Buying Real Estate in Belize
I find that many people now are very in tune with where Belize is and what it has to offer. Whereas a few years ago when I would talk to others about the country, they didn’t know much about it.. Now when I am abroad and tell people I’m from Belize they always tell me how it’s one of the places they want to visit most.. Yes, the word is getting out and the country has become an increasingly popular place to visit, retire and invest.
Currently and for the past few years the Belize real estate market has been quite hot. Perhaps you’ve been looking for that perfect place to retire and call home, or for an area that would make a great vacation spot.. maybe you are just a savvy investor that is looking for the next big thing… You’ll be happy to know Belize has something for everyone! if you’ve never been here before, plan a trip asap! That’s the first step.
Once you’ve been here, you will likely fall in love with the charm of the country and you’ll want to own your own piece of Paradise. Initially it might seem like a daunting process, but rest assured it’s not as difficult as it seems. Especially if you have an experienced real estate agent representing you.
Here are a few things you should know about buying In Belize.
- The buying process can be very simple. In fact there are many similarities between buying real estate in Belize and other foreign countries including the US and Canada.
- Although the process is simple, every transaction is unique and may have its own challenges. That’s where good representation is needed.
- You are not restricted on what you can own. Whether a foreigner or a Belizean national, the same rules for ownership apply. You can own any slice of paradise, whether it be beachfront land or acreage in the jungle. Ownership is 100% with fee simple title.
- If retiring in Belize you’ll be happy to know that Belize offers qualified retirees exemption from all import taxes when they first move their belongings into the country.
- There are no capital Gains taxes in Belize.
Now for the buying process.
The first step is finding a trustworthy agent to represent you and help you in your property search. Unfortunately there are many fast talkers out there. Many of which may not even have much real estate experience or who have not been in the country for long. You can find a list of trustworthy registered Realtors at the Association of Real Estate Brokers in Belize website.
The second step of the process in my opinion can be the toughest.. Deciding where you want to be.. Belize has so much to offer that deciding on a location can be a challenge. Its best to spend some time in different locations throughout Belize to see which suits you best.. Whether it be the island life on the cayes, or tucked in the hills by a stream or waterfall, theres something to suit all needs.. Talk to your agent about what is most important to you and they will no doubt help you find that perfect property.
Once you’ve found the property that’s right for you, it’s time to make an offer. You’ll be happy to know that in most cases the list price can be a bit flexible. To make an offer on a property, your realtor will draft an “Offer to Purchase Agreement”. Once signed and accepted by all parties then you visit this site will be required to make an earnest deposit to an escrow agent, once this step is complete you are now officially under contract.
Now your attorney or closing agent will perform a title search to make sure there are no liens or encumbrances. Your closing agent or attorney will make sure that all legal steps including transfer of title are executed properly. The cost of this varies from 1% – 3% depending on your representative. you will also have to keep in mind that there is a 5% of the purchase price government transfer tax due on all purchases, whether it be raw land, a condo or home. In most cases closing process takes 30 days, but of course all deals can have unique circumstances.
After the transfer tax is paid the title will be transferred into the buyers name. It can take up to 60 days for your new title to come in, but in the meantime you will have the fully executed transfer forms as your proof of purchase and title. At this time you can break the champagne bottle as you will be a proud owner of Real estate in Belize!!