Belize Real Estate – Part of the Picture?
Twanging guitars and clinking glasses accompany many a light-hearted song about pleasures of life in a tropical paradise. In Belize, a melting pot nation of natives and immigrants on the Caribbean coast, Latinos and Gringos chuckle together and smile in the warm sun as the music plays. The now affectionate term Gringo was applied to non-native Caucasians who had left the United States and brought a distinct way of talking and integrating themselves into the traditional ways of Belizean daily life. Decades later plenty of Gingros have become attached as residents to this Caribbean paradise; ex-patriots in ever higher numbers have adopted a more relaxed lifestyle with the successful support of professional services, established guidelines, and good planning. Can you enjoy a ‘cheeseburger in paradise?’ Yes, with forethought and a firm foundation. And including Real Estate in Belize as a part of your retirement plan is proving to be both functional and lucrative for many of those expats.
Belize welcomes ‘transplants,’ retirees, adventurers and entrepreneurs with simple immigration requirements to stay long term. A monthly check-in with a nominal fee ($50 bz is only $25us) at any immigration office allows non-Belizeans to enjoy the sun and sea or jungle and journeys to natural reserves or relaxing resorts well past the usual 30-day tourism pass. Purchasing real estate or establishing a business is made accessible through local government offices, though a trip to capital city Belmopan is required at least once to file for licenses or eventual residency, eliminating the monthly routine for long-term authorization. Purchasing property in Belize is popular for both those who want a permanent tropical getaway for themselves and family, or to join a managed rental program to maximize the return on an island investment.
So many varieties of home and businesses are available to fit the dreams or requirements of ex-patriots making a permanent purchase in Belize. Whether pre-construction or fully furnished, wooden walled or cemented compound, investigate fully the background of the building and builder and inquire as to the availability of the deed. A realtor or business manager should be able to answer ALL questions, but in addition, hang out in local places and meet others who live or operate businesses in the area of your interest. Inquire about local utilities and estimated costs. Read blog-sites which may also provide important information about neighborhood nuances and future forecasts.
Accepting the fluctuating weather, from hot to hotter and dry to soaking wet is also an important aspect to relocating to the tropics. Hurricane season is an annual reality, but can be managed safely with forecasts and proper protective strategies, such as window shutters. If medical issues are a concern, be assured that Belize has many professional practitioners, usually at a fraction of the usual cost of care.
The variety of amenities and services to support a move to Belize continues to attract ‘transplants’ to a unique and sunny lifestyle. Instead of becoming ‘just another Gringo in Belize,’ planning and preparation can ensure that the next Gringo has a satisfied grin.