Where do normal peo...
 

Where do normal people live?  

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Texas
(@Texas)
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Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 7
February 17, 2014 11:08 pm  

Good afternoon everyone, long time lurker, first time poster.

I have a question in regards to living in the Virgin Islands.

Where do all the regular people live? What area(s) in St. Thomas or even St. John do regular folks who work a 9-5 job live in? Seems like all I can find on the "Internets" is Million dollar homes or neighborhoods that seem completely undesirable. I can't seem to find that happy medium.

For example, here in the Dallas Texas, if someone were to ask "Where do normal folks live" the answer would be the suburbs. Cities all on the outskirts of Dallas itself. Such as Richardson, Plano, McKinney, Frisco. A NICE home in Dallas is not something a regular person could afford.

There is housing and apartments available for both Rental and to Own between $800.00 for a small little apartment up to $2,400.00 for a super high end home.

You can easily find a 3 Bed Room home for $1,200.00 a month that is "nice". Nice homes can be found for anywhere between $120,000 - 240,000.00 in the suburbs.

So what Area(s) in St Thomas & St. John do normal folks live in? People that make between $35,000 - $85,000 a year?

Where would folks who make between $90,000 - $150,000 a year live?

Just seems hard to believe there is no housing available for the working class. Everything I have found or researched seems to be from one extreme to the other and I have had no luck finding any real "Middle Ground".

Any info would be greatly appreciated. particularly if can look it up on Google Maps 🙂

Is Saint Croix a better Island for "Regular" folks? Is that why I can't seem to find anything in St. Thomas or St. John area?

Edit: I am currently paying $1,600.00 on a monthly Mortgage in Texas. This is for a 3 Bed Room, 1000 Sq. Feet. Nice neighborhood. What could I expect for $1,600.00 a month in the USVI?


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CAtoSTX
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February 18, 2014 12:19 am  

Your dollar goes a lot further for housing on STX than STT or STJ, Hovensa's closure forced a lot of people off island and left apartments and homes empty.
Look on Craigslist, the island trader (you can access from the Daily News' website), and the classified section on here.
On STT you can get a 2 bedroom
On STX you can probably get a 3 bed.
Expect to pay $300-$500+/- for Electric depending on AC, cooking (gas or electric), laundry usage,
Then if you live in a condo with an RO plant or in a place that uses "city water" the costs go up for that as well.


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East Ender
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February 18, 2014 12:25 am  

Hey! Normal people live (or lived) in Lakewood, not just the suburbs! 😉

In the VI, "normal" people live all over the place. They spend more money to live here than in Dallas, but they do live all over. I don't know how to explain it, but it is part of the old saying: The way to make a million dollars in the VI is to start with two million.

Have you been for a visit?


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LiquidFluoride
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February 18, 2014 12:45 am  

most "normal" people live on STX 😉

There was a [URL="http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/abinazir/2011/06/15/what-are-chances-you-would-be-born/"]1: 400,000,000,000,000[/URL] chance of you being born: what have you done with your miraculous life today?


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OldTart
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February 18, 2014 12:48 am  

There are very few normal people here but residents who work regular hours at regular jobs and live in regular homes are in every nook and cranny of the islands. You really do have to come in person to understand how difficult it is to generalize. The price ranges you quote from your area are pretty much in the ballpark and as varied here but our electrical rate of over 0.50kWh has to be taken into consideration.


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Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
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February 18, 2014 2:11 am  

