I've recently gotten the real estate bug for a place that I have never been to. In the past weeks I've read numerous articles and have talked to many people that have travelled there. I've read most of the warnings about buying and would NEVER buy anything site unseen. I've also read many posts and articles about Belize and how so many people are starting to travel there. I had already been thinking about adding a few days to my November Cancun trip so I could go and check the place out. A friend of mine (who also got the bug) suggested that I not wait and go next month. So that is the plan.
I had first been invited to go to Belize many years ago when my company dive club was going to make a trip down. The only problem for me at the time was that I felt that I needed a little more nightlife. The fact that Ambergris Caye is getting more tourists actually appeals to me. One of my big concerns is the property values on AC and how fast they might be rising (that is what is actually fuelling this early trip). I don't plan on buying anything this trip (I've never even been there), but I also don't think that I can afford years to get acquanted before I make that decision (who knows what property values might be in 10 years). I'm still fairly young and travel to the carribean 2 or 3 times a year. My plan would be to possibly buy a condotel room so that I could rent it out while I was not there. This would at least guarantee me a place in that paradise. Then I would have an opportunity to really get to know the area and possibly purchase something near Placentia (which might better suit my lifestyle in 5-10 years).
I am fortunate to have two Belizeans who are co-workers of mine who have answered many questions on basics and locations (yes, I do realize that I need to travel there). I have also learned so much by reading the boards, articles written by Lan Sluder (thanks Lan), and surfing the net. My average time to travel after booking a trip is less than a month so don't let that part freak you out. I also apologize for being so long winded, but I wanted to at least give you a little background so that I might minimize the "don't be a nut" posts (I've actually travelled quite a bit and I do know a little about real estate).
My questions are these:
1. Are the prices in AC really rising that fast?
2. Does anybody know the occupancy rates in AC?
3. Are the internet property listings elevated or are they comparable to what the properties are actually selling for? I called Captain Morgans and they wanted $150K for something that was listed on the internet for $99K and now they're building timeshares for $8K-12K (even I know that's too much, although I admit to watching "Temptation Island").
4. What are your recommendations for real estate attorneys on the island?
Within the short amount of time I have made contacts with friends of friends who have lived there and friends that have just recently returned. It seems like a great lifestyle and community. I have always wanted a place on the beach and it's hard not to get excited when I see that it might still be possible (provide I visit, get to know the country, keep my head, and don't do anything stupid (disclaimer))
For those of you that made it to the end of my post, thanks for taking the time. For those that do respond, I'll be in touch.