Building your New Home in Belize, Central America, continuing story

“Permission to come aboard Admiral”

One might believe if in fact Belize being in a “3 rd world country” as many believe, that you could just come up with a house plan, a builder and build anything you might fancy to live in. If you drive around the towns and countrysides of this beautiful country, you find the inhabitants living in just about anything. The fact is, if you are a Belizean, you are guaranteed a parcel of land to build on, with certain time restrictions, but never less, you can live in anything you put together, pretty much.


An aerial view of Maya Beach, and home to “Pirates Paraiso”.

For those of us coming to Belize from other countries, like the U.S. and Canada, its a bit different, and much more challenging. Many Expats came here and continue to come here, and build or plan to build massive, thousands of square foot homes that look like they belong in L.A. County. For whatever reason, they bring all their monies here, build mansions (on a Belize scale), and expect to “fit into” the community. They either are in larger “Expat Communities”, or private homes on land, with massive walls around them, to protect them from criminal elements.

My personal thoughts on that? In Belize, if you want to “fit in” to the neighborhood, don’t portray yourself as rich, build a massive “guarded home”, wear diamonds and expensive clothes, or pull out your wallet with hundreds or thousands of dollars showing. Break that hundred down to tens and twenties at least.


Not even close to the “average” Belizean’s home.

Getting back to my story, there was a time when the government didn’t get that involved with what Expats built, but those days have left the building. Now you need to jump through hoops, submit your architecture drawings to the Central Banking Authority, and wait months for approval stamp before you can even start to build. Of course, even before that, you need to get title to your property before you should even think about building.

We were pretty smart on most of these things when we purchased our lot here in Maya Beach, Placencia Peninsula November 2016. We selected a very professional Real Estate firm, Remax 1st Choice in downtown Placencia to handle our purchase. They made sure our contract was handled legally and professionally, and I must say, we had our title to our property within a couple months.  We were already working with a builder and Architect, who submitted our final plans to the CBA (Central Banking Authority for approval.


Helpful Hint 🙂 A Mennonite Cabana under 1000 sf and “portable) does not need CBA Approval, at this time of course.

That was over four months ago, and we are still awaiting the approval so we can start building. We are hoping for a Feb. 1 start. Time will tell. As the title of this blog states, “permission to come aboard”, you will find that you are always in the hands of the Belize government. Your paperwork may be sitting on a desk somewhere, already signed, until someone there decides to forward it. You may have omitted something in the forms, but nobody informs you.

Remember, when you are told to expect it on Tuesday, they won’t tell you what Tuesday.

Expect some exciting new developments here on the Peterson beachfront lot in the next blog post. Electric, water, maybe even hot water, who knows. All I can say is, utilities are coming to tune town.

Hasta La Vista Baby,

The Pirate (Gary)

About storiesbygary

I am a Freelance Writer / Photographer, writing travel related articles for international magazines, blogs and websites and my own published books.
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