When times are good, resort markets boom with people looking for fun in the sun.
When times are a bit more chaotic … some Americans get serious about moving offshore … an idea becoming more and more popular with the rise of remote work.
And don’t forget about the baby boomers looking to retire to somewhere close to home, friendly, affordable, and fun!
We’re taking a trip to one of our all-time favorite markets to check in with our boots-on-the-ground correspondent. We’re headed to beautiful Belize!
In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:
- Your resort-loving host, Robert Helms
- His last resort co-host, Russell Gray
- Broker and owner of 1st Choice Belize, David Kafka
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A diverse and magical market
We’re back in beautiful Belize!
This vibrant market has been at the top of a lot of international destination lists and become a hot spot for the travel, hotel, and tourism industries.
The people are friendly and the vibe is laid back. There is a variety of terrain and experiences … from jungles and rainforests to mountains and white sandy beaches.
Belize is self-sustaining. It feeds itself … and exports five and a half times the amount of petroleum it uses.
The country is small but magical … with a population of about 400K. It’s English speaking and close to the U.S. … which means all of the real estate contracts are in English.
It’s a place we have come to love and enjoy … but back in March, they shut down the border due to COVID-19.
Now, things are different … and we’re looking at what’s happening in the market.
We’d argue that the best time to buy in Belize was 20 years ago … but the second-best time may be NOW.
A diverse and magical market
Whether you are investing in country or out of country … you have to have great boots-on-the-ground team members to make successful deals happen.
Today we’re welcoming our Belize boots-on-the-ground expert and good friend David Kafka to the show.
David is the go-to guy for everything investors need to know about Belize. He first visited the country in 2006 on vacation. He loved it so much … he permanently relocated there in 2009.
David says he is starting to see tourism bounce back as hotels reopen and the country welcomes travelers back to its borders.
“With a smaller population and the majority of individuals working outside, it’s not surprising that COVID numbers have been lower, but we’re still being careful,” David says.
Thanks to the internet … and many investors home in quarantine … David found himself selling many properties site unseen.
Home sales have spiked as many families look to purchase a second home offshore.
“Some people are sick and tired of politics,” David says. “Some want to be away from big groups of people. Others are baby boomers who want to finally buy their piece of paradise.”
While tourism is less than 30% of the country’s GDP, it is the primary driver on the islands … many of the jobs are career jobs in resort areas.
David says that his team is seeing a spike in both investment properties and second homes.
Where do the opportunities lie? David says single-family homes are ready to move. The country isn’t seeing a decline in the market like in 2008.
While there have been market dips due to the pandemic the signs are definitely in Belize’s favor for bouncing back.
A unique aspect of the Belize market is that it is primarily a cash market.
“There isn’t a lot of financing here. At first, people are put off by that, thinking that they can’t finance and can’t get leverage. But, without leverage, there are no foreclosures, no distress, and the market never feels like it’s turning in the wrong direction,” David says.
On the resort and tourism side of the market … big brands are moving in.
Companies like Hilton and Marriott have new hotels opening or properties under construction.
These corporations also bring exclusive deals and points systems into the mix … which brings a new set of travelers that may not have visited Belize otherwise.
“We’re going to get back to steady, high numbers in tourism, and we’re going to deliver great experiences to those people,” David says.
And, if there is one bonus thing to love about this country … it’s the food!
The diet in Belize is organic. No GMOs are allowed in the country. Everything is fresh and fabulous.
One of the big questions people have is, “If I’m going to live or even just spend several months each year in Belize, is it going to be more expensive or less expensive?”
David says that … of course … it depends on where you’re coming from. Luckily, David has written down all you need to know in his new special report.
David has meticulously gone through the different districts in Belize and calculated the cost of living for each area.
“I just love Belize. I love the people, and it’s so close to the U.S.,” David says.
Experience it for yourself
Remember … our motto is education for effective action. What better way to educate yourself than a hands-on experience?
We can show you in four days what it took us 15 years to learn about Belize.
The 29th of January 2021 is our next Belize trip. We’d love to have you join us!
For more on Belize and its many opportunities … listen to the full episode.
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