this edition of BELIZEmagazine.com we asked Brian
Yearwood of Yearwood
Properties, located in Placencia, Stann Creek District, Belize
to give us a few tips for buying property in Belize.
sent us the following: "When buying real estate in Belize,
we recommend you work with knowledgeable realtors or lawyers to
ensure your investment is save. Below I have listed some information
that is useful for anybody looking for a 'Place in Paradise'".
purchasing land in Belize, be sure you are always talking about
‘Titled land’. Title to land can be held in 3 different
Under the old system, which is a hold over from the British
Colonial period, land can be transferred by a deed of conveyance
which is not recommendable because some of the earlier records
of transfers are obscure.
Land can be held under a transfer certificate of title whereby
there are 2 copies of the title; 1 being held at the land registry
and 1 being held by the owner. Title cannot be transferred without
the owners copy being produced and if this is lost a new one
has to be issued, a process that can be time consuming.
Since 1977 the Registered Land Act issues properties with a
parcel number issued rather than using the laborious Metes and
Bounds descriptions used in the previous 2 systems. Under this
system, the owner of the property is issued a land certificate
and the Belize Government guarantees the title. The Registered
Land Act system has standard forms
for Power of Attorney, Charges and Liens, and Transfers. Land
in Belize is being put into this system area by area until ultimately
it will include the whole country.
to property can readily be checked by an attorney at the property
Registry Office in Belmopan.
being shown a recorded plan of a property, always look for a box
on the plan labelled Registration, within this box there should
be an Entry Number and a Registration Number. If the plan has
been approved by the G.O.B. (Government of Belize), there will
be a number beside of both Reg. Entry, example Entry No. 2258
Reg. No. 3.
is often purchased on terms under an Agreement for Sale (Contract
for Deed) whereby the seller maintains title to the property until
it has been paid for. When you have paid for your property in
full and take title, closing costs will be approximately 12%,
which is comprised of 10% government stamp duty. Lawyers charges
for conveying the property and representing you will run approximately
Property values in Belize both on the mainland and on
Ambergris Caye which, in the case of beach frontage, is sold on
the bases of a linear foot of beach front with prices around US
$1,000 -$1,900 depending on location. Similarly, agricultural
land on the mainland can be from US $300 - $2,000 per acre according
to potential usage.
Land Tax: Outside of the city is 1% of the market value
of the undeveloped land. City property tax is generally 3-8%.
There is no capital gains tax.
Cost: US$35-$105 per square foot depending on the location,
elevation of house, and whether wood or concrete. Costs are less
on the mainland. Hardwood building material costs about US$1000
per thousand board feet.
Buying Real Estate can be exciting and rewarding. Belize is truly
a fabulous paradise!
AND SEE FOR YOURSELF!!