“Kathleen, your mentions of properties are always listed by the square meter and not the square foot. One I was interested in was approximately US$2,100 per square meter. Say the house has 1,500 square feet, how much would the sales price be at US$2,100 per square meter? I’d appreciate it if you could tell me how to figure this.”
— Susan M., United States (May 7, 2010)
Square meters is the standard in the most of the world outside the United States (though parts of Asia and Central America use different area measurements for land), so we’ve adopted it as our house standard, too.
The conversion is 10.764 square feet to 1 square meter. So your 1,500-square-foot house would be about 140 square meters and, at a rate of US$2,100 per square meter, would cost you US$294,000. That puts the cost at about US$196 a square foot, to give you another point for comparison.
“Kathleen, I am registered for your Live & Invest in Belize Conference in June, and I have a question in preparation for that trip.
“I usually do not travel with any cash. I do not have an ATM or debit card. I normally have one credit card with me. This worked well for me when we lived in Chile and traveled in South America a few years ago.
“I read somewhere that credit cards and travelers’ checks are not readily accepted in Belize and other countries. In some countries, when they are accepted, the credit card company dings you with a heavy fee.
“Could you give some guideline as to how much cash we should bring for daily expenses?”
— Karl K., United States (May 7, 2010)
Belize Correspondent Phil Hahn replies:
“When traveling with little cash and only a credit card in Belize, that credit card should be a Visa. Credit cards are increasingly accepted in the more populated areas of Belize, Visa most of all.
“However, this is still a country where it’s prudent to have cash as a back-up.
“For meals and incidentals, I’d recommend US$60 per person per day.
“You have a broad range of prices and option for dining in Belize. I prefer small local establishments serving traditional dishes and can eat two meals out, buy three to four bottles of water, and have a couple of local Belikin beers for less than US$20. On the other hand, I’ve been in more touristy restaurants and spent that much on one meal. Of course, those places take credit cards.”