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.