Which Island to Cho...
 
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Which Island to Choose???

 
catonaharley
(@catonaharley)
Active Member

I want to move to one of the USVI's. Which to choose...I don't know. I'm in my 40's, retired and quiet. I'd be moving from Massachusetts, with my belongings and my dog. Can anyone offer pros/cons of each island?

thank you, in advance

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Topic starter Posted : January 16, 2012 5:59 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Go to the top of this page and, starting from "Home" on the left, go all the way through the links (reading everything en route) until you reach the right hand side and "message board". By that time you should have a pretty good idea of what living here is all about and which island would best suit you.

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Posted : January 16, 2012 6:17 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

st croix is quieter that stt. don't know about stj. i say come visit each and see what you like best.

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Posted : January 16, 2012 6:29 pm
HappyFace
(@HappyFace)
Advanced Member

Only related to cost you get a bigger Bang for the Buck on ST Croix, next cost wise is ST Thomas, the most expensive is ST John. The savings is mostly related to Rentals & Sales of Real Estate and Gas for you auto/truck. Size wise ST Croix is the big island, next ST Thomas and the smaller ST John. If you would like to island HOP ST Thomas and ST John would be best. ST Croix is a little out of the way. All the Islands have beautiful Beaches8-).

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Posted : January 16, 2012 6:44 pm
jbatl
(@jbatl)
Advanced Member

i say come visit each and see what you like best.

Yes, yes yes. speed1dy is on fire with good advice today!

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Posted : January 17, 2012 2:43 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

i say come visit each and see what you like best.

Yes, yes yes. speed1dy is on fire with good advice today!

The OP is looking for Section 8 housing so is obviously on a fixed income but no doubt speed1dy is going to benevolently foot the bill for a PMV to all four islands ... (tu)

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Posted : January 17, 2012 12:13 pm
jbatl
(@jbatl)
Advanced Member

If you can't afford a PMV, you shouldn't come.

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Posted : January 17, 2012 1:57 pm
JoeyBallgame
(@JoeyBallgame)
Advanced Member

If you can't afford a PMV, I don't see how you can afford to live here......groceries alone will set you back $500/month...and that aint buying much.

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Posted : January 17, 2012 3:31 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

If you can't afford a PMV, I don't see how you can afford to live here......groceries alone will set you back $500/month...and that aint buying much.

The poster has never said he can't afford a PMV ... he's never even mentioned a PMV .. until posting here he probably didn't even know what a PMV is ...

Groceries at $500 a month for one person? I don't know what you're eating or where you're buying what you're eating but that's quite an exaggeration. Food costs average 30% higher than mainland. You quickly learn how to shop here, where and for what for the best value. You can live here frugally but well just as easily as you can comparatively live frugally anywhere. It sometimes takes a few years of living here to fully appreciate what's important in life and what's not. *-)

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Posted : January 17, 2012 4:13 pm
JoeyBallgame
(@JoeyBallgame)
Advanced Member

Look above my post, you'll see where PMV came from......

Yes $500/month......boxes of cereal and lactose free milk are $9/$10 each.

My very 1st grocery trip here, the amount of stuff and what I go would have cost $30-$35 back in the US, here, $70.

Even though I did all my research, that was still a bigger sticker shock than WAPA......

And forget about sales, coupons, or 2 for 1's.

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Posted : January 17, 2012 4:16 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

The PMV reference didn't come from the OP.

Breakfast cereal is ridiculously expensive here compared to the mainland - all these sorts of cereal/cracker/cookie products are pricey because they don't travel too well (fragile/breaking through shaking) between extensive road trips followed by sea container shipping. Lactose free milk and similar products which require refrigeration or freezing en route likewise are expensive when you add on the expensive sea transport to the US road trips to get to the port facility for shipment.

You learn to adapt and adapting isn't always something which happens quickly!

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Posted : January 17, 2012 4:48 pm
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member

When was the last time you shopped at a quality state side grocer? ALL food items are much more expensive in the VI (even compared to PR). In my mind there is a big difference between "adapting" and "denial".

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Posted : January 17, 2012 5:17 pm
onthespot
(@onthespot)
Advanced Member

A small vegetable garden can really help stretch your food budget. How fresh your veggies are and what is available at a given time is entirely up to you if you keep a garden. And cost almost zero in cash. If you have more time than money, grow stuff.

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Posted : January 17, 2012 5:25 pm
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member

Agreed. Even one or two pots with tomatoes and peppers go along way.

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Posted : January 17, 2012 5:52 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

A small vegetable garden can really help stretch your food budget. How fresh your veggies are and what is available at a given time is entirely up to you if you keep a garden. And cost almost zero in cash. If you have more time than money, grow stuff.

I agree. There certainly are some formidable negatives to deal with between iggies and trashies and periodic infestations of nasty bugs coming in from down island which chew on everything and are totally impervious to all "green" and foul chemical solutions, but it's a learning process. Unless you have particularly good soil, raised beds work best and are simple to put together while a composter is equally simple and a huge plus. A simple grey water diversion in your plumbing is a huge plus but for the casual small-time gardener or renter, your soapy water from dishwashing or showering is easily collected. OK, time to stop as I'm getting carried away.

"When was the last time you shopped at a quality state side grocer? ALL food items are much more expensive in the VI (even compared to PR). In my mind there is a big difference between "adapting" and "denial"", I can only assume this was directed towards me. (I do believe I feel a cloud of overwhelming paranoia descending upon me where blu4u's funny jibes are concerned and may have to soon take some antidote salts!) You're entitled to your opinion but I still think that average 30% higher is a pretty fair general estimate. Even if I don't personally get to, "quality state side grocer" stores doesn't mean I live in a gloomy cave deprived of outside exposure. I actually read stateside newspapers pretty much every day, follow stateside and world news, and talk to friends who regularly travel back and forth between here and various parts of the mainland. I know, it's hard to imagine that I could be anything but an old withered fossil devoid of anything other than just a couple of functional brain cells remaining but ..

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Posted : January 17, 2012 6:28 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

jbalt and old tart are nice today. sure, i'll foot the bill for all four islands , no problem.

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Posted : January 17, 2012 6:40 pm
jbatl
(@jbatl)
Advanced Member

Funny, speed.

In terms of milk, has anyone considered UHT boxed milk (Parmalat)? This is pretty much a staple in European homes. To my taste, it's just fine and comes whole, 2-percent, lactose free, fat free, etc. It's also much cheaper than regular milk. Just a thought.

As for me, a 50-cent pack of ramen noodles with some good hot sauce qualifies as a good island meal, when required.

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Posted : January 17, 2012 10:47 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

Based on the responses so far, I think you should move to Puerto Rico, and take advantage of JetBlue's low fares and visit the VI during season when you can. Many VI ex-residents are now in PR.

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Posted : January 17, 2012 11:51 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

Many VI ex-residents are now in PR.

Really ?? I have lived here well over 35 years and only know of 2 or 3 people who moved from the VI to Puerto Rico -- I have known hundreds who have moved back to the States - some dozens to Down Island, St Barths, Nevis, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Bequia and Mustique - some to Hawaii and Guam.
Many have left for medical reasons , the cost of schooling, Hurricane repercussions, career advancement and very commonly just frustration with island life.
Since this is primarily a relocation forum I think all of the opinions are worth reading - sometimes it seems that the extremes of opinion , both disgruntled and rose colored, offer a distillate that is a murky blend of reality - it is a different life here but not so unique that any intense scrutiny would disallow a normal lifestyle with normal working conditions and a happy satisfaction with ones daily life.

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Posted : January 18, 2012 6:19 am
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