Belize Real Estate
From its secluded beaches to its steamy rainforests, Belize is a country of diverse natural beauty. Its slow pace of life makes it a popular tourist destination, and cost of living is still reasonable. For the more adventurous traveler, activities can include a trek into the jungle in search of Maya ruins, spotting parrots, toucans, and maybe even a jaguar along the way.
It's true that Belize is no longer the most affordable place to buy property, but this country has other benefits: economic stability, a stress-free lifestyle, and a cost of living that is a very good value compared with the U.S. (or even other Caribbean destinations).
Expats have long sought property on Ambergris Caye and the small neighboring islands, home to some of the most beautiful oceanfront real estate in the world.
Anyone looking for bargains may be even more interested in the Corozal District, where prices are lower than in many areas on Ambergris Caye.
Placencia, on the south-central part of the coast, is the other area of Belize that has long attracted property buyers from other countries. Today, bargains are scarce in Placencia itself, but you can find some excellent buys in nearby coastal areas and even to the south in the Toledo District.
See the sidebar on the right of this page and the articles below for more information about real estate in Belize.
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Imagine waking up in the morning and enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee before heading out your back door to get breakfast. You gather eggs from your hens. Tomatoes, peppers, and herbs, all from your kitchen garden, as well as homemade goat cheese, are added for an excellent omelet. The fresh-squeezed orange juice comes from your trees. Life in the cities and suburbs of the U.S. can mean being far removed from the origins of the food we eat. If you dream of getting back to the land, you’ll find hobby farms with fertile soil, ideal growing conditions, and great locations throughout the world.
Encompassing Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, Guatemala, Belize, and parts of El Salvador and Honduras, La Ruta Maya (the “Maya Route”) covers the territory of the Maya civilization, which reached its height from 250 to 900 A.D. One of the New World’s most advanced cultures, the Maya had written language, mathematics, a sophisticated calendar, and architectural skills that saw them construct massive temples and spectacular cities, many of which still stand. However, the Maya were never a single empire; rather, kings ruled over small territories surrounding a city.
Ten years ago it was mainly scuba divers, anglers and adventure travelers who knew of Belize’s natural treasures. At that time few tourists could point to Belize on a map. But there’s been a growing buzz about Belize for the last few years. The constant press coverage about predictions of what would happen at the end of the Maya calendar (December 21, 2012) catapulted Belize into the international spotlight. Ever since, tourism numbers have been on the rise. And a growing number of Baby Boomers are retiring there.
The original Riviera (from the Italian word for “seashore”) sprang up in southern France and the bordering region of Italy. Upper-crust Brits, northern Europeans, and—later—well-heeled Americans flocked here for the beach resorts, casinos, and parties. Author F. Scott Fitzgerald had a villa here in the Jazz Age, although it’s said he was a horrible party guest. The term riviera has been adopted by regions all over the world, in places where the sun, surf, and vacation vibe live on. And when we hit the new-school rivieras in the developing world, expect to get a real bang for your real estate buck.
A relatively small town (about 10,000 people) set on a grid, Corozal is mostly a collection of small shops, restaurants, and simple homes. But this is a bustling burg, with walkways and parks lining the vast, turquoise Corozal Bay. The bay gives it that Caribbean feel. Locals lounge in the shade of the town square, and in the small farmers’ market you’ll find oranges, potatoes, carrots, and succulent mangoes. You can walk away with a week’s worth of fruit and vegetables, plus dry goods and any imported must-haves available at local grocery stores, for under $50.
The spread of the British Empire through trade, colonization, and conquest brought the English language to far-flung corners of the globe. But even as that empire declined and shrank, the language was left behind. And with English becoming the language of business and diplomacy, that influence is in no danger of going away.
Rounding a bend in the road, you catch your first glimpse of the bay of Honduras. The stunning silhouette of Guatemala’s mountains to the south provides the perfect backdrop as the light scatters off the sparkling Caribbean water. The skies are a cloudless blue and a series of houses painted different colors, here white, there yellow, another green—and all with neatly-groomed yards—greets you along the coast road into the town of Punta Gorda.
