Owning a vacation home on the Caribbean is a dream for many people and buying real estate in Belize is becoming a very popular way to achieve that dream. Whether you are interested in owning or building a small villa in Belize as a temporary getaway, or are interested in retiring or giving up the rat race altogether for a permanent move there, you are not alone. Nearly everyone who feels those warm tropical winds on their face daydreams of what it would be like to live there, but of course pulling it off is another story.
Don’t rush into anything
First things first – a single visit to Belize may be plenty inspiring, but it’s not enough information if you are actually considering moving there permanently. The simplicity and peacefulness of the tropical culture and setting is an excellent way to temporarily escape our stressful daily lives, but the reality of living in it 12 months each year can take its toll on many people. It’s not uncommon for someone to buy a house in Belize only to realize shortly after moving in that it’s not what they expected. Consider a long-term rental in Belize to be certain it suits you.
There is obviously property available all over the country, but the islands and beaches are the main draws for foreigners. With English as its official language, and a relatively stable and friendly government, Belize can be an excellent option for a vacation home or new permanent residence.
Get to know the market
Many people fear getting ripped off as a foreigner buying property, and there is definitely a reason to be cautious. Unlike most large countries, one does not need a license to sell real estate in Belize. Homes and properties can be listed by several people at once, sometimes at different prices with each. Con games aren’t too common, but it’s still important to know with whom you are dealing.
You won’t get the “local price” for a property, but the reality is you’ll be dealing in a parallel market and you wouldn’t want the sort of home most locals live in anyway. Incomes in Belize tend to be quite low, and living standards for the locals are probably not what you’ll want to trade your current lifestyle in for. Well-built homes will cost a lot more than the houses the locals tend to occupy.
Where to search listings
You can look at existing homes for sale in Belize. This is, of course, the easiest and safest option since the costs are obvious and the risks are relatively low. But many people who are certain about the move prefer to buy acreage in Belize to build their own home from scratch. This can be cheaper in the long run, but keep in mind you’ll likely have to pay to have the lot cleared and made ready for building. You can also buy an existing lot that is ready for a house. Sunshine Estates is one of the companies that lists property in Belize.
Ambergris Caye is popular with both vacationers and expatriates, and the smaller and funkier Caye Caulker is also the new home to many foreigners. Corozal is just over the border from Mexico in the north of the country, and it’s becoming a popular new home for foreigners as the proximity to both cultures has definite advantages for some people.