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#391398 - 10/30/10 07:32 PM General questions regarding the North Island
Jareth Offline
Hi folks, I am a U.S. Resident who has been to Caye Caulker and I decided to begin looking into buying a lot for building a home. I was curious about the North island. From my research, there aren't many lots for sale closer than 6/10ths of a mile away from the Split. I've only been searching online though, maybe you guys know of a better place to look? Budget isn't extravagent but it's enough to pick up a modest 60x100 lot. My aspirations are to buy relatively soon and build a few years down the road.

I realize the bugs are bad. Any chance of this improving as spraying increases as a result of development? Are there zoning regulations for lots such as residential/business? As for development, where do you see this North island in the next 5-10 years?

I know that a real estate agent or someone who has a lot on the market will probably tell me everything I want to hear, so I wanted to get the word from the people on the ground in the Cayes who just want to educate me. I really appreciate it. Thank you all in advance for your time.


Edited by Jareth (10/30/10 07:34 PM)

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#391399 - 10/30/10 08:24 PM Re: General questions regarding the North Island [Re: Jareth]
elbert Offline
oops! i thought you meant Ambergris Caye...sorry


Edited by elbert (10/30/10 11:35 PM)
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#391404 - 10/30/10 10:33 PM Re: General questions regarding the North Island [Re: elbert]
ron Offline
Elbert he's talking the north island of Caye Caulker not Ambergris Caye. We still don't have enough development for the village council to even think about spraying. Its seldom that the grass in the road gets cut, many living on the north island cut the grass in front of their property themselves.

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#391406 - 10/30/10 11:14 PM Re: General questions regarding the North Island [Re: Jareth]
Dane Offline
No problem with zoning, you are OK on that point.
For twenty years now I have been saying that the North Island will take off when the folks there stop thinking it is part of the South.
All that time some folks have told that part isn't important-it will take off as soon as xxxxxx, only it didn't and most who held those opinions are long gone.
They need restaurants,a grocery,a bar and a hardware to be a a place that attracts a range of residents. Most homes there are empty after a while,though not all.
South Island seems so close until you go for dinner and drinks in your small boat and it starts pouring down, or blowing 50m knts.
Impossible to get home? No
Fun?No
Are you planning to have a house here to have fun?
I guess in five years it will be different,or at least that is what I was told-in 1995.


Edited by Dane (10/30/10 11:15 PM)

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#391409 - 10/31/10 12:46 AM Re: General questions regarding the North Island [Re: Dane]
ron Offline
I have one of the newer houses on the north island and built with the hope that it would stay as isolated as it is. Will we get electricity soon? I spent a lot of money for a wind turbine , solar panels and batteries figuring that I'd have to provide power for myself. There are a relatively small number of people who live there year round. Many come and go. There is not enough people to support a restaurant, grocery, bar or hardware store. I'm sure the old Driftwood is still for sale. Bugs are plentiful and the 50knts wind means I'm renting a room. Its happened at least once before. The growth rate of the north island hasn't been a boomtown with only a few houses built a year and most of those not by year round residents. To me, if you want to be near everything the south is the place. You can drink til 2 am (I think) and still be able to crawl home. If you think drunk driving is bad, drunk boat driving is worst. I'm with Dane, I'll spend the next 20 years hearing about how rapid growth will be if xxxxxxxxx. I built hoping it'd stay the way it is not the way it might be.

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#391418 - 10/31/10 05:36 AM Re: General questions regarding the North Island [Re: Jareth]
Jareth Offline
Originally Posted By: ron
I have one of the newer houses on the north island and built with the hope that it would stay as isolated as it is.

That's what I would hope for in your shoes, but no matter where you are whether it's Connecticut or Belize, things are bound to change. Sorry if that sounds doom-and-gloom --- I'm not looking to spoil anyone's good time.

Originally Posted By: Dane

I guess in five years it will be different,or at least that is what I was told-in 1995.

I've spoken to a few different BEL people (via email) and they've all given me the same answer, so far as electricity goes. It appears that Ron's going to have another option besides solar and wind fairly soon. It's my first time interacting with BEL so I'm not sure how reliable they can be when it comes to following through with their schedule.

As far as goals, at the time I build I do want that property to enjoy a proximity to the conveniences that the South island enjoys currently, which is why I was curious about prospects of future development on the North side. I am a professional artist, but I don't plan to do work in Belize unless the Belizean mail system is super reliable (especially internationally, this is essential to my operation here in the States). If you guys have any thoughts on that, I'm really curious about that.

I can easily put myself in Ron's shoes, enjoying the seclusion and rustic lifestyle, but I was hoping to secure a lot now at an attractive price, then build years down the road when things are getting a little more busy. I realize that could happen with the introduction of X+Y+Z or any combination thereof, but as you guys said, who knows when that'll be?

Your warnings about boat travel in rough conditions are definitely noted. Not something I want to do battle with. I am guessing that no matter how much development we see on the North side during our lifetime, travel will always be done via boat (no artificial bridge or anything). The frequency of boat travel between the islands could only be diminished if a significant commercial infrastructure were developed on the North island and it became less dependent on the South island for products and services. And that day just seems very far away in my mind.

