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#511338 - 02/03/16 09:58 PM Ambergris Caye as an investment  
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 21
gsreimers Offline
gsreimers  Offline
My lovely bride and I have been to La Isla Bonita twice and are coming down again in less than sixty days and counting. We have both talked about Ambergris Caye as a place to spend much more time after retirement and I have read all the post about the expats coming down and the challenges of island living. I have loved my visits and look forward to the day they can be longer, but I have no intention of ever moving down full time. While Minnesota winters are long and awful, the summers are beautiful and we have a lake place to spend 6 or 7 months a year at.

My real question is does anyone have any stories to share about buying properties in AC as an investment. I'm tired of losing 30% when the American stock market drops 20% and gaining 10% when the market goes up 20%. Last trip down (2014) I spent quite a bit of time talking to a gentlemen that bought a condo during preconstruction, realized a gain in value upon project completion, enjoyed rental income while not there, and sold to buy another unit in a newer development.

So is this a pipe dream or a possibility. I know there are risks, projects not finishing, cost higher than anticipated, rentals not as promised, but if anyone has anything to share, I would love to hear your stories.


Gary and Kari

#511364 - 02/04/16 08:41 AM Re: Ambergris Caye as an investment [Re: gsreimers]  
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,343
Judyann H. Offline
Judyann H.  Offline
"bought a condo during preconstruction, realized a gain in value upon project completion, enjoyed rental income while not there, and sold to buy another unit in a newer development." This was certainly our experience ..... However we have since witnessed projects gone wrong and people losing money when the bank steps in.......We would recommend using a builder with a track record in Belize, a project that is accessible by road and land in a well established area. We continually hear of people investing based on 'futures' (i.e.; airport, road access etc.).... I am not a Realtor however owning a restaurant/bar, we have the unique experience of listening to people's stories on a daily basis. Send me a private message and I can share with you projects that we know are doing well and others that we believe will do well based on the developer/builder.......

My friends call me Judyann
#511379 - 02/04/16 04:52 PM Re: Ambergris Caye as an investment [Re: carrottop642]  
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 459
larrypied Offline
larrypied  Offline
Invest wisely! No the check is not in the mail, trust me, I won't %$# in your mouth!

#511383 - 02/04/16 08:03 PM Re: Ambergris Caye as an investment [Re: gsreimers]  
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 371
Shyboy Offline
Shyboy  Offline
Have purchased two properties One is ok; 2nd is fantastic.

Bottom line; know your broker. I have been doing this in the states for 40 + years.

A little known fact... Women who are overweight tend to live longer than men who mention it...
#511398 - 02/05/16 11:50 AM Re: Ambergris Caye as an investment [Re: Shyboy]  
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 143
joey2angels Offline
joey2angels  Offline

Your nose is growing.....

#511399 - 02/05/16 11:52 AM Re: Ambergris Caye as an investment [Re: gsreimers]  
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 143
joey2angels Offline
joey2angels  Offline

When you get a chance I would like to set up a meeting. I have a beautiful bridge for sale in the US you might be interested in making an investment.

#511401 - 02/05/16 12:21 PM Re: Ambergris Caye as an investment [Re: gsreimers]  
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 133
RobertJ Offline
RobertJ  Offline
Iíve had more than a few conversations with folks who have invested in Ambergris......a minority seem to feel there is promise, but I think it was wishful thinking. The majority of my feedback was ďDonít Do ItĒ.

Weíre talking about a wonderful place to vacation, but, really, itís a who-knows-whatís-next Banana Republic.

There are lots of better ways to put your loot in jeopardy.

You donít need to own everywhere you go.

Last edited by RobertJ; 02/05/16 12:23 PM.
#511403 - 02/05/16 04:58 PM Re: Ambergris Caye as an investment [Re: gsreimers]  
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 371
Shyboy Offline
Shyboy  Offline
Joey... Happy to go over $$$$$ figures with you anytime you want. There are cash deals to be had way under MLS prices ( from time to time).Trick is; keep it rented.

A little known fact... Women who are overweight tend to live longer than men who mention it...
#511404 - 02/05/16 05:01 PM Re: Ambergris Caye as an investment [Re: gsreimers]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,197
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
It seems people come to Ambergris, have a good time on vacation and make hasty, foolish decisions about buying a condo while under the influence of the carribean breeze. They then slam the country for their error. There are lots of successful developments and rental management programs. You just have to look around carefully and not forget your brains in the states. Talk to other owners.

The Dive Shops Daily Blog
#511405 - 02/05/16 05:21 PM Re: Ambergris Caye as an investment [Re: gsreimers]  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,995
ragman Offline
ragman  Offline
Well I've known people who have lost money on housing and some who have made good money. I sold my place last April and broke about even, maybe a little ahead after owning for about 6+ years. That includes furnishings, vehicle and miscellaneous. The last 3 years or so I used the place 4 - 6 months a year and rented the other months. The rentals helped with expenses a lot but I don't see how you could cover all expenses only renting on less than high demand months. The last few years I purposely came down after the first of the year because Christmas and Christmas week was really lucrative but still those rentals wouldn't cover all year expenses but they helped.

The value is having a nice place and if you can help cover expenses then ok but I think you are looking at pie in the sky to think you would make money unless you rented all winter. I know a few people who did this and they grossed 35-65K USDA a year on short term rentals but that is gross and they worked hard using VRBO. It was really just about a full time job for them. I know these numbers to be correct because I was part of the organization. The rest of the owners did much less than this.

shyboy, invested in some commercial properties if I remember correctly and I believe that is what he is talking about. I think he probably is doing OK. I owned some seasonal rentals in Florida and after a few years I converted them to annual rental and I'm finally cash flow positive after converting. Seasonal rentals are tough even though the rates are much more than annual because you have to pay for management, utilities, taxes and such year round and summer rentals in warm climates don't usually do well. The seasonal renters are tougher on the property and very tough on utilities. Seasonal rentals here are about the same in my opinion.

I think it is very good advice to research your real estate broker as well as the project. (I bought pre-construction in a very successful project and had an excellent broker) When all is said and done I about broke even minus air fares and regular living expenses for almost 7 years of a great place to live. I'm satisfied and would call that a success but I never envisioned making a lot of money on my place in Belize. Of course don't forget I owned it through this last great economic downturn and many in the USA lost tons of money in real estate. One of the places I bought in Florida the owner was in big trouble because he owned several and he actually had to come up with more money than I did to settle up with the bank at the closing. I felt bad for him but that's business. Another property there I bought from a foreclosure from Fannie Mae and the person who had owned that one paid 3 times what I paid for the property when he bought it. Both of these properties are worth about 35% more than I paid and are both cash flow positive today.

Hope this helps.

Formerly from somewhere on a beach in Belize
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