN number too and get the taxes and such?? I've been wanting to get an exact number and haven't been able to.

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Topic starter Posted : August 6, 2012 4:09 pm
Jamison
(@Jamison)
Trusted Member

I sold or donated everything I had when I moved here and the only things I really miss or go to look for, is old coffee cans full of odd bolts and stuff or T shirts I probably didn't need the excuse of moving to an island to get rid of.

It's very cleansing. I came down with my Navy seabag stuffed to the gills and a one way ticket for my puppy and me and it's working out.

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Posted : August 6, 2012 4:34 pm
picaflores
(@picaflores)
Advanced Member

I thought "roses" meant, she was moving back to Stx, maybe I misunderstood.

As to road tax... from this website:

Customs: Clearing customs and paying duty is usually done at an office close to the shipping dock. The duty collected is based on country of origin on the car and is calculated using the book value or Bill of Sale, whichever is greater. The VIN number is used to determine origin: if the first digit is 1, 4 or 5 it is a U.S. car and there is a no duty owed. Vin’s starting with 2 or 3, there is a 6% duty. Vin’s starting with 6 or with a letter it is 3.5% duty. The U.S. Customs Office will accept personal checks, cash, certified checks and money order. You can call the Customs Office at (340) 714-1600 for more information.

Road Tax:

1. You must get a Bill of Lading from the shipping agent when the car arrives in the USVI.

2. Take the Bill of Lading to the Internal Revenue Office, and pay the 16 cents per pound road tax. This fee is accessed when you bring a car into the territory. Your title may have the weight on it; if it does that is what they will use. If it does not you can look up the weight online and print that page to show when paying the road tax. For more information call Internal Revenue office at (340) 714-9332. You can use cash, certified check or money order to pay this tax.

I found the weight of my car online, printed it, and took it to the IRB (Internal Rev Bureau) along with the title.

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Posted : August 6, 2012 4:40 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

Yea Jamison, that's the way to do it. I've already had one garage sale and your right it feels so good!!! My boyfriend laughs his A off when Im cleaning and tossing crap out yelling PURGE PURGE PURGE!!! Hahaha! It is pretty funny but then again, I'm a pretty funny gal. 😀

Actually I know I'm going to have to donate a bunch of stuff; I REALLY wish there was a way to donate it to the animal shelter in STX. Who ships stuff there FedEx?? Maybe I can get some pay pal donations and ship them a bunch of items, I know their always looking for stuff for their store and I totally support their cause. Would the board allow me to do something like that??

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Topic starter Posted : August 6, 2012 4:46 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

I REALLY wish there was a way to donate it to the animal shelter in STX. Who ships stuff there FedEx?? Maybe I can get some pay pal donations and ship them a bunch of items, I know their always looking for stuff for their store and I totally support their cause. Would the board allow me to do something like that??

Just pack small stuff and send it USPS parcel post. Cheap enough and it doesn't matter if it takes a while to reach. And yes, everything's accepted!

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Posted : August 6, 2012 5:01 pm
Jamison
(@Jamison)
Trusted Member

I second what OT said.

I'd also add that there are several local rescues and shelters in your area (that I have no idea where that is, but it doesn't matter) who also really need the support. The main thing the AWC seems to need is dog crates from what I understand, because of the pets from paradise program.

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Posted : August 6, 2012 5:26 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

And remember, whatever you spend to get your stuff to the islands, if things don't go well, you'll be paying the same amount to get it back to the states.

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Posted : August 6, 2012 5:59 pm
TamiP
(@TamiP)
Advanced Member

I have to agree with Jamison. Animals everywhere need the help and if you donate it locally there will be no wasted shipping. You could figure out how much you would have spent on shipping and donate that to the STX shelter. OR if you donate locally you can get a receipt and take a tax deduction. After you do taxes for the year on the mainland you could donate what you were able to write off.

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Posted : August 6, 2012 6:22 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

I'm in Arizona, they don't have a store to resale house hold goods like STX does. They only take pet food and money donations and I do both several times a year. Plus I adopt from them 🙂

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Topic starter Posted : August 7, 2012 1:32 am
Ca. Dreamers
(@ca-dreamers)
Advanced Member

Roses; I'm inclined to agree. We're in this for the adventure and the islamd lifestyle of STX. I think I'm gonna sell it all, and like you said it seems most places are furnished anyways. We're going to be renting from 3-6 months and if all goes as planned were going to buy a house so looks like selling it all off is our best option. ~~I am curious thou, why are you moving off island?

CA Dreamers; have you been tomSTX?? I too have a massive truck, bigger than yours it's a Chevy 2500 lifted diesel crew cab. I of course am NOT bringing it lol, I don't even know if it would fit on the damn roads!! I'm actually REALLY looking forward to simplifying life. Smaller house smaller truck less "crap" that's un needed lol. Do you have a contacting island that I can call to give the VIN number too and get the taxes and such?? I've been wanting to get an exact number and haven't been able to.

A&A,

I think we are just a little bit ahead of you in our process, several PMV's, several unaccepted RE offers and now a home that we have under contract. We actually are leaving this afternoon to go down and tie up some details. Are far as the Excursion is concerned, I'm not into "My Truck is Bigger than you Truck" thing. The Excursion will fit "MY" needs on the Island and I have seen several there. If you really want quotes for shipping charges contact any number of shipping companies that offer shipping to the VI, there's more to it than you think. Like I told you before you will be amazed at the real cost of moving to paradise. BTW, we'll move forever Mid to Late October.

Good Luck
CD

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Posted : August 7, 2012 3:37 pm
rosesisland
(@rosesisland)
Trusted Member

We are moving BACK to STX. We left in the late 90's to care for my parents. Never thought we would be gone this long, but, we were able to enjoy many more years with my mother who passed last year. I'm retired and my husband works in Massachusetts from May to end of October. each year and we thought about just spending the winter months there, but, for me, I really hate the heat in South Arkansas...suppose to be heat index to day of 105...yuk!!!

We met on STX, vacationed there after leaving and finally in 2004 got married there, so we have friends there and feel as if we really know what we are getting ourselves into. We know the move will not be easy, but, have the time to put all things into place and be ready by late November.

We will be shipping our car and truck. We must first drive them to Florida as we have a Standard Poodle and a cat we are bring with us.

I will do a PMV in late October to arrange for our housing. We just signed the final papers on our home last week and have to be out by this coming Monday. We are keeping another home here in Arkansas that we currently have rented out to stable renters. We will not be buying on STX, but, we will be renting. At my age, I am tired of all the comtraptions of homeownership and will be welcoming someone else taking care of those things.

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Posted : August 7, 2012 4:36 pm
Wolterman4
(@Wolterman4)
Active Member

We just shipped 2 40 ft containers to stt two weeks ago from lake havasu az it cost us 18,000 🙁 but we will have our own personal items that's the plus good luck 🙂

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Posted : August 7, 2012 9:32 pm
Wolterman4
(@Wolterman4)
Active Member

I just read your post as well that you can't take your dog. We registered our dog as a service dog she is a lab mix and she sat right under our feet just google services animals and how to register them we had no problems at all!!!

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Posted : August 7, 2012 10:06 pm
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