Notifications
Clear all

Which Island?

Page 1 / 2
 
Dan.Stutzman
(@Dan.Stutzman)
Advanced Member

Hi Everybody!

My wife and I along with our 2 cats, dog and hopefully soon new baby, are planning on moving down to the USVI. Basically we would like to know which island is the best for a fairly young family? We prefer lower than average crime, good schools and nice people. We aren't rich but we have a bit more than most if that helps.

Thanks,

Dan

Quote
Topic starter Posted : August 10, 2009 11:03 am
Jules
(@Jules)
Trusted Member

Hi Dan,

There are so many things to consider.

Will you and/or your wife be working? If so, in what field? Employed or will you own/start your own business? Do you intend for your children to go to public schools? Private schools? Home school? Etc.

"Which island" is a perennial question. The search function on this forum will give you most of the answers you seek and if not, it will provide food for thought. The search function can be tricky to use-- be sure to select the search time frame. Search messages for "best island", "schools", etc. Select "search all forums" or "general/relocating". Most importantly, change the search time frame to at least "last year" or "all dates". This seems to be where searchers go wrong-- if you don't change that last item to broaden the time frame of the search, the default is to search the last 30 days only

Happy reading and post again when you have more questions.

ReplyQuote
Posted : August 10, 2009 11:27 am
Uttica
(@Uttica)
Advanced Member

STX is cheaper, on real estate as well as groceries. Don't know much about the schools.

I like to visit STT but quality of life is probably better on STX.

ReplyQuote
Posted : August 10, 2009 12:20 pm
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

I'd disagree with that statement about the quality of life but you'd have to decide that for yourself by visiting. St. John would be the most expensive, though.

ReplyQuote
Posted : August 10, 2009 1:42 pm
Dan.Stutzman
(@Dan.Stutzman)
Advanced Member

Hi Dan,

There are so many things to consider.

Will you and/or your wife be working? If so, in what field? Employed or will you own/start your own business? Do you intend for your children to go to public schools? Private schools? Home school? Etc.

"Which island" is a perennial question. The search function on this forum will give you most of the answers you seek and if not, it will provide food for thought. The search function can be tricky to use-- be sure to select the search time frame. Search messages for "best island", "schools", etc. Select "search all forums" or "general/relocating". Most importantly, change the search time frame to at least "last year" or "all dates". This seems to be where searchers go wrong-- if you don't change that last item to broaden the time frame of the search, the default is to search the last 30 days only

Happy reading and post again when you have more questions.

Thanks everybody with your replies so far.

On concern with work. I'm a software developer and I plan on telecommuting as part of my daily job in Philadelphia and my wife is a homemaker. As for schools, we will go with public first off and if they aren't up to our liking we will consider home/private but only if necessary.

My major concern is that the poverty rate in STX is incredibly high, like near 50% on top of some very negative things I have read concerning crime. Is this something I should be concerned about? Also, where we are considering moving to is the eastern side of STX, north side in view of Buck Island. There a number of beach or near beach properties that we really like.

Also, I understand that STJ is the nicest island, but the cost is really prohibitive. We are looking at 1.2 to 1.5 for STX property whereas the cheapest we could find on STJ is 2.05. Is STJ worth that extra .5?

Dan

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : August 10, 2009 2:09 pm
lc98
 lc98
(@lc98)
Trusted Member

Good morning, Dan -- 1.2 to 1.5 what?

ReplyQuote
Posted : August 10, 2009 3:45 pm
Dan.Stutzman
(@Dan.Stutzman)
Advanced Member

Good morning, Dan -- 1.2 to 1.5 what?

fdr;

I am referring to million. If these numbers are too high and if I was in STX/STJ in person and these figures would be lower please let me know. I'm not thrilled about paying over a million for beachfront property and if that isn't the route I should go please let me know as well.

Cheers,

Dan

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : August 10, 2009 5:05 pm
changesinlattitide
(@changesinlattitide)
Advanced Member

Public schools???? Are you serious???? You've actually been on island before????

ReplyQuote
Posted : August 10, 2009 6:30 pm
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

Have you checked the MLS listings?

http://www.virginislandsmls.com/

However, don't leap into buying anything until you're certain you're sticking around whichever island you do choose & usually that takes 6-12 months. Beachfront is in short supply for the most part except for maybe condos on STT & STJ. You really need to do a visit yourself & check things out. I'm assuming if you're looking at over $1million houses you could afford private schools if the local schools don't meet with your needs.

