Belize is continuing to grow as a popular place for real estate investment. Tourism is a major component of the economy of this English-speaking former British colony, and property, in the right places, can be a great investment. Anyone who has visited Belize can see why Belize real estate would be a smart move—the country’s Caribbean flair, relaxed atmosphere, and clear blue waters attract adventure travelers and resort tourists alike -- especially those interested in checking out a lesser-known locale.
Those living outside Belize who would like to purchase real estate should be aware of the laws and fees surrounding Belize real estate acquisition. Non-Belizean citizens are free to purchase land and be granted full title to the land; however, everyone purchasing more than a ½ acre in a city or 10 acres in a rural area must first procure a permit called the Alien’s Landholding License, which is issued by the Department of Natural Resources. In order to obtain this license, you’ll have to present a plan detailing what you will do with the land. This law was created in the ‘70s, in an effort to curb rampant Belize real estate speculation.
Of course, financial issues are also usually on the minds of those looking to purchase real estate. As a non-Belizean, you’ll be required to pay a 15% transfer tax to the Government of Belize when you acquire the land. Attorney’s fees are usually 1-3% of the sale price; a token registration fee is also required. You are entitled to your own legal council when purchasing land in Belize. However, if you have training in real estate transactions, such as online accounting classes or a finance degree online, you may close the transaction yourself.
As in the U.S., in Belize real estate agents generally charge sellers around 6-7% commission on property sales. Buyers purchasing land in rural or remote areas should also be prepared to pay for travel expenses. Foreign individuals looking to invest in land in Belize are generally expected to pay cash for a property, as little financing is available to foreigners.
Currently, regular property taxes in Belize are around 1-1.5% of the value of the property, as is determined by the Department of Natural Resources. Other property taxes are a yearly 5% tax on tracts of more than 300 acres. The tax is paid on the land’s undeveloped value, and was created to help spread development throughout Belize and lower land speculation.
Joy Payley is a writer and editor for the blog writing company, Article Writing Services.