Wen we last visited together, my readers were under the impression that Sanctuary Belize / Buy Belize was a dream come true. After three years reality kicked in and it became clear that it was just a dream, to good to be true. Lessons have been learned by well over 300 lot owners there, that we have been the results of a major scam, that has devastated many who were living the dream, and are now scrambling for survival of their funds, and dreams.
I’m not going to dwell on those broken dreams and promises, other than to use them as an example of what not to do and what to actually do in order to not be scammed on your dreams.
I have started on a new path in Belize, going back to my root beliefs. Do not build my new home in a “World Class Dream Resort Community”, managed and run by crooks, felons or a HOA! Build where you are boss, make all the decisions, and pray to god that the country you have choose allows you to do just that.
Now I fell in love with the country of Belize for it’s people, beaches, low cost of living, diving, fishing, history and of course, the ruins. Changing direction to a positive experience took very little on my part. I needed to find a lot on the Placencia Peninsula where we could build a freestanding house. At the end of last year, in November 2015 I traveled back down for two weeks, for the main reason of finding and purchasing a building lot. I was working on-line with a couple local Real Estate office to see what they had listed for lots before I made my trip. Before I flew down, I selected 1st Choice Remax in Placencia, because in my opinion, they were the best for me.
Using VRBO I found a pretty cost effective beachfront condo unit to rent in downtown Placencia and booked for two weeks. I rented a golf cart for two weeks from Barefoot Rentals near the Placencia Airport, and away I went.
After arriving in Placencia, I checked in with my Realtor who was originally from Canada, Donna Gartner at Remax 1st Choice. I had about 12 different build-able lots to check out, with seven being on the lagoon side and five beachfront on the caribbean. Keep in mind that there are advantages to both, with water access and breezes on the beach side, and of course a higher price tag with it. The lagoon front lots were definitely cheaper, and offered direct access to the lagoon waters and fishing. At this point I was happy with either if I could get for the right price in the best location.
I spent the first week visiting these lots along the 15 mile stretch of the peninsula, many times. I really started falling in love with a couple of the beach front Caribbean lots, but the prices were killing me. The prices ranged from about $260K-320K, and the all needed work on the lot, and included some waterfront erosion issues. Remember, this is the Caribbean and there are hurricanes that do come through once in a while. Protected waterfront is ideal, but not always available with building lots.
This is the house to the left of our lot.
I was stuck in a buyers rut, unable to make a decision, with a wife back in the states getting hundreds of emails/texts and video’s of all the properties, and both unable to narrow down a decision.And then one morning I rode past the northernmost lot and there it was, a blue sign on a beachfront lot, next to a beautiful large two story white home. I had no info on this lot, no idea how much they were asking, but I investigated the lot on beachfront for about two hour, and fell in love. I had no idea how much the owner was asking for it, and I didn’t recognize the reality sign
Getting back to town I touched base with my realtor Donna, and she got the listing data or me. They were asking $250K, and I felt my heart been to feel the affect of panic. I wanted this lot, had to have it. After walking the lot with Donna, and running a bunch of video’s by my wife, I made an offer and after painful days of waiting, got an acceptance for $200K.
The lot was ours, and within weeks we had paid cash for the lot, and a few weeks later obtained the title. Let me just say, getting clear title of any building lot or property in a foreign country is vital and extremely important.
searching lots for the right one
My next post will take you from locating and purchasing our beachfront lot, to the process of home design and approval by the country of Belize and the Central Building Authority. I will also go over the “how to” of banking, loans and getting a Be;ice Bank Account and transferring funds from the U.S., Canada or elsewhere.
My plan is to enlighten you all to the do’s and don’t’s, mistakes and successes I encounter along the way of finding the right building contractor, and the entire process of building our beachfront home in Maya Beach, Belize, Central America. In a few weeks I will be relocating to Belize to be on-site during the entire construction of our new home, and sharing the adventure with you.
Our lot in Maya Beach, cleared and ready to build, with electrical pedestal on Left
I hope you follow along with my adventure, and maybe you to will join us in paradise.
And the adventure continues,