DRP: Seastead Outpost Location
May 7, 2009 at 2:29 pm #912
Many of you are aware of my pet project, Seastead Outpost: Belize. This distributive research project will help us select the most pristine location to build a Seastead Outpost. Even though our priorities are not set in stone, the following criteria will be used to judge worthiness of any given property:
Location: Islands would be nice (though too expensive in most cases), waterfront property is a must and ocean access (instead of a property on a river or landlocked lake) is preferred.
Size: Seasteads are small, a place where a community can grow, work on seastead technology and possibly build a seastead needs to be large. Even if we can’t use the whole property immediately, the likelihood that our operation will grow as it shows successful operation is significant. 10 acres is minimal. 100+ acres is preferred.
Cost: This operation is being funded by your truly. I am not Peter Theil. As such, we need to keep Real Estate costs at or under 250k. Obviously, the less expensive the better… but like all things, you get what you pay for.
Distance from established civilization: Most people would think that we want to be as far away as possible. We’ll have that lifestyle on the seasteads. For now quick access to support, supplies, emergency health care, and established tourist routes serves our purposes better. Additionally, if the property has hook ups for power, telephone, internet access and adequate cell phone coverage this is a benefit.
Though we have listed Belize in the name, we’re open to other similar locations. If you wish to list a property that is not in Belize, we’d ask that you list the positive qualities of the nation in question. Low Taxes, Main Language spoken, Stability and Political Climate, Laws regarding the ownership of property and running of businesses by non-citizens, etc. For instance, I hear good things about Anguilla (though a google search brought up the fact that they have now banned ex-pats from purchasing property… those who are there already are fine).
To give you all an idea as to why Belize is our current focus, allow me to answer some of the above questions regarding the country. Tax rates: Personal can get as high as 45%, but corporate is down around 25%. Belize is not a “tax haven” so using such a convenience should further lower our tax liability. Main Language: English (both spoken and the legal language of the land). Stability and Political climate: A Parlimentary Democracy still closely connected to Great Britian. Ex-pats can (and do) own land in Belize with no restriction and small fees (5% of property value) which sellers often reduce property value by same amount to sell the land. Similarly, ex-pats can run businesses in Belize with little government influence (tour guides must be Belize Citizens).
When posting, please do your homeworks first. If you wish to list a different country than Belize, you MUST list a property as an example. Get Pictures and drawings and post them along with your original post (or add them in an edit later). Please refrain from posting multiple times regarding the same property. Discussion of the merits of various properties should take place on the Seastead Outpost: Belize thread.
-JasonMay 11, 2009 at 4:04 pm #5949
I didnt answer faster to your post, Pastor Jason, because I did more research on the subject. I did look for waterfront properties in U.S., from Florida, to Texas, to North Carolina,…etc. I had also research abroad, as far as Phillipines, Micronesia, Indonasia, South America. I came to the conclusion that Belize is maybe the best deal. Everything else is so expensive, so far, or, overall doesnt fit the requirements of an Outpost. Even in Guatemala, on the Rio Dolce, which I know of thru a friend of mine who has a house there is no longer cheap. http://www.viviun.com/AD-1510/. or this one http://elpiraterealty.com/guatemalan_properties.html. The problem w/Rio Dolce is,….that is a river,…w/murky water, jungle all around. Dont know of what kind of bussines will work there. Sooo, ..unless somebody will show me anything better, I will stick to 5 acre, dry land, on Alligator Caye, lagoon front, on the reef, for $ 85,000.00 asking price! Ahoy, O.May 11, 2009 at 7:48 pm #5952
Do you think buying a used cruise or cargo ship, and retrofitting it while traveling the world as perpetual tourists would fit the requirements? It has some advantages (if you are a tourist everywhere, you pay taxes nowhere), and some disadvantages (expensive per unit area, not as easy a platform for experimentation as a beach).
Also, a business you might consider is building / retrofitting single-family seasteads. If you can come up with a good design, you could build them and then sail them to the customer, or the buyer could come pick them up. Or you could specialize in retrofitting ships to be more seastead-like – adding infrastructure like power, internet, desalination, etc.May 11, 2009 at 8:45 pm #5957
I think you need to explicitly list / explain / weight your criteria better. The first post lists location, size, cost, and Distance from established civilization as the criteria. But then in describing Belize, it mentions language, tax rates, stability and political climate, business friendliness to expats, etc.
If other people are going to research other locations, they need an explicit list of criteria. Perhaps you should start with a discussion of how to judge locations, before researching specific locations?May 11, 2009 at 8:58 pm #5958
Check doingbusiness.org. They rank countries according to how easy it is to (surprise) do business there, which is pretty much what you are trying to do, as far as I can tell.
Personally I too am more in favor of the “just buy a boat” strategy. Even if you manage to find the ultimate country for seasteading experimentation, chances are it won’t be that much better than whatever country you are in now.
