Too Much Doom and G...
 
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Too Much Doom and Gloom  

 

artmutt
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December 29, 2012 1:29 pm  

My family and I have just purchased our home here in STX. I have been reading for a while on here and there seems to be a lot of doom and gloom attitudes about the future here on the island. Many are talking about leaving the island because of how bad things are. I was talking to a gentleman the other day and he was telling me about how bad things are here now and how he is ready to go back. He said his power bills are so bad, the crime is bad, no jobs, etc. I guess my question is what do you all think is the answer? Is it all of the USVI islands or just STX? Maybe it is just the fact that the economy is in the toilet everywhere. I sure hope things rebound but when we made our decision to buy here it was because of the value at the present time. Interest rates are at all time lows, property values are at all time lows. We hoped that we pulled the trigger at the right time because I am optimistic that the future is bright. I hope that in 5 to 7 years our home here will appreciate in value. Besides just the monetary things I feel that being part of a community like this island is good for my soul, body, and mind. What say you?


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Alana33
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December 29, 2012 1:35 pm  

Hang in there and make the best of it.
The islands are lovely and have much to offer even with the problems we face such as the high cost of WAPA which affects all other prices.
Stay optimistic or you'll drive yourself (and those around you) bonkers.
Good Luck to us all for a better future here in the VI.


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Ca. Dreamers
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December 29, 2012 2:11 pm  

We purchased our home here in October and have been here since. You are right regarding the values on this rock at this point in time, IMO. Regarding crime, I worked in law enforcement for many years and lived in central California, there are places there that I would not walk at night ARMED, as there are here, common since rules. We are happier here than we have been in a long time. The people, beauty and climate of this island make the place the most livable environment on earth, IMO. My advise: Live your Life cause it aint no dress rehearsal.

CD


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reghunnicutt
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December 29, 2012 4:15 pm  

There is a large class on the island that thrive on bad news. It is part of their culture. A lot of it seems to be alcohol driven. They seem to take joy in being the underdog.

There is a smaller class that thrive and make a living on the island in spite of all the excuses.

It has been this way since my first visit 10 years ago.


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speee1dy
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December 29, 2012 9:43 pm  

artmutt, the crime is mostly on stt and stx, not as bad on stj. the cost of living is rough on all three islands. there is always beauty no matter where one chooses to live, you just have to look for it.

it is true that the cost of living has gotten out of hand and it is much cheaper in the states. if you don't have to worry about the cost of the utilities and food etc.. this is a wonderful place to live, but if you do you tend to feel trapped.

i have been here 8 years, i like living here but i do not love it. too far from family..... when i first got here jump ups were great. i went to the christmas jump up and was not impressed with the crowds or stores or vendors. a lot of the stores have closed downtown. not as many vendors as there used to be. it was kind of sad.

if wapa does not get it under control, a lot more business will close.

i do not thrive on bad news and by nature am very optimistic but i am also a realist. if someone asks a question, i answer it honestly the way i see it.


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sheiba
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December 30, 2012 1:38 am  

I think if people come here and try to live as they did in the states , it just doesn't work and there will be disappointment. I have learned to live a much simpler life and compensate for the cost of living and I love it. I drive a less expensive car that gets good gas mileage, I am more conservative with power usage, have adjusted my diet to buy more locally, I don't spend as much on clothes because dress is typically casual. I believe if someone is willing to make the adjustments and respect the local culture, its an amazingly beautiful place to live and live happily.


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stx2020
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December 30, 2012 2:42 am  

doom and gloom will be the topic wherever you go on stx

if you are fortunate to have enough money or make enough money to get thru this downside more power to you

if you look at the history of the less fortunate islands meaning not under the us flag they have taken appropriate actions to keep the well being of their society within means yrs ago

we are a tiny speck on the globe which the upper 50 could care less about

with that said we are subject to local politics that will be the ruin of this "paradise"


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CityGuy
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December 30, 2012 4:33 am  

Money, Money,Money! If you don't have it or enough of it you are going to be unhappy regardless of where you are. Just in case if you forgot the US VI's are islands and mostly everything you eat must be shipped in which drives up the cost of food and goods up. If you come down here looking for a job don't expect much. and remember the big island has an average unemployment rate of 8%.


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rhstoo
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December 30, 2012 4:50 am  

There is a large class on the island that thrive on bad news. It is part of their culture. A lot of it seems to be alcohol driven. They seem to take joy in being the underdog.

There is a smaller class that thrive and make a living on the island in spite of all the excuses.

It has been this way since my first visit 10 years ago.

I've only been here a couple of years but your assessment seems right on. Here's to the people who love it here, warts and all!


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specialk
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December 30, 2012 12:16 pm  

ARTMUTT...

