North Americans and Europeans have a dream of living where the water is
blue, the air is warm, the rum is cheap and the living is easy.
Belize may, or may not, live up to your expectations in those regards.
Many who do make the leap to Belize end up frustrated, unhappy and broke,
so investigate thoroughly before you decide to move to Belize. Expats in
Belize are now clustered mostly in San Pedro, Placencia, the Belize City
suburbs and near Corozal Town. Here are our own picks for the best places
to live and buy in Belize. # 1 Corozal Town/Consejo
- Most visitors to Belize either never get to Corozal or pass through quickly
enroute somewhere else. But the Corozal Town area and nearby Consejo offer
a lot for those staying awhile — low prices, friendly people, a generally
low-crime environment, the beautiful blue water of the bay, and the extra
plus of having Mexico next door for cheap shopping.
2 Rural Cayo District
Cayo has a
lot going for it: wide open spaces, cheap land, few bugs and friendly folks.
This might be the place to buy a few acres and grow oranges.
This is what
Placencia was 20 years ago, almost as pretty and even friendlier. If you
want a place on or near the beach, prices are still relatively affordable
here, but as anywhere in Belize, do your “due diligence” before putting
This is the
most popular, but most expensive, place for expats to live in Belize.
For some, it’s too touristy, but others love the fact that there are other
North Americans in residence. North Ambergris will eventually be
the hot spot here, though that’s a bridge and several years off.
If you can
stand the rain and the mosquitoes, the far south of Belize has some of
the lowest land prices and nicest people in the country. When the paving
of the Southern Highway is finally completed, it will open this area up
to a new blush of tourism and development.
boomed and busted before, but this time it looks like the boom will continue.
Lots of lots being sold; few homes yet built.
Rural Orange Walk District
Town isn’t such a wonderful place, but out in the district, around August
Pine Ridge or beside a lagoon, you may find your little piece of isolated
# 8 Sarteneja
If you don’t
mind being near the ends of the earth, the Sarteneja peninsula is a beautiful
The days of
buying your own private island for a song are long gone, but if you have
money to burn and the willingness to rebuild after the next hurricane,
one of Belize’s 200+ remote islands could be yours.
are legion, although property here is tightly controlled and rarely sold
to Answer Before Moving to Belize
“Do I really know what it’s like?”
Come down for
a long visit before making a commitment; rent before you buy.
“Do I really know what it costs for me to live in Belize?”
Like most countries,
Belize has not one but several costs of living, depending upon your lifestyle.
Spend some time in Belize on a trial run to see what your actual living
expenses will be.
“Am I willing to always be an outsider?”
in Belize are never fully integrated into Belize life — culturally, politically
“Do I know what precautions to take against crime?”
As a “wealthy”
outsider (in the eyes of most Belizeans), you’re fair game for all types
of scams, ripoffs, robberies and worse. The police usually do their
best, but their best may be just to take your report after the crime. You’ll
have to be proactive to protect yourself and your property.
“What will happen if I get sick?”
some excellent doctors, dentists and other health care professionals, who
will treat you at lower cost than what you’ve probably been paying, but
they’re stretched thin, and supplies and modern equipment are often lacking.
If you become seriously ill, what will you do? Go back home?
Are you prepared to accept Belizean standards of care, go to Mexico or
to Ask about Belize Real Estate
“What is the Belizean price?”
there’s usually a Belize price and a foreigner price. The story is
often told that one’s second house in Belize is twice as nice as the first
and costs half as much.
“Can I ever sell it?”
It’s easy to
buy in Belize but sometimes hard to sell. Remember that the local
Belize market is thin, and you’ll most likely have to sell to a foreign
buyer. How many of them are there?
“What will happen when the next hurricane comes?”
It’s not a
matter of if there will be a hurricane, but when. Is your property
likely to be seriously affected?
“What will happen to my property when I’m not in the country?”
buy a condo, you can’t just lock up and leave. You’ll likely come
back to a house stripped of everything that can be moved. You’ll
need to hire a caretaker. Even with a condo, if you’re not there
to take care of things yourself, you’re at the mercy of a management association.
5 “What happens if the Belize currency is devalued?”
with hard currency, but your real estate asset is valued in Belize dollars.