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Set me straight/secure housing

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DCD
3/4/2016 23:59 EST

We are checking out locations in Belize and will visit Corozal area in August. Have already visited AC, Placencia, Belmopan and San Ignacio. Looks like we want water proximity and will plan for 2-6 month stays (wintering) when/if we find what we want. So, my first (probably of many) question:

Given your knowledge of Belize, for house security when we aren't in country, will security bars and locks suffice for the house or should we look for a house in a secured community? As it probably will make a difference, we will be leaving a car and boat at the house.

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FredAr
3/5/2016 08:30 EST

If/when you find what you want which I gather you have not found yet in AC, Placencia, Belmopan and San Ignacio, perhaps consider having the place long-term rented or have someone 'house sit' the house while away.

I do know of quite a few houses in Placencia boarded up for 6-7 months at a time, but that is in Placencia which is inherently a 'secure' community. Other areas will require slightly stronger 'fortifications' like walls, guards, hounds and even heavy artillery.

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bobbyveee
3/5/2016 09:08 EST

Fred, is that your next venture, providing the ultimate in home security. Minefields,inc. You could do really well. Lol

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DCD
3/5/2016 15:03 EST

FredAr
Thanks for the reply. I'm trying to check out most of Belize before we make a decision regarding location. Still have to check Punta Gorda and Hopkins area.

Your reply matches with my expectations. I would have the same issue here in the states and of course have a house sitter when we leave this area for any length of time. I personally like the idea of heavy radiation belts around my property, but some folks tend to think I'm mildly sadistic...

My real issue is a boat. I don't want to haul it every trip down and would need covered storage if I left it there. I've looked but haven't seen that option available; do you know if that even exists? If so, we would much rather long term rent and then we could change our area each trip. Just conjugating here...

Thanks again for your reply. Oh, and BV may have a point!

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bobbyveee
3/5/2016 16:41 EST

Hi DCD. When we moved to AC in 1999. We didn't have bars on the windows, we were on the beach within entrance off the beach or the main road. We left the house unattended for months cat a time, wow , how that all changed over the yes, triple locks bars on all the windows etc etc. But one thing on AC, you don't need a car and Capt. Shark will take care off your boat. Just a thought.
On the other hand ,I think Fred has lock ups but don't know how big, I'm sure he'll inform you. . place CIA looks a good bet to me .Good luck.

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Kenubelizeit
3/5/2016 17:29 EST

Security for your house while you are away can be accomplished if you have a caretaker especially if it is within a municipality or village not necessarily a house sitter but it is recommended. If you are in a planned community it is safe however plumbing water damage critters like bats or even frogs or even termites can take care of your house in not time whatsoever, personally if you can afford hire a caretaker or get a house sitter.

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DCD
3/5/2016 20:27 EST

BV and Ken,
Thanks for the reply. When I was growing up the house was open when you were gone. In town you left the car running with windows open and money on the seat...no exaggeration. Now, the last time we were robbed ( and I live in the country) 4 different LEOs all told me the same thing ( at different times), shoot them, use my backhoe to plant them, and don't say a word. This is no hype, actually happened.

I've heard of Capt. Shark, but would rather have my boat on the mainland if possible. If not, it may work on AC, but I'm really not a fan of AC and don't plan to spend any more time there if I can help it. Besides, I plan on driving down most of the time we visit, so have the truck to deal with also.

Caretakers, yes...good and bad. Have experience in both Haiti and Colombia, SA, so it is an option, but not first choice.

Thanks again for suggestions.

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FredAr
3/5/2016 23:58 EST

bobby: you DO give me ideas. But I am the type who doesn't lock anything; car, house, island to this day; I know, I am really risque but old habits of being so trusting diehard.

On boats! Here is what many do here. They have a boat, catamaran or sailboat, keep it either in Rio Dulce (Guatemala, awesome harbors) OR the new marina in Placencia, and live on it for 4-6 months and take them on many small side cruises to many of the islands that have moorings. Today when I came from my island I counted 32 boats moored in the Placencia harbor, with registries (flags) from all over the world. In fact, that was my original idea when I first visited Placencia, then I got turned into a 'mainlander' (and 'islander'). I was almost there, but nooo...

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FredAr
3/6/2016 00:00 EST

http://guatemalariodulce.com/

http://www.yachtworld.com/guatemala/guatemala_0.html

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DCD
3/6/2016 00:16 EST

FredAr,
Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, mine is only a center console at 30' overall, so no living on board. I might sling a hammock, but my wife would definitely have something to say about that, and you know the old saying "happy wife, happy life".

Thanks again everyone for all the suggestions. Looking forward to seeing more of the country in Aug.

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DebbieAppelman
3/6/2016 13:03 EST

That is not an exaggeration. We looked at real estate near Benque on the Guad border and our guide did have an array of weapons for protection. No Toto were not in Kansas anymore.

