What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Port of Spain
Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
Originally we were supposed to have a furnished home... With that in mind we packed enough for 2 weeks to live in a hotel. There's not much we brought that we shouldn't have.
Things that I wish I would have brought...
1) Bedding: If you like 1000 count sheets like I do, they are hard to find. If you find them they are expensive and not the quality as the ones in the states. Plus, bedding sets are hard to find and there is no variety.
2) Summer clothes: Clothes are expensive and everything looks the same. You pay about $50 US for a sun dress that you would buy for $15 - $20 US.
3) Spices: You are limited to local spices and seasonings. Some grocery stores sell imported items, but you are limited to what they provide.
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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?
We were limited to what the realitor wanted to show us, mainly West Morings. My husband talked to people at work (other expats and locals) and they told us about different areas. We insisted in viewing the other areas we knew of. (Like the US, realitors are looking at their best interest; not yours. They want to show you where they have rental properties, need I say more...)
Secondly, Drive to work and back during your work hours once you find the area you like. Adjust the hours or the location depending on your choice. Everyone complains about traffic, but Houston's traffic is the same if not worse with 6 lanes on every road.
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
4 Bedroom / 3.5 Bath with a pool and small yard.
Yes, there are also nice townhomes with plunge pools available in the area.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
We do not have children going to the international school, so that opened our options where to live.
We chose Moka, Maraval by the golf course. It's green and mountainouse. It's a 10 minute drive to the city or a 15 minute drive to the Carribean, Maracus Beach.
The houses are newer and larger. You get more for your money.
**Fresh Fruit / Vegetable stands on corners. You won't find that in West Morings.
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Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
Yes, the housing is double and maybe even triple in some areas.
Average housing is $4000 US to $7000 US. Furnished housings go for more when available.
**Utilities are cheaper than Houston. Cable / Internet and Electric are 1/4 the price we paid in the states.