Sunday, March 10, 2013

The New Condo

One of the big things i've had to do while I have been here is to look for a condo. Looking for a condo on St. Croix is a bit harder than back on the mainland, mostly because of how the island infrastructure works. First and foremost, the cost of electricity is much more expensive. At least compared to North Carolina, the rate for electricity is 5 times higher than what it would be back home. I am not exaggerating. Because of that, finding a place that's as energy efficient as possible is a must. Secondly, the water supply presents its own unique challenges.

Fortunately for me, I ended up taking a condo in a place that was on the city water lines. That, however, is a pretty rare situation. Most houses on the island get their water through a cistern, which, for those who don't know, essentially stores rainwater. When the cistern runs dry, you have to call the utility company for them to re-fill your cistern at a rate of 5 cents a gallon. Most houses with cisterns have pretty thorough filtration and purification systems for the water; however, not all do. One place I looked at didn't have potable water, for example. Needless to say that was a dealbreaker. I also really wanted an in-unit washer and dryer, which, yet again, was harder to find that one might imagine.

In the end, I went with a condo in the same complex I had been staying in at my arrival. The view is arguably not as good, but I still get to see the ocean, and the overall state of the unit is a bit better (the sliding door works, for example). Good home furnishings are hard to find down here, but the furnishings in my apartment look pretty good compared to what I saw elsewhere. Additionally, living in the complex provided some major benefits. The cable and water are automatically included in the rent (as noted supra, water can be a big issue here), and the fact the facility is gated gives me peace of mind. I have been harangued so much by our security guards about my parking permit that I think the overall safety level is pretty solid. Probably the best part, though, is that I was able to rent a unit for about what I paid for my apartment in Columbia, SC. So all in all i'm pretty content. So, without further ado, here's a few photos of my new place:

About the best photo I could get of the living room.

The kitchen in all its glory...

I'm sure y'all care about all my closet space lol.

Still figuring out the bedroom...

The dining area

Here's the view. The cherry picker is there because they are painting the building!



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