One of the most attractive reasons for buying real estate in Belize is that you can OWN the property outright as opposed to other programs whereby you only lease the property for duration of time. Upon transfer, the land title can be issued in your individual name, group of names or a company of your choice.
The second attractive reason for owning land in Belize is that land taxes are minimal by comparison to other countries. This makes owning that "coconut studded" piece of beachfront or large tract of land more affordable and within reach.
The purchasing process in Belize is pretty simplistic but we strongly recommended you retain an attorney to guide you through the process. Your attorney will ensure, before purchase that your title is free and clear of any liens and/or encumbrances and can assist with any needs you may have regarding company formation.
An outline of the process is as follows:
Once a property of your choosing has been identified, your RE/MAX Realty Group agent will present the formal “Offer to Purchase/Lease” to the seller. The seller may accept the offer or respond with a counter-offer. If the seller accepts he signs the offer.
Upon confirmation of signatures by both Buyer and Seller, the Offer to Purchase/Lease will be referred to an attorney of your choice; who will see the transaction through to completion.
As stated above the attorney’s job is to ensure your property title is good and marketable. He should perform a Title or Deed search to uncover any hidden encumbrances which may or may not be present. He should also check the survey plan and plot map to verify the location and dimensions of the property. He should also ensure that any and all back taxes are paid prior to closing.
There are three types of land titles in Belize:
The “Conveyance system”,
The “Certificate of Title”
The “Registered Land Act system”.
Different parts of the country use different systems, but the Government of Belize has been converting all properties in the country to the Registered Land Act system, area by area.
All three systems provide the owner with proof of ownership however it is recommended that you convert your Belize property to the Registered Lands Act system. This may be a timely exercise as the Lands Office in Belmopan moves at their own pace and back logs do exist.
You pay stamp duty, (a 5% land transfer tax) to the Government of Belize. This is payable on all land transactions valued at over $20,000 Belize dollars. This tax is customarily paid by the buyer but can be negotiated whereby Buyer and Seller share the same. In addition to the transfer tax your attorney will charge somewhere between 1-3%.
Your now a proud Land owner in Belize!
For Independent verification you can contact the:
Ministry Of Natural Resources
Tel: 501-822-2249/ 822-2711/ 822-2232