Guide for Canadians Buying Real Estate Property in Belize

Guide for Canadians Buying Real Estate Property in Belize

Buying property in Belize as a Canadian can be a fantastic option, whether for passive income or to enjoy the Caribbean lifestyle. Here's how to do it and what you need to know.

The country of Belize might be tiny, but it packs a punch when it comes to real estate appeal. There are many reasons why Belize is a world-class living destination. It has tropical weather, swoon-worthy beaches, ancient ruins, cheap properties, and no restrictions on foreign property buys.

If you're planning to buy property in Belize as a Canadian, it's wise to research and understand all the twists involved.

Why Buy Property in Belize as a Canadian?

Belize is a Caribbean country located on the northeastern coast of Central America. It's bordered by Mexico (north), the Caribbean Sea (east), and Guatemala (west + south).

Canada-Belize relations are generally good, and Belize is home to many Canadians. Here are some excellent reasons for joining the ex-pat community in Belize.

  • More affordable options than Canada. According to Forbes¹, Canada's real estate market is currently overpriced. You might find better luck fulfilling your property ownership dreams by venturing into Belize's emerging market, which offers many better value options.
  • The property tax is cheap. You also get the benefit of lower property taxes. Land taxes range from 1% to 1.5%².
  • No red tape. The Belize government allows Canadian citizens to buy property. The process is remarkably straightforward.
  • The first language is English. Belize operates as a member of the British Commonwealth. The British monarchy heads the state, so English is the primary language.
  • The weather is sunny. If you hate Canada's brutal winters, owning a property in Belize allows you to become a "snowbird" ex-pat. As a snowbird, you can stay home when the weather is good and trade the winters for sunny weather in Belize to get the best of both worlds.

Best Places to Buy a Real Estate Property in Belize

Belize is an ideal choice for many Canadians looking for a foreign real estate investment. The country offers stunning scenery at affordable prices, so investing there could be a wise decision. Whether you seek to buy land or a beachfront vacation house or aim to move to Belize, these six top spots can be a great starting point.

  • Ambergris Caye
  • Caye Caulker
  • Placencia
  • Punta Gorda
  • Corozal Town
  • Cayo District


5 Essential Steps to Purchasing Property in Belize

1. Do your Research

Buying property in Belize could be one of your biggest investments. Hence, it's crucial to research the property market – its past trends, forecasts, and hotspots. This is the first step in deciding where to invest in real estate.

2. Take a Trip to Belize

Generally, it's good to put eyeballs on the property before buying. To be thorough, we recommend visiting Belize and touring areas like Ambergris Caye, San Ignacio, San Pedro, Corozal, and Placencia to get a feel of the whole country. It's best to use an accredited broker to reduce the risks while buying property in Belize since the real estate industry is unregulated.

3. Understand the Laws

A reputable lawyer is an important factor in helping your purchase go smoothly. They'll help you understand the basics of ownership, such as the tax implications and obligations of purchasing an international property. They'll also handle the legal aspect of the buying process and ensure a satisfactory contract overall.

4. Calculate the Costs

The cost of buying property overseas typically includes mortgage fees, money transfer fees, legal fees, insurance costs, service fees, and utility costs. Factor in all relevant costs to prepare a workable budget.

5. Transfer the Payment

Once all the paperwork is in order, it's time to make the international money transfer.  Using a specialist transfer service is better to avoid poor exchange rates and high bank transfer fees.

Why do Exchange Rates Matter?

If you're transferring a large amount of money into a foreign bank account, unfavourable exchange rates will increase costs. Since buying property is a substantial investment, you need competitive exchange rates that can spin you more money.

Fortunately, you can use MTFX's foreign exchange tools to make an informed decision. For instance, MTFX's live rate currency calculator lets you see the current USD/CAD pair trend. Although the Belize dollar is the country's official currency, it’s pegged against the U.S. dollar, which is gladly accepted. So, you’ll need to convert your Canadian dollars to American dollars to purchase Belizean property.

Where to Find the Best Exchange Rates?

There are various methods for sending money from Canada to Belize, with the top options being via a bank or foreign exchange specialist. Using a specialist service is your best bet if your choice of international money transfer service is based mainly on competitive exchange rates.

You can expect a currency specialist like MTFX to give you the most competitive exchange rates and low transfer fees. MTFX offers exchange rates 3-5% lower than banks because foreign exchange is our sole focus. We deal with large volumes of currency exchanges and know how to navigate market movements to help you get the most from your money.

The implications on your money are real and positive – you can save as much as $5,000 when you transfer $100,000 overseas.

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Pay Online and Skip the Bank

Technology has brought many perks to overseas property buyers. For instance, it's possible to close a deal remotely thanks to Smart Viewing programs that enable you to take a virtual property tour.

An even better perk is the ability to pay for your dream Belize property without going to the bank.

When you open your MTFX account, the secure online platform never sleeps, so you can forget about banking hours and enjoy the convenience of making payments from anywhere, anytime.

The convenience of online payments is compounded many times over when you set up regular automated payments. This also allows targeting or locking in a more favorable exchange rate with a forward contract or currency rate alerts.

Invest More in your Property with MTFX Exchange Rates

Now that you know where to find the best exchange rates, you'll be pleased to know there are more compelling reasons to choose a currency specialist over a bank.

As a currency specialist, MTFX can provide expert guidance when sending money internationally. In addition, accessing the 24/7 secure platform allows you to send money online with ease. This typically takes 24-48 hours, with express payments arriving at their foreign destination on the same day.

That means you get charged less for extra convenience while saving more money with highly favorable exchange rates and low transfer fees.

Register your account with MTFX and pay for your property in Belize online today.

Buy property in Belize – Frequently Asked Questions

What are some key details to know before buying property in Belize?

Belize generally has friendly locals that welcome foreigners, so don't hesitate to understand the Belizean culture.

However, remember that Belize is a third-world country. Although it has plenty of natural beauty, the available luxuries and amenities might not compare to what you're used to in Canada.

How do I get a mortgage on a Belize property as a Canadian?

A mortgage from a Belizean financial institution can be a viable option if you're a legal resident. Otherwise, you'll need to obtain a mortgage with a Canadian lender or an international bank that considers applications from Canadian citizens.

Can Canadians buy property in Belize?

Yes! Foreigners can purchase real estate property in Belize. The process is easy and straightforward since you have the same rights as the nationals.

Is buying property in Belize a good idea? 

Buying real estate in Belize can be an excellent idea for several reasons. You can enjoy the same rights as locals, whether you’re looking for a smart investment or you’re a Canadian snowbird looking for a vacation home somewhere sunny. In addition, real estate is relatively affordable in Belize, and there is also no capital gains tax.

Is it safe to buy property in Belize? 

There are some risks associated with buying property in Belize. Common issues include real estate scams, substandard building construction, invasion by squatters, and vandalism. Some areas in Belize are also prone to natural disasters like hurricanes. It’s essential to be aware of these risks and do your due diligence to minimize them.

Can I move to Belize from Canada? 

You can travel to Belize without a visa for a limited stay. If you plan to move to Belize as a Canadian, you’ll need to apply for permanent residency.

What’s the best way to send money to Belize from Canada for my property purchase? 

Using your MTFX account is a great way to save when converting currency and sending money abroad to buy property. You’ll enjoy competitive exchange rates with no markups and low, transparent fees – better than your bank. Open an MTFX account online for free and manage your international payments to Belize, even without stepping foot in the country.

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Sources

  1. Canada's Heated Real Estate Market
  2. Belize tax system

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