Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have your own piece of beachfront property in a tropical vacation destination? In Belize, it’s still possible to buy parcels of land – often directly on the beach – at prices equivalent to what you would have paid in the 1960s in the United States. In fact, Belize is one of the few countries in the world that allows foreign nationals to have all of the same landholding rights as citizens.
But before jumping in headfirst to realize your tropical dream in a place like Ambergis Caye, there are a few things you should know before purchasing your next home.
Where Do You Want to Live?
Although it’s a smaller country, Belize has an amazing diversity of geography and culture. It has jungles to the west, coral reefs to the east, and urban metro living in exclusive areas like Belmopan and San Ignacio. Belize also offers rural tranquility: you can choose to live on unspoiled beaches or surrounded by tropical forests and wildlife, like in Hopkins Village and Chaa Creek.
As is always the case, however, there are some tradeoffs. Living in a rural community affords you proximity to nature and great land prices, but you might not have access to a wide variety of restaurants, a community of like-minded expats, or nearby first world healthcare facilities. A North American style condo in a more densely populated urban area can offer you a standard of living equivalent to the United States or Europe, but with that there often comes a higher price tag – although still not even 50 percent of what you would pay in the States.
How Much of the Year Do You Intend to Live in Belize?
Do you want to settle permanently in Belize and take advantage of the lower cost of living, or use your property for weekend getaways and vacations? Many first time visitors to Belize fall in love with the place immediately, with its perfect weather, more relaxed pace of life, and natural beauty. But one thing to keep in mind is that what appeals to you on a two-week trip (or repeated vacation trips), might not have the same appeal when you’ve lived there for six months.
Does the House Have a Clean Title?
Once you’ve done your research, browsed Belize real estate for sale, and identified a place that you may want to buy, it’s time to get down to brass tacks. The best way to proceed is to meet with a local lawyer in Belize and run a title search through the official Government Land Registry, to make sure that the property in question has no outstanding liens or encumbrances.
Be sure to hire an independent property inspector to go through the property and make sure that there are no hidden structural problems, mold damage, plumbing issues, or any other problems that might not be immediately apparent. Talk to the neighbors and get a feel for the neighborhood.
It’s always a daunting task to buy real estate in a foreign country, but if you contact Re/Max Island Real Estate, we can answer all of your questions and ensure your property purchase is smooth. We take care of the legwork so you can look forward to sipping cocktails on the beach, listening to the chorus of bird songs in the morning, or going for a stroll on a pristine beach!