Mara’s Sip & Dip is a great beach bar to chill out at on Caye Caulker. ©Ann Kuffner
Your Slice of a Caribbean Island From $35,000
Because Caye Caulker is small, there aren’t many homes or condos available for sale. It’s a thin market with high demand. And prices have risen over the last few years. But there are still good deals to be found.
If you’re willing to take a three- to five-year view, a property investment on north Caye Caulker could reap rewards as property prices increase.
A 50-foot by 100-foot ocean-front lot on north Caye Caulker recently sold for $89,000. A comparable lot on north Ambergris Caye would go for around $285,000.
If you’re willing to buy off-beach, you’ll find prices even lower. A 70-by-100-foot off-ocean lot, one mile north of the Split, can be bought for $35,000.
Development on the island’s north end is still in its infancy. The whispers on the street are that in the long term, a new village will be built on the north island. There’s plenty of room to expand there. There isn’t a bridge to the north caye. No one expects residents to support building a bridge over the gorgeous Split. But electricity lines have already been put in place for the first mile north of the Split. That means development will speed up. But lot prices haven’t risen yet.
Last October, a private water taxi began taking residents to the north on request. The price is $10 round-trip. As more people move north, the service will expand. Eventually there will be regularly scheduled trips.
As for the rest of Caye Caulker, homes and condominiums on the beach are priced similarly to those on Ambergris Caye. A two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,000-square-foot condo in the Seaside Villas complex lists for $275,000. If you look off-beach, you’ll find homes rather than condos. For instance, the Georgia Peach house is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom concrete house located in the village center. It also has a studio apartment, a rooftop deck, and front and back yards. The asking price is $355,000. You could live in the main house and rent out the studio. (Many expats on Caye Caulker rent their homes, or rooms, to vacationers during part of the year.)
But even less expensive options are available if you are willing to buy off-beach, or farther away from the village, and then build a home. There’s currently a 4,435-square-foot lot on offer for $60,000 close to the main village, located at the end of Ocean Academy Drive.
There are many advantages to living off-beach. It’s less expensive, for one. Move just a lot or two back from the beach, or a few blocks away, and the price for the same lot drops substantially. If you’d like to hire a local contractor to build a concrete home, it will cost $100 to $175 a square foot, depending on the quality of the finish you desire. Building on beachfront land costs the same.
Coco Plum and Bahia are two neighborhoods south of Caye Caulker Village where expats own off-beach homes. And quite a few lots are available south of the local airstrip. Two measuring 75 by 90 feet sold recently in the South Point neighborhood for $45,000 (sea view) and $99,500 (on the beach).
When buying property in Belize—whether land, a home, or a condo—be sure to have an attorney who specializes in properties check the validity of the title. Title inconsistencies do happen in Belize, so this is not something you want to skimp on.
Ann and all the rest of our live-overseas experts will be on hand to help you find the retirement spot that’s perfect for you.