Ambergris Caye Caye Caulker HELP! Visitor Center Businesses Lodging

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#442574 - 07/15/12 10:59 PM Living on Caye Caulker
kelsieb Offline
Good Night All, My wife, Tina and I now live in Tampa, FL. However, we would like to know what and how much it would take to move to Caye Caulker and live comfortably (Comfortable could be a 3 bedroom home, a golf cart as transportation, a small boat, etc.) and the necessary amenities. If solar, or any other power source is available that would work also. We would prefer not leave a foot print at all. We would also like to start a business once down there. How feasible is that at this point? Any information or help pointing us in the right direction would be greatly appreciated? Thank you in advance! KB, Jr.

#442596 - 07/16/12 10:57 AM Re: Living on Caye Caulker [Re: kelsieb] Offline
Its not that I don't want to answer your question, its unanswerable. And if the questions could be answered, most of them are subjective, dependant on this and that. The only complete answer that can be given is the one that you give yourself when you actually come here and spend time (more than 2 weeks of vacation) here.
The easy answer is $250,000 - $500,000. Subject to where your property is located, what type of construction on your home, what type of furnishings, new golf cart or used one, what size boat/what size engine, and what type of business you are opening. Do not come with expectations of getting bank financing either, interest rates are very high and the banks here are not lending unless the loan is overcollateralized.
Come with enough money to live, without working, for at least a year while your immigration status is going thru the system.
Take the time to read back on this message board for Caye Caulker and San Pedro. Take the time to look at some real estate website with properties on Caye Caulker.
I hope this was helpful. In the end, there is no easy answer, except that the costs are about triple what you expect.
Caribbean Colors Art Gallery, Caye Caulker

#442601 - 07/16/12 12:43 PM Re: Living on Caye Caulker [Re: kelsieb]
dabunk Offline
Wise advice!!!

#442612 - 07/16/12 02:26 PM Re: Living on Caye Caulker [Re: kelsieb]
ron Offline
On the south island, power is available except on the south end of the island. On the north island there is no power. I have a house on the north island and use both solar and wind with an array of batteries. I brought my power supplies from the States. Cost is what you figure you'll need for your lifestyle. You can't connect to the grid and feedback to the grid like you can in the states. The price of a lot varies from $20,000US to much much more. Building a house varies greatly as well, again depends on what you feel is a necessary amenity. My small boat a 19 ft. Boston whaler cost me about $1,000US and then I had someone there gut it and completely redo it. It took about a year to find a boat that I could work with. My engine I brought from the States and paid the required duties and GST. I think that added about 50% to the price of the engine. The boat will need to be registered and you will need to get a captains license to drive it. A golf cart needs a permit to bring to the island and if you buy one from a local thats already here you will need to get the permit transferred to you. The cart itself varies used or new, gas or electric, etc. As suggested, come down for an extended stay (6 months) rent a house and get a feel for the place. You'll be better able to see what businesses might work and what won't. You see whether you really need a golf cart. The south island is pretty small, about 1 1/2 miles long and you can't have a cart on the north island.

#442619 - 07/16/12 03:41 PM Re: Living on Caye Caulker [Re: kelsieb]
kelsieb Offline
Thank you for all your answers. While you may not feel you answered all my questions you answered enough of them to give me a better idea of what's needed. For that I thank you. In regards to your question about that type of business, my wife is interested in a natural juice bar/coffee/tea shop. I feel if we are going to go that route we should add liquor. Any thoughts? BTW, I am originally form Belize, Stann Creek Town to be exact and, yes, I know the new name is Dangriga, but I still see & remember it as S.C.T.). I would not have an issue with working straight away. The size boat would be, say a 25 to 30', with possibly an out board engine of maybe 250HP, if that would be sufficient. Something to get around in, bring back supplies in and still have some fun in.

#442622 - 07/16/12 04:19 PM Re: Living on Caye Caulker [Re: kelsieb]
kelsieb Offline
Hey Ron, any reason why you brought an engine with you and not get one in Belize? One you have before moving or did you purposely purchase one before your journey? For both of you, although it is triple what I may thinking I feel it's still not as expensive as many other places, correct?

#442630 - 07/16/12 05:25 PM Re: Living on Caye Caulker [Re: kelsieb]
ron Offline
It was cheaper to buy it here and pay the duties etc. I got a good deal here. Would have cost double down there. Many things you need to consider where you buy. For me since I spend more time in the States right now, its easier to get some things. I don't want to spend time in Belize shopping. You should check prices in both places for things, make sure you add the duties and extras if bought in the States.

#442643 - 07/16/12 10:28 PM Re: Living on Caye Caulker [Re: kelsieb]
Cooper Offline
You also need to be a resident or at least a property owner to have a golf cart, and permission from Village council. Depending on the business you want to start you may be able to own it but not work it. Using a restaurant as an example, you cant usually get a work permit to bartend or wait tables, those jobs are held for Belizeans, but you can own the business, you just cant work it unless you have residency. You wont be able to legally work your juice bar until you have residency, but you could offer work to a Belizean. Liquor licenses are very hard to get.

#442644 - 07/16/12 10:34 PM Re: Living on Caye Caulker [Re: kelsieb]
Cooper Offline
Sorry, I see you are Belizean, then you have no problems on working..still the liquor license is a tough one..

#442691 - 07/17/12 11:06 AM Re: Living on Caye Caulker [Re: kelsieb]
kelsieb Offline
No worries Cooper. I know you fellows are trying to help and you have certainly done that and way more. The liquor license can certainly wait for a much later date. I just believe that a wet bar would bring in way more money. Eventually I plan on hiring my country me so we should not have a problem there.
May I ask what made you guys decide to make that move and why Caye Caulker?
BTW, once again thanks for all your help I really do appreciate it and whenever you are there once we have made our move please free to stop in and identify yourselves to my wife Tina or myself, Kelsie Buller, Jr. You have certainly given us many options to consider as we plan for our next journey. Hopefully our last!
Do keep in touch!

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