Many who move to the island from elsewhere come well aware of the shortcomings/downfalls - aware of the sacrafices and compromises one needs to make to live here. It's your dream. Do what you need to make it happen. If you really want it then it will happen for you.

Just remember...If it was easy everyone would be doing it!

Best of luck - and welcome to the rock!


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artmutt
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December 30, 2012 4:17 pm  

Thank you all for your replies. I do understand that things here are different than the 50 states. I have already learned so much from being here. We have also adjusted our diet and eating habits.... For the better I might add. We don't waste hardly any food here. Back at our house in VA we didn't really even think about it. Well I guess we did but we never made any significant changes like here. I think of myself as a vulture because if there are left overs they will not go to waste. The fruit and veggie discards now go into a compost pile. All my lights here are now cfl thanks to the great replies to one of my other topics about led lighting. Fruit trees have been planted today by myself and my son. I know it will take a little while before they bear fruit but you gotta start somewhere. Next might be the timer on the hot water heater. I have also found that going out is almost free here. Back in VA when we went out it was always to the movies, bowling,etc. we rarely went to the park, but here there is the beach, hiking all of which are free except the gas to get there and back. We are truly living our dream and our boys are having a blast. I love what this place has done for me and my family and I am sure it will continue and get better. Like the bumper stickers say..... Positive is how I live!


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NugBlazer
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December 30, 2012 5:32 pm  

Have you been a victim of violent crime here yet? If not, then wait until it happens and see how you feel then. Myself and everyone -- and I mean EVERYONE -- I know has been on the wrong side of a gun here at one time or another. Not being pessimistic, just being real.

Do I still like it here? Sure I do. But, it's a far, far cry from what it once was a decade+ ago. The last 3-4 years, things have really gone downhill and there just doesn't seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel. Again, not being pessimistic, just stating facts.

Newcomers tend to see things through rose-colored glasses here. If you've been here less than a couple years, then, IMHO, you really aren't in a good position to weigh in on this issue... yet. You are still in the "honeymoon phase". Only when the honeymoon wears off and you see this island for what it truly is will you be in a position to have a impartial view. Again, my opinion.

SPOILER:

Have you read "Don't Stop The Carnival" yet? It's a must-read for all who live here.

Remember, at the end of the novel, the protagonist -- who loved it here, absolutely LOVED it when he first stepped off the plane -- ended up with a broken heart and spirit and moved back to the States after less than a year. Don't forget that.


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rhstoo
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December 30, 2012 7:16 pm  

Sorry but the end of a novel is not instructive in any way. May be fun to read but it has a predictive value of ZERO. Everybody has a lens through which they view life. My daughter-in-law and oldest grandson were murdered in their home. In Virginia. So I'm not a rose-colored optimist. But there's way too much one-way doom and gloom on this board. IMHO.


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artmutt
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December 30, 2012 9:50 pm  

So nugblazer are you telling me that everyone you know here has been on the wrong side of a gun. I have spoken to a lot of people here and they have never had a problem like that. Their advice was to stay out of places you shouldn't be at times that you shouldn't be there. I do understand that anyone can be a victim of a home invasion or a robery at a business but to say that everyone you know has been on the wrong side of a gun might be a stretch. And yes I know I'm still in the honeymoon stage but like my marriage of thirteen years, we too are still in our honeymoon phase.


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speee1dy
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December 30, 2012 11:53 pm  

i don't think he is too far from the truth there. i know many more people who have been victims of crime here than i did in the states.


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artmutt
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December 31, 2012 12:05 am  

Crime I agree with. I thought most of the violent crime was between those who are committing the violent crimes. Again maybe I am just new and need to prepare myself for the experience.


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rotorhead
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December 31, 2012 1:05 am  

Sometimes the crime comes to you.


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Rowdy802
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December 31, 2012 1:37 am  

Sometimes the crime comes to you.

:X Sad but true...

I sincerely hope I am wrong but tougher times may l lie ahead.. with the unemployment benefits running out and severance money also for former Hovensa employees it could be a matter of time for the road to get very rough... It may not happen right away because of the hi tourism season but even that is going to end... The government isn't doing enough to provide the tools and try to help the economy...

Still, I wish I was in STX... when I go there the next month I will do my best and enjoy it!


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speee1dy
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December 31, 2012 10:40 am  

all crime is violent. a lot of times the really violent crime gets those who are not involved in anything illegal. a person i worked with left island partly due to the crime here. one of her friends was killed at a local restaurant when the bad guys came in and shot him. i think that was her last straw.
the restaurants on the north shore get robbed all the time as do the customers who are dining there.
home invasions happen to.


