Are you wishing you had a better view from your deck? Did this past winter wear you out? You might want to use this time to research real estate in Belize.
We regularly publish luxury real estate round-ups for Latin American destinations that are favored by expatriates. Some people head south looking for a retirement home, others a vacation home, and those who can work from anywhere often make their dreams come true with a permanent move.
There are less expensive places you could invest in Central America, for sure, but as with Costa Rica, properties generally hold their value well here in coastal areas and Belize has a whole lot going for it. It’s the only country in Latin America where English is the primary language, first of all, which is a big factor for some buyers who don’t want to tackle learning Spanish or Portuguese. It’s not hard to find a flight to Belize from Canada or the USA and you can get to your home in Ambergris Caye or Placencia on a quick prop plane flight from the international airport.
We just updated our two features on the two most popular locations for vacation homes and retirement homes in Belize.
Upscale Homes in Ambergris Caye
First up, Ambergris Caye: a Hot Real Estate Market
This is most people’s first introduction to Belize since it’s the part of the country that gets the most vacationers. Anchored by the town of San Pedro (population 15,000), Ambergris is close enough to the huge barrier reef running down past several countries that you can see it from the shore. Most of the beaches here are nothing to get excited about, but there’s great fishing, snorkeling, diving, and kayaking around this island.
When it comes to property, there’s a wide array of choices. You’ve got easy-maintenance condos in a complex with a big shared pool up to massive villas with several floors with panoramic views and a boat dock outside.
That shot above is from the most recent big development: Alaia Resort, slated to open in 2021. There’s a hotel component that’s in the Marriott umbrella, plus 8 beachfront villas and 71 condo units in a horseshoe-shaped ring behind the main resort building. According to local agent Robert Colon, “The developers of this project have spent lots of money (and time getting the permits) to create a beachfront that is what you expect from the Caribbean coast. Ambergris Caye is a reef island and so it doesn’t have those sweeping white-sand beaches from the postcards — but Alaia will.”
Most lots and finished houses are less than a million bucks, though of course you can spend more if you want. As I write this, the local RE/Max office has a waterfront mansion of 4,000 square feet, four bedrooms, two acres, and a caretaker’s house for $2.1 million.
Ambergris offers a laid-back Caribbean lifestyle on an island where most transportation is by bike or golf cart. You can easily get here by boat or plane from Belize City, or by ferry from near Chetumal in Mexico.
Luxury Life on the Placencia Peninsula
We also updated our article on the area that does have great beaches for miles and miles. See Luxury Real Estate in Placencia, Belize: Flying Under the Radar.
There are actually more luxury resorts in Placencia than there are in any other area of Belize, which gives you an idea of the kind of clientele this destination attracts. A good number of them like what they see after staying at Chabil Mar or Naia Resort and they decide to grab a piece of the peninsula for a vacation getaway or a winter home. Both have established real estate communities nearby.
Villas at Cocoplum is one of the neighborhood’s best luxury developments. Started in 2008, the most recent unit was built with the last two or three years, so despite the development’s age, it still feels current. Here you can get a 2-bedroom condo in the high $400,000s and a 4-bedroom for a million.
Placencia is basically a long and skinny peninsula stretching out from the mainland, so from almost any home you can walk a few minutes and touch the water. You can catch the sunrise or catch the sunset easily and go kayaking or fishing in the calm waters on either side. The village of Placencia has some great spots for dining out or drinking.
Whichever location you like better in Belize, you get ease of ownership for foreigners, extremely low taxes, and a stable currency — the Belize dollar has been tied to the USD at two to one for more than a decade now. The government is relatively stable and sensible here compared to many neighbors and with a low population density, Covid-19 barely showed up here. The water is warm all year, so you can visit the beach or go snorkeling just about any time you want. It’s relatively easy to get residency here, to open a bank account, and to take advantage of incentives for retirees.
When it’s time to go take a scouting trip to check things out on luxury real estate in Belize, see our reviews of the best Belize luxury hotels and resorts.