On STT working folk live in every area and are spread out with million dollar homes next to simpler structures. One thing to gauge the neighborhood by is the lot size and the density of homes - lots over 1 acre are usually very high end homes unless they are old family holdings. Outdoor space, decks , patios, gardens etc. are rarely noted in the sq. ft. listings and can be used as living areas here most days which can skew the opinion of many people who only look at sq. footage vs. value. Swimming pools are not common for the majority of middle class homes here - the electric and maintenence costs rarely justify the expense. Gated communities are not the norm -- an apartment as part of the structure is common - flat lots are at a premium - most homes are concrete structures - wooden houses are often less expensive to buy - more expensive to maintain and insure for windstorms - exposure to prevailing winds and design for utilizing that breeze is a huge advantage however - driving proximity to your workplace is often a factor worth considering. Almost every home is dependent on rainwater stored in a cistern which is part of the foundation for all their water usage -clean roof sq. footage and gutter maintenence is vital. Very few lots have public sewerage and not many have any public water supplied.
Most areas of STT have varied houses of different construction and size - prices vary greatly within the same estate generally.
You can use google maps to check for house density and road access.
Almost everyone will suggest you rent for at least one year to feel out the lay of the land and before choosing where to buy a home or lot.
There are also quite a few microclimates on STT with the mountainous terrain and the N and W sides are usually cooler and wetter than the E and S sides.


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dougtamjj
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February 18, 2014 2:20 am  

Definition of normal:
conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
There is no "normal" for statesiders who move to the USVI. To people who are born there all is "normal"
You just need to conform to the standard, usual, typical or expected. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

It's doable.


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Linda J
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February 18, 2014 2:32 am  

Neighborhoods are different here. Often there are million dollar homes on the beach and high on the hills, with modest homes in between. Often your neighbor will not have finished is second floor and you will see rebar sticking out of his temporary roof. You really have to come and check it out for yourself.


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Ronnie
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February 18, 2014 3:17 am  

Really need to understand it's a place to do a pre move visit. To browse the internet to find housing is not really the thing to do. Sure you can try Craig's list or scour the classifieds but you need to be here and realize where you would like to like in close proximity to your job.
Again. have you visited?

RL8-)


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rosesisland
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February 18, 2014 10:53 am  

I agree with Liquid Floride! At least you can live on an island and afford to live there! I would compare it to the difference in living in one of the Park cities area of the Dallas and 30 miles out of Dallas proper. Big price difference. But, along with that is there aren't as many people crowding into STX as there is STT. STJ being a wash, way, way more than both STX and STT, price wise.


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speee1dy
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February 18, 2014 12:22 pm  

if you cant make it on 90,000+ then there is something wrong. we manage on much less and do fine for the most part


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IslandHops
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February 18, 2014 2:24 pm  

Firstly, there are no 'normal people' on STX. We all have our own quirks and traits, and is probably why we live here and not the mainland.

However if by 'normal' you mean regular middle class working folks earning a reasonable living, well there are very few of those on STX these days too. Can't comment on STT/STJ.

All that said, prices on STX are very reasonable right now and there are many fine neighbourhoods. I would suggest you plan a visit and contact a realtor who knows the local market, in sales and rentals, and then rent first to give yourself time to explore the island.


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Texas
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February 18, 2014 3:40 pm  

Hey! Normal people live (or lived) in Lakewood, not just the suburbs! 😉

In the VI, "normal" people live all over the place. They spend more money to live here than in Dallas, but they do live all over. I don't know how to explain it, but it is part of the old saying: The way to make a million dollars in the VI is to start with two million.

Have you been for a visit?

We have a Visit scheduled for April. It is more of a work trip than a visit. We plan to cover the Island(s) (St. Thomas & St. John). To look at everything from Vets, Schools, Area's, Cost of living, Schools again, more schools, Apartments, Condo's for Sales, Rental properties (Houses/Condo's/Apartments) Doctor's, Hospitals, etc. It is more of a Recon/Work trip than a Vacation.

I know it sounds a bit crazy but 50% of the trip for us to see the BAD, all the bad. We don't want to go an just see and experience all the tourists spots and leave with a misconception of what it is truly like. We plan to do all the tasks such as where do you get your Vehicle Registered? Where is that located? Where do I pay my Electric Bill, Water? All that Mon-Fri stuff that you need to deal with to live.

If it seems like a plausible idea we will then take the entire family down for a 5-10 day stay and see how they feel. (3 kids 7-13 and possibly my in laws who have just retired).

Or...if we find nothing that seems to fit and work for us in the St. Thomas/St. John area we will take the second trip to do the same "Recon" in St. Croix.

