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- About Belize
Much like the beauty of our country, the life that runs through our country’s veins stem from the hospitable people who make up our melting pot of cultures. Cultures like the Mestizo, the Garifuna, the Maya, the Creole, and all other cultures that have infused their uniqueness into this country’s DNA to be called Belizeans.
Although each culture has their own unique dialect, Belize is primarily an English-speaking country with Spanish as a second language. Belize is the only English-speaking country in all of Latin America and with a consistent $2 BZD to $1 USD currency exchange, it’s no wonder expats and snowbirds find it easy to call this haven – home.
Belize is the tiniest country in Central America that’s bordered on the north by Mexico, to the west and south by Guatemala, and on the east by the Caribbean Sea. Belize has the region’s only unspoiled marine and rainforest reserves and is home to the only Jaguar reserve in the world. Belize also boasts some of the world’s best deep-sea diving thanks to our Great Blue Hole located along the second largest living barrier reef in the world – famously known as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
Belizeans take their rich heritage seriously and are proud of the fact that the country gained its independence from Great Britain on September 21, 1981. Belize, once known as British Honduras (1783-1973), was a British Crown Colony until it was renamed in June 1973. The colony grew out of the Treaty of Versailles (1783) between Great Britain and Spain, which gave the British right to cut logwood between the Rio Hondo and Belize rivers. This ushered in numerous English settlements across the country that gave rise to piracy, indiscriminate logging, and sporadic attacks by pre-America natives and neighboring Spanish settlements.
Belize became a crown colony in 1862; this encouraged several constitutional changes which allowed the expansion of representative government. Full internal self-government under a ministerial system was granted in January 1964 which paved the way for independence on September 21, 1981.
Belize has four (4) major banks with the ability to facilitate foreign currency transactions:
As it relates to real estate transactions in Belize, the Central Bank enforces exchange control regulations which stipulate that every financial transaction between residents and non-residents involving exports and imports; the purchase, sale, and transfer of property and securities; and the borrowing and lending of funds must be approved by the Central Bank.
Non-Belizeans are free to own property in Belize and pay similar taxes as Belizeans and with the landmark decision made by the Government of Belize in 2020, land title transfers involving foreigners no longer require the approval of the Central Bank prior to processing by the Ministry of Natural Resources. Although the Central Bank will no longer be required to approve land title transfer requests, the Government will still require that the Central Bank be notified of these transactions. This will allow the Central Bank to easily identify specific suspect transactions requiring further investigation.
In addition to the ease of property ownership in Belize, the Government has made it even easier to retire and live in Belize. With the Qualified Retirement Program (QRP), eligible persons from anywhere in the world who meet the requirements can live legally in Belize without having to pay taxes and import duties on the personal effects that they bring into the country. Personal effects in this instance also includes a motor vehicle, light aircraft and/or motorboat.
The QRP exempts qualified retired persons from the payment of all taxes on income and receipts earned from a source outside Belize. The QRP also entitles any qualified person and their dependent(s) to receive Belize residency status.
Once you’ve decided to make the move to Belize the toughest decision you’ll have to make is where to hang your hammock! Belizeans live a laid-back lifestyle and business attire on the weekdays mainly consist of slacks, a polo, and some comfy shoes. The real estate industry is booming with potential and is swiftly rebounding from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. With local financial institutions eager to facilitate a housing loan to qualified buyers.
The average monthly income required to live a comfortable life in Belize is approximately $2,000. Most luxury items are imported and carry slightly higher prices including fuel. However, the cost of construction, business services, and local produce costs are significantly lower than regional and international prices. Cost per square foot for construction and renovation varies depending on location, availability of materials, and labor.
So, what are you waiting for to make your move to Belize? Come enjoy the sweet Caribbean breezes, turquoise waters, peace, and tranquility rivalled by many. Reach out and let us show you the unparalleled beauty in Belize real estate. Luxury and adventure await you in sunny Belize!