You Better Belize it! Carlo Habet Talks How To Navigate Buying A Private Island In Another Country

Carlo Habet

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Nestled away in a matchless spot, Belize is a nation of Hispanic, English, and Caribbean influence and a top destination on any traveler’s list. The coastal paradise boasts lush jungles, historic Mayan ruins, and snaking rivers that run from the tip of Corozal to the bottom of Toledo. As you venture out to the coast, you’ll find quaint islands like Caye Caulker, where “go slow” is the charming motto the island’s residents live by. The more popular Ambergris Caye is home to San Pedro Town, the continually growing marquee destination for ex-pats from all walks of life. Proximity to the Barrier Reef, crystal blue waters, and year-round summery weather have made Belize a go-to vacation spot and a second or even permanent home to many. Whether you’re a free spirit who wants to put down roots on an island oasis or an entrepreneur planning your next big move, Belize has something for you – you betta Belize it.

Belize is often praised for its undisturbed flora and fauna replete with lush jungles and thoughtfully restricted marine zones making the country an ecotourist’s haven. In a world where climate change and reducing one’s carbon footprint are ever-growing concerns, Belize is a veritable utopia where Mother Nature still reigns supreme. A number of established eco-resorts - many of them private-island-based - enjoy very consistent high-end business whilst legitimately pioneering a new way of traveling. Size isn’t an issue either; the moderately-sized 7-acre Ray Caye located about an hour’s boat ride from Placencia, has 20 rooms and accommodates no more than 50 guests at a time and also features a pristine gym, yoga studio, Pelagic store, and gift shop. 

The private island buy-in is actually more flexible than one would expect with costs ranging from as low as US $250,000 for 1–2-acre options to as much as US $20 million for behemoth acreages prime for development. Most of the private islands in Belize are undeveloped, making it a playground for creating the tropical paradise of your dreams. Building from the ground up ensures that you’ll get exactly what you want every step of the way. Imagine the possibilities of launching a boat off of your own private deck or concluding the 2-hour flight to Belize from Miami by landing on your own heliport? It’s important to note that some structures might require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which may seem intimidating but is a non-factor with the right builders. 

The country benefits from a fixed exchange rate of two to one to the US dollar (BZE $2 = US $1), currencies such as £ Pounds and € Euros can be exchanged at most banks. The combination of the stable and predictable currency, an ever-increasing demand for rooms, and new flights being continually added, makes for a favorable business environment for those looking to net strong ROI as they consider a potential move or investment. Of course, you may also just be looking for your dream escape, expenses be damned. 

Now that you're at the point of buying a private island, you might be asking ‘how does one navigate the tricky world of real estate with the laws and regulations from a country unknown to you’? This is where the expertise of a firm like 4Realty comes in. A service leader in the industry, our broker and agents offer a distinct and proven insight into Belize’s landscape and pride themselves on providing excellent and ethical service to their clients. The right agency hits the ground running, from the early stages of direct marketing and advertising to closing the deal on your new paradise home. Throughout the process, you need to be able to trust that you’re in the capable hands of seasoned agents whose goal is to see their buyers and sellers walk away happy and free. 

In Belize, real estate agents can represent both the buyer and seller which can sometimes lead to murky deals. That’s why it’s important to choose a firm like 4Realty that’s an International Realtor® Member and a proud member of the Belize National Association of Real Estate (BNAR), an organization committed to implementing legislation and licensure within the industry and abides by a stringent code of ethics. If you require further help in developing your newly acquired property, starting a business, navigating permits, or anything else you might need to make your move to Belize seamless, you can count on the consulting branch of 4Realty, Arch Consulting Group to dutifully guide you through the process. As luxury real estate continues to rise in Belize, isn’t it time to kick your feet in the sand and stay awhile? 

For more information, please contact Carlo Habet at or +1 (754) 444-7773

Carlo Habet is the exclusive agent representing the Belize real estate market as a member of the Haute Residence Real Estate Network. View all of his listings here.

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