Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Belize Letter 15

After some serious thought, Diane and I have decided to sell our home Belize and move to the Southwest US. We put the house up for sale and will relocate when our house is sold. It was not an easy decision. We had originally planned to live in the Southwest US prior to finding Belize. Both locations have some ideal qualities that both Diane and I value. In the twenty years that Diane and I have been together, we have lived in 10 homes, two states and one foreign country. So perhaps the overriding motivation for the decision is the desire for change.

Since selling our house is of prime importance, we listed our house with a Belize Real Estate company (Emerald Futures). In Belize, there are no multi-listing services. This hampers the selling process, the buying process, and success of the Real Estate business in general. Each Real Estate agency tries to sell only the houses that they have contracted to sell with the owners. Some of the agencies work with other agencies and may get a small finders fee for bringing a buyer to the agency with the contract. On the buying side, the person looking for a home or property in Belize can check a real estate agency web site but they will only see the houses or property that agency has contracts to sell. There could be a property available that met the buyer’s requirement but just wasn’t found by the buyer. I am trying to find some index of properties for sale in Belize and pay, if necessary, to have the house listed.

With the discovery of oil in Spanish Lookout, Belize, there apparently has been a heightened interest on the part of oil exploration companies to start oil exploration in Belize. It was just announced that the government of Belize has licensed ten of these companies to begin exploration. Belize has been listed as one of the better places to retire for some time. There are an ever increasing number of baby boomers seeking a retirement haven. All these things will help increase the number of buyers. The only question is how to get these buyers knowledgeable about my property. If anyone has any ideas let me know. The active time for real estate transactions is October through March. We have had two house showings and expect more as we exit hurricane season.

Two weeks ago, my wife and I went to Caves Branch Jungle camp for breakfast. I had learned that they had just installed a wireless system for their guests. I wondered who would bring a notebook computer to a jungle camp. On the seven trips I took to Belize prior to moving here, I never took a notebook or cell phone. Since my internet service at our house is still down, I took my notebook with me to breakfast. I was not the only person using a notebook at the breakfast table! One other person, who was oblivious to everything but his notebook screen, sat pecking away. Another person I guess opted out of breakfast to get some time on the internet as he chose to sit alone at the bar with his notebook.

I am extremely happy that the trail along the creek has been opened up. I walk it quite a bit. I have been looking for animal tracks. I saw some Puma (mountain lion) tracks. I verified this with Mario the guide. He told me what sounds they make and what their habits were as we walked the trail together. I also get a good view of how much water is flowing. After several days of rain, the creek was so high and fast moving that one could not cross it. Directly west of our house, the creek is about thirty foot wide and about four or five foot deep and very turbid. I need not worry about a flood as it will overflow on the other side of the creek and not on the house side. I have heard on the news that other Central American countries are experiencing torrential rains and associated flooding and mud slides. I heard some rivers were very high in western Belize but for the most part there is no flooding in Belize.

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