What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
We are a family of 4 with 2 small children. I was pregnant when I first came to Trinidad, but went home to have my child. I would recommend bringing your own baby equipment as the standard out here is not very good and is very expensive. (Also, I did not find many places that sold actual baby clothes, fine from 2 years on and reasonably cheap).
Food out here is very expensive and has increased quite a lot in the 18 months that we have been here, a tin of heinz beans is about one pound fifty!!!
Also you would not be able to find gluten free products if you were a celiac.
We brought furniture with us to furnish our house due to being quite expensive here, although there is a "courts" furniture store but generally the furniture is not good quality or is extremely good quality which carries an extremely high price tag.
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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
Generally in the areas I mentioned above there is very little crime. Houses in those areas are more expensive, but you can negotiate! Also, look at more than a couple of houses don't be pressured into renting the first one you see because the agent has told you it's safe and you won't find any better!
There is a lot of crime in Trinidad but when you read the papers or listen to the news it is Trinidadian people fighting / killing each other!
Saying that... you need to have your wits about you and be more alert. For example, when deciding where to park your car when you go to the supermarket. Definitely do not leave anything visable in your car. Don't walk around with lots of cash on you. Make sure that nobody is watching / following you when you are at a cash point. These are basic things that I suppose you subconsciously do back home, but here it needs to be done more vigilantly.
All in all, I really like living in Trinidad, and I am sure that there are a lot worse places you could go!
You are probably thinking "I am never moving there," but the climate is great, there are some beautiful places to visit (boat trips round the smaller islands of Trinidad and Tobago), seeing leatherback turtles and liming (chilling out) on the beach. What I like the most is having quality time with my family -- and getting that time is very easy in Trinidad.
Also the other Caribbean islands are very accessible and most hotels give a special caricom rates.
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
We live in a 4 bedroom house with a pool and a small garden which is ideal for the children. There is not much land and the houses are generally overlooked by other houses! Also, because of the high crime rate in Trinidad you will find that there are wrought iron bars on all windows and doors. Some do blend in with the houses and after a while you do tend to forget about them - but they are obviously there for a reason.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
We were informed by an estate agent the areas where expats tend to live, the areas being West Moorings, Goodwood Park and Fairways Maraval.
The Estate agents are very good although you will find that all agents know each other and tend to have the same properties on their listings.
Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
Housing Costs here are much higher and are increasing all the time. The areas that are sought after by Expats range on average from 4000$us to 7000$us. This is for a typical 3/4 bedroom house with a pool and maybe a small grassed yard!