So you are contemplating relocating to or have finally decided on making St. Croix your permanent residence or home away from home.  Either way, great move and the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce welcomes you.

Most likely you would already have conducted a massive amount of research, but below are a few tips from the VI Settlers Handbook, a comprehensive relocation guide to ensure you omit as little as possible during this major transition.

Our beautiful ‘Big Island’ – more laid back than St. Thomas and a few paces faster than St. John, combines all the best of the Virgin Islands into its own inimitable vibe. Although it always seem to feel less crowded and more roomy than the other two Virgin Islands, it is wide open for business opportunities and at this time in our history is experiencing a buyers’ market phase primarily due to the closure of the Hovensa Oil Refinery in 2012.  It is blessed with picturesque architecture and a rural closeness to nature that can make working and living here a dream come true.

If you haven’t already done so, spend some weeks on the island and utilize as many of its facilities and services as possible while looking into employment or business opportunities.  It might not be a bad idea to rent first prior to buying real estate.

Shipping of boxes can be done by USPS (customs not required) or by any of the other major carriers via air. Large household goods, vehicles, or machinery can be transported by ship.  Check around for rates from shipping companies, freight forwarders and custom brokers as you could save by trailer sharing.

The make of your car will impact whether you pay duty or not when shipped.  Before shipping, consider the types of roads and climate that your car will be up against.  Be aware that car parts could take a while to get here.

Check into available health insurance.  The USVI is not currently a part of the Affordable Health Care State Exchange program for individual health insurance so you would need to be part of a group plan or rely on the Medicaid option.

For news update daily go to www.stcroixsource.com online or subscribe to the VI Daily News, at $69.75 for 3 months, $130 for 6 months and $254.75 for one year.  Contact them at (340) 774-8772.   The St. Croix Avis (340) 718-2300 is available only in local shops.

For a comprehensive overview of the island and moving information on the latest facts, figures, trends and pros and cons, please visit www.visettlershandbook.com.