Belize real estate is steadily rising making any reasonably priced property purchase in Belize an excellent investment for the future. In Belize, foreigners enjoy the same buying rights as nationals, making it easy to purchase beachfront property.
All land purchases in Belize is subject to Government Stamp Transfer Tax which is approximately a little lower than 5% of the purchase price. There are no capital gains tax in Belize, so if you sell your property at a substantial profit all the profits will remain with you.
Condominiums are becoming an even more popular real estate option in Belize. There is a strata law in place in the laws of Belize that provides provisions for condo ownership similar to strata principles of first-world countries.
Tips to Help You Buy Belize Real Estate
Belize has a growing expat retirement community,mainly in its northern and southern districts. Most popular places for expat retirees are Consejo Shores, Corozal in the North and Hopkins Village and Placencia in the South.
Those looking for real estate in these communities can find luxury North American style homes for a high price tag, or buy land or even rent modestly-sized homes for a fraction of that cost for as little as US $300 per month.
Of course, like every other country, there are scam artists in Belize as well. Ensure that you always get help from licensed Belize real estate agents like those from the Belize Real Estate Brokerage and Belize lawyers like Marin Young and Courtenay Coye LLP. Feel free to take your time with- or walk away from any transaction that you feel unsure about.
Scams are not only done in the buying phase. Property managers can also be untrustworthy. You may leave them in charge of the maintenance and upkeep of your property, and upon your return find out that your money was used inappropriately. Always do your research on any one you do business with and try to get reviews or recommendations from people you know to make the process easier.
In order to conduct a legitimate real estate transaction in Belize, a title search needs to be done at the Government Land Registry office to ensure that the property you want to purchase is free from any liens and encumbrances.
To save on extra fees and charges when buying Belize real estate, you can always bypass using a real estate broker and go about searching for homes in the market on your own. Check the local newspapers and talk to the neighbors already living in your desired neighborhood to find out of any homes for sale in the area and get contacts to the current home owners. From there you can do the home tours and price negotiations yourself. You’ll still need the help of an attorney to do the title search and prepare the closing documents.
The ideal way of owning real estate in Belize is with a Free and Clear Title. This title can be issued for land and condos. Condos are purchased through a strata title.
Property in Belize can be mortgaged through a bank or credit union.
Most property prices are listed in US dollars.
The turn around time for purchasing real estate in Belize is normally between 30 to 90 days.
Belize Real Estate Financing
Belize has many offshore financial institutions, like International Corporate Services and Belize Corporate Services, that provide financing to foreigners in US dollars. These institutions provide a maximum of 60 to 80% of the total property price with interest rates of approximately 8 to 12%.
Although it may be cheaper to purchase property in Belize using your own money or with financing from a bank in your home country, there are advantages to getting a mortgage from a local bank. When you borrow for your property from a bank in Belize, these banks have in-house attorneys who conduct their own due diligence on the property before they approve the loan, so you can be sure that your transaction is genuine.
Another option is to purchase a home where the seller provides financing (owner financing). The owner financing conditions are normally flexible but they may require a high down payment and a short repayment period.
Belize Property Taxes
Belize real estate owners enjoy very low property taxes. These already low taxes get even lower in rural areas. For a mansion-sized home in rural villages in Northern Belize have property taxes lower than US $10 per year.
Where to Buy Belize Real Estate
The most important factor for determining how much property will cost remains the same in Belize as across the globe- location, location, location! Property closest to the urban city centers and along the coast will always be higher priced than properties inland in the more rural areas.
Real Estate prices are highest specifically in Ambergris Caye because of its prominent location just minutes away from the barrier reef and Belize City.
You can find more affordable properties that are still beach front in areas like Placencia or villages closer to the Sittee River in southern Belize.
Most expats find it easier to settle close to the northern and southern borders as it makes travelling to more developed countries like Mexico and Guatemala much easier. These countries provide more modern amenities at a sometimes lower price that are commonly found in first world countries. Cayo, in the west, is also growing popular as an expat community. For properties in Cayo visit Hesed Realty Belize.
Foreclosures are a great way to find prime property at a very reasonable price. You can find these properties in the local newspapers or on the local banks’ websites.