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rosesisland
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December 31, 2012 12:36 pm  

My husband and I just moved back to STX after a 15 year hiatus in the states taking care of my parents. We came back with open eyes as I was a victim of crime here in '97 and knew with the employment situation and LEAC it would've a challenge at best.

We decided to lease even though we sold one of our houses in the states. During our 15 years in the states, I helped take care of two parents with Alzheimer's and dementia. They lived to 93 and 85. During that 15 years I got very sick myself and almost died.

I guess what I am trying to say or tell you is that I have had a smile on my face ever since we got on the final leg of our trip from Miami to STX!

For me, it is not doom and gloom here!

St. Croix can get into your heart and soul. But, if you just come here on a whim without great planning or not knowing anyone or what really to expect, you will be in for a big surprise. Is it easy living here? No! Getting a job, getting around, and finding housing can be difficult at best! There are no Wal-Mart Super Centers here. You cannot just jump into the car and go to one place and get all you want and at a good reasonable price. Gas is high here. Food is high here. Eating out is expensive. Utilities are high here. Jobs are scarce here. Crime is getting worse everyday!

Those are the facts, not to be meant as doom and gloom!

But, if you are coming here with your eyes open you will find plenty of things to do here in your leisure time. Where I'm from there is absolutely nothing to do during the Winter months and that is when my husband is off work. I'm from the South and the Spring and Fall are when fun things happen in my community. Summers are brutal! My husband left for job up north 8 years ago and worked up there each year from May to November. So, for us to move back was a no-brainier for us.

Just remember when you do decide to come here to live, think about your work and whether you can do that here or get that job here. Many people are looking for work here even more than the states. You won't be on vacation. Your vacation here was not a dress rehearsal for what living here would be like in any shape or form. Can you afford to buy or long-term lease that vacation rental you stayed at for your vacation? Would you be able to afford to eat out everyday and night like you did while just visiting here? If you cannot, then, you need to adjust your thinking and Boards like this one can give you a good glimpse into what to expect...what is really happening here!

I am blessed that I have a good income. My younger husband, though, must go back up North to work...he still needs his health insurance and contributions to his retirement fund, but now can enjoy his winters when he is back home with me.

IMHO, if you are young, cute, have a great "service-type" personality, you can get a job! But open your eyes WIDE, for you could have the best experience of your life or your worst nightmare!

When I moved here years ago, I brought my 21y/o daughter with me, and even though I had a BBA (a dime a dozen here) and got a great job making good money for STX, my daughter consistently brought home more money per month than I did just by waiting tables at 3 part-time jobs.

I LOVE STX!


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speee1dy
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December 31, 2012 1:03 pm  

you said that very well rosiesland


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CityGuy
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December 31, 2012 3:43 pm  

rosesisland,
Well stated! Welcome Back.


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CityGuy
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December 31, 2012 3:43 pm  

rosesisland,
Well stated! Welcome Back.


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SydSol
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January 7, 2013 1:33 pm  

I think you were wise to purchase a home and to relocate to STX. I have been here two years, and it has taken me that amount of time to realize (after traveling a lot of the world) to see that STX is the place to be for many reasons. I was here a year when Hovensa closed, and it had a big effect on the island. Other things took a while for me and my kids to adjust to, since we were used to a mainland US lifestyle. There have been some frustrations, and several times I considered leaving island, however, after seeing so many other places and being back in the US to visit, I love every time I COME BACK HOME to STX. It's a true respite from the madness in the world. STX has problems, but what place doesn't? I think my kids are protected here from the dreadful US culture and hyper-consumerism that is on the verge of collapse. I love the people here (you can avoid the surly people at the big-box grocery stores by shopping at smaller stores and farmers markets) I love the nature and farmers, roaming chickens and beautiful weather. Yes, it's expensive, but I love the simple life and will work with others in the community to keep STX from becoming overdeveloped and ugly like mainland US. I make adjustments to my lifestyle to cut expenses and shop locally.
STX is a special place. It's going to survive well the economic collapse (bond market is collapsing and all the creative accounting Washington can come up with is not going to save it.) The weather is superb. Simple living is living rich. I think STX is at a turning point. It's getting better already. I believe solar power will save the day. On a recent tour of some other Caribbean islands, I was amazed at their progress. Barbados is 30% solar and 20% self-sustaining agriculture. St. Lucia has a solar water heater on just about every rooftop. STX can solve its energy programs with solar and some good leadership. Industrial Hemp that was just legalized will provide a commoditiy and resource for products to be created by artisans, designers, etc. STX is a gem of a place. It's the people that make it so. So welcome to the island and feel confident in your choice. Best wishes.


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rosesisland
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January 7, 2013 7:45 pm  

SydSol, where is the "like" button? Well said!


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