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bobbyveee
3/6/2016 13:20 EST

I would'nt suggest living anywhere near the Guat border, armed poaches are having a war with the Belize armed forces. Its not safe there in any shape or form

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jt822
3/6/2016 14:16 EST

I've been watching this post for a couple of days now and am beginning to feel like I need to don my body armor when I come for a visit in August. This will be my first trip to look at Belize as a possible retirement location for me in anywhere from 6 months to 2 years (depending on when I get tired of working). 60 and single female. I would be living there full-time. I assume others of my gender/age have done the same. I'm looking at Cayo District just because I'm more of a land lubber than beach lover. Thoughts?

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losee1
3/6/2016 17:34 EST

Sorry there are much better sites then this one for a better balance most of us don't read or follow this one any longer.
Go on Face book and look up expats and belize you will find the area you are interested in through that... They are specific to your needs and questions are answered with more detail

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DebbieAppelman
3/6/2016 18:17 EST

I'm the same age as you same situation. I had my heart set on Belize so went for recent visit and looked at many areas. You have to go see it for yourself to see if you can do it. There is very little there that resembles the US. It's very third word, but they are trying. I did not visit Corozol but looked virtually everywhere else. I wish now I had gone to Corozol district - since many expats live there it probably has better living conditions - being close to Mexico, you have decent stores over the border. I am planning to go back down in near future to look at this area..

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elgordo42
3/7/2016 14:13 EST

jt822, this thread was addressing the security issues of leaving a house or boat unguarded for months. So you needn't overgeneralize it to apply to day-to-day safety.

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elgordo42
3/7/2016 14:20 EST

DebbieAppelman, my personal feeling, after spending a month here in the summer, was that Corozal may have shopping in MX as a plus, but the town itself seemed dusty and dirty and not really a nice place to live. Of course, I am a budget traveler and home buyer, so I did not even check out any of the the expat developments outside of town. I suspect that is where the majority of expats are found. [I ended up choosing to live in Cayo, but also really liked Placencia-Hopkins coastal area.]

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jt822
3/7/2016 14:35 EST

LOL! Thanks for such an insightful comment, Elgordo. Yep, I know what the thread is about and was joking about the body armor. I did however, ask a legitimate question and I noticed you were more interested in trying to shut me down than to answer it. In fact, I've noticed that several times from some of the frequent flyers on this forum. Perhaps those are the expats I don't want to meet when I get there. So, if no one chooses to answer my legitimate question - that's your choice. I'll be there anyway - with or without this forums help. Seems like I should have said I'm a 60 year old man with big 'hands' and I would have gotten more responses. I'm a 23 year AF vet so I'm used to dealing with Is & As. Thanks anyway.

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elgordo42
3/7/2016 16:30 EST

LOL backatcha, jt822! I am not much of a writer, better at face-to-face conversation. I certainly did not intend to shut down your question. I could not see your post while I was typing, so I just forgot about the second half!
My answer to your question is this: I live in Cayo, for the same reason you are looking at it. I can go to the beach for a day or two when I wish to, No fear of hurricanes here inland. I also feel pretty safe here, but I try to be home after dark, rather than driving with all the people, bicycles, dogs, etc. on the streets.
I have met lots of expats in our age range. Some of us meet every month with the Cayo Animal Welfare Society. There is also a monthly expat women's lunch get-together. My impression is that expats in this area tend to live on their own, not all bunched together, and try to become a part of the community.

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ForestHmp2MH3
3/8/2016 17:54 EST

DCD,
I suggest you check out Punta Gorda before making a decision indeed. If boat is an issue, it's not. The community, if you find a home there, is very friendly and peaceful. You might want to check out a home advertised in House for Rent/Sale in Belize site. Particularly one advertised located adjacent to a River in Toledo. A community located 20 minutes drive from the town and it's accessible by road and by water vessel which I would imagine ideal for kick of your adventure enthusiast. The home is fenced and the community has zero crime record since its inception as such declared a very safe area. The home is located about five minutes walk from the river where fishing, river tubing, kayaking, bird watching, horseback or walking along the river trail are part of the community. The river is wide and deep enough to accommodate water vessels and even small catamarans. Could find out more details if you like. Best regards in your search.

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DCD
3/8/2016 23:09 EST

Forest,
Appreciate the suggestion. Punta Gorda peaks my interest and I do plan on visiting. My wife is a bit iffy about it, due to it being so far from the amenities in Chetumal, but she is open to at least checking it out. I also understand there is some good diving there, but that is just from what someone told me. Thanks

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bradinbelize
3/9/2016 09:39 EST

Placencia and San Pesro are probably your safest options as far as leaving house for a long time - however, what I am about to say, should be for everywhere in Belize if you are gone for 6 months or so. Have burglar bars on Windows, a fence or hated yard will help, get a house-sitter (depending on where you are, my wife and I might even consider doing that for you - we currently own a place on AC, have lived in Hopkins and like to explore the country). At minimum have a trusting friend or expat check on the house once a week. For car and boat - lock up, remove motor and bikinis from bait, possibly chain to a trailer or tree, remove battery from car - a good camera (actual or dummycam w a blinking light will do wonders as well. Just extra caution and you MUST have a go to CONTACT here on the ground to call to check on this or resolve issues that might arise. In Corizal there are several communities that have year round, older retired expats (one of them would
Probably love a few dollars a week to go into house, turn on water and check commodes, air and general oversight). Best of luck in your search

