Is It Safe To Buy Property In Belize?

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  1. Since the Alien Landholding Act was abolished back in 2001, there are no longer any licenses, permits, or even individual permissions or conditions for a foreigner to acquire a title to freehold land in Belize. This also means a foreigner can own property and have the same rights as a citizen of Belize.
  2. Have professional legal advise standing by when it comes to purchasing the property. However, you can also find an experienced and highly reputable paralegal who can help finalize a purchase and check the title history of local properties. On the other hand, closing costs and how to take your title will require qualified legal representation.
  3. While commonplace in the U.S. and Canada, title insurance isn’t so usual. It does, however, offers a title guarantee through a primary American Provider. The Government of Belize guarantees most titles while your local lawyer can provide an opinion on the secure purchase of the property.
  4. Closing costs are straightforward as there is no capital gains tax on the purchase or sale of real estate. There is a 5% stamp tax on the declared purchase price of the property at the time of title transfer. If you reside in Belize for less than three years, there is an additional 5% tax. It’s necessary to review and understand all your options before completing a sale.
  5. Though local financing is available, it’s not recommended as most foreign property transactions are cash or financed offshore. Professional advice is always essential when seeking funding.
  6. Make sure the title is searched and not carrying any liens or encumbrances like mortgages.
  7. Make sure the property is owned by that supposed vendor and confirm the title search was carried out.
  8. If taxes on the property haven’t been paid, then you won’t be able to purchase it.
  9. Be wary of strangers living on the property and claiming rights to the land and building.
  10. The sales agreement must be valid governing the purchase, and there’s no existing challenge to the title unknown to the vendor.
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