Levittowns on tropical islands never turn out as advertised, and the developers usually go BK. People who buy into levittowns want all kinds of services and everything at their fingertips (or they wouldn't buy into a levittown, they'd go somewhere and do their own thing, knowing that they have to put in their own infrastructure and be self sufficient, like we are doing.) The developers promise services, but of course, businesses will not invest in the services (dive shops, stores, restaurants, medical clinics. etc.) until there is a critical mass of residents. And there won't be without the services.
So..the first row (beachfront) lots sell like hotcakes, maybe 2% of the buyers actually build, no services come, the rest of the buyers keep waiting to build until there are services, and eventually, the developers pull out. The few people who build will probably have lovely places (because the rest of the levittown didn't materialize).
I am watching this happening right now in Bocas del Toro archipelago in Panama and I can almost guarantee that it will happen on Long Caye too.
If you want to live in a "planned community" (levittown) you're probably better off in the US, in some coastal town.
Frankly, I am glad that Long Caye will never be what it is advertised to be because the environment cannot support the infrastructure for such a large development.
If being right near diving and snorkeling isn't important to you but you want reasonable prices, services within a reasonable drive and Belizean ambiance, try Consejo Shores north of Corozal. If you want to live on AC, there are plenty of lots for sale up north, and some very nice houses for sale in or near town. They are quite expensive (if on the waterfront, though there are some good deals a street or two back) and the cost of living on AC is high. There are also lots of condos for sale but you said you don't want a condo.
My advice is to make a decision tree and figure out where you want to live, why you want to live there, what your top 20 requirements are, and what your budget is. Then travel to the places that seem like they might meet those needs and spend some time there, talk to locals and other expats.
Buy Lan Sluders Adapter Kit Belize. You might also want to check out www.belizenorth.com
for a lot of info on Northern Belize and the Corozal/Consejo area.
Placencia area is very beautiful and land prices may be more reasonable than AC but it is also very expensive to live there unless you plan to live off the land, rural Belizean style. It is remote, transportation is very expensive, shipping things there is pricey, there are few places to buy stuff, and public utilities are in a sorry mess. The people there still cannot get decent plain old telephone service.
If you are not in the "money is no object" category I think northern Belize, in the Corozal area and thereabouts is your best bet. Everything is cheaper there, especially energy, all kinds of shopping, medical services, etc. is very close by in Chetumal. The downside is that you are not near the reef and it does not have the clear water for diving and snorkeling that you have on AC (but the swimming is fine!)