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FredAr
3/9/2016 10:09 EST

@brandin: 'lock up, remove motor and bikinis from bait..' That immediately made me think of trolling with a bikini! I know, you meant remove Bimini top from boat, but that was funny. :)

IF in Placencia perhaps leave boat and other 'toys' at Placencia Mini Storage. House sitter is an attractive option also, depending on location.

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ezeebe
3/9/2016 15:46 EST

Hi DCD: I cant tell you what to do, my wife and I think Belize is the best place for us at this time in our life, there are some post on here saying that $2000 a month is not a lot to live on in Belize, It's way more expensive to live in north America, so i will say to you give it a go see what you thing, don't let any one make your mind up for you, experience your own experiences and not some one else s, in my experience any one that wants to put their selves in your shoes is a fake ( if it was me i would of done it like this) well it not you,lol have a good time in making your choices.

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ForestHmp2MH3
3/10/2016 17:00 EST

DCD,
As a diver myself, yes. Punta Gorda have a series of wonderful underwater dive site and many other water activity. The town is accessible by ground transportation, boosting as the best single highway in the country starting from Dangriga Junction to Punta Gorda. Experiencing it thyself is the best way to find your passion where you want to settle. Oh also if interested you can view the home on sale which is located on a community off the highway.

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DCD
3/10/2016 22:29 EST

Braden,
Good information, the kind I'm looking for. I've been thinking along the same lines as what you suggest for security, and it is helpful to get this from someone that lives there. I also have a few ideas of my own, that should deter all but the most determined interlopers. Interesting to hear you mention the security cameras. Thanks for your info. Oh, and I loved the bikini thing!

Ezeebe: As you suggest, I pretty much determine my own path, and try to get as much local information to base my decisions on as I can, which you folks have been very helpful in supplying. I probably have one more trip down, following this August, to check out the southern part of Belize before we make a decision as to location.

Forest: thanks for the conformation on the diving in Punta Gorda. This is dovetailing with the other people I've talked to that have been there.

Thanks all for the interest in my questions.

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dmcghee4
3/11/2016 12:26 EST

we were in Hopkins recently looking for property as well. At the end of the road on the sittee river was land that had access to both river and Caribbean. Lots of people built boat houses on one side. Neat concept. I would also love to know what people think about hopkins. I have conerns that during the rainy season the lots will be under water. Yet I am really drawn tho this area

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dmcghee4
3/11/2016 12:35 EST

glad to hear this. Everyone is trying to sell a life style. I just want nature, good climate and some friends. I want to have a purpose like the animal society you speak of. We would all get pretty bored if we spent more than 6 months in a hammock... smile okay maybe a year. I would want some conveniences so what town is near and not just the Chinese grocery stores... smile thanks for your help and I love reading these posts. I also am a 58 yr old woman lol who will be bringing her 59 yr ole man down with her...

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mgammo
3/30/2016 11:02 EST

Hi.....I bought a house in Corozol and practically doubled the living area with a 750 sq, ft tiled, screen porch. I also put up a ten foot wall embedded with glass and wire at the top. I installed a zinc, metal gate in the front. The front portion of my yard is gravel and used for parking. I also strongly suggest having a good guard dog.
It is probably best to secure your car and boat at night in this type arrangement. At the very least, I would suggest you have a fenced yard with a gate and a dog. No one bothers me and my property has remained secure......Theft is the biggest problem you will probably face......Melissa

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mgammo
3/30/2016 11:09 EST

Hi. I own a house in Corozol. It is imperative that you find a reliable man to " mind" your property when you are gone. I have such a person and pay him weekly to tend to my property..He runs my air co units, tends to the yard, and pays my monthly elec and water bills. These are nominal..My current bill is about 4.00 US a month when I am not living there........Before I built a ten foot wall, my bars were cut and my TV's were stolen when no one was there....

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mgammo
3/30/2016 17:02 EST

Hi...I own a house in Corozol. They have just redone the roads and it is not nearly as dusty as it was. I love the sleepy, bay side atmosphere and found there are lots of nice people there..

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TomAndDeb
9/28/2016 13:13 EST

Fred, Is living full time on a boat feasible in Placencia? I guess if you want a/c you'll be running a generator with gas at $4/5gal..Do you have any contacts for boaters?
Thanks, Tom

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bobbyveee
9/28/2016 15:13 EST

Hi T&B Fred is back in the USA He should be back in Placencia in Oct i believe.

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jsephinflorida
9/28/2016 23:32 EST

Is there a moorage fee for the harbor?

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