In the popular imagination, it’s the great capitals of Europe that get the most attention. Tourists flock to Paris, Rome, Madrid, and London for the big-city flair, museums, and monuments. It’s the thing to do. And granted, you should seize any opportunity to stroll the Champs-Élysées on a beautiful spring evening or explore London’s international cuisine and regal parks.
Think of the best of the Caribbean—clear, blue skies…long, white, sandy beaches…warm, gentle waters lapping at the shore…a soft breeze swaying the palm trees overhead—and Belize is where you’ll find it. It’s the sort of place you need to bring your camera to—you only have to point and click in any direction to capture the sort of picture-perfect scenery usually only seen in glossy travel brochures.
Belize has long been a favorite for expats and travelers alike. From its Caribbean shores to its jungle interior, this nation has great natural beauty to be discovered—blue water and deserted beaches, and inland retreats where jaguars and scarlet macaws still live in their natural habitats. People are attracted to Belize for many reasons including the warm, English-speaking people, the natural beauty, and the air of freedom and opportunity.
It’s no coincidence that commercials for vacations, resorts, or cruises in North America prominently feature the white sands, clear-blue waters, and laid-back vibe of Caribbean beaches. It is paradise and close to home. Maybe that’s why it’s been a premier vacation destination for decades. But thanks to affordable real estate available throughout the region, you’re not limited to the all-inclusives—it is possible to enjoy the Caribbean lifestyle year-round from your own home.
When you ask folks who live on an island what drew them to life on a curio of clay, they tend to respond by saying things like, “I can live simply without much interference.”
Belize, the little Central-American nation, casts a spell—especially on those with a spirit of adventure. Attractions include the warm, English-speaking people, the natural beauty and the air of freedom and opportunity. A young country (only independent from Great Britain since 1981), Belize has a low population and plenty of empty, wide-open spaces.
These days Caye Caulker, a five-mile-long island off Belize’s Caribbean coast, has the laid-back, beach-bum vibe that brought expats to nearby Ambergris Caye 20 years ago. The streets on Caye Caulker are still packed sand. Most people get around by bicycle. And for those who come here, life is all about the water.
On a recent visit to Belize’s Cayo District, near the border with Guatemala, I found something interesting happening… It wasn’t the low prices—I expected those. The Cayo has long been popular with expats for its low cost of living, and it lived up to its reputation. In and around the town of San Ignacio, where most expats live, I saw a number of small homes renting for $400 to $600 a month…
These days Caye Caulker, a five-mile-long island off Belize’s Caribbean coast, has the laid-back, beach-bum vibe that brought expats to nearby Ambergris Caye 20 years ago. The streets on Caye Caulker are still packed sand. Most people get around by bicycle. And for those who come here, life is all about the water. Small-town, island beach life isn’t for everyone. But if it’s for you…
Your perfect oceanfront retreat is just a ﬁve-minute boat ride from one of the world’s premier diving destinations, the Belize Barrier Reef. It’s on Ambergris Caye, with the Caribbean spread out before you. Diving spots nearby include the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, known for its formations of elkhorn, brain, and staghorn corals. The coral is 20 to 40 feet tall, providing the perfect habitat for reef sharks, yellowtail snapper, lobster, grouper, sea turtles, and many other species.
Every month we take a look at some of the properties available around the world. This time out, we’re highlighting properties that not only provide you with a roof over your head, but an income to boot. Escape to Ecuador’s Yunguilla Valley and surround yourself with blossoming fruit trees and fresh ﬁsh on your own tropical property.
Summer…180 attendees…and 23 of my trusted contacts…have all arrived in Toronto for the International Real Estate Investment Forum. The exhibit hall is buzzing. It’s great to see so many of those green badges that are reserved for members of our little group.
It’s been energizing and informative to share ideas and experiences with those of you who have been able to make it. It has also been exciting to see so many RETA members connecting. At member-only events in the past, friendships have been made that turned into business relationships. That’s what happens when you pack a room with smart people chasing the same thing: Undervalued real estate opportunities.
“I suppose you’re going to tell everyone about our little beach town?” It was said with a smile by the woman from Texas who had lived here for 10 years. But it sounded slightly more like an accusation than a question. Since arriving in Placencia, I hear something similar each time I mention I work for International Living.