ReplyQuote
Posted : August 10, 2009 6:39 pm
lc98
 lc98
(@lc98)
Trusted Member

Good afternoon, Dan,

If you can afford a million-dollar-plus property, and you want all of the things you mentioned in your first post, you might find St. John to be the best fit. On the other hand, you might decide the community is too small for you. None of the islands is going to give you everything.

Most homeowners here have views rather than being right on the beach, since it's easy enough to walk or drive less than 5 min to an amazing beach from most areas. If you are limiting your house search to places actually on the beach, you will get much less house for your buck. Living right on the beach may seem like an important priority now, but most people living here find it isn't that important. In any case, it's a good idea to rent for at least a year first before buying a home -- that way you can decide what areas you really like the most, and also you're not stuck with an expensive burden if you decide to return to the continent, as many do every year.

If you are serious about the idea of moving, come for a pre-move visit and check things out in person. The four U.S. Virgins are all very different from each other, and someone who absolutely loves their life on one island might hate living on another.

Good luck to you!

ReplyQuote
Posted : August 10, 2009 6:55 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

We prefer lower than average crime, good schools and nice people.

We have higher than average crime, lousy public schools, and many people with chips on their shoulders (most recently there has been a VI government funded effort to restrict by ethnicity the eligibility of VI residents to hold certain elected offices.)

I'm not thrilled about paying over a million for beachfront property

There are very few beach front properties on STT/STJ, and they cost much more than a million dollars.

I'm a software developer and I plan on telecommuting as part of my daily job in Philadelphia

Then you will need a generator.

As for schools, we will go with public first off and if they aren't up to our liking we will consider home/private but only if necessary.

Good luck with that.

My major concern is that the poverty rate in STX is incredibly high, like near 50% on top of some very negative things I have read concerning crime. Is this something I should be concerned about?

This should be of tremendous concern.

Also, I understand that STJ is the nicest island, but the cost is really prohibitive. We are looking at 1.2 to 1.5 for STX property whereas the cheapest we could find on STJ is 2.05. Is STJ worth that extra .5?

Most people don't think STJ is the "nicest" island. It may be a desirable vacation spot, but the majority of people there at any given time are tourists from the northeastern U.S., and most locals don't want to live in a neighborhood where their neighbors change as frequently as bed linens.

ReplyQuote
Posted : August 10, 2009 6:55 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

If I'm reading correctly, the baby isn't even born yet. Plenty of time to think about school options, and by that time you will have been here for several years and will be able to make an informed decision.

Do check out that mls link, and if you want oceanfront, don't limit yourself to east (talking STX here). There is a house on the northshore (west) that is totally off the grid, and the price appears to be a steal. I have not seen the inside except the pics on mls. Just saying don't choose your neighborhood until you have been here for a while. As already mentioned, good idea to rent first.

Disclaimer: I am a Realtor. I have nothing to do with the house I mentioned, or any other (unless you'd like to buy mine....) My license is active, but I am NOT!:D

ReplyQuote
Posted : August 10, 2009 6:57 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Dan: You might want to read the Kids Count data: http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/bystate/stateprofile.aspx?state=VI&group=Grantee&loc=54&dt=1%2c3%2c2%2c4. This link seems to have 2006 as the most recent info, I believe that some of the indicators have changed since then.

Ah, I found the new one: http://www.cfvi.net/subpages/kids_count.html

ReplyQuote
Posted : August 10, 2009 7:13 pm
Dan.Stutzman
(@Dan.Stutzman)
Advanced Member

Thank you everybody for your well thought out responses.

We are island people and have been to St. Thomas & St. John before. We originally were planning on moving to Whaiheke Island, New Zealand but a last minute request by my aging father has caused me to delay that until he is no longer with us anymore. It's really our parents, their age, and proximity is really a determining factor. USVI became a natural spot because of the lack of quarantine for our animals, no immigration concerns, no language concerns, and it is close to Eastern Standard Time. I think maybe we need to re-evaluate if the USVI is where we want to go. Maybe we should go to Tenerife.

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : August 10, 2009 8:50 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Yes, Tenerife sounds like a good compromise.

ReplyQuote
Posted : August 10, 2009 9:18 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

EE, You are too funny 😛

ReplyQuote
Posted : August 10, 2009 9:20 pm
Dan.Stutzman
(@Dan.Stutzman)
Advanced Member

EE, You are too funny 😛

If I may ask, how so?

