Belize Property Center

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Venezuela Oils Belize Political Machine

If all this talk of skyrocketing fuel prices has you ready to head for the hills, it’s going to cost you to get there. Skyrocketing gas prices have consumers fuming at the pumps.

While gas prices are determined by factors including supply and demand, processing costs, distribution costs, global conflicts, refinery shutdowns, and taxes, some countries are able to take advantage of special initiatives. The tiny country of Belize is a case in point. The recently re-elected Prime Minister of Belize, the Honourable Dean Barrow, intends to turn to Venezuela for some of Belize’s fuel imports, taking advantage of the PetroCaribe Agreement.

Prime Minister Barrow’s initiative would reduce Belize’s reliance on petroleum supplied by Shell, Exxon, and Texaco.

Venezuela is well known for its petro-diplomacy in the Caribbean and Central America region. The PetroCaribe initiative offers preferential payment and financing options to its member nations. Participating member countries in the PetroCaribe Energy Cooperation Agreement include: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Guatemala, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, amongst others.

The most recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Energy show that, in 2010, the U.S. imported about 10% of its petroleum from Venezuela. The U.S. is one of the only – if not the only – countries to pay full price for Venezuela oil. Current price for a gallon of regular gas in Miami is $3.939; in New York City – $4.249; in Philadelphia – $3.899; in Boston – $3.879; in Detroit – $3.859; and in Los Angeles – $4.199.

Across the pond, the price of regular gas in Norway is $9.33/gallon, followed by Rome gas prices at $8.51. You’re in for a bumpy ride in Denmark and Monaco at $8.48 and $8.46, respectively. Jolly old London Town’s gas prices are more folly than jolly at $8.12/gallon; and it’s not so gay in Paris these days with prices of $8.06 at the pumps. Berlin’s nightlife isn’t quite as bright after coughing up $7.76 for a gallon of gas there.

While “Big Oil” has many nations over a barrel, Belize’s energy agreement with Venezuela could put Prime Minister Barrow in the driver’s seat to lower Belize’s fuel prices. With Venezuelans only paying 6¢/gallon at the pumps, taking advantage of the Petro-Caribe agreement may put Belize on the map to lower fuel prices.

In the race at the pumps, Belize may triumph as the tortoise.

Pump up your Belize real estate holdings with RE/MAX Property Center, your source for 600+ Belize real estate listings including Acreage; Beachfront Bars; Casitas; Cayes; Citrus Farms; Country Hideaways; Dive Shops; Eco Lots; Islands; Investment Properties; Luxury Condos; Marinas; Oceanfront Homes; Rainforest Lodges; Resorts; Restaurants; Retirement Properties; Vacation Homes. Belize offers the perfect investment climate – an emerging real estate market in an English-speaking democracy which offers fee simple title. RE/MAX Property Center has been helping people buy and sell real estate in Belize since 2008. Email: info@BelizePropertyCenter.com. Tele: 519-742-2564.

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Real Estate and Living in Belize and Placencia

Belize………. Where is it? That was one of the first questions I heard when I decided to come for a visit.  Belize is a small country with only about 330,000 people that live here. Belize is on the Caribbean tucked between Mexico and Guatemala. Belize has all different types of cultures and people living here. You can be on the beautiful crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea and then 1 hour later at the tallest mountain in Belize called Victoria Peak and then a few more miles and you can be at any one of hundreds of Archeological Mayan Ruins throughout the country.  Belize is part of the British Commonwealth and operates under British Common Law just as in Canada and other British Commonwealth countries. Also because of the many US ex pats in Belize, there is a little US culture here as well.  You can drive the whole length of the country in about 9 hours.

