Monday, August 23, 2010

Orchid Bay on HGTV

House Hunters International Will Feature Orchid Bay on September 7, 2010.

The show highlights how Steve from Arizona selected Orchid Bay and a Casita as his getaway.

Date and time is:
September 07, 2010: 10:30 PM e/p
September 07, 2010: 1:30 AM e/p

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Timing Your Investment in Belize

Timing the purchase of international property is critical. To get the most from your investment you need to identify the path of progress and catch a destination on its way to becoming hot, but before prices escalate.

In the Caribbean most locations have already been discovered. Cancun, St. Bart's, and Cayman Islands have peaked in price; however Belize is relatively undiscovered even though it has advantages over all these well know locations.

Real Estate in Belize sells for half the Caribbean average and that will likely change. Property values in Belize are low for the wrong reason – because the country has not been marketed. Belize has the smallest population in Central America (not a bad thing) and therefore a small tax basis for its marketing budget. Belize prides itself as "Mother Nature's Best Kept Secret" but this secret is too good to keep. Today Belize is affordable, its oceanfront is still available, and the environment is pristine with virgin rainforests and the world's second largest reef.

Belize has many advantages over its Latin and Caribbean neighbors. Once this tiny country is discovered your Caribbean dream may suddenly be out of reach. Some of Belize’s advantages include:

- English-Speaking – Only English-speaking country in Central America
- Green – Longest living reef in the world & world’s second longest reef overall
- Accessible – Only 2 hours from U.S. and new flights and airports in progress
- Path of Progress – Billions invested in Mayan Riviera from Cancun to Belize
- Peaceful – No war in over 200 years
- Banking – Strong privacy rights and no capital gains taxes

Within Belize, the Corozal district in Northern Belize has additional advantages. Corozal rests serenely along the Bay of Chetumal, safe from the harsh saltwater air of the islands and protected from tropical storms. Because Corozal is on the mainland the total cost of ownership is lower than the even the Belizean islands. Corozal is the sister city to Mexico’s capital of Cancun’s state. This affords access to excellent healthcare, restaurants, and shopping.

Word of mouth travels exponentially and Belize will soon be a well known destination. The best properties in Belize are still affordable but that will quickly change.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Best Places to Retire Abroad - Belize

The following excerpt is from this month's edition of AARP Magazine.

Let’s fast-forward to Belize’s unique appeal to U.S. retirees: It's the only south-of-the-border country whose official language is English. Until 1973 it was called British Honduras, and was a crown colony of the U.K.; it was granted full independence in 1981 (although Queen Elizabeth II is still head of state). Another goodie: It’s catching up to Panama and Costa Rica's retiree perks. Its Qualified Retired Persons program, known as the QRP, offers benefits and a fast track to residency status.

Squeezed between Mexico’s Yucatan coast and Guatemala to the south, sparsely populated Belize is a Central American paradise, with tropical jungle flora, endless white beaches, an aquamarine Caribbean sea, some of the world’s best reefs for snorkelers, fishing to die for, Mayan ruins, and even casinos. Most expats settle either on the largest island, Ambergris Caye, or in Corazol Town on the mainland’s northern tip. Ambergris Caye has the fancy restaurants and condos, including million-dollar properties. It can be as expensive as South Florida (Leonardo Di Caprio bought an island west of Ambergris Caye). The Corozal district, a few miles’ drive from the Mexican border, is far more affordable. Corozal expats live a laid-back life, with year-round outdoor play (boating, hiking, swimming, diving), but are still only 20 minutes from the malls and cineplexes of Chetumal, the capital of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.

After many visits to Belize, Atlantans Walter and Terri Fisher, 55 and 49, built a "concrete ranch house" with a water view for $125,000, including the lot. "The house was finished in 2007," Walter reports. "Last year we sold our house in the States, got off the corporate treadmill, and moved here. I drove down in my truck on my own, and Terri—and five cats—flew down. We're completely happy, though it’s tough being this far from family."

A former educator who moved to Corozal from California, with two of her children three years ago said, "We looked at Nicaragua, but Belize had what we wanted—water all around. We bought a home with one-third of what we got for our house in the U.S. —and it’s three times as wonderful. I'm very blessed to be here."