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Moving to Ambergris Caye #524700
07/23/17 09:27 PM
07/23/17 09:27 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1
GlennT Offline OP
GlennT  Offline OP
My wife and I are seriously considering moving to the Ambergris Caye. We've visited and love it. Of course we've done all of the fun stuff like looking at land etc. I'm looking for info on the real logistics of the land purchase and subsequent move. A lot of the info that I've found seems conflicting or confusingAny info on the following would be greatly appreciated:
- avoiding scams when buying land (I've read that I should be paying 50% of asking price?)
- crime on Ambergris Caye
- building a home on land
- import brokers
- starting a small business


Re: Moving to Ambergris Caye [Re: GlennT] #524701
07/24/17 04:31 AM
07/24/17 04:31 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 13,532
San Pedro Belize
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
GlennT, The land scams are there but lack of common sense on the part of the buyer is usually the biggest problem. I've never heard of the 50% of asking price rule, doesn't sound correct.

The crime isn't as bad as the US. Local opinions and news are exaggerated because Belizeans (especially Sanpedranos) have been sheltered from the world for so long the little they have seems to them to be big.

Yes build on land, what did you want to know?

Import brokers work if you have a business but to move down here with all you belongings needs some thought. My advice is give up your things when moving down and only bring cash. The effort of dragging you possessions down isn't worth their value and will cause a lot of frustrations, time and expense.

Starting a business is a little time consuming but can be done. The key is in how you apply. Don't accept procrastination or go away, stand there and be patient, ask questions. Be annoying with your presents smiling and waiting in front of them. Typically clerks just want you to leave and don't volunteer helpful information. Don't go away and they might have to help you to get rid of you. If you leave the game is over and they won. Lately the system has be bogged down with lots of detail especially the Banks. I'm asked regularly for unnecessary documents.

White Sands Dive Shop
Re: Moving to Ambergris Caye [Re: GlennT] #524705
07/24/17 07:12 AM
07/24/17 07:12 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 190
katzgar Offline
katzgar  Offline
when someone tells you the crime isnt as bad as the US you know its time to cover your proverbial. I have had expats tell me that 40 to 60% of expats return home within a couple of years so the smart move is to rent until you can make an informed decision.

Last edited by katzgar; 07/24/17 07:14 AM.
Re: Moving to Ambergris Caye [Re: katzgar] #524706
07/24/17 07:37 AM
07/24/17 07:37 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,442
Mine Hill NJ
dabunk Offline
dabunk  Offline
Numbers are closer to 80% within the first 2 years. Agree with bringing as little as possible. Years ago things were not easy to come by in Belize but now there is not much you cannot find here and once you arrive you will find out how little you really need to live here compared to the US. Many things you love and treasure rot mold and mildew here.

All the time we see them come 
Some are smart, some are dumb 
Some are black, some are white 
Chinese, Indian, Israelite 
Canadians, South Africans, often Brits 
Belize is great, home’s the pits 
We tell them come and stay awhile, 
Rent a house, Belizean style 

Never rush, never jump, 
Or you could buy a rubbish dump 
“Oh no! Not me” they often cry 
“I’ve been around, let them try 
I am too clever, worldly-wise 
To buy a swamp or collapsed high rise 
I know the law, bring them on” 
How often do we hear this song? 

“I got money, want to spend 
Cash to burn, cash to lend” 
“Slow down SLOW DOWN we tell them all” 
But rarely do they heed our call 
To hide your money, don’t be flash 
Don’t let them see your petty cash 
Take it easy, make no strife 
Come and try the easy life 

“I know, I know! I have a brain! 
Advice you give is all in vain 
I’m not stupid, been around, 
I’ve seen it all, there’s no new ground 
Was in Belize, stayed three days, 
Here’s my plans, be amazed 
Bought some land, has a creek 
Gone home to sell, be back next week” 

“Going to build, got so much space 
Belize will have to change its pace 
I’m getting old, don’t have time 
My place will be a real gold mine 
I’ll make a fortune wait and see 
My plans will work out faultlessly 
I’ll start a business make some money 
A king in the land of milk and honey” 

And so they come despite the warning 
Truck piled high and spend all morning 
At the border checkpoint getting mad 
Thinking that they’re being had 
“How can they charge? This stuff’s not new!” 
As they watch the customs turn the screw 
“My truck is dirty used and old 

Credit card reaches max 
On environment and sales tax 
And their pockets full of hard earned booty 
Have emptied fast on import duty 
So to the ATM they have to dash 
When the Customs guy wipes out their cash 
It’s just a setback, not too bad 
They’re in Belize so just be glad 

So jubilant they wend their way 
To the jungle deep where big cats play 
Where mozzies bite and scorpions sting 
And the bush’s thorns large scratches bring 
To the forest damp where mildew grows 
To rot your ‘lectrics, shoes and clothes 
But they’re not daunted, they are strong 
How often have we heard this song? 

And oh! What Joy! They find their neighbor 
Can build their house, and do hard labor 
Can chop their bush, can plant their trees 
The smartest man in all Belize 
There is nothing that he can’t do 
Given cash and tools and wood and glue 
A house by Christmas, won’t take long 
How often have we heard this song? 