Belize is experiencing a countrywide real-estate boom.  In Placencia we have the best drinking water from artesian wells piped to Placencia and you can drink right from the tap. There is a new international airport under construction, a 200- slip mega yacht marina under construction, and marina village, 18-hole signature Trent Jones Golf Course planned, high end casino planned, and more coming to Sunny Placencia. Placencia has just obtained funding for a waste water treatment plant; funding for a revitalization project of Placencia Pointe, and the funds are in for a new health center by the Municipal airport in Placencia.  The Village is just cutting through some red tape and then they will start looking for a contractor and commence construction. There are many other infrastructure projects going on to make Belize real estate and Placencia real estate an excellent investment opportunity.  Many of our clients have made remarks about moving their funds from the stock markets or other investments to offshore investments. This is a growing trend especially here in Belize with its full title ownership; Belize is English speaking, low property taxes, no capital gains tax, and some of the best diving and fishing at the world’s second largest reef.  As Belize gains popularity as a world class Caribbean destination there is no end in sight. There are hot new areas such as Placencia, Hopkins, Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye and other more private areas as Gales Point, Punta Negra, Commerce Bight and the like.

Everyone asks how much does it cost to live in Belize? That is a tough question because it depends on where you live in Belize and what you like to do for entertainment, food, travel, etc.  Rent can be anywhere from a couple hundred USD to three or four thousand USD per month. Your electric bill depends on how much you use the A/C.  We pay .51 per kwh here in Placencia so if you are careful not to use the A/C a lot you can spend about $200 BZD for a 2 bedroom house. Water in Placencia is about .01 BZD per gallon with a $10 BZD minimum but most of the time water is included in rent if you are renting. Garbage pickup is $22.50 BZD per month. Cable is normally included with rent but if it was not it would be like $45/month BZ. Your cellular phone depends on how much you use it but it is pay as you go. The phone companies have double and triple so if you buy like $50 BZ and more on those days you get $150 but anything under that is double. The most expensive is food especially if you want to eat like a North American. I spend like $800- $1,000 USD per month on food, paper products, dog and cat food, hair products, prescriptions etc.  If you want imported cheese, steaks and things like that, you can. Car insurance and house insurance is cheaper compared to some places in the US.  I pay $390BZD per year for liability-only car insurance for my 2002 Suzuki Grand Vitara and $190/ year BZD for my golf cart.   This is cost of living in Placencia. Living in Cayo will be cheaper all the way around. Lunch Specials in Belize run about $8BZD- $10BZD per plate- that is a meat, rice and beans and coleslaw, what a steal!

Another question I get a lot is where is the best place to live in Belize. The best thing I say is visit each one and you will know. My first trip here about 5 years ago that is what we did and we fell in love with Placencia. Here is a very brief overview of different areas to live in Belize.

Placencia- Placencia is a 25 Mile Peninsula with the Caribbean Ocean on one side and the Placencia Lagoon on the other side with beautiful Maya Mountain Views.  Placencia is laid back and quant, where everyone knows everyone. Placencia is home to the newest paved road and best road in Belize. It was finished August of 2010. Then at mile 5 in the Placencia Road is where the new International Airport is currently under construction. Then Placencia just receive funding to install a waste water treatment plant and a $4 million dollar revitalization of Placencia Point where they will redo the docks and add landscaping and things like that.  Placencia has some of the nicest beaches in all of Belize and has some shopping, banks, restaurants and quant hotels. With all this development going on and more planned, there is still room for property values to go up, way up. With Placencia real estate, you will get your investment back in property values and rental if you choose to do so. Placencia runs around 35%- 45% Occupancy rate right now but will go up as the airport opens.

San Pedro, Ambergris Caye- San Pedro is about a 25 mile Island in the northern part of Belize. Ambergris Caye properties are in demand and San Pedro is the hottest tourist destination in Belize right now. Occupancy rates run about 45%- 60%; and some resorts like Coco Beach run around 78%. San Pedro is nice for diving as well because the reef is so close to shore. San Pedro is a little more city life, and night life. You will make pretty good money on rentals right away. There are a few condo developments that you can get at preconstruction to get some good deals. Most of San Pedro will be condos – I would say 75% of the market is condos and the rest is houses. Since the reef is so close there is not a lot of wave activity so the sea grass is more and the beaches are not good swimming beaches.

