Furniture, security

Old Jul 5th 2013, 3:00 am
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Default Furniture, security

Hello everyone. I'll be moving to St. Lucia in a few months, as my husband has a job opportunity there. I currently live abroad and we've done a few international moves already, but this time we are thinking to leave all our furniture and most other household goods behind. However, it also seems that many of these items would be quite expensive or there would be very little to choose from, am I correct? We might consider renting a place furnished, although it would have to be pretty nice and I imagine that's not a good deal either, as we're likely to be there several years. Can anyone give me some advice on this, or point me in the direction of a furniture store there so I can get info on prices?

Also, what should I keep in mind in terms of security when renting a place? From what I can tell, living in a gated community doesn't seem necessary, and I'm not interested really. We are likely to live in the north somewhere I guess.

Any other things I should keep in mind besides the obvious? Unexpected major expenses, recommendations on things to bring with? Like I said, I've done this a few times before but any St. Lucia specific info would be appreciated. If it helps, I'm a 29yo teacher with no kids (yet), originally from Chicago, I like cooking, running, diving, nature, tropical islands...
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Old Jul 6th 2013, 7:13 pm
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Default Re: Furniture, security

Originally Posted by twostars View Post
Hello everyone. I'll be moving to St. Lucia in a few months, as my husband has a job opportunity there. I currently live abroad and we've done a few international moves already, but this time we are thinking to leave all our furniture and most other household goods behind. However, it also seems that many of these items would be quite expensive or there would be very little to choose from, am I correct? We might consider renting a place furnished, although it would have to be pretty nice and I imagine that's not a good deal either, as we're likely to be there several years. Can anyone give me some advice on this, or point me in the direction of a furniture store there so I can get info on prices?

Also, what should I keep in mind in terms of security when renting a place? From what I can tell, living in a gated community doesn't seem necessary, and I'm not interested really. We are likely to live in the north somewhere I guess.

Any other things I should keep in mind besides the obvious? Unexpected major expenses, recommendations on things to bring with? Like I said, I've done this a few times before but any St. Lucia specific info would be appreciated. If it helps, I'm a 29yo teacher with no kids (yet), originally from Chicago, I like cooking, running, diving, nature, tropical islands...
Hi there,

The main furniture place is courts - they are online, just google courts st lucia, not the best site but will give you an idea on prices. Quality of items here is not as good as the states or the US, so it might be an idea to bring some things with you. In regards to accomodation it doesnt need to a be a gated community but you should have some security, I have a dog and burglar bars and have never had any problems and I live near a "locals" area. I am respectful to them and therefore have had no real problems.

Its a great life here but things are hard to get, a lot of people order them in off the internet from the US, my advice would be to bring electrical items as they are expensive.

I hope this helps I will update you as I think of things and I am sure other people on the forum with help you - good luck, when you get here please feel free to message me I will always help you. Sarah.
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Old Jul 7th 2013, 12:51 pm
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Default Re: Furniture, security

Thanks Sarah! That is really helpful. I live in Argentina right now, but because of inflation furniture is more or less the same price as the US, and quite a bit poorer in quality. This is also very true for electronic goods! So, it seems like something from Courts or ordering online would work.

I may as well ask, as I've spent all morning researching this: How's the selection of used cars over there? Where I live now cars are also very expensive, so it might make sense for me to just buy one over there even though I would be able to import mine for free (well, except for the shipping of course). However, from what I've seen/read on forums there doesn't seem to be a lot to choose from. Right now I have a Jeep Compass 4x4, about 5 years old, and would want something similar. To give you an idea, that's worth about 25,000 usd here, but most 4x4s are closer to 40 or more. I've check the St. Lucia Shopper, not having much luck finding other sites/dealers.
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Old Jul 7th 2013, 2:41 pm
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Default Re: Furniture, security

Originally Posted by twostars View Post
Thanks Sarah! That is really helpful. I live in Argentina right now, but because of inflation furniture is more or less the same price as the US, and quite a bit poorer in quality. This is also very true for electronic goods! So, it seems like something from Courts or ordering online would work.

I may as well ask, as I've spent all morning researching this: How's the selection of used cars over there? Where I live now cars are also very expensive, so it might make sense for me to just buy one over there even though I would be able to import mine for free (well, except for the shipping of course). However, from what I've seen/read on forums there doesn't seem to be a lot to choose from. Right now I have a Jeep Compass 4x4, about 5 years old, and would want something similar. To give you an idea, that's worth about 25,000 usd here, but most 4x4s are closer to 40 or more. I've check the St. Lucia Shopper, not having much luck finding other sites/dealers.
I would make one comment regarding security. If you are white and clearly an outsider and move into an area where the less well-off St Lucians are, you could be considered a target for burglary well before you get any chance to integrate into the community at large.

St Lucians themselves have real burglary problems and ironically also do not respect the fact that handling stolen goods is counter to the general interests of society at large - they do not typically see it as immoral but rather can see it as an opportunity and then complain when somebody steals something of theirs.

