‘Big game’ house hunters in Belize, looking to bag a home asap

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With many apologies to Jimmy Buffett, I'd like to write a song titled "House Hunters in Paradise," where the cheeseburgers (at Legends)  and glorious weather and scenery are major distractions to finding a home in San Pedro. First things first, yes!
With many apologies to Jimmy Buffett, I’d like to write a song titled “House Hunters in Paradise,” where the cheeseburgers (at Legends) and glorious weather and scenery are major distractions to finding a home in San Pedro. First things first, yes!

Well, coming in we knew finding a place to live is going to be challenging in San Pedro, Belize. This is, after all, the meaty side of High Season and we’ve been told winter-weary northerners, Canadians especially are descending on the island in record numbers.

Bottom line: Space is tight.

So far, playing the House Hunters International game, we have looked at three properties.

Not the House Hunters International drinking game that I proposed ages ago. This is kind of like the real one, only no film cameras and if we don’t find a place to live we’re a little bit screwed …

Property No. 1 is an older condo resort that is right on the ocean with a one bedroom apartment that is set back a bit from the shore. While it has the basics Bob and Rose are looking for – and is on their budget — it is way south of town, beyond the paved road.

Bob and Rose would be looking at a very dusty trip to town every day. Until the rainy season begins. Then Bob and Rose would be looking at a very muddy slog into town.

Either way, with Property No. 1 this American couple has to balance budget constraints,  proximity to the ocean and the road less traveled.

Property No. 2 is much closer to town and in a lovely garden setting. The buildings are undergoing renovation but promise to retain the cottage feel that makes them so attractive, especially with their roomy porches facing toward the sea. The condos are very small and Bob and Rose would need to spend much time on their second-floor porch to keep from killing each other …

This one has a great location, an ocean view and relaxing surroundings. Bob and Rose do worry about the extremely tight space although it is within their budget.

Property No. 3 is over budget but has all the amenities and location that Bob and Rose have been seeking. It is in a desirable neighborhood just north of the town proper and is easy bicycling to everywhere and just a short walk from their friends John and Rose East. It doesn’t have an ocean view but from its third floor west-facing balcony there is a breathtaking view of the back of the island, the so-called lagoon side.

It is a two bedroom with washer and dryer, full kitchen and very comfortable furniture. This is the first time that the owners have considered renting out the property. And they are understandably cautious as well.

Bob and Rose are now taking that mythical “House Hunters” walk on the beach – hand in hand, of course.

“Well, Bob. I guess we have to throw one of the properties out. Which do you think it should be?” says Rose, softly.

“What?” says Bob. “Can you repeat that?” (This is an annoying tendency that Bob has picked up: To ask that an opening question be repeated, even if he heard it originally. He may be buying time to formulate an answer; he may honestly not have heard the question; or he may just be annoying. Regardless, he is trying to break the habit.)

“Oh, eliminate one of the properties?” says Bob quickly, trying to avert notice of the annoying tendency.

“See? You did it again,” said Rose.

“Yes, so sorry. OK, I think we’re on the same page here,” says Bob. “I think we both agree that Property 1 is just too far away to consider. What do you think?”

“Sorry,” says Rose. “Can you repeat that?” She chuckles.

I get it. Now, do you agree?”

“Yes, No. 1 has to go.”

A quick high-five as they move on to the other two properties.

Actually at this point, there is no real discussion. Both seem willing to overspend their budget for the comfort, space, view and location of property No. 3. (Honestly, it is three-times as much for maybe $300 more a month.)

With the need to discuss the choices averted, Bob and Rose now spend more time high-fiving, hugging and kissing on the beach to celebrate their decision.

Perhaps too much time.

“Get a room,” someone shouts cheerfully from the back of a golf cart whizzing by.

“That’s exactly what we are doing!” shouts Bob, choking a bit on the island dust.

12 thoughts on “‘Big game’ house hunters in Belize, looking to bag a home asap

    Tracey said:
    February 19, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Congratulations! Is it Reef Village?


      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      February 19, 2014 at 11:48 am

      Hopefully, Tracey. We’re waiting word from the property manager.


    Kathy Chavis said:
    February 19, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    We are planning on $1,000 for housing out of our budget every month–is this realistic or will we be backpacking? 🙂


      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      February 19, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      There are people way more experienced than me to give you an answer, Kathy. Since we’ve only started looking I can’t give you any definitive answers. I can say that San Pedro on the coast — $900-950 today can get you a pretty small one-bedroom. Utilities, cable, etc. are all extra. I’ve seen places advertised for $550 but I don’t know what they have to offer. A company like B-Lease Management (bleasemanagement.com) will send you a list of properties for rent in the near future with prices, pictures, descriptions.
      Everyone we’ve spoken to says San Pedro is much more expensive than anywhere else in Belize, which makes sense. I know $1,000 will go a lot further in San Ignacio or even Caye Caulker.
      I wish I knew more but we’re just in the earliest stages.


    Karen Kelly said:
    February 19, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Hysterically laughing. So funny! Tom and I spend the snowed in days here watching house hunters. Great decision. Is it furnished?


      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      February 19, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      Yes, Karen, but by no means locked up yet. Still waiting to hear back from the owners. At least you don’t have to shovel the snow … right?


    Karen Kelly said:
    February 19, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Oh…sorry you already said it was furnished. Could you repeat that? Hahaha


    lifeoutofthebox said:
    February 19, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Fingers crossed that you two get house number 3!!! Love this House Hunters International re-enactment, dead on. It’s like you’ve watched the show a few times or something 🙂


    robertjhawkins1 responded:
    February 19, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Guess which episode is our favorite …


    deloresturrill said:
    February 19, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Hope we can met John and Rose, Bob and Rose when we get there. I am enjoying reading both your blogs.


    Kathy said:
    February 20, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Love you blog, (I also read both blogs) have been following as you guys did what we will be doing come this summer but were planning on coming down after High Season to find a property…hopefully that will be available for rent in Oct this year. Selling it all and heading south!!!! You guys are in the same area there that we are looking for, a bit North of the Bridge. Looking forward to part 2 of this house hunters!!! Love that show also! Better Belize it!!!


      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      February 20, 2014 at 8:26 am

      Thanks, Kathy! In retrospect, we should have avoided the High Season. Everyone was telling us that space is tight and prices are higher — ah, the reason for calling it High Season! This is when everyone covers their expenses for the year so they try to make the most of it. Can’t blame them.
      No regrets as the weather is absolutely sublime. And we were just plain ready to go. I don’t think we could have put friends and family through another round of good-byes either!
      Good luck on your move! Keep us posted.
      Bob and Rose


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