There are many reasons to consider buying or building a home in Belize. After all, it’s a beautiful country with a lot to offer, including inviting English speaking locals, tropical beach fronts, and financial benefits like low-cost properties and tax-free buying for qualified retirees. When considering a home in Belize, understanding your financing options may seem confusing and difficult. Thankfully, there are a few financing options out there, even for non-residents.
Owner Financing and Financing Back Home
One of the most popular methods of Financing in Belize is where the seller carries terms. If financing is needed you can make this clear to your agent by asking him/her to look for properties where the seller is offering owner financing. In this setup, the seller essentially acts as the bank, with terms set at 30 to 40 percent down, 5 to 10 percent interest, amortized over 5 to 10 years with a 3- to 5-year full balloon payment. there are no set terms, every seller is different and the terms are negotiable.
Alternatively, you can seek financing back home—a great option if it’s easier for you to find a line of equity stateside.
Buy a Home Through a Self-Directed IRA
Investors who use real estate to avail of tax benefits (e.g. depreciation, capital gains, tax-deferring exchanges) can hold rental real estate in an IRA to avoid taxes—provided the investment has not been distributed to the IRA owner.
Under the IRS’s self-directed IRA rules, contributions to self-directed IRA accounts can be used to purchase real estate (commercial, residential, or raw land) both inside and outside the United States.
However, contributions to Belize offshore real estate IRAs are subject to additional rules. For example, while the property in your IRA can be rented to others, you can’t rent it out to family (siblings are an exemption, strangely enough).
In addition, the rental income from an offshore Belize real estate IRA is deferred and can be made tax-free if purchased using a ROTH IRA. Under this setup, you could, in theory, collect decades’ worth of rental income and not pay one penny in taxes. You only need to worry about taxes when you distribute the property to yourself in the future.
Belize is a country full of beauty and opportunity. Regardless of your reason for considering Belize Real Estate, you are sure to enjoy the country’s warm climate, beachy aesthetics, and friendly locals.