So burglar bars and a dog are clearly key and a security system is a plus.

There are a number of very skillful joiners on the island who make beautiful custom furniture to order and it is worth checking out for such items as beds, bar stools, day-beds, closets, garden chairs, lengthy chair cum storage - we are thrilled with all of ours.

There is a second-hand Japanese car market here - they dump their cars after about three years and these are reasonable to buy - you pay an upfront levy plus the landed cost.

A new duty free Nissan Frontier or similar costs about USD25,000 here as a point of reference. Diesel and Gasoline cost roughly the same here so unless you are intending to do a lot of mileage it is better to buy a gasoline car as the parts you have to replace on a diesel (fuel filters etc.) are quite expensive plus diesels are a bit more expensive to buy here.
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Old Jul 7th 2013, 5:44 pm
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Default Re: Furniture, security

Thanks for the tips on security. I have an alarm system here, so that wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary. I'm sure I'll be living in one of the expat areas, but I was hoping to rent a regular house.

I'm familiar with the whole Japanese export racket, as I lived there for several years. The reason they get rid of cars so quickly is due to emission regulations; you have to get your car tested every two years and it costs around 2000 usd. However, once it hits ten years then you have to get it tested every year, so it's not worth it. Obviously, it's not like your car turns into a pumpkin once it's ten years old; the gov't. does it on purpose to reduce air pollution and support the car industry. I sold my car for 100 usd when I left, and it was in perfect condition. However, the guy I sold it to was basically doing me a favor, otherwise I would have had to pay 500 dollars to get rid of a perfectly good car.
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Old Jul 7th 2013, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: Furniture, security

Originally Posted by twostars View Post
Thanks for the tips on security. I have an alarm system here, so that wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary. I'm sure I'll be living in one of the expat areas, but I was hoping to rent a regular house.

I'm familiar with the whole Japanese export racket, as I lived there for several years. The reason they get rid of cars so quickly is due to emission regulations; you have to get your car tested every two years and it costs around 2000 usd. However, once it hits ten years then you have to get it tested every year, so it's not worth it. Obviously, it's not like your car turns into a pumpkin once it's ten years old; the gov't. does it on purpose to reduce air pollution and support the car industry. I sold my car for 100 usd when I left, and it was in perfect condition. However, the guy I sold it to was basically doing me a favor, otherwise I would have had to pay 500 dollars to get rid of a perfectly good car.
I think, but am not sure, that they flip them after three years for this market but only this week I was talking to a proud owner under the scheme who's vehicle was now 20 years old and it looked in really excellent nick, obviously also with proud owner tlc.
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Old Jul 7th 2013, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: Furniture, security

Originally Posted by twostars View Post
Thanks for the tips on security. I have an alarm system here, so that wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary. I'm sure I'll be living in one of the expat areas, but I was hoping to rent a regular house.
If I were given a second chance, I would rent up north in the Rodney Heights area because it functions as a neighbourhood watch and is close enough to "things" without being too tempting that I would outspend my budget.

Buying here today makes no sense as it really is dead money - has been since 2007 - because property is so illiquid* and mostly declining in value (with the risk that the EC$ could ultimately be devalued) and there are vendor taxes of 10% (plus 5% agent's fees plus VAT) to make it even worse, particularly if the first buy turns out to not make the best sense.

The only handy thing about owning property here is that if you are not a St Lucian, you can use the deeds as evidence that you own, and get your passport stamped every six months for no charge and stay here.

*there are currently 390 odd listings (admittedly some will be duplicates and others will be stratospheric) for St Lucia property on Rightmove alone

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Jul 7th 2013 at 6:51 pm. Reason: The only handy thing about....
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Old Jul 9th 2013, 2:59 pm
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Default Re: Furniture, security

Originally Posted by Pistolpete2 View Post
If I were given a second chance, I would rent up north in the Rodney Heights area because it functions as a neighbourhood watch and is close enough to "things" without being too tempting that I would outspend my budget.

Buying here today makes no sense as it really is dead money - has been since 2007 - because property is so illiquid* and mostly declining in value (with the risk that the EC$ could ultimately be devalued) and there are vendor taxes of 10% (plus 5% agent's fees plus VAT) to make it even worse, particularly if the first buy turns out to not make the best sense.

The only handy thing about owning property here is that if you are not a St Lucian, you can use the deeds as evidence that you own, and get your passport stamped every six months for no charge and stay here.

*there are currently 390 odd listings (admittedly some will be duplicates and others will be stratospheric) for St Lucia property on Rightmove alone
Yeah, I've done some research on the property market and it decided it didn't seem like a good idea, plus we won't be staying there forever and I'm not interested in having a rental property somewhere I'm not living. Also, rental prices seem pretty reasonable from what I've seen on Cariblist. Thanks for the advice though.
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