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An Expat Talks about Moving to Ocho Rios, Jamaica

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Ocho Rios

Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.

I wish I had brought more baby toys, baby clothes and baby accessories in general.

I wish I had left our winter clothes behind! Also, I haven't worn any dressy clothes, nor my high heels.

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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?

If you have a chance, give yourself plenty time to look for a good place. Call the realtors around, ask friends and acquaintances if they know of a good place. The town is very small and everyone knows one another. So, if you get in the right circle, you are bound to find help in all areas.

What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?

We got lucky with our apartment. We have all the amenities many people in Jamaica go without (running water, washer & drier, hot water, AC etc). We even have a dishwasher which we never used, since electricity here is extremely expensive. Our kitchen appliances are modern and really nice. Our internet is much faster than in the US. We have a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom, with a nice balcony overlooking the ocean and the pool. We take our baby son for a swim almost every day!

How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?

When we first moved to Ochi, we were staying in an apartment that was rented out by my husband's company. Since the apartment was a bit far from downtown and also very dark, we started looking around for a new place. Our lease was almost up, so we were actively on the lookout. A friend of ours saw a sign right outside a nice looking complex advertising a real estate agency and we called right away. Now we live in an ocean front apt and couldn't be happier.

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Expats living in Jamaica interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get quotes our partner, International Citizens Insurance, a trusted expat health insurance broker. They will provide you with comparison quotes from some of the biggest expat health insurers: Cigna, Aetna and GeoBlue.

Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?

I think the housing costs are about the same, since we lived in a very expensive area in the US. That being said, I think that the cost of living here may be higher than in the US. Our supermarket runs are much pricier than back home, and electricity alone is more than triple down here.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Apr 20, 2011 16:47

Great review and insight! We are looking to move to Ochi and have looked at several ocean front apartment / condo complexes. Can you provide some insight as to the benefits and disadvantages of being west vs. east of Ochi? TY.

RootsPrincess
Aug 23, 2012 20:17

WHY would you bring winter clothes to the Caribbean? Had you ever been before? HIGH HEELS are for KINGSTON, so they may come in handy if you are someone that likes the NIGHTLIFE. The grocery stores are very pricey even Sav-more. You can get a cheap rent if you take the time to look on vrbo,com but sounds like you are not hurting for cash if your husband has a job there. I would be looking at schools. You have to pay for a good one or your child will be way behind compared to the US schools. Even teacher in Jamaica, cannot teach in the US. Their degrees are NOT transferable because the standards are much lower. Can I suggest that maybe you volunteer in a school once a week? Giving back in JAMAICA will turn YOU into a rock star. They need the help and you will feel FANTASTIC giving back. Trust me on that one. I have been donating books and school supplies for 22 years, and I am addicted. Those "likkle" faces are so precious and sweet. I think I get more out of it then they do. All the best on your journey in Jamaica...my home sweet home~

lala718
May 28, 2013 10:51

Great feedback! Winter clothes in Jamaica,lol, what were you thinking? Did you ever visit or do a research prior to moving there? It does get chilly on the waterfront in Ochie but nothing that you need winter gears, umbrella, rainboats or raincoat is suitable. Ochie has great nightlife, Margaritaville is awesome, the food at Bibbidi is good and just outside Ochie in Discovery Bay you get the best jerk across from Green Grotto Cave at Ultimate's Jerk Center. If you want to kick it up you can get a 1 day pass for the hotels(Sunset Jamaica Grande and Riu Ochie are both great venues).

Mobygirl
Apr 20, 2016 16:28

I moved to Ocho Rios area 3 months ago.. I am enjoying Jamaica.. the slower pace when I go to the bank, stores really gets on my nerve.. I need a way to overcome getting so annoyed at slow service. By the way I found a beautiful apartment overlooking the ocean too..missing the A/C.. I find people here to be very nice.. neighbours that share ackee and breadfruit without hardly knowing me. I am loving my new life.. despite some of the USA comforts I am going without.

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Jamaica from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

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Join our Jamaica forum to meet other expats and talk about living in Jamaica.

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People from all over the globe have found their way to Jamaica to live as an expat in the Caribbean Sea. Expats already there are quick to point out (more)

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If you're thinking of moving to Jamaica or retiring in Jamaica, deciding where to live is not as simple as you think. Jamaica is a large island with numerous cities and towns that appeal to expats. (more)

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