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : August 11, 2009 1:08 am
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

I believe EE was joking when referring to the canaries as a "compromise," because the USVI and the Canary Islands have nothing in common other than the word "Island" in their names. Tenerife covers almost 800 square miles, while St Thomas is 31 square miles. Tenerife has almost a million people, and St Thomas has about 50,000. Tenerife is part of Spain, and we are part of the U.S. Tenerife has skyscrapers, and we don't. And the list goes on. The canaries and the VI are too dissimilar for the word compromise to be anything but a joke.

ReplyQuote
Posted : August 11, 2009 4:13 am
Dan.Stutzman
(@Dan.Stutzman)
Advanced Member

I believe EE was joking when referring to the canaries as a "compromise," because the USVI and the Canary Islands have nothing in common other than the word "Island" in their names. Tenerife covers almost 800 square miles, while St Thomas is 31 square miles. Tenerife has almost a million people, and St Thomas has about 50,000. Tenerife is part of Spain, and we are part of the U.S. Tenerife has skyscrapers, and we don't. And the list goes on. The canaries and the VI are too dissimilar for the word compromise to be anything but a joke.

Well if the USVI aren't going to meet our needs and we decide not to stay in the Caribbean, Tenerife is the next island on our list. When it comes to quality of life, your comparisons are about as relevant as the differences from the North of France to the dark side of the moon.

I've been reading through your posts and I'm trying to determine the level of sarcasm. Based upon we have researched, we have decided to eliminate STX and STT. We are going to be in STJ probably around September to look at schools, properties and really look at the island and if it will fit our needs.

We will be also traveling to BVI as well.

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : August 11, 2009 10:26 am
Michaelds9
(@Michaelds9)
Advanced Member

Hello Dan,

I've been reading this board for a little while and own a boat at St Croix and will be returning there from Cincinnati to live full time soon. I have also been to islands throughout the Caribbean and Brasil so I have a little bit of experience to compare STX to other place. (no sarcasm intended - others are much better traveled) The VI is something like Brasil on a small scale. Educated and high tech on one end and poor and unsafe on the other. Think Chicago on the Caribbean.

I have found dntw8up to be one of the more rational and reasonable people of all my imaginary friends I have yet to meet.

IMO what is most upsetting is the idea that as part of the USA the VI should be a lot safer place. I would not go to much of Jamaica and not expect problems. I as a Midwesterner would have hoped the VI would be much safer than other places- and it is - but not what I would have thought it would be. But I have met a lot of good people on STX. "Born here's" and "continentals" both. It's a beautiful place with great weather and lots of beautiful people but there is also serious problems with crime and infrastructure.

The only way to know is to visit for a long enough term to get a fell for the place and see if it fits. But when you ask for good schools and lower than average crime ..... this may not be the right place for you.

ReplyQuote
Posted : August 11, 2009 11:25 am
lc98
 lc98
(@lc98)
Trusted Member

Most people don't think STJ is the "nicest" island. It may be a desirable vacation spot, but the majority of people there at any given time are tourists from the northeastern U.S.,

dntw8, I'm curious -- do you know where we can see data on that? Either about "the majority" bit or their point of origin?

and most locals don't want to live in a neighborhood where their neighbors change as frequently as bed linens.

I don't think that's an accurate portrayal of most residential neighborhoods on St. John. A few places have a greater mix of villas and year-round residences than others. In my area, I know pretty much exactly whom I'm going to see when I walk to the beach in the evening.

Dan -- good for you for doing your research. Keep in mind for your visit that September is one of the quieter months on island; many businesses will be closed and there will be more parking in Cruz Bay than there is at other times of the year. When things are busier, it's more of a challenge to run basic errands in town (bank, PO, etc.).

Definitely read the St. John Tradewinds News online (if you sign up, you can get access to the current issue plus archives) to get a picture of what issues are important locally. It also has the police log from the prior week, so you can get some sense of what crime is like around here.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

[Edited to try to get the quote tags to work -- not sure why they won't.]

ReplyQuote
Posted : August 11, 2009 12:26 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

Well if the USVI aren't going to meet our needs and we decide not to stay in the Caribbean, Tenerife is the next island on our list. When it comes to quality of life, your comparisons are about as relevant as the differences from the North of France to the dark side of the moon...We are going to be in STJ probably around September to look at schools, properties and really look at the island and if it will fit our needs...We will be also traveling to BVI as well.

