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Phil Hahn of Carmelita Gardens – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
House nearing completion in Carmelita Gardens, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe quality and style of the homes in Belize depends on where you go.  The houses that we're building are not much different at all than what you would expect in the US or Canada.
 
However, houses built by hand by locals on meager budgets tend to be very sparse.  When we look at houses in the US that were built prior to the age of air conditioning in the southern climates, which would be more similar to Belize, we see that those are fairly sparse Florida-style houses.  We see the similar thing here, but the timeframe is different.  A lot of people say that Belize is like how Florida was 50 years ago.  You can draw that comparison, and that is fairly accurate.
 
The style may be slightly different since Belize is in the tropics and we like outdoor spaces. When you're at 50 degrees north of the equator up in Canada, you’re dealing with an obviously different climate than you are at 17 degrees north of the equator and the style, materials and methods of construction should be appropriate for the climate. 
 
There are certain items we have here that are really nice and, for most people, would be prohibitively expensive in the U.S. or Canada.  For example, we have these beautiful woods here in Belize that are used for construction and furniture making.  The architectural accents made with local hardwoods are gorgeous.  In Belize you can have a hand-carved hardwood front door for well under a thousand dollars, the same door would cost $5,000 to $10,000 in the US.
 
The houses that we are building here in Carmelita Gardens have beautiful architectural features, modern appliances and are all completely off-grid. Off-grid living is becoming the “new normal” and it is much easier to do in Belize than almost anywhere else in the world, especially more northern climes. We have abundant sunshine, fertile soil, and the ideal amount of rain. We are building modern US standard homes all powered by solar equipment and supplied with rainwater harvesting, storage, and filtration systems. Carmelita Gardens coined the phrase “Independent Together” because it reflects a Belizean cultural attitude and is very appropriate when considering homes and community.
 
In Belize people are proudly “Independent Together” and housing should and does reflect that culture.  
 
(Pictured: House nearing completion in Carmelita Gardens, Belize.)
 
 
Ryan Wrobel of Wrobel & Co., Attorneys-at-Law – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
San Ignacio, Cayo District, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingComparing the homes in Belize to an American or Canadian home will really depend on where in the US or Canada you live.
 
One of the major differences is you’re not going to find any furnaces in a home in Belize, because there is no need to heat a home in Belize. It cools down in the winter months but not enough to require a wood burning fireplace or a gas furnace or an electric furnace—something to heat that home. 
 
The majority of structures in Belize are manufactured or constructed out of concrete, because this type of construction holds up better in a humid tropical environment, and also one in which there are tropical storms and hurricanes.  This may not be the case in the US or Canada where there are a lot of wooden homes, log homes, and a lot of different building materials used. 
 
Some of the newer buildings, especially if they were constructed by or for expats, use ductwork or forced air whole house systems. However, the vast majority of air-conditioning systems that you see in Belize are “split units.” Split units are utilized for individual rooms rather than an entire house. So, for example, if you own a 3-bedroom house, the chances are that each bedroom would have its own air conditioning unit. This would be similar to the old style window unit air conditioners except they’re usually installed at a higher level in the room and they’re not affixed in the window so you still have your window use. The condenser is outside and the blower and the fan are inside.
 
(Bedroom in San Ignacio, Cayo District, Belize, pictured.)
Irma Quiroz-Yuque of Belize Vacation Homes – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Wooden house on stilts, Corozal, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingBasic homes here in Belize are built on stilts because in this country there’s a lot of rainfall, there’s a lot of jungle, and there is flooding in some areas. So they’re different in that way in the sense that they’re not built right on the ground with foundation.
 
Many of the expats have built their homes on the ground because we’re so used to that.   They do, however, build their foundation perhaps 3 feet higher.
 
If you visit an expat community, you’ll see modern homes. The only difference is that they are built with blocks and cement versus how they are built in the States, with wood, insulation, and drywall.
 
Drywall is not recommended in Belize because of the humidity. It can build up fungus here. So you try to do it the other, environmental friendly way here in Belize by building with blocks.
 
There are lots of different home styles here in Belize.  I’ve been seeing the new 40-foot containers come in and they’re building homes out of that. So you can find anything here from even building homes from the land. They have very eco-friendly areas here and in the Cayo area where they build their houses out of dirt and there’s a very good contractor who knows how to build those types of homes. It just varies based on what you’re looking for. You can actually build whatever you like here. We even have dome homes here. We have tree houses, which is a style that is up and coming that I’ve been seeing. They’ve been building a lot of tree homes in the jungle areas and so you’re right there with nature.
 
(Wooden house on stilts, Corozal, Belize, pictured.)
Macarena Rose of Rainforerst Realty – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Belize larger American-style home – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn Belize, you will find all types of homes. There are homes in Belize built similar to what you would find in North America, and then there are local style homes, made out of wood or concrete.
 
Mostly, you will notice many are built to allow ventilation, as many homes here in Belize do not have air conditioning. You can get almost anything built here you can imagine.
 
The key is to find the right builder.
 

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