Of 20 Top Home Buying Markets in Latin America, Only Belize is #1
What are the top 20 Western Hemisphere home buying destinations? Ask Google. Analysts crunched the numbers and found surprises. Canada, ranked #7 and Cuba—at #19—are probably not places you’re considering for a sun and fun retirement, so we’ve taken the liberty of introducing you to the remaining 18 to show you why Belize is #1!
#18 Argentina. A great place to tango, but unlike Belize, the nation’s fluctuating economy makes living here dicey. Prepare to speak Spanish or Portuguese to negotiate your home sale.
#17 Colombia. Expect to jump through multiple hoops to negotiate a home sale in Spanish in Colombia! Because English is Belize’s first language, your experience will be as easy as it gets.
#16 Barbados. In order to buy a home here, you must be approved by the Central Bank of Barbados. Expect to deal with complex regulations when trying to get financing.
#15 Bermuda. Take Bermuda off your list if outrageous real estate prices frighten you. It’s against the law for a Bermudan to sell a house to a foreigner anyway. Save a bundle by opting instead for affordable real estate in Belize.
#14 Aruba. You must choose between a regular sale and a lease land system sale requiring you to lease your home from Aruba for 60 years. Prices are affordable, but you may not like the neighborhood in these areas.
#13 Caymans. Stringent lender requirements can make financing problematic. Utility costs are outrageous: Monthly water bills of $650 CID and power bills of $1500 CID during certain seasons aren’t unusual. Belize? Utilities run about $88 USD a month.
#12 Nicaragua. One of the poorest nations in Latin America, Nicaragua has housing bargains, though most sales are cash transactions. To attract ex-pats, Nicaragua has modeled its retiree incentive program after Belize’s, but it’s too new to evaluate.
#11 Honduras. Foreigners can’t buy property within 40km of the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Fonseca or islands belonging to Honduras unless the Ministry of Tourism makes an exception. In Belize, available beachfront property is everywhere you look.
#10 Jamaica. A decent Ocho Rios house can run $595,000 USD, but you won’t necessarily live near other ex-pats. Expect frequent power outages that can last for days.
#9 Bahamas. There are many luxury areas where homes run from around $1 million to more than $8 million, which is where you will find the most number of ex-pats. In Belize, you can afford to live among retirees!
#8 Dominican Republic. Ex-pats find that getting financing to underwrite mortgages is challenging and has driven interest rates up. Sharing a border with poverty-ridden Haiti might not make an ideal retirement choice at the moment.
#7 Ecuador. Real estate is cheap because the housing market is dreadful, the economy is worse and power outages are commonplace. You can’t drink the water, won’t survive without speaking Spanish and the cost of living is rising. Conversely, the real estate market in Belize is thriving.
#6 Panama. If a government that turns over every five years doesn’t bother you, the lack of regulations that govern everything from air quality to bureaucratic inefficiency might. If you speak Spanish, the buying process should be easy.
#5 Virgin Islands. Each Island has its own policies related to foreign real estate buyers. You will be required to finance your purchase through a local bank to get your mortgage. Interest rates are steep when compared to Belize’s.
#4 Mexico. A foreigner must enter into a Trust because The Foreign Investment Law only assigns rights and privileges to homeowners for 50 years, thus you don’t own your home in the traditional sense. Buy a house for investment purposes and Ministry of Foreign Affairs approval is required to rent it.
#3 Puerto Rico. Reuter’s recently called Puerto Rico “America’s Greece.” Privatizing public assets could be on the horizon. Moving to Belize makes more sense because the economy and government are both stable.
#2 Costa Rica. According to the Huffington Post, moving to Costa Rica isn’t the bargain it once was. Getting a loan to buy a house can be confusing since title-holding complications can arise in a nation rife with over-priced real estate.
#1 Belize. Here in Belize, buying a home is a fast, easy process conducted in English. Property taxes are low and tax breaks for ex-pats are unprecedented. An excellent example of what you can expect is Orchid Bay community, a welcoming enclave of affordable villas, condominiums and land in an established area with modern infrastructure. With an Orchid Bay property professional by your side, buying a home here has been called “effortless.” Still wondering why Belize is #1 on this list? One visit will remove any doubts you may have!