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#88307 - 06/18/04 08:18 PM building a house on the cheap  
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 9
abigail Offline
abigail  Offline
Hello, everyone. I've been perusing this site for a while now--it's been quite helpful. Used the search function dozens of times, but I still have a question:

Is it possible to build a simple little wood dwelling with basic roofing (electricity/running water not strictly necessary) on AC without going through a ton of red tape? Assuming my handyman boyfriend and I own the property on which we're building and are there legally, is a contractor necessary? Also, is local lumber freely available, or is it mostly imported from outside Belize?

We are planning the move to Belize with the eventual hope of starting a business that employs local Belizeans. We are bringing plenty of capital but want to stretch our money as far as we can.

Any advice on this subject is very much appreciated. This message board has answered literally thousands of questions I've had in the 8+ months of research I've conducted before deciding on Belize as a possible home. (Don't worry--we plan to stay for at least 6 months before committing to anything.)

Hope to see you soon,


#88308 - 06/19/04 06:55 PM Re: building a house on the cheap  
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 124
dolphin Offline
dolphin  Offline
If you are on the outside of town, things seem to be easier and simpler. So basically the answer is Yes, with some qualifications. No contractor required. Lumber is local (shipped from the Mainland). Happy to visit and give more details and answers once you arrive or my email.
Ambergris Caye Chamber of Commerce-

#88309 - 06/20/04 09:45 AM Re: building a house on the cheap  
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 13
norms Offline
norms  Offline

a business that employs local Belizeans.


#88310 - 06/20/04 11:40 PM Re: building a house on the cheap  
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 9
abigail Offline
abigail  Offline
Thank you for your kind answers, dolphin and norms. We were planning on living outside of town anyway, so that's great news.

To answer your question: we have a few ideas for our business. Once we've been there a while we'll have better identified our particular niche in Belize.

We want to experience this beautiful country, but not at the locals' expense. If we can provide jobs and a much-needed service while we're there, all the better. Either way, we're both very excited to go. We're planning an extended stay in Belize for the end of the year. Hope to see you then.


#88311 - 06/21/04 06:02 PM Re: building a house on the cheap  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 5,441
ScubaLdy Offline
ScubaLdy  Offline
Your post concerns me. It sounds like you have yet to visit, not only the island, but also the country itself. How can you even imagine moving someplace with so little experience of the place? I base my question on your question about wood and wood houses.
There are lots of wood houses here and some of the most beautiful lumber is logged and milled here. I am having a cement place built and am knocked out by the wood in my beams and ceiling. However, I visited here 8 times before I moved. Even so, it is different living here than visiting.
I’m sure that others will second the suggestion I am about to make: Read “Don’t Stop The Carnival” before you do anything else. There is a saying here. “Do you know how to leave Belize with a million dollars? Come with two!” This maybe paradise, but it’s not perfect.

Take only pictures leave only bubbles
#88312 - 06/21/04 09:01 PM Re: building a house on the cheap  
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 9
abigail Offline
abigail  Offline

I appreciate your kind concern. You'll notice in my original post the words "We are staying for six months before committing to anything." I cannot stress enough how important this is to us. I have been to many parts of the Caribbean, but never Belize. We're not moving down there recklessly. For all we know, we'll be too bored to stay. Or we'll love it immediately. Or whatever. Until we've tried it, though, we really can't say how we'll react.

Like I wrote before, we're planning on staying for AT LEAST 6 months (more likely a year) before committing to a life in Belize.

On a side note, I've led a fairly adventurous life. I can easily IMAGINE moving to a place I've never been, but am choosing the smart route this time around by actually spending some time there first. smile

#88313 - 06/22/04 02:39 AM Re: building a house on the cheap  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
seashell Offline
seashell  Offline
If you are going to spend 6 months there before committing to anything, you will likely find much better sources of info regarding lumber, building, etc. than this message board.

I'm not saying you can't get good info here. You can. It just doesn't make sense to be asking at this point in time. You don't even know what you want or need.

Spend the time, get to know people who live there, find out what they do and how they build and where they get their supplies. Heck, find out if you are even interested in staying and if you are, in which part of Belize you will make your home.

A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#88314 - 06/22/04 09:35 AM Re: building a house on the cheap  
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,624
bywarren Offline
bywarren  Offline
abigail: disregard the flawed advice you are getting from some. You are doing it the right way. Too many people come here on vacation, think they want to move here and find out that living here is all together different from vacationing here. The only true way to get a feel for living here is to live here. A large percent of those vacationing here and then deciding to make the “big move” do so only to be disappointed. That is not to say that AC will disappoint you, but if you only have a feel for what is like on vacation, you do not have the whole picture.

Coming here and living, without making a long term commitment in the beginning, is the right way. Go for it. cool

#88315 - 06/22/04 11:27 PM Re: building a house on the cheap  
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 9
abigail Offline
abigail  Offline
Thanks, everyone. I immediately noticed that the posters to this board--especially those living in Belize--really care about what they write. No careless posts here.

seashell and bywarren: I will buy you Belikins (or whatever you like) if I ever meet you on AC. Cheers!

#88316 - 06/23/04 01:48 AM Re: building a house on the cheap  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
seashell Offline
seashell  Offline
Thank you abigail, but regardless, I will be well pleased, as long as you are well pleased with whatever choices you end up making.

A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

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