Belize Real Estate News

December 8, 2015 - Bound for Belize: How Homes in Belize Differ From Homes in North America

So you’re interested in Belize real estate! Whether you are looking to buy a Belize vacation home, build a permanent residence, or simply relocate to Belize for a while (or anything in between), you’ll need to know what to expect. The information below, compiled by our Belize real estate lawyers, is for you.

Comparing the homes in Belize to an American or Canadian home will really depend on where in the US or Canada you live.

One of the major differences is that there are no furnaces in a home in Belize, because there is no need to heat a home in Belize. It cools down in the winter months but not enough to require a wood-burning fireplace or a gas furnace or an electric furnace; in other words, something to heat that home.

The majority of structures in Belize are manufactured or constructed out of concrete, because this type of construction holds up better in a humid tropical environment, and also one in which there are tropical storms and hurricanes. This may not be the case in the US or Canada where there are a lot of wooden homes, log homes, and a lot of different building materials used.

Some of the newer buildings, especially if they were constructed by or for expats, use ductwork or forced air whole house systems. However, the vast majority of air-conditioning systems that you see in Belize are “split units.” Split units are utilized for individual rooms rather than an entire house. So, for example, if you own a 3-bedroom house, the chances are that each bedroom would have its own air conditioning unit. This would be similar to the old style window unit air conditioners except they’re usually installed at a higher level in the room and they’re not affixed in the window so you still have your window use. The condenser is outside and the blower and the fan are inside.

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The construction standards in Belize vary depending on the type of contractor you hire, their experience, and what you are paying for as far as quality of building materials. As a result, the construction standards in Belize range from the very low to the very high.

There are some fantastic high priced structures recently constructed here in Belize City using modern technology and techniques and modern materials. There are some great engineers and architects here in Belize, and there are some engineers and architects on the low end as well.

If someone is interested in coming to Belize and building a structure, whether a Belize vacation home or Belize permanent residence, they should do their due diligence. Certainly, there are qualified professionals to assist and put up a world class structure for you in the country but at the same time, if you don’t do your due diligence, ask around, and ask for references, there are also probably several contractors that would not produce a building that would be adequate or satisfying for someone coming from the more developed world.

Certainly, there is a need to apply for and be granted a building permit before erecting structures in Belize. There is a building authority that does inspections of buildings before they are deemed habitable. As far as installing electricity to a building, there are certain codes in place and the building needs to be inspected by Belize Electricity Limited prior to them turning on current to a structure. So licensing, permitting, and inspections are needed for a building or buildings in Belize to exist.

There are no skyscrapers in Belize. There are no huge units, or anything of that nature. The inspectors in Belize do a sufficient job and the Belize real estate attorneys at our Belize law firm haven’t heard of any unsafe buildings being constructed or anyone getting hurt.

When looking into purchasing Belize real estate, Belize property, or a Belize vacation home, if it's comfort you're after, you can certainly make it happen.

Don’t forget to visit our Belize Real Estate FAQ page for additional information from Belize real estate attorneys by clicking here.

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