Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Getting a Great Return on Investment on Ambergris it can be done, The Answer At Last!

OK, you’ve been very patient. Here’s how you can make a great short-term return on investment which is ALMOST 100% guaranteed to work: Buy a piece of land at THE RIGHT PRICE. Built a small and totally charming house on it and sell the package for a nice profit. Sounds too easy? It isn't but it's also not that hard and it's within the reach of any serious small real estate investor. Read on!

1. Everyone knows that real estate is all about Location, Location and yet more Location. Ambergris Caye is a pretty good geographical location but some parts of our island are better than others. Pick a great residential location on the island as this plan is residential in nature. In this case I will select the Tres Cocos area of the island, generally reckoned to be one of the finest residential subdivisions on Isla Bonita. (There are other great residential areas too…Holiday Lands, San Pablo Canals, Boca Ciega). All have great locations, they’re all close enough to town for easy access but all peaceful areas too…do not make the mistake of buying cheap land too far from town).

2. Again, we’re using Tres Cocos for this example. Look for a building parcel which is being offered at a great price. By “great price” I mean $55,000US or less. It doesn’t have to be beachfront (well, it can’t be at that price!) but it DOES have to be visible to passing traffic and would ideally be located on the main road which passes through Tres Cocos.

3. Found the property? Buy it! Pay cash, get the title in your name.

4. While all of this has been going on you’ve also worked on some great plans for a small and very charming and simple little island house. 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 850 square feet under roof, nice little covered veranda of about 120 square feet. There are one or two great guys on Ambergris Caye who can draw superb plans at very reasonable rates. Expect to pay no more than $3000US for a full set of great building plans along with planning permission from the Ambergris Caye Planning Committee assured.

5. Find a great contractor. We know a few, it won’t be hard for you to find them. They’ll build your house for about $70US per square foot. included in that figure is the caveat that you’ll be buying most of the finishing materials yourself in order to get good discounts from suppliers. To get this rate you have to avoid expensive luxury finishing materials for the kitchen and bathrooms. Instead of granite and marble, for example, you’ll be using something like hand painted Mexican Talavera tiles and basins for the bathrooms. It’s really beautiful stuff but also quite inexpensive in price.

6. This part is very important. The exterior of the house must be utterly charming with tons of “curb appeal” when it’s finished. I would suggest a Mexican style exterior, arches, curves, a rough stucco concrete finish and a colourful, bright paint finish. You want people driving by to stop and take notice.

7. So, let’s add this all up. You bought the land for $55,000US or less. Built the house for $70,000US including plans. That’s an investment of $125,000US. Sell it for $199,000US or thereabouts. Even after paying a real estate commission and covering some unforeseen costs you still get a return on investment of about 40%.  How many homes are there in Tres Cocos for sale for under $250,000US? And, if there are any, how many are actually worth the money? Your house would sell like the proverbial hot cake because it would be utterly charming, right?

8. There’s actually a way you could greatly increase your percentage return on investment if you can qualify for a bank loan. Buy the land for cash, borrow the money from a local bank for the construction. If you can get the house built and sold within 18 months here’s how the profit would stack up. You’ve paid $55,000US for the land, $3000US for the loan setup fees and about $11,000US in interest assuming you use the whole 18 months before selling. That’s an investment of $69,000US for a profit of $45,000US, about 66%.

9. Now some of you are going to ask me “If this is such a sure thing, how come you’re not doing it yourself.” Two answers to that question: (a) I’m already pretty busy and (b) I’m thinking about it.

10. So, what can possibly go wrong here? Well, we are in the Hurricane Zone…… obvious calculation that everyone investing in the Caribbean takes. Hurricanes have visited before, it could happen again, one day it probably will. But, chances are good that you’ll avoid disaster during the relatively short period of this little investment project. And, if you do suffer a storm related setback the chances are good that it’ll just cause a delay rather than end the project.

Email me at if you have any questions!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Getting a Great Return on Investment on Ambergris it can be done, Part 3.

OK, I am going to reveal the answer. Tomorrow.

In the meantime, for those of you who might be thinking "Buy land, build and sell condos"...that's not the answer and for two reasons:
1. Anyone who follows developers and developments on Ambergris Caye knows there have been quite a few failures. Either the developer has retreated broke and destitute or he got rich because he ran off with the condo 
buyers funds and left everyone else in deep poop. 
2. Being an honest condo developer is beyond the financial means of most folk and my plan for real estate investment success is something within the reach of almost anyone who is considering purchasing property on Ambergris Caye.

My plan involves making honest profits without hurting anyone. Stand by ...all will be revealed tomorrow. A will require a little effort by the investor to make it work. One other clue: The reason it's not a 100% guaranteed money making idea (although it's close) is that things can happen that are completely outside our control.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Getting a Great Return on Investment on Ambergris it can be done, Part 2.