Corozal- Is in the northern part of Belize and is tucked beside Mexico, Corozal is close to Chetumal Mexico, where you can get all the comforts of North America like McDonalds, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Pizza Hut and so on. Corozal is pretty close to San Pedro for day trips if you like. Real Estate prices are reasonable still. Corozal is like a bay and the beach is rocky.

Cayo Area- Is made up of San Ignacio, Benque, Belmopan, and all kinds of little villages in between. This area is more mountainous and a few really nice rivers. Many things in Cayo are cheaper than in San Pedro or Placencia. The Cayo area is really nice and peaceful but a little more spread out. Real Estate here in Cayo is cheaper than Placencia or San Pedro but costss more than Corozal.

I hope you enjoyed my little overview of Real Estate in Belize and Placencia.

David Kafka

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Swim With the Big Fish in Belize

Placencia: The Sailing Adventure Capital of Belize: The 23-mile Placencia Peninsula, located in the southern district of Stann Creek, is one of Belize’s most sensational seashore communities.  Often compared to Cancun’s famous Caribbean Hotel Zone beach and Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman, Placencia serves up a stunning shoreline rimmed by the turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. As you wend your way from north to south along the peninsula from the Placencia Water Tower, you’ll pass through Riversdale (home of the new international airport), The Plantation area, Maya Beach, The Villas at CocoPlum, Seine Bight Village, south of Seine Bight Village to the airstrip (serviced by Belize’s domestic carriers, Tropic Air and Maya Island Air) and to Placencia Village at the southernmost tip of the peninsula. Follow the map from Riversdale (north of Placencia) to the tip of the Placencia Peninsula.

Once a fishing village, Placencia Village is the main hub of the peninsula. With a population of less than 1,000 people, Placencia is a charming village that boasts a variety of quaint shops, restaurants, inns and tour outlets. Belize’s spectacular Placencia Peninsula is renowned as the “Sailing Adventure Capital of Belize”.

Aquatic Activities in Placencia:  Placencia is brimming with activities to suit and inspire landlubbers and sailors alike. The world’s best diving and snorkeling is only 16 miles offshore (and a short boat hop away) at the world-famous Belize Barrier Reef . Placencia is a perfect location to spot frolicking dolphins from the comfort of a palapa-shaded beach chair. Or you can swim with the big fish in Belize. Plunge into the brink and swim with the whale sharks as they migrate through Belizean waters from February to June annually. The biggest fish in the world, whale sharks grow up to 50 feet long and weigh up to 50,000 pounds. The annual whale shark migration is a big event in Placencia.

Other aquatic activities along the eastern shore of the Peninsula include swimming, sea kayaking, sailing/boating, windsurfing, deep sea fishing, saltwater fly-fishing and expeditions to the offshore Cayes. Along the western coast of the Peninsula, the Placencia lagoon is rife with wildlife, birds, and is home to the “sea cows”, the gentle manatees.

Landlubber Activities in Placencia: Endless land-based activities in and around Placencia include excursions to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the world’s largest jaguar preserve; tours to Monkey River, where Howler Monkeys (considered the loudest land animal in the world) swing in the trees; horseback riding in the rainforest; spelunking/cave explorations; mountain biking along the peninsula; zip lining in the tropical rainforest; trips to nearby nature preserves and national parks; and expeditions to Mayan ruins and caves. Birders, beachcombers and butterfly fanatics will discover great finds, too, along the Placencia Peninsula. Entertainment options also include beach volleyball, bowling, horseshoes, bingo, beach bars and karaoke.

Festivals in Placencia:  For the more culturally inclined, Placencia boasts a vibrant arts community and hosts the “Placencia Arts Festival” . Placencia’s famous Lobsterfest Festival takes place annually in June.

