LIVING IN BELIZE – “Short-Term Rentals and I Really Want to Pay You“ 11/2/12

Yesterday we met with a local realtor so she could hand over the keys to a new house that the owner has contracted us to lease as a short-term rental.  It’s really nice – right on the Mopan River in Bullet Tree Falls Village (three miles outside San Ignacio Town).  It’s a 2 bedroom, 2 bath bungalow. What will be nice about it is the owner is willing to rent it on a month-to-month short-term basis, instead of long-term (six months or more).

I can’t tell you how often I get calls for this type of rental, but they are far less common here in the Cayo District, simply because the carrying costs for the owners are more.   You have to keep the utilities in your name, since people coming here for a few months aren’t going to want to pay to put utilities in their name. You will also have to keep the yard maintained, and clean the house in between tenants. Plus, you have your management fees, of course.

Because of this fact, short-term rentals will have a higher rent than a long-term. The reasons are obvious, but many people don’t understand this important factor. If you don’t want to sign a lease committing to a longer term, then the trade off is your rent will be higher. But it will also be all inclusive, so you won’t have to deal with paying utilities, a gardener, etc. 

Let me give you a hypothetical example.  For a simple 2 bedroom, 2 bath furnished home in the San Ignacio area, you could find a rental in the $500-550 USD range. This would not include any utilities or garden services.  Conversely, you could see that same home rent for $750-800 USD month if you were only planning on staying for three months. However, it would be an all-inclusive price. Still a pretty good deal. Keep in mind, as always, that rents depend on amenities, so those prices aren’t set in stone.

After viewing the home, we headed to town so I could drop off a check at one of our advertisers’ office. It’s located upstairs with another business. Both of them were closed (and no, it wasn’t the noon hour), so I called him and asked him if there was anyone else I could leave the check with.  As it turns out, he said I could go to the building behind and drop it with the massage lady – gotta love small town life!

After that, we were famished, so we went to Ko-Ox-Han-Nah’s and had a lamb and swiss sandwich and a beer, which was a good thing, since our next errand was grocery shopping, which I never like to do on an empty stomach.

Do you understand why short-term and long-term rentals have different pricing structures?