Part 2: Is there such a thing anymore as real estate on Ambergris Caye which one could buy and reasonably turn a good profit on in, say, 1 - 2 years? By "Good Profit" I mean a 40% or more return on the total investment.

To keep you in suspenders for another day or so...I can tell you that opening up or buying a business is a possible option for a great return on investment. But, it's not GUARANTE

ED to work under almost any circumstances and it's not the answer to yesterday's question.

Business acquisition or start up on Ambergris Caye is a good way to possibly make great money and many people have succeeded. But we have seen many such ventures fail for one reason or another. So, disregard that as the answer to the original question.

More later.....

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Getting a Great Return on Investment on Ambergris it can be done, Part 1.

Is there such a thing anymore as real estate on Ambergris Caye which one could buy and reasonably turn a good profit on in, say, 1 - 2 years? By "Good Profit" I mean a 40% or more return on the total investment.

Believe it or not there is a way. I can tell you it does not involve buying cheap and selling high after a year or two. Those days are over. There's more to it than that. All I will tell you this evening is that I know how it can be done and that if it's done right success is a near certainty.

I will have the answer for you over the next couple of days.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hummingbirds at Grand Caribe on Ambergris Caye

They drink the sugar water from our feeder in about 3 days flat. It was about time we videoed them.

There is some really cool wildlife on Ambergris Caye, we'll try and showcase some of it in the coming weeks.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Avoiding Other People's Mistakes on Ambergris Caye

Last week I received an email from a condo owner at Brahma Blue on the West side of Ambergris Caye. She wanted me to value and list her unit. I thought about it.
Access is by boat only.
Swimming in the "sea" there is an adventure as it's really "lagoon" waters and thus full of biting sea-insect type critters.
The development is only half completed (there were two buildings proposed, only one was

The development is largely in bank receivership. Actually this last bit is OK. Our experience is that when a bank in Belize has to take over the developers train wreck they generally do a fantastic job keeping the grounds and buildings in fine shape while they try to figure out ways of selling off the remaining units.

Can you guess why I didn't list it?
I have a ton of sympathy for people who were utterly duped by these West lagoon side developers - Brahma Blue is not the only one - but I believe firmly the chain of suffering should end right there and not be passed on to the next unsuspecting investor.

Our island has a lot of really great developments well worth looking at...Brahma Blue and the other stuff on the West Side isn't any of them.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Super 2 bedroom condominium home on Ambergris Caye!

Living and Dining area of this great 2 bedroom 2 bathroom unit at Ambergris Lake Villas
Click on the photo or link above to go to our web page listing of this super 2 bedroom 2 bathroom unit at Ambergris Lake Villas. Owner is highly motivated and you should definitely consider making any reasonable offer.

More San Pedro Bird life! Ibis on Ambergris Caye

We're getting our traditional high September tides on Ambergris Caye and the birds are taking advantage. Some ibis having a very good time exploring our temporary wetlands.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Grand Caribe, Ambergris Caye, Night Photos

Michaela at Grand Caribe has been wanting to get a professional photographer in to take high quality photos of Grand Caribe especially at night. Well, tonight he came, he has an incredible reputation for taking absolutely stunning photos of the great resorts of the world. I can't wait to see them. Michaela is going to be in photo bliss when he's all done.

In the meantime your humble corespondent got his tripod and camera and took a few snaps. For now, this is all you get.

Click on them to view them properly, they're pretty big.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Playa Del Carmen All Inclusive Wedding Anniversary

So we're staying at an all-inclusive resort, "The Riviera Princess."

As my wife and I are here because it's her Wedding Anniversary I granted her request to see the live show on our first night here. She begged me by twisting my earlobe very hard. I found out it was a  dancing show which would include my least favorite style of music, namely Salsa. (For those of you who would argue that "Rap" should take that dubious honor remember, we're talking about "music.")

As you can imagine I was dreading the whole thing.  A dancing "shake your booty" competition featuring fat and not so fat male tourists. A dance troupe consisting of 6 professional male dancers and only 4 professional females. Presentation of baseball caps to bingo competition winners followed by said winners doing the "We Are The Champions" wave to Queen's classic song under severe prodding from the Mexican M.C. What an awful offering this would be!

It was all quite good and I enjoyed it enormously. They were repeating the same show tonight but my wife didn't want to go......

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My wife was born on Ambergris Caye but for some reason.....

.....she wants a holiday abroad. So, we're off for a few days to Playa Del Carmen. Gonna lock ourselves into an all-inclusive laze-fest. 

I'll be answering email, naturally. Have to take care of my faithful clients!