Cafés and Restaurants in Placencia: Gourmands can nosh at any number of local, upscale eateries in Placencia, including Francis Ford Coppola’s Italian restaurant at his “Turtle Inn” .  Some 40 restaurants, bars and cafés line the Placencia Peninsula, ranging from ice cream parlors (TuttiFrutti Ice Cream Parlor), cafés (Michelo’s Belgian Café), international cuisine (Siripohn Thai Food, Danube Austrian Restaurant, French Connection, La Dolce Vita Italian Restaurant) beach bars and entertainment clubs (DeTatch Seafood Beach Bar & Grill, Maya Beach Bistro, Green Parrot, Pickled Parrot Bar & Grill, D’Eclipse Entertainment Club, Rumfish Y Vino,  J-Byrd’s Par, Tipsy Tuna Sports Bar, Wendy’s Restaurant & Bar, Yoli’s Bar & Grill) through to upscale establishments like Robert’s Grove.

Shops in Placencia:  There are several grocery shops in Placencia, including Wallen’s Market, Everyday Discount Grocery and Nang Kee store. In addition to groceries and staples, Wallen’s also operates a pharmacy and hardware store in Placencia. There is also a fresh fruit and vegetable market behind the RE/MAX Belize Property Center office on Main Street in Placencia Village. Placencia roadside kiosks sell fresh fruits, veggies and herbs such as oranges, bananas, apples, onions, potatoes, broccoli and cilantro. The Fish Co-op sells fresh seafood at very good prices. Liquor, beer and wine are available in most retail food outlets. Placencia has three banks – Atlantic Bank, Scotia Bank and Belize Bank, with numerous ATM machines located throughout the Village.

Getting to Placencia:  Airlines that offer flights to Belize include: American Airlines; Continental Airlines; Delta Air Lines; TACA Airlines; United Airlines and US Airways.  From Belize’s Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport, you can hop a flight to Placencia on either of Belize’s domestic airlines – Tropic Air or Maya Island Air. If you drive from Belize City, the road into Placencia has recently been paved and upgraded, making for a smooth and comfortable trip along the Placencia Peninsula.

Real Estate in Placencia: If you are interested in Belize real estate, Placencia offers many enticing options. Choose from luxury beachfront condos in Placencia; beach houses in Placencia; upscale villas in Placencia; development property in Placencia; oceanfront lots in Placencia; commercial opportunities in Placencia; luxury homes in Placencia; resorts for sale in Placencia. The experienced Belize real estate team at RE/MAX Belize Property Center can help you find the ideal property in Placencia – whether you are seeking a Belize retirement home, vacation property in Placencia or investment opportunity in Belize.

Candee is a freelance writer; and the Marketing and Public Relations Director of RE/MAX Belize Property Center. She is a member of the Advisory Board of Better in Belize, a 130-acre eco-community in Belize. Her enthusiasm and interest in environmental issues prompted her to write a book about SARS entitled “SARS: the Epidemic – and Other Modern Day Plagues” and “The Buzz about West Nile Virus“. Candee has also written about initiatives to rescue the rainforests, organic cacao in Belize, saving the wild parrots of Belize and Belize’s Crystal Skull.

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Belize property is an awesome way to get your dreams fulfilled easily and affordably.

It is good to be associated with something that you desire for and when you achieve it gives you all sorts of happiness that is desirable. Belize Real Estate is an efficient way to get your dream home or office that you have desired to get in your life as quickly as possible. It is an asset in life that takes years to get what you want in your life. Belize Real Estate is very good and smart in the way that services that they offer are world class and awesome in all prospects. It provides you with all kinds of varieties and styles that you want in your house or office.

All that you require in life is a good house that you can say that you own it and have taken the correct path to get to that position. It takes years to get to a position that you want in life and have that recognition be associated with you as much as possible. Belize Property give you all types of flats, complexes and resorts that you want in your life that makes it an essential feature of your life. Belize Property is the best that provides you all sorts of varieties of properties that you want in your life to be embedded with you.

