Find Your Dream Beachfront Property in Belize
Where might you think about buying beachfront property in Belize today? The best deals are south on the mainland coast, around Placencia…and on the mainland coast just north of Belize City.
One expat told us he spent just $45,000 for a lot in an old fishing town, close to beaches and full of wonderful shops and restaurants. Another was looking at a lot with palm trees and 50 feet of white-sand ocean frontage. The asking price for this dream lot was $70,000.
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Islands in the Sun–Ambergris Caye
Ambergris is the largest island in Belize at 25 miles long and a little over a mile wide, and San Pedro is the only town. About 30 years ago, Ambergris Caye became a hotspot for divers and fishermen thanks to the Belize Barrier Reef, just a half mile offshore. This natural wonderland of living coral supports a dizzying array of marine life, and it’s the main reason Ambergris Caye has seen its recent incredible growth. For many decades it has been one of the most popular destinations in the country. As a result, new oceanfront condos can sell for more than $350,000. But if you don’t mind a two-minute walk to the beach, there’s a wide choice of beautiful houses for under $170,000.
For a large percentage of residents, Ambergris is their second home. Gorgeous beaches aren’t the only attraction. The capital, San Pedro Town, has sandy streets where golf carts are the principal means of transportation to and from quaint restaurants, cyber cafes, and friendly mom-and-pop shops of nearly every variety.
When you walk down the streets of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, it’s hard not to think of the area as a Cape Cod-type village with palm trees.
Ambergris itself, however, has the reputation of being overdeveloped and expensive, but even here property prices are much lower than in better-known tropical countries.
Fashionable resorts and million-dollar seafront houses haven’t changed the fact that Ambergris is a beautiful tropical island where anyone can stroll on white-sand beaches or dive into clear azure waters.
Even better, there are still property bargains if you take some extra time to look for them. Real estate agent Diane Campbell, a former Californian who has built many homes on Ambergris Caye with her husband, highlights the fact that it is especially important not to rush when searching for property in Belize. Campbell explains that the country’s small and relatively inefficient real estate market means you’ll find widely different prices for similar types of property.
- A one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo that needs some fixing up. The residence is on the ground floor of a nine-unit building near the island’s airstrip on the south side of San Pedro. Price: $100,000.
- AA three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in the San Pablo area of Ambergris. Along with air conditioning, cable TV, and Internet this property also has a patio/deck and its own private pool. With a total area of 1,450 square feet, this house has plenty of living space. Price: $197,500.
- Two- and three-bedroom condominiums at the luxurious Pelican Reef Villas just south of San Pedro. Amenities include 200 feet of beach and private boat moorings. Price: $310,000 to $429,000.
If the small-town atmosphere of Ambergris doesn’t fit your description of a secluded getaway, try Caye Caulker, an island that many say resembles the Ambergris of 10 years ago. The observation is true to the extent that Caye Caulker isn’t nearly as developed as its larger neighbor, and residents seem determined to keep it that way. Caye Caulker has fewer than 1,500 residents, compared with 7,000 on Ambergris. Caulker has kept its charm as well as an atmosphere of exclusivity. Bargains aren’t hard to find on the island, but it’s likely that shoppers with deep pockets will soon push the prices up.
- For only $15,000 you could buy a 75 by 90-foot lot just a few feet from the beach. The property adjoins a nature reserve, providing a degree of assurance that the area won’t be spoiled by unchecked development
- At the high end of the market, a 4-acre piece of property with 240 feet of beachfront was listed at $425,000.
Southern Comfort in Stann Creek
The largest expatriate communities in Belize are on Ambergris Caye in northern Belize and Placencia, which is in the Stann Creek district on the south coast of the country. Although Stann Creek district is in the central part of the country, many Belizeans refer to it as the south, as they often do with anything south of Belize City. While luxury abounds on the coast of Stann Creek, the area also retains more of its Caribbean atmosphere–food, entertainment, and architecture–than many other parts of the country, including Ambergris Caye and Corozal.
The beaches are wider, whiter, and, in many places, almost empty except for the occasional egret or white ibis. Like Ambergris, however, at least one area in Stann Creek–Placencia–has the reputation for being over-developed. Many other parts of the coast have been slower to attract expats, and it’s there that property bargains abound.
Placencia, a peninsula at the southern end of Stann Creek, has attracted second-home owners for several decades. It’s only a couple hours’ drive from Belize City, or 25 minutes by plane. Placencia has three population centers. Maya Beach is the northernmost and isn’t really a town…just a hodge-podge of small hotels and restaurants and a few small supply shops. In the middle of the peninsula is the Garifuna village of Seine Bight. Placencia Village at the southern tip of the peninsula, although no bigger than Seine Bight, is where the action is. It has about 600 full-time residents clustered in colorful Caribbean-style homes on stilts built on either side of the sidewalk referred to as “Main Street.”
On Placencia Peninsula itself, property prices have steadily climbed, but bargains are easy to find in many other areas close by. Sittee Point and Hopkins are especially good value. Even the appearance of telephones in Hopkins about 10 years ago hasn’t detracted from its charm and friendliness. Bargain hunters frequently visit Hopkins, where quarter-acre lots in the waterfront Palmetto Grove community have been selling for $40,000 to $50,000.
Property recently for sale in Placencia:
- A waterfront house in Placencia.This two-story residence is located at Maya Beach, about halfway up the peninsula. With two bedrooms and two bathrooms, the house features a pool, a boat slip, a large garage and ample storage space for full- or part-time residents. Price: $229,000.
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