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Belize Real Estate: A Great Investment
Gaining popularity in recent years as the ultimate place to retire or build a vacation home, Belize real estate is becoming more attractive than ever to many investors and retired property buyers.
Belize is the only English speaking country in Central America and it is also the only one without a shoreline on the Pacific. It only has the Caribbean Sea for its coastline and its neighboring countries are Guatemala to the west and south, and Mexico on its north. With the drive for development, eco-tourism and attractive retirement packages, it is no wonder that Belize real estate has experienced a surge.
If you are planning to put your money in Belize real estate, you have to understand the factors which guide real estate prices. First is the property type. Determine whether it is a commercial, residential, beach front, exclusive property area, or etc. Next is the location of the property. How far is it from the major towns or villages? Is it in a major tourist attraction? Remember, the first two factors (location and type of property) are the most important variables in land values.
Other things you have to consider when scouting for a good Belize real estate are: property accessibility, availability of major consumer needs such as water and electricity, and also, maturity of the property—was it already developed previously or is it virgin parcel of land?
In order to have a good idea of what can be considered a sufficient budget for Belize real estate, the average cost of a house in Belize is USD 45-75 per square foot. This is for small to medium scale houses. For above average residences, it starts from USD 75 per square foot and above.
In Belize City, a parcel of land can go as low as USD 8,000 and sky is the limit for those which are located in prime spots. If it is an acre of land in Cayo, Toldo, and Stan Creek, the standard cost starts from USD 2,500 up to USD 3,500. This also depends on its nearness to ocean or rivers.
If you are more inclined to purchase commercial and residential Belize real estate in upscale neighborhoods, then be prepared to shell out at least USD 40,000 for a parcel of land. In the Western and Southern district in main towns, you should have at least USD 20,000-30,000 to spend on the land.
In buying properties in Belize, you have to take note of the fees you have to consider in your budget. There is the recording fee, registration fees, publishing notices in the Government Gazette, registrar general's fee, and the attorney fees, which is usually 2% of the sale price. Lawyers are particularly helpful in understanding and arranging the deeds, contracts and other property transactions.
For both foreigners and citizens, a 5% fee is required of the selling deliberation as a transfer tax or stamp of duty to the government of Belize. To foreign investors who want to send home 100% of their investments or profits, they should register with the Central Bank all foreign exchange properties they have brought into the country. A minimum of BZD (Belizean Dollar) 250,000 must be invested in order to take advantage of such tax privilege. Applications can be submitted to Belize’ Ministry of Economic Development.
It goes without saying that you will need to do a good job of researching the property you are interested in. Realtors are unlicensed by the Belize government so it very important to find an attorney or buyers agent that has a good reputation to assist you in the purchase process. Never the less purchasing Belize real estate is a good investment in a tropical paradise. Moving to Belize is really quite easy and having a great home there makes it even better.
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