Buying a second home, investment property or preparing for a move and change of lifestyle can be a daunting experience. As a way to educate potential buyers I have put together this list that will assist in making the purchase of property on Ambergris Caye a sound and pleasant experience.
- Ensure that the realtor you are working with is showing you all the properties available that match your criteria and not just his company's listings. Don't be afraid to speak with another realtor if you feel you are not getting to see all available properties.
- Your agent might have some insight as to what is currently planned for a specific area but in general you should avoid purchasing simply because your agent says that you can expect: new towns, new hotels, golf courses, paved roads, city water and casinos (among others). It will be a pleasant surprise if it does happen but don't buy based on it.
- In general you will find that condos and homes here in Belize will NOT provide a positive cash flow when it comes to servicing a mortgage as well as the upkeep, insurance and HOA fees (if applicable). You should also be very careful about developer or Realtor Income projections. Don't count on paying a mortgage with your rental income.
- When purchasing land (undeveloped or with a house) in Belize always make your contract contingent on the re-survey of the property to verify the properties location and dimensions. This should be done by a licensed Surveyor.
- When purchasing any property here in Belize always make the contract contingent on the favorable results of a title opinion (sometimes a companies search may also be needed) to verify the clean unbroken chain of ownership in the property as well as to verify that there are no liens or encumbrances on the property and no judgments pending or otherwise against the current owner. This should be done by a Title Investigator.
- Don't be afraid to ask your realtor for references from past Buyers and Sellers. You should speak with those persons and ask them about their experiences. Speak with other Realtors in the area and see what they have to say about your agent and company.
- Never wire or deposit funds for a real estate transaction directly to the Seller or to anyone's personal bank account. If a proper company account is not available then contact a closing agent or attorney who can accommodate your funds for closing.
- Ask your Realtor for options when it comes to the closing. There are paralegals and attorneys that specialize in closing real estate transactions. Costs vary so speak to a few of the options and ask for references.
- Prior to making an offer ask your realtor what comparable properties in the area have sold for. Base your offer on comp sales not on what the Sellers listing price is.
- If you are purchasing a managed property with covenants always make the contract contingent on review of the management agreement and the CC&R's (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions).
If you have questions or concerns about a transaction you are currently involved with or you are thinking about purchasing here in Belize do not hesitate to contact us.