Belize Condos are an awesome way to get what you want and they are amazing in all prospects and services that they provide are really world class. It is good in all respects and servicers that it provides are awesome in nature. Belize Condos are finest in all respects with the way they present themselves to others and facilities that they offer are marvelous in all respects and forms of life. It provides you with all that you want and they really are good in giving you all that they promise. It is a way to make your family happy and joyful in all respects.

Belize Condominiums are very good in the way they are presented to you and also way it is made. It is really a good way to know your surroundings as well as your close family members. It is good to be out there with your friends and family that makes it easier to be happy and prosperous in life. Belize Condominiums are an awesome tool that is made especially made to make you and your family happy in all prospects of life. It is to get all that you want with your family.

 

Ambergris Caye is that aspect of nature that is out there and gives you immense beauty to be associated with you and your life. It is full of all sorts of spots that you want to associate yourself to it and get that ultimate happiness be imbibed in you. Ambergris Caye provides you all sorts of adventures, awesome places that you feel as a part of heaven on earth and also festivals that it carries are all great to be associated with you and your family. It is that part of earth that gives you a clear view of how nature looks like.

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Sink or Swim in Ambergris Caye: Dive the Great Blue Hole

Ambergris Caye is the largest of the Belize cayes (islands) and is the #1 tourist and retirement destination in Belize, rated as one of the top islands in the Caribbean. If you’re curious about how to get to Ambergris Caye, access is by private boat, public water taxi, or plane – it’s about 36 miles from the Belize mainland. Tropic Air and Maya Island Air offer regular flights to Ambergris Caye from the mainland – just a short hop and a jump away.Of the legendary sights and many things to do in Ambergris Caye, a visit to the Great Blue Hole should top your list. This gigantic limestone “sinkhole”, formed after the last Ice Age, was once a cave which morphed into a hole when the cave’s roof gave way – overrun by the Caribbean Sea. The Ambergris Caye Trip Advisor rates this as one of the Top 10 attractions on Ambergris. Contact the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association for a list of qualified guides.

If you’d rather sip a Mojito at a swim-up bar than paddle in a 415’-deep sinkhole, head for Coco Beach Resort, the only San Pedro Resort that made it into Expedia® Insiders’ Select™ 2011 List of the Top 500 Hotels in the World.  Coco Beach offers Ambergris Caye condo rentals for people who want the ambience and exotic elegance of a top-rated San Pedro resort.

Coco Beach Resort pulses with the precision of a Swiss watch. At the heart of their success are people – their exceptionally competent and cordial management team; the friendly Belizean locals who greet guests at the pier with cool towels and Belizean rum punch; the many newlyweds who plan their weddings with the resorts’ wedding and event coordinator; the scores of scuba divers who enjoy relaxing in the hot tub after a day of sighting porgies, puffers and parrotfish on Belize’s Barrier Reef; the young families who appreciate the on-site amenities and pool complexes; the smart investors who love the Barefoot Luxury® and appreciation of their investment; the RE/MAX Belize real estate team who provide insight, information and sales expertise to visitors and vacationers.

Coco Beach Resort is one of five upscale San Pedro resort and residential properties developed and managed by Sandy Point Resorts, the brainchild of Herman and Douglas Penland. The Penlands are a father/son team with a 14-year history of developing, building and successfully managing Ambergris Caye condos.

Creating waves in Belize with their latest 5-star resort, Venezia del Caribe, the Penlands are invoking the architectural elegance of Venice on the beaches of Belize. The result will be an intoxicatingly romantic blend of Old World and New World luxury and charm that is sure to appeal to vacationers and investors alike. Venezia del Caribe will be home to one of the largest sweet water signature free-form swimming pools in Central America.

So, swim or sink in Ambergris Caye – the choice is yours. Dive the Great Blue Hole in the morning and sip a tall, cool one at the swim-up bar at Coco Beach in the afternoon. Let us help you plan your trip to this spectacular island in the Caribbean.

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