When arriving on St Thomas we had housing lined up for the first six months. During that time we researched the housing market and learned the lay of the land. Had we arrived in a hurry to buy we would have made some huge mistakes. Coming from Colorado I thought I wanted to be on the top of a hill. The north side is cooler and more lush. Putting those two ideas together I thought I'd found the perfect place until I discovered something the locals call the mold line. At a certain elevation, mold grows like crazy inside and out!!! That is just one example of a pitful avoided.
People move here all the time and think it's going to be paradise. For a variety of reasons they discover they don't like it and decide to leave. That provides for excellent garage sale opportunities!!!! Countless people sell of give away everything and move to discover they've made a huge financial error. That also goes for many who have come down and made poor choices on boats that they weren't capable of maintaining and now can't sell for a fraction of what they've paid.
Look before you leap! Actually look twice or three times before you leap is probably even better advice.
The agency I used to work for used to keeps an office in St. Thomas (as well as most of the rest of the world). I had only been working there a few months when an internal advertisement came out for the St. Thomas office.
I asked one of the old guys, who had just come in from being station in Puerto Rico, how long it would be before I could hope to get assingned there.
He said, "If you want it, I'll make a call and you'll be there next month."
That office had and has one of the highest turnover rates in that agency. Everyone who signs up thinks they are going to paradise, but doesn't bother to research the realities of the place. I've had a couple of friends get assigned there, and they both came back as quick as they could.
It's not cheap, and it's got a lot of crime, and if you're not from there, it takes a long time to blend in.