If you build a concrete house (which has less maintenance than a wooden house), depending on where you are, you would pay US $75 to $85 per square foot. The most significant difference in price has to do with what is in the foundation and also where the house is located. For example, building a house in Placencia is far more expensive than building a house in Consejo. In Consejo, we're very close to all the raw materials. In Placencia, they have none of the raw material, so they have to truck everything down, which makes it far more expensive. In Cayo, the cost is even less because they have lot more of the raw materials and a lot more available because Cayo is there in the mountains.
How physically close you are to materials has a lot to do with how much it costs to build a house. For example, I can buy a truck full of gravel in Corozal and I can buy a better quality of gravel in Orange Walk. But the gravel that I buy in Orange Walk to bring it the same location here in Consejo costs twice as much as in Corozal, because of the trucking cost for better quality.
The wood here is excellent. We have some of the best woods in the world in Belize. There are a lot of choices. We have a lot of exotic woods. One of the most common ones that we use here, white mahogany, is considered more of an exotic wood in the States, I built my entire kitchen out of white mahogany. Here, it's an average wood and is priced as an average wood.
If you use locally sourced building materials, including mahogany and so forth, it's going to be very reasonably priced. All of the building materials that we have here are more natural and a lot of it is not made up of all sorts of other chemicals or other stuff. It's just raw. It's a different situation. Maybe we have to treat ours differently or have to clean up the wood more frequently than you would have to in the States but a lot of the materials that you are getting in the States is not the real thing.
If you were to get a 2,000 square foot home for US $75 to $85 per square foot, it would be at $150,000 to $170,000. That would include your cabinets, tiles, doors, and windows. With the fixtures, you can go to any limits. You can get the cheapest stuff or the most expensive. We have everything here. $75 per square foot is mid-range.
All of these prices I’m quoting are for the northern part of Belize, in the Corozol area. Placencia is far more expensive. Ambergris Caye is even more so expensive because they have to boat everything out there. Because everything has to come by a barge, it’s very, very expensive.