Back in August, I told RETA members how to lock down an interest-free lot in Belize. The monthly payments were just $600. One of these lots remain. And a new phase with lots for monthly payments of $975 has just been released.
Back in August, I told you how you could lock down an interest-free lot in Belize—in the Ceiba Horsefield phase of Orchid Bay. The monthly payments were just $600. You have a second chance at this deal.
See the video, where Dan Prescher reports from Merida, Mexico, with your weekly wrap-up of International Living postcards for the week ending December 11.
Phil, one elbow on the rich dark mahogany of the bar, reached out. Stevie knew the drill and planted an ice cold, old-school glass bottle of coke in his hand. It looked like an antique. Maybe they only make them in Belize now.
See the video, where Dan Prescher reports from Merida, Mexico, with your weekly wrap-up of International Living postcards for the week ending November 19.
It’s early afternoon and I’m flying 10,000 feet above the Caribbean. The other 12 passengers are a mixture of locals…and expats who came here for a few days and never left.
In the picturesque seaside fishing village of Corozal, you’ll find breakers, sea breezes, and fragrant canopies of poinciana trees adorning its central park. Minutes away from Corozal is the real estate project where RETA members can get interest-free financing.
Picture it: a white-sand beach, washed by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. The palm trees sway gently in the cooling ocean breeze. Offshore, on the barrier reef, swims a rainbow kaleidoscope of tropical fish. Inland, unexplored rainforest runs for miles, concealing Mayan ruins and exotic wildlife.
Picture it: a white-sand beach, washed by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. The palm trees sway gently in the cooling ocean breeze.
It’s fascinating to watch a development grow from a dream, an ambitious master plan, and a piece of dirt, into a finished project. Over the last 5 years…
We’ve just wrapped up the final day of the International Real Estate Investment Forum in Toronto. But before I dash off to the final cocktail party to toast to good fortunes with the 149 readers and 70+ speakers and exhibitors who have joined us here, I’d like to fill you in on the deals that were made during today’s session.
From its bleached white beaches to its lush jungle hills, Belize is beautiful. And—if you shop smart—can be one of the most affordable escapes in the Caribbean.
From its bleached white beaches to its lush jungle hills, Belize is beautiful. And—if you shop smart—can be one of the most affordable escapes in the Caribbean. Here is a rundown of some areas where the living is laidback, easy, and well-priced.
Little Belize is my #1 Caribbean buy today–$159,000 buys you a casita in a community right on the water. For $164,000 you can buy a garden condo on an idyllic Caribbean island. The beaches are picture perfect. The diving world class. In thick jungles, jaguar and scarlet macaw still live among hidden Mayan ruins.
I’m writing from my office in the city…but I’m thinking about my favorite Caribbean island. The coconut palms dotted along the white-sand beach, the crystal-clear water lapping the shore…a picturesque fishing village or two…and a laid-back pace of life.
Every day it seems like Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast attracts more visitors—not just tourists from other countries, but also Costa Ricans themselves. Restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, and beaches are all surprisingly busy at a time of year when the pace usually slows down. Other parts of Costa Rica are certainly getting their fair share of visitors, but the Caribbean coast—especially the southern part of it—is more popular than ever.
Flying low across the jungle and the Caribbean in a tiny 10-seat prop-engine plane that had seen better days, we sputtered out of the sky and onto the bumpy dirt road that served as a runway.
Suzan and I were having an afternoon cocktail at a local beach bar on Ambergris Caye, Belize, last weekend when we overheard this conversation. We felt uncomfortable listening in, but the participants were talking so loudly that we really couldn’t help it.
Real estate prices in Belize are rising, thanks to a surge in demand from Canadians and Europeans, especially the Irish. The phenomenon is apparent all around the country. In Corozal you’re likely to see real estate agents showing property to European clients, and in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, new Irish residents regularly meet at a local restaurant where they would have been a rare sight only a year ago.
The tourism business in Belize is fueled by U.S. visitors…and business is good. Tourism is up…cruise ship tourism is way up (300% in five years). This is partially due to the ease with which you can get to Belize from the States—it takes two hours and 10 minutes to fly direct from Miami to Belize City.
Belize Real Estate
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