Real Estate in Hopkins & Mennonite Homes

We get many people that inquire about real estate in Hopkins. It varies widely, but so you have some type of guestimate, typically, beach lots that are 60×120 in the village run about $175,000US/$350,000BZ. Recently, a beach lot just sold for $180,000US/$360,000BZ though! Just one lot back, seaside, is about $125,000US/$250,000BZ. Across main street, non-seaside, there is a large range of $50,000-$75,000US/$100,000-$150,000BZ. Back lots run about $5,000US/$10,000BZ.

Mennonites are the largest home-builders in Belize and as a result many people choose to put a Mennonite house, the Belize version of a mobile home, on their land. (These are wooden homes.) Many people choose to make it their permanent home, while others plan on living in it temporarily while building a larger concrete home on their property, to avoid renting. When the building process is complete, they either sale the Mennonite home, pulling it off the lot, or use it as a guest house for visitors. Some even choose to rent it out to tourists.

Currently, I am aware of three Mennonite home builders, all in Spanish Lookout: Linda Vista, Plett’s, and Tobar. Homes not built by Mennonites are usually referred to as stick homes. The Mennonites have different size homes they build, with the largest being 20×40–because that is the biggest their truck can hold. However, they can put two homes together, in an “L” shape or build on site if a larger home is desired.

The Mennonites build homes in Spanish Lookout and then put them on a truck, that lifts the home over the one lane bridges. The truck also lifts the home if one wants it off the ground. The highest the truck can go is nine feet, so that is as high as they can put a home on stilts. (Homes are put on stilts here, not for flooding as many think, but for better breezes.) But it is not required to have a home lifted-up in the air, as it can remain low to the ground as well. (It is more economical the lower it is to the ground.)

My husband, Will and I, had a Mennonite home brought to our first property.  We designed it as a 20×20 studio. It was exciting watching them come down the street and raise the house. We just got a frame because Will wanted to do the plumbing and finish out himself. He worked with local Hopkins builders to put up the bathroom walls and a storage room underneath the stairs. Will did the bathroom tiling himself. Meanwhile, we had the kitchen countertops and bathroom vanity furniture custom-designed to fit the home.

The woods are beautiful–Salmwood, Jobillo, Rosewood, Granadillo, and many other hard woods that are common names in Belize, but not often heard of to others. Mahogany, while beautiful, is considered the “pine of Belize” as it is the most common and economical. The other hard woods are considered more prized.

We thought our little home would be temporary to later move it off, but we liked the way it turned out so much, we kept it!

Our Mennonite home cost about $20,000US/$40,000BZ.

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