Someone said something I interpreted as a joke, and I responded to that person, someone I know personally. You asked me to explain why I thought the remark was a joke, and I did. I never made a value judgment about Tenerife, though I did make some value judgments about the place I call home. My comparisons were objective differences between Tenerife and the VI that made the remark seem to me like a joke, and had nothing to do with how you might interpret "quality of life" in either place, though for many people (including EE and I) those differences are very relevant to quality of life, which is why we live here instead Tenerife. Remember, I don't know you so I don't care where you choose to live, and it is therefore a mistake to construe my remarks as attempts to persuade or dissuade you from choosing any particular place.

I have been telecommuting for fifteen years, and if you elect to move to the VI (you said STJ is still on your list), in addition to a generator you will also need to plan for an off island place where you can work long term, because after the last serious hurricane, power and Internet service were out for months (in some areas of STJ they were without cable/Internet for over a year.)

If you're traveling to the BVI because you're considering moving there, and if you are a non-belonger, you should know that there is no tax reciprocity agreement between the U.S. and the BVI. This means you will pay BVI taxes on your income as well as U.S. taxes on your income, and you can not deduct the BVI taxes you pay from your U.S. taxes.

ReplyQuote
Posted : August 11, 2009 4:45 pm
Dan.Stutzman
(@Dan.Stutzman)
Advanced Member

Well if the USVI aren't going to meet our needs and we decide not to stay in the Caribbean, Tenerife is the next island on our list. When it comes to quality of life, your comparisons are about as relevant as the differences from the North of France to the dark side of the moon...We are going to be in STJ probably around September to look at schools, properties and really look at the island and if it will fit our needs...We will be also traveling to BVI as well.

Someone said something I interpreted as a joke, and I responded to that person, someone I know personally. You asked me to explain why I thought the remark was a joke, and I did. I never made a value judgment about Tenerife, though I did make some value judgments about the place I call home. My comparisons were objective differences between Tenerife and the VI that made the remark seem to me like a joke, and had nothing to do with how you might interpret "quality of life" in either place, though for many people (including EE and I) those differences are very relevant to quality of life, which is why we live here instead Tenerife. Remember, I don't know you so I don't care where you choose to live, and it is therefore a mistake to construe my remarks as attempts to persuade or dissuade you from choosing any particular place.

I have been telecommuting for fifteen years, and if you elect to move to the VI (you said STJ is still on your list), in addition to a generator you will also need to plan for an off island place where you can work long term, because after the last serious hurricane, power and Internet service were out for months (in some areas of STJ they were without cable/Internet for over a year.)

If you're traveling to the BVI because you're considering moving there, and if you are a non-belonger, you should know that there is no tax reciprocity agreement between the U.S. and the BVI. This means you will pay BVI taxes on your income as well as U.S. taxes on your income, and you can not deduct the BVI taxes you pay from your U.S. taxes.

Right on.

Back to Tenerife... I take it you have your own opinions then about the Canaries? I would love to know what they are. At this point, with New Zealand/Pacific Islands out of the picture, we haven't decided which island we want to go to. I'm merely collecting opinions at this point.

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : August 11, 2009 7:12 pm
trw
 trw
(@trw)
Expert

not sure about the other islands but stx has at least 3 billionaires a couple of people with hundred millions and then a few with merely millions

ReplyQuote
Posted : August 11, 2009 7:51 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

"We originally were planning on moving to Whaiheke Island, New Zealand but a last minute request by my aging father has caused me to delay that until he is no longer with us anymore. It's really our parents, their age, and proximity is really a determining factor. USVI became a natural spot because of the lack of quarantine for our animals, no immigration concerns, no language concerns, and it is close to Eastern Standard Time"

Dan: I am sorry I caused so much trouble. This is what you said- you wanted to live in the VI because they are closer to your parents, there is no quarantine or immigration concerns and the time difference is not great. Then in the next breath, you said you thought Tenerife was a good idea. Do you see how I perceived your answer? If you want to live in the American tropics, what about a nice place on Maui or Kauai? I really apologize.

dnt: I am going to deal with you later! Behind the woodshed! :X

ReplyQuote
Posted : August 11, 2009 8:58 pm
Page 1 / 2
Close Menu