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#220807 - 04/10/06 11:24 AM Moving to the Caye
Dane Offline
For folks thinking of living here- advice from those with 20 years of experience.
Don't make plans from your home country. Make them here in a local context.
Come stay for a season without breaking ties in your home country. You will almost surely go home with an entirely new plan for the next season.
Don't start on the North Island.It is hard enought on make it on the South.
Don't buy land until you have lived in places like North Island and find you like the current status of the area. No foreigner has succeeded there yet,and almost no Belizian. Rent in the South, build in the North after many years of success in the easy to live part of the island.
Don't try to make a living your first two years here. Bring an income stream with you.
Don't try to build a house the first year.Building on South Caye Caulker is twice as hard as building in the US or Canada. Building on North Island is twice as hard again. Once you have lived here a while you will want to tear down the house you built the first year and build a more appropriate design based on your real needs.
Simply moving here, getting a household routine, and a personal life going is so challenging that 19 of 20 new people don't make it. If you also plan to make a living, build a house,protect your pets,etc. then you may find you bit off too much to chew.
It is possible to move here by ignoring these precepts but- will it be fun? I've noticed those new folks who have proven to us that you can ignore all the advice above have one thing in common. They don't live here anymore.

#220808 - 04/10/06 01:16 PM Re: Moving to the Caye
jubilee Offline
Thanks for all the great info. Do you have any thoughts on local contractors without stepping on any toes? Also, is it really possible to build those prefab menonite houses on the island? If so what are your thoughts on them. Thanks in advance.

#220809 - 04/10/06 03:18 PM Re: Moving to the Caye
Dane Offline
Answers about locals work aren't likely to appear on this forum.
Some ain't so good.
Much of it is excellent, so guys from local families are the only builders I have ever used.
The Mennonites stopped sending prefabs here years ago, but there is a Mennnonite named Tobar who recently built two great 2 bdrm wood houses with cement posts quickly for around US$50K. (He adapted many of the same prefab economies that the prefab guys had used. They helped him and are likely to refer you to him. Mennonites are smart about helping each other.)A house built by the local guys I prefer will cost more than that and take much longer to build.
Double or triple that price for all- concrete construction. Most local built houses take around a year before they are truly done.

#220810 - 04/10/06 03:43 PM Re: Moving to the Caye
How about internet to a house, what is available and for about how much?

#220811 - 04/10/06 05:41 PM Re: Moving to the Caye
Has any one seen the new bank built by a local fella here: very nice and he is very inexpensive to deal with and very flexable. He can build a 20 by 24 ft house for 25,000bz out of wood finished to live in with water and hydro, painted and windows and doors in place all br fixtures paid for and the br tiled. Try not to be so hard on locals they do their best.

#220812 - 04/10/06 06:23 PM Re: Moving to the Caye Offline
Is that Michael Holmes from Belize City? If so, he built Sailwinds, Auxillou Beach Suites and Caye Caulker Condos.
Caribbean Colors Art Gallery, Caye Caulker

#220813 - 04/10/06 09:13 PM Re: Moving to the Caye
Another thing to think about is that insurance is no longer available for wood houses, and that is one things you REALLY want here.

#220814 - 04/11/06 01:17 PM Re: Moving to the Caye
Dane Offline
I think their best is excellent. I only use Caye Caulker guys.
I want to live in a beautiful hardwood house. As to insurance - most people have none and are glad. Almost every wooden house that you see on Caye Caulker has survived at least one major hurricane. Part of my house has been in three.
There are logical houses (concrete and barred windows built close to the ground)and there is my house(45 ft mahogany tower,5 decks, four small rooms open and airy.)I will live in a concrete building only if heavily armed men insist

#220815 - 04/12/06 12:31 PM Re: Moving to the Caye
Cooper Offline
We live in a half cement and wood house that has been through a huricane and did well. We do have insurance but are seriuosly thinking of dropping it. We could not get coverage for theft anyway. We live a simple life with tables made out of plywood but painted nice we recently splurged on a microwave, but no coffee maker, toaster, no vcr or dvd, we do have a small boom box. The insurance is not cheap if we got hit once every 5 years by a major huricane this is a VERY strong house, we might loose the roof and some damage downstairs, 5 years in premiums would cover any damage. So we dont think we need the insurance, except fo that great bonus all the insurance companies give you here of being covered incase an airplane crashes into your house????


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