A Seaside Pace with Mainland Conveniences: Reasons to Buy Property in Belize
Nestled along the Caribbean coast just south of the Yucatan peninsula, Belize has become known in recent years as an ideal destination for travelers, part-time residents, expatriates, and retirees. Those who move to this small nation, however, find a place where they can live affordably at a relaxed pace while maintaining many of the same conveniences they had at home.
Reason #1 to explore Belize properties: affordable real estate
Even custom-built from the ground up, a contemporary home on a water-view property in Belize can cost less than a pre-existing home in many U.S. suburbs. Building lots in such areas can be had for under $50,000, and those considering pre-existing homes can find them, in many areas, for little more.
Reason #2: low cost of living
Belize has a fixed exchange rate, with U.S. $1 being worth $2 in Belizean dollars. Local groceries, produce, restaurant meals, utilities, property taxes, and medical care can all be gotten at prices lower than what most U.S. residents are used to. It's commonly stated that a couple can live well on U.S. $2,000 per month in Belize. It's possible, however, to live like a local on less.
Reason #3: you already speak the language
English is the official language of Belize, making it easy to search for Belize real estate, to buy Belize property, and interact with your neighbors. English is taught in schools, and most Belizeans speak two or three languages, with Kriol (a local dialect), Spanish, and indigenous Maya and Garifuni languages being common first languages.
Reason #4: modern conveniences
Belize was a British colony, called British Honduras, until 1981. Belize has not experienced political violence and turmoil to the degree that some of its neighbors have, and is well-developed by North American standards. Shopping malls and movie theaters can easily be found in Belize, and utilities such as air conditioning and internet access are easy to come by, as well.
Reason #5: natural and cultural beauty
Those traveling to Belize for the first time or buying property in Belize are often awestruck by this small nation's diversity of wildlife, marine life, landscapes, and cultures. The interior is richly wooded and strewn with ancient Mayan archaeological sites, and native jaguars still roam the deep forests. There are only four coral atolls in the Western Hemisphere, and three of them are found off the coast of Belize. Along with hundreds of small islands and innumerable reefs, this makes Belize a diver's and fisherman's paradise.
Belize is also an area of rich tradition, and those who buy Belize real estate might see, among their neighbors, German-speaking Mennonites, Kriols (whose ancestry is a mix of African, European, and native Central American populations), and numerous descendants of indigenous groups.
Reason #6: welcoming community
It's often said that Belizeans, of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds, are generally friendly and welcoming to visitors and new residents. Like in many nations in or around the Caribbean, life in Belize moves at a laid-back pace that feels refreshingly different to U.S. and European residents. Many expatriates, as much as 10% of the population, now call Belize home, meaning that, if you're so inclined, you can find friends and support in the expatriate community.
As with purchasing property in any foreign country, those considering property in Belize should do their research thoroughly and visit before investing. Those who are set on a car that uses a lot of gas or on eating imported American foods will find that those items are more expensive in Belize, and a slower, Caribbean pace of life is not for everybody. But for those looking for an affordable second home, retirement home, or investment property in a unique seaside nation, buying property in Belize may very well be something to consider.