I haven't cast aside the possibility of finding a nice lot on the South island either, so I'm sponging up all the info I can. Really nice of you guys to take the time to chime in. I've read the last three years of posts in the Caye Caulker section and having been there, the information here is like completing a puzzle that was missing pieces. Things I experienced there make more sense when you guys are here to fill in the blanks.

Enjoy your Halloween!

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#391419 - 10/31/10 10:34 AM Re: General questions regarding the North Island [Re: Jareth]
ron Offline
Its the rate of change that's important. BEL has been talking of power to the north for years and last year they were bringing power from the south island. They even marked where they were going to put lights along the west side to the island. I think they got as far as Crab's house. (He's the 3rd house north of the split when looking at the west side of the island.) Coming from SP. I don't see happening very soon. That's about 8 miles of underwater cable to run from a place that doesn't have enough power to satisfy their development. Obviously, I don't know BEL's plans, but my solar and wind means that I will never worry whether they come or not and my cost is now nothing. It's been paid for, I won't have an electric bill. There have been many people who have bought land on the North island with the intent of building when the power comes. Wayne told me 6 months ago he's sold 35 lots, none have started building. Will the price of a lot go down, probably not. Would you be getting a great price? It depends on who you buy from. A realtor represents the seller. They get paid by how much they sell a lot for. Buying directly from a local who means money is the cheapest way to get property. How many locals do you know to buy from? I bought my property and built my house because I want to spend time there now. I didn't buy with the idea this was an investment and I would be saving money. Don't know much about the postal system other than you go to the Post Office on the south island to pick up your mail. Shipping stuff into Caye Caulker from the States is fairly straight forward. Hyde Shipping in Miami puts the stuff on a boat that leaves twice a week, Trip takes about 2 or 3 days. Your customs agent clears it thru customs a few days later after paying the various duties associated with your particular cargo. Put it on one of the 3 barges going from the Port of Belize to CC. Have it offloaded by someone in CC and then get it to your house on the north side. Going in the opposite direction should be just as simple. If you want to check the postal service send something to the States next time your down. That will tell you now long it takes now. Who knows the future. Good luck with your planning.

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#391420 - 10/31/10 11:10 AM Re: General questions regarding the North Island [Re: Jareth]
Dane Offline
I get Xmas cards all summer long at times.I sent lots of mail-it goes and comes at random unless you send overnite post office. It is handled by a different small postal crew with an instant customs check and is excellent but pricey.

No one speaks with more authority than ron on North Island life. He is the real deal- a guy who built and lives here with his eyes open. That is rare among those who set up here.
We meet quite a number of eager new people here who aren't going to make it.

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#391558 - 11/02/10 10:34 AM Re: General questions regarding the North Island [Re: Jareth]
CCsoon Offline
That sounds odd Dane, to say that someone isn't going to make it. Who are you to say? Maybe it is true what I hear about you. Keep looking Jareth. You see lots closer to the split come up for sale from time to time. They are phase I lots and I believe most if not all were granted as 50'x100'. Anyway, that is the best area, high and dry, and lots of people selling on CC right now. Good luck to you.
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#391635 - 11/02/10 09:40 PM Re: General questions regarding the North Island [Re: CCsoon]
ron Offline
There have more than a few people who started building on the north side and didn't get their houses finished. Who knows the reason why. Perhaps some thought power would come sooner than it will perhaps the world economic downturn or perhaps they were not prepared to battle the problems of working on the north side and getting materials there. I'm somewhat luckier than most who have started building, I'm a contractor in the States. I'm also an architect who has worked in several other developing countries and have some experience with problems inherent in building in places that aren't easy to get to. Lots south of Cakeman and Nancy's house aren't so wonderful especially when you get some good rain. The road north is often a quagmire of mud after a good rain. Once you pass Cakeman's house the road stays mostly dry although I have seen water across the road from my house and into the SE corner of my lot. The lot across the street from me was for sale around $60,000 US last time I looked. The lot between my house and the beach was for sale for around $175,000. Its a very large lot with an odd shape. The lots on the reef side of my house I don't think are for sale one has a concrete frame that has been that way for at least 10 years. I know there is a small shack that Indigo stays at when he is in CC but he only caretakes the property. The lot directly behind me where Sherman stays as a caretaker is owned by Marty who has several times asked me if I wanted to buy it asking price is well above what Jareth has quoted as a price he was think of paying. Yes there are lots for sale will you get a better price now than after power comes yes. I just think that if I'm not ready to build why buy now. Who knows what will happen before you build. I know more than one person who thinks building is a waste they can rent a place for a year without any capital investment and leave when they want. I guess the attractiveness of owning property on the north side is up to each individual. I just don't think you'll get a lot there much cheaper than if you bought on the south island. By the way, there are also many lots available further up island that are on high ground. The Mexican place is in an area that is quite dry as is the area that Teddy B. has built on. The whole center of the island is high and dry especially when you go north. As I said before good luck on your choice.

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