But cash aplenty are his needs 
To start construction, plant your seeds 
A new machete to chop your grass 
To build a road so you may pass 
He needs material, steel, and screws 
Cement and block, no time to lose 
Gimme dollah gimme quick 
Buy me hammer, saw and brick 

He has a cousin, wife and brother’s son 
His auntie’s uncle’s sister’s one 
His whole family will lend a hand 
To build your house and till your land 
To cook your meals and wash your clothes 
To guard your house whilst you doze 
It just takes money, little bit 
On little bit and bit and bit 

But soon those bills are getting large 
The money pit’s not free of charge 
The credit card is getting worn 
Our new arrivals look forlorn 
All the while demands for cash 
Are diminishing the money stash 
The materials that came were wrong 
The nails too short, the steel too long 
And wondrous neighbor soon forgot 
He told you he could do the lot 

Excuses and evasions come 
The started work was never done 
Sun too hot, it rain too hard 
Me granny dead, they burn ma yard 
Foot painin me, Ma house collapse 
Car done bruk, License lapse, 
Pickni sick, he very ill 
Gimme money to buy a pill 
Police ketch me, I done no wrong 
How often do we hear this song? 

And soon they meet officialdom 
To Belmopan they must come 
To show their passport, license, form 
To stay in a land of sun and warm 
You residency they want to thwart 
Your retirement plans may come to naught 
Immigration take too long 
They’ve lost your file, your paper’s gone 
Pay more cash to extend your stay 
Wait one month or two they say 

The mall’s not built, the shops are bare 
Of modern goods ‘cept Chinese fare 
No bowling alley, cinema 
Was it wise to come this far? 
The roads are bumpy have big holes 
My pickup truck is looking old 
There’s no Big Macs or KFC 
Italian restaurant ceased to be 
The power’s hardly ever on 
How often have we heard this song? 

The rains did come, the land did flood 
The building site has turned to mud 
The lush mangrove that I cut down 
Has caused my coconuts to drown 
And even though I had a plan 
My huge Condo they want to ban 
It’s not my fault, Third World you see 
I am foreign, they pick on me 

My neighbour’s gone, my cash he took 
His auntie’s wife could never cook 
My tools, my blocks, my roofing tin 
Have vanished into air so thin 
Cement got wet, the sand was dirt 
My funds are gone I lost my shirt 
The gas was bad my truck has seized 
I won’t accept I’ve been Belized 
My health has failed not feeling well 
My worldly goods I have to sell 
Going back home, where things are normal 
Where rules are rules and life is formal 

And all because he didn’t listen 
To those well versed in his position 
He burned his bridges, came too fast 
And we all knew he’d never last 
We told him loud we told him blunt 
NEVER pay your cash up front 
NEVER think you know it all 
NEVER think our tale’s too tall 
And all advice that he forsook 
To never jump before you look 
Has sent him packing, pockets empty 
Back again to lands of plenty 

Be even though we are so smug 
We know Belize is like a drug 
That if you come and stay awhile 
You’ll be swept in Belizean style 
A pirate’s land, with pirate’s luck 
We need their cash, their loot, their buck 
Where many fail, just some succeed 
To fill that urge, that inner need 
To live a life, exotic, free 
Of jungle trail and sun and sea 

So who can blame them, those who come 
To try their luck with what we’ve done 
But sure as dawn on misty mornings 
The ones that fail, ignored the warnings 
That things are done here differently 
To the things back home you wish to flee 
So bide your time, be at ease 
Time means little in Belize 
Its not that we don’t know its wrong 
But we do get tired of this old song. 

by Rigrat

Re: Moving to Ambergris Caye [Re: GlennT] #524709
07/24/17 08:34 AM
07/24/17 08:34 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,208
san pedro, Belize
collyk Offline
collyk  Offline
Biggest piece of advice I can offer is don't listen to people on the internet. These days, many of the people offering opinions have not lived where you are planning to live, lived there, failed and blame the location and not themselves or wish they could live there and think that a few visits and talking to people in bars has made them an expert. Get to know people who have lived, successfully in the area you are planning to live (in this case, Ambergris Caye), have worked or operated businesses there, have a good social circle and have a busy life. These types of people are the hardest to get to know, but will provide you with the most realistic and helpful advice.
Belize Wedding Photography

Re: Moving to Ambergris Caye [Re: GlennT] #524710
07/24/17 10:03 AM
07/24/17 10:03 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,465
San Pedro, Belize
Judyann H. Offline
Judyann H.  Offline
Hello GlennT..... CollyK has a good point ... If you're in the area stop in and see Tom (we first arrived here in 2003) .... Our Happy Hour is from 3p-5:30... We did bring a container and sold all of our property and built a business and have not left the Country in 6 years..... This is a great community and it has its challenges as living anyplace does.... However, we never see ourselves anywhere else..... A brief story can be found at ...... Look forward to meeting you.... smile

My friends call me Judyann
Re: Moving to Ambergris Caye [Re: Judyann H.] #524711
07/24/17 10:21 AM
07/24/17 10:21 AM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 4
Fargo, North Dakota
Locklisa Offline
Locklisa  Offline

Could you please direct me where I might find a long term rental on Ambergris Caye? I would sure appreciate it. I'm new to this, and just starting my search. Thank you!

Last edited by Locklisa; 07/24/17 10:29 AM.

Lisa Lock
Re: Moving to Ambergris Caye [Re: GlennT] #524721
07/25/17 05:35 AM
07/25/17 05:35 AM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 6,260
San Pedro AC Belize
Diane Campbell Offline
Diane Campbell  Offline
Your search is better done in person ...... there isn't a central spot on the internet where you can find all the info.
There are ads in the newspaper, various rental agencies, real estate companies all of whom handle rentals. The list of available spots can change quickly.

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