If anyone could add things I need to check out, please do. Like places and locations you will have to go Monthly or yearly to take care of stuff like Oil Changes, Car Repairs, Shopping, Just things we would not think of until it's too late 🙂


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Texas
(@Texas)
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February 18, 2014 3:48 pm  

One other question. From everything I have looked at, It appears your Phones are the same as mine. Meaning state side to dial someone is 1 (555) 555-5555

Is this the case on St. Tomas & St. John? Is it the same in St. Croix?

Seems silly but this is actually a huge factor. If the phones are the same as state side, I can keep the job I have. Obviously everyone dreams of it, reality of it is I don't know If I have the courage to take such a risk relocating everyone without keeping my current job. The only thing that would jeopardize that is if the phones are not the same format as they are State side.


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Rowdy802
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February 18, 2014 4:02 pm  

It is the same phone format... 1(340) 555-5555


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sunshinefun
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February 18, 2014 4:39 pm  

The USVI is just like the rest of America...same phone systems and providers, same banking system, same postal system.


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mtdoramike
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February 18, 2014 7:45 pm  

I thought all NORMAL people lived in Texas:) hahahahah


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mtdoramike
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February 18, 2014 7:53 pm  

Also, most people rent rather than own on the islands unless you are independantly wealthy, family owns property on the island. Most houses with a piece of property in a good area will run you $500.000 and up. That is a nice livable home. But if you are looking for 3 bedrooms, master suites, 3 baths on an acre of property, I would venture a guess of more close to $1,000.000.

Also most don't live in town or even near town. The northside and eastside of the Island are great and what you would call suburbs.


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JulieKay
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February 18, 2014 7:54 pm  

Oh good grief I left Texas to find normal people, ha ha!

The truth is that on this planet, everyone is crazy. Everyone. There is a range from "slightly off" to "looney toons" but the reality is we are all diagnosable one way or another. So I just decided to have fun and not worry about being normal. STX is a great place for that. 😉

"This is your world. Shape it or someone else will." ~Gary Lew


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JulieKay
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February 18, 2014 7:57 pm  

Our house is up for sale on STX right now, East End (desirable neighborhood), 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths (2 bedrooms have ensuite baths), 1800 sq feet, 3/4 acres with Buck Island view, whole house generator, gazebo, pool, fruit trees - $345,000. Prices on STX are lower these days.

"This is your world. Shape it or someone else will." ~Gary Lew


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speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
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February 18, 2014 9:08 pm  

that is a good price juliekay


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JulieKay
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February 18, 2014 9:36 pm  

We sure want it to sell! 🙂

"This is your world. Shape it or someone else will." ~Gary Lew


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East Ender
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February 18, 2014 10:04 pm  

Texas: Your plan is reasonable. Be careful in April, however. All government offices will be shut down from Maundy Thursday through Easter Monday. (That is one thing you will learn, the large number of holidays!) Then the last week of April, things go into gridlock because of Carnival.


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JahRustyFerrari
(@JahRustyFerrari)
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Posts: 258
February 18, 2014 10:11 pm  

Also, most people rent rather than own on the islands unless you are independantly wealthy, family owns property on the island. Most houses with a piece of property in a good area will run you $500.000 and up. That is a nice livable home. But if you are looking for 3 bedrooms, master suites, 3 baths on an acre of property, I would venture a guess of more close to $1,000.000.

Also most don't live in town or even near town. The northside and eastside of the Island are great and what you would call suburbs.

There are nice neighborhoods all over the island of St. Croix, not just east and north. You just need to not be afraid of living near 'natives'. Come for a visit, look around, don't be afraid to mix, have an open mind, and make your own decisions. I'll be more than happy to help.
BTW, most people I know own their homes. West Indians love to build large concrete houses. I have owned my own home for decades and almost everyone I know is a homeowner. Do yourself a big favor and get some insight from different segments of the population.


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Ronnie
(@Ronnie)
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February 18, 2014 10:13 pm  

Just make sure you don't have Verizon. To use it here is $2 a minute. ATT and Sprint ok.

RL8-)


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