Belize…more than you could ever imagine.
Just the word alone (“Belize”) triggers images of strolling along endless Caribbean beaches, snorkeling amongst colorful tropical fish and relaxing with friends & family where time seems to have taken a break. True, this is the Belize that you can enjoy daily. But beyond this is an amazing Central American nation gifted with natural treasures, ancient sites, amazing people, extreme adventures and prosperous real estate & business opportunities.
Where is Belize?
Belize is situated on the Caribbean Sea, south of Cancun, Mexico and east of Guatemala in Central America. Belize is not an island but actually part of the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula. Belize is about the size of Massachusetts with approximately 9,000 square miles. 180 miles north to south and just 68 miles east to west at the maximum. The diversity of what Belize offers in such a compact space is outright amazing. Imagine the best of Costa Rica and the Caribbean combined. Belize is gifted with the second-largest barrier reef in the world (165 miles long). The land is flat at the coast and rises to 3,600 feet inland at the height of the Maya Mountains. Spectacular Victoria’s Peak is the tallest mountain in Belize at feet. Jungle and rain forest cover the central and southern regions with dry savannah and extensive wetlands in the north next to Mexico. Hundreds of tropical islands are scattered along the coast. Wild jungle rivers, accessible underground caves, tropical wildlife and impressive citrus & banana plantations are located through out the main land.
History of Belize
Belize has a rich history beginning before the 17th century with the ancient Maya. In the 17th century Spain settlers explored the country. Over the years, it survived war, piracy and slavery until being declared a British colony – British Honduras – in 1871. It gained self-government in 1964, chose the name Belize in 1973 and became an independent nation and member of the British Commonwealth in 1981. The population of Belize stands at 312,000 as of 2011. Today you’ll find a cultural mosaic in Belize – ancient Maya people, Spanish and British, African, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Lebanese and Indian influences – and the result is a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds living in harmony. One of the best reasons to consider purchasing real estate in Belize is the people. Belizeans are some of the most friendly people around. The locals intermingle with the foreigners as if all were from the same place.
Belize provides a very a stable democratic government established along the model of the British parliamentary system. One of Belize’s best attributes is that it is economically & politically very stable, safe and secure. The official language of Belize is English, and unlike many other countries in Central America, Belize has a relatively modernized infrastructure with safe food and clean drinking water. Looking towards the future, Belizeans recognize the incomparable value of their abundant wildlife, rainforests and coral reefs and in the last decade have moved to protect over 40% of the country with marine reserves, parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
The temperature in Belize is a major attraction for many from the United States, Canada and throughout Europe. Depending on your itinerary for the day’s adventures — you will find cooler temperatures in the mountains of Belize and more humidity near the rain forests — you can be sure that the warm temperatures, tropical weather and natural beauty won’t disappoint you. Even during Belize’s winter months, the temperature drops no lower than 60 degrees and our water temperature also stays warm, only varying between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year.
Belize offers quick easy access from the United States of America and direct flights form Canada and even Europe should commence soon. Cities with direct flights to Belize include Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Houston, Dallas, New York (Newark), Cancun (Mexico), Guatemala City, San Pedro Sula (Honduras) and even Cuba. Seasonal flights from Los Angeles and a charter flight form Toronto, Canada have been available in the past. Direct flights from Calgary, Denver, Rome (Italy) and other cities are in the works. The direct fights from Cancun to Belize allow for one-stop flights to Belize from almost all over the world.
Belize is just now fully getting discovered by the rest of the world. Major infrastructure, investment, tourism, resort and real estate projects are underway. A second international airport is almost completed and will be located by the Placencia peninsula. The coastal real estate in Costa Rica exploded when the 2nd international airport near the northern beaches opened. Direct flights from Europe are about to commence and the international media and the global celebrities are raving about Belize more and more. Francis Ford Coppola has several resorts here, Reese Witherspoon celebrated her honeymoon in Placencia in 2011, Charlie Sheen made an interesting vast in Placencia in 2011 and several major reality shows have been filmed here. Real Estate prices are still relatively cheap when compared to other destinations such as Costa Rica, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands and the Caymans. Now is an excellent time to purchase property in Belize. Get in before prices escalate and availability gets more scarce. Come down and see what the hype is all about. We can assure you that you will not be disappointed. Belize real estate is nestled within exotic rainforests, pristine beaches and ancient Mayan ruins: a paradise for the adventurous. Belize…more than you ever imagined.
- The Belize Dollar has a fixed rate of $2BZ=$1US and one can pay through out Belize with US dollars or Belize dollars.
- Credit cards can be used in all tourist destinations in Belize. ATM machines are readily available where one can withdraw cash form their foreign bank account.
- US cell phones operate in Belize.
- Internet is available through out Belize.
- Belize uses the same electricity voltage and plugs as in the US
- Belize is located within the Central Time Zone and does not observe daylight savings time.
- Belize offers a modern paved highway system. US rental car companies are available.
- English is the official language of Belize so is spoken through out.
- A visa is not required for Americans, Europeans & Canadians.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How difficult is it for a foreigner to purchaser real estate in Belize?
There are no restrictions on foreigners buying real estate in Belize. In fact you’ll find the process to be simpler than purchasing in the US or Canada.
2. What should I expect to pay for capital gains tax when I sell?
Zero. There are no capital gains taxes for selling real estate in Belize.
3. May I sell my property at any time?
Yes, there are no restrictions on the resale of real estate.
4. What additional costs are involved in a purchase?
Buyers pay all closing costs which are a maximum of $US 2,000. Buyer also must pay the government registration tax (Stamp Duty), which equals 5% of the price.
5. What is it like to live in Belize? Are they friendly to foreigners? What language is spoken?
Belize is perhaps one of the friendliest and most open destinations you could find. The official language is English. They have a fixed exchange rate of $2Bz to $1 US. Belize uses the same outlets and voltage as in the US. Belize is part of the British Commonwealth and has a stable government who has made a very visible commitment to tourism and development.
6. Is there financing available?
Belize has several major banks, which will gladly provide you with a mortgage. They will lend 60% of the purchase price and charge 10.5% interest. Most purchases are done with cash and some buyers elect to “borrow” the purchase cash from a home equity line of credit on other properties they own in North America. US Banks will not lend money for a purchase. Owner financing is rare but occasionally available.
7. How easy is it to get residency?
It is rather easy for foreigners who own real estate to qualify for retirement status that will allow them to stay in Belize indefinitely. Obtaining residency is also attainable via several different methods.
8. Is Belize family-friendly?
Belize is one of the most family friendly destinations you can imagine. Begin with the fact that its official language is English so everyone in your family will be comfortable with communications. And then consider the unbelievable array of activities. Belize has Rainforests, waterfalls, scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, sea kayaking. The list is endless and you’ll find the appropriate level for everyone in your family.
Belize is beyond family-friendly. In fact with the lifestyle you’ll enjoy here in Belize, you’ll find yourself reconnecting with your family and friends in a way that is beyond your imagination.