Wouldn't it be nice to own a beachfront lot on the Caribbean or a jungle oasis? Many of the same rules for buying real estate in the US and Canada are the same as in Belize. But finding and buying property abroad can be both complicated and scary, so before buying property abroad, there are things that you should know.
1. Do your homework.
Get yourself familiar with the laws and customs of the country in which you want to buy property. Research the tax codes, currency restrictions and qualifications for residency. Belize imposes few restrictions on ownership of land by non nationals. Having an attorney is a must. The local American embassy can give you a list of names.
2. Do your research.
Fin out what the local political and economic situation is and the daily cost of living. How stable is the government?
3. Hire a realtor.
In some countries as in Belize, anyone can be a real estate broker, and no licenses is required. So ask around for a referral and find an agent that is from the area and knowledgeable of real estate in that area. You may find that you have to do a lot of the leg work and driving around looking for property yourself.
4. Real Estate Prices.
Property prices vary greatly in Belize from one area to another. Caveat Emptor, "Buyer Beware" applies to buying property in Belize as anywhere else. That beachfront lot that looks wonderful in the dry season may be two foot under water in the rainy season.
Financing your dream home may not be possible abroad, so you should be prepared to pay cash or get financing from a financial institution back home.
6. Legal matters.
Once you have purchased your property make sure and draft a will to ensure that your property is passed along to your heirs. If you have done your homework and research, hired the right people, your foreign purchase of real estate should be smooth sailing.