Choosing Belize Real Estate as Your Home
When people plan a visit to Belize, the Belize Barrier Reef beckons snorkelers and divers, the Mayan temples allure the curious, and resorts tempt couples, families, and wedding parties with beachfront and spas for the ultimate Caribbean relaxation. As guests explore the towns and neighborhoods, restaurants and shops, viewpoints and attractions, surrounded by welcoming smiles and professional service from local Belizeans, a sense of peace radiates like the Central American sun. There are modest roads to award-winning gourmet restaurants. Most people travel by golf cart or boat. Life is simpler and sweet. Gradually an idea forms: “I speak the language (officially English with Spanish and Kriol). I could live here comfortably in a moderate climate with no furnace or car (wow).” You have just joined the dynamic and growing national community, from the islands of The Cayes to the towns or natural expanses of Belize, of “Not Just Another Gringo (or Gringa) in Belize.” Welcome. And finding a piece of Real Estate in Belize is the perfect start.
You are joining an ex-patriot, aka ‘x-pat’ or ‘transplant,’ community of about 10%, or 30,000 of a Natural population of 313,000, defined as “Foreign Born Population” (Belize Population Census Report 2012). While many in the ex-pat community are retired or semi-retired, let’s say, others investigate business opportunities and explore working via internet. Families find schools or resources for their children’s continued education. The variety of sizes and types of homes in diverse locations can be overwhelming when one is dreaming. While touring or traveling, keep looking around. Remember some of the places you admired, and find out the price of something like it. Estimate your income or pension or projected pension. Understand that some items or utilities may be somewhat higher priced than many ex-pat’s home countries, but then remember that there is no furnace, and likely only a golf cart, no car payment, or gas gulper. Gulp. You can do this!
Visit twice, in different seasons. There are cultural celebrations and fantastic festivals and themes in every town, all year, from national celebrations to local product fairs, such as chocolate, coffee, and lobster. In-between events, the country is more open and more quiet, and sometimes less expensive. The natural beauty with rainbow colors of plants, animals and sea creatures, begins to become the background of your future vision of beginning a life in Belize. Stay somewhere different each time, perhaps once near a town and the other in a more distant location to explore the re-location learning curve. Ask questions. Spend time with a local real estate professional as well as any ‘tropical transplants’ you may meet. Ask a bank questions too, depending on whether you will be maintaining a personal account, including international transfers and/or whether you plan to participate as a local business person. Having answers in advance makes a significant difference on the success of an international move.
Then go outside, and while observing the beauty of Belize, ponder the possibilities. As international travel options narrow with unrest, do rest assured that a life in Belize may include rest for those who desire a slower pace or adventurous interest for the active or entrepreneurial. Belize can be what you make it, after you make it home.