Offshore Financing – Non-residents can borrow US dollars through a Belizean offshore banking institution. Effective interest rates are around 12% and most offshore banks require a high degree of collateral. For buyers using other currencies, take a good look at the current exchange rate.
And either way, the safest route is to hire a reputable Belize real estate lawyer to help you with the purchase or sale of your Belize property. After title research done correctly by a real estate lawyer from Belize, of course. The tax is calculated based on the indicated purchase price of your new home. Currently, the first $10,000 of that declared price is deducted from the total used to determine stamp duty. This is especially true if you already have a check, savings, or other type of account with the bank. In this scenario, the bank would help you with any questions you may have about exchange rates, transferring money from domestic accounts to your offshore accounts, and even setting up automated payments.
Foreigners can obtain U.S. dollar financing from local offshore banks. The maximum that you can borrow is between 60 and 80% of the value of the home. Most foreigners who buy property pay cash with their own money Ambergris Caye Real Estate or borrow money in their home country where interest rates are lower. One benefit of financing your property purchase through a local bank is that the bank has in-house lawyers to protect your loan portfolio.
Your legal counsel can also review all documents related to the sale. That includes financial transactions, registering the new land registry, and even making sure you understand how and when property taxes are to be paid. The idea of buying property in Belize or any of the other Central American countries can be difficult for U.S. investors to shake. It is exciting, exotic, romantic and many other adjectives. The question Jason Hartman wants to answer first is whether it is a profitable investment.
Although Costa Rica and Panama receive all the publicity, Belize is recognized as one of the easiest countries in Central America for foreign buyers. There are no restrictions for non-citizens who own real estate, no capital gains tax and low property taxes. The country operates as a member of the British Commonwealth, with English as its primary language, and Belize’s currency is pegged at 2 to 1 per dollar, providing a degree of stability to the money market.
Australian citizens and permanent residents can acquire any type of property. Non-Australian foreigners and businesses can acquire up to 50% of residential developments and are allowed to purchase new property or land to build, provided construction begins within 12 months of purchase. Older properties can be purchased provided that at least 50% of the purchase price is spent on renovation, additional construction or other improvements to the property. In all cases, however, foreigners must obtain approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board.