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Finance

There are some specific mortgage products available for buyers of property across the Caribbean, and Belize is often classed within this bracket due to its past colonial links and the way in which property is bought and sold. A number of the regional banks which cover the whole of the Caribbean are able to lend to overseas buyers, and often at quite competitive rates.

Generally, you will find that there are options to get 70 per cent LTV mortgages for property in Belize across a term of 20 years, and the finance is available in US or Canadian Dollars, as well as in Sterling or Euros. Interest rates are linked directly into the US LIBOR interest rate, giving you the relative stability of being linked to a larger market. At the same time, this links you in with an economy that is not necessarily in step with the UK market, which might mean that there is movement in the market in the opposite direction to the UK.

You may consider that raising finance from the UK on a property that you already own is the best option if your income is paid in Sterling and you prefer to keep things all together in one currency. This will allow you to travel to Belize as a cash buyer, which could be an advantage in the more unregulated market there, and allow you to strike a better deal.

Fees and taxes

The taxes in place for buying a property in Belize are small compared to other countries in the region. Transfer or Stamp tax is due only on properties valued at more than US$10,000, and at a rate of five per cent above this level. The average price for a luxury new-build two-bedroom apartment on one of the top new developments is around £190,000. There is an additional ten per cent tax payable on this transaction for non-residents or for those who have been in the country for less than three years.

Legal fees should come to somewhere around two per cent of the purchase cost, and there is a nominal fee of up to US$700 for the drafting of the Agreement of Sale.

Running costs of property in Belize are also low, with property tax charged at somewhere around 1.5 per cent of the property value.

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