There is also the chance that at this early point in seasteading history, experimentation with new designs is too expensive because of the small economy of scale, so you are better off just using boats anyway…
/Debbie DownerMay 11, 2009 at 10:06 pm #5961
Yes, I think that buying a cruise ship( or cargo, or even better an older ferry boat) @ this time its a good ideea. I would actually prefer that, than the Belize Outpost. But, like w/everything, there are pros and cons…Comercial vessels prices are @ a all time low now, and so its crusing bussines. So here is the dilema: you can buy a really cheap cruise ship but you wont make any money,….trust me, its almost impossible to compete w/Caribeean or Norwegian, I mean as a cruise ship operator. As a ResidenSea concept yes. But then we are talking mil. and mil,… I mentioned an old ferryboat as better ideea. Why? Well, first they are much cheaper than a cruise ship. Second, they will make a better Seasteading Outpost than a cruse ship in terms of bussines. Let me elaborate. Lets say I buy this http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1937/Classic-Custom-Pilot-House-Ferry-Boat-1458004/Seattle/WA/United-States, (you can check the photo gallery) sail it down to San Francisco Bay or San Diego Bay. Drop the hook in an anchorage. It can be retrofited as an Outpost right there in the anchorage, welding torch in hand and a set of blue prints. Final product? Nice tropical gardens on the fore and aft deck w/tiki bars, palm trees, sand and hammocks. Sundeck , pool on upper deck. Rooms, restaurant midship. Floating docks all around, mini- marina. Cuba Libres 2 for 1 all day every day. Price tag,..2-3 mil., but sure money maker. The only problem, well,…price tag, and U.S regulations. Belize,..price tag maybe 350,000.00 ready to go on the reef. + I can built family.seasteads there, less regulations (less profit also,…). In terms of design, I am a bit “old school”. I like to have weight under my soles when sailing. Thats why I prefer floating, displacement modular hulls for seasteads, really overbuilt , of steel reenforced concrete (I mean 2″ hull thikness,…for peace of mind:-). I dont know if you checked the design I posted awhile ago WAVELAND-MODULAR MOBILE OFFSHORE BASE. There are many ways for an Outpost. For me, the best way is the one that fits the budget. Regards, Octavian.May 12, 2009 at 2:04 pm #5968
I will prepare a report on the Cayman Islands in the next couple of days. Compared to (nearby) Belize, I think it is significantly more expensive, but I think this will be more than compensated for by other advantages like low taxes, strong economy, good business environment, IT jobs, and so on.
I also strongly support the boat option and encourage someone to do more research regarding that path.May 12, 2009 at 2:33 pm #5969
Please, let us kill the discussion on this thread. Discussion of properties should be done on the “Seastead Outpost: Belize” thread. Patri, the criteria for the property are as I listed. The facts I listed about Belize in general are what we are looking for in a country for those who wish to list a property outside of Belize for consideration. I apologize that this understanding was not properly communicated. To clairify, I will post a property here as an example:
Sapodilla Lagoon Property
Link: http://www.belizerealestate.ws/Gales_Point/Stann_Creek/Farms_and_Acreages/Belize_District/Gales_Point/Agent/Listing_1517303.html (very nice pictures will give you an idea of what we’re looking at on this property… pretty views)
Location: On Sapodilla Lagoon (a part of Southern Lagoon). This property has half a mile of waterfront access. This lagoon has direct access to the Caribbean Sea via Manatee River, which boats can easily float up and down this established water way.
Size: 50 Acres. Small, but large enough to spread out and have plenty of room to work and grow. Property is mostly flat and should be fairly easy to cultivate and build on.
Cost: 150k US. Well underneath our budget. This property seems to be in the middle of the pack as far as properties go from what I’ve seen.
Distance from Civilization: Via Boat, it is about 15 minutes to Gales Point (fishing village). A logging road connects up with the Coastal Hwy from this property which is less than 5 miles away. Access by road makes things very easy for transportation.
-JasonMay 18, 2009 at 8:26 pm #6032
I think countries and sites should be evaluated separately. First pick the country, then the property. After all, there are lots of country-level factors (business friendliness, cost of living, location, waves). Your sample property listing doesn’t include any country-level factors, yet those are important and there is still debate about what the best country is.
At least, that’s my perspective – you’re welcome to run things how you want :).May 21, 2009 at 3:12 pm #6061
Location : South lagoon
Size : 98.5 acres
Misc: Lagoon access, Caribbean accessible via Manatee Bar River.May 21, 2009 at 5:42 pm #6064
From the same site as above. Only 50 Acres, but it’s already cleared, as opposed to the 98.5 acre area which would require clearing first. Pretty much the same other than that – 1/2 mile lagoon frontage, access to sea via river. It’s also accessible by road which the above isn’t.May 23, 2009 at 5:48 am #6104
Location: Placencia lagoon
Size: 15 acres
Price: 180000 asking.
Misc: uncleared, 710 feet frontage on Placencia lagoon
Location: Gales Point, 20 miles south of Belize City.
Size: 100 acres
Price: Not mentioned.
Misc: 0.5 miles beachfront, as well as a mile on Manatee River. Not far from the great blue hole, a popular diving site. No utilities access.May 23, 2009 at 4:08 pm #6108
This is a huge 9200 acre property being sold at US$1200 per acre. It has sea frontage as well as substantial inland area. Located at the northern tip of Belize district. For a budget of 250,000 you could buy over 200 acres!!! Seems to be completely virgin land with lagoon as well as seafront.
This site lists several large landholdings for sale, seemingly the whole parcel in one go. The bottom two properties are 1974 and 3000 acres respectively quoted at 2 and 3.5 million dollars respectively, with plenty of seafrontage. The price per acre comes to about 1000$. It might be worthwhile enquiring whether the owner will consider selling about 200 acres for $ 250,000 (slightly more than 1000$ per acre). The owner gets proportionally more than the asking price per acre, while you get a large piece of land at a cheaper than market price.May 23, 2009 at 4:26 pm #6109
Two huge parcels of land of over 12000 acres with ocean and river front. While the total price is 6 million US$, it says “priced to sell at US$405 per acre”. Assuming the owner is ready to sell in bits and pieces, even if you have to pay a bit more, say US$ 500 per acre for the oceanfront sections of the property you could get 500 acres of land for 250,000 US$!!! Located 40 miles north of Belize City.May 23, 2009 at 4:45 pm #6111
too much land? Are we trying to become farmers or sesteaders? I thought up to 10 acres would be plenty to build seasteads and open a related business,…
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