Why We Invested in Belize

Friends,

My wife, Rosie, son, Andrew, and I just returned from a trip to Belize where we visited some investment/vacation property we purchased a year and a half ago in a development called Kanantik Belize. We knew it was a smart investment when we made it but after touring the development and seeing, first hand, the progress the developers continue to make on their first development, Sanctuary Belize, located adjacent to Kanantik, we’re even more confident in our decision; so confident, in fact, had we not just purchased a home here in Renton, we would have purchased a third lot in Kanantik.

I’m writing to let you know about this because I know you share some of my reservations about where this nation is headed financially and may, like I was, be looking for another place to invest some of your assets. Of course, this opportunity isn’t for everyone and I certainly wouldn’t advise you to invest everything in Belize – we still hold the majority of our investments here in the U.S. – but if you believe that not putting all your eggs in one basket is a wise investment strategy then this might be for you.

If, after reading, you’d like to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

WHY WE INVESTED IN KANANTIK

The Financial Crisis Hits

Before investing in Kanantik Belize I did extensive research. In the fall of 2008, when many of us began to see the writing on the wall what with the financial crisis and such, I knew it was time to explore other investment options outside the U.S., a place that, should the U.S. banking system continue to falter as it has, would be a safe haven for at least some of our assets.

A Wonderful Nation Called Belize

Without a doubt, Belize rose to the top. It has been a stable nation since gaining a peaceful independence from the U.K. in 1981; it has a low crime rate; it still maintains banking confidentiality (something we can no longer say for Switzerland); it’s just a few hours’ flight from the southern U.S.; and, oh, it has a beautiful climate, maintaining 75-85 degrees year round!

A Wonderful Development Called Kanantik Belize

After settling on Belize I began researching real estate opportunities there and came across Sanctuary Belize, a development of Eco-Futures Belize Limited, a partnership headed by Americans, Belizeans and Australians, that has already won several awards and been recognized by the Belizean government for its care for the environment and wise development strategies. In fact, the Belizean government recently gave the development an US$80 million tax and duty concession!

When a friend of mine who is an investment adviser here in Washington purchased in Sanctuary Belize, raved about it, and then invited me to meet with the developers in August 2011, Rosie and I were sold.

A Low Risk Development Strategy

Sanctuary and Kanantik stand out for many reasons. They operate on a no-debt model meaning that there is not risk that the developers are going to skip out and leave investors holding a worthless piece of land and, as I mentioned above, some of the developers are locals, including the Chairman and Managing Director of Sanctuary Belize, a jovial and welcoming man who has many years of experience in business and real estate development, Johnny Usher. If something were to happen he and the other locals would  have no place to go so they’re more committed than anyone to its success. And Sanctuary Belize, the largest development in Belize at 14,000 acres, continues to remain on track with its development goals. Last fall it flooded the 250 slip marina and many owners have begun building on their lots. At least one couple has already moved there full-time.

First-Class Development Plan

Sanctuary and Kanantik are also doing things first class. Although Belize is a safe nation, none of us would ever think of leaving our homes unattended for a long period of time so one of the most important things about the development is that it will have full-time security. And for those people looking to use their property as a vacation rental when they’re not in residence, the developers have recently acquired the Caldwell Bank Real Estate franchise for the nation of Belize and will be able to provide rental as well as resale services to owners.

Amenities

Sanctuary and Kanantik will have some of the greatest amenities in the whole country. The 250 slip marina I mentioned above will be the only deep water marina in the nation, meaning that sailors from around the Caribbean will come to moor, making it a vibrant place to visit.

The Sanctuary development is situated on 14,000 acres of savanna, jungle, river and beach. Only 4000 acres has been set aside for development though meaning that the area will remain lush and beautiful, an important feature that draws many people to this beautiful nation.

The Marina Village in Sanctuary will feature a hotel, condos, a restaurant as well as other shops. Including some of the best gelato this side of Milan, which we sampled on a day trip to Placencia where the current gelato shop, which is owned by a Milanese woman, is located. It will move or expand to Sanctuary Belize once development of the Marina Village is complete.)

Sanctuary Belize also owns a private caye about 20 miles off shore (water taxi service will be provided for those who don’t own a boat). Our day out there was postcard perfect.

Twenty miles off shore, Sanctuary Belize’s private island, Sanctuary Caye

A golf course and many other amenities are also either under construction or are planned for development during the next few years.

Kanantik

Sanctuary Belize is wonderful but because its development is well underway and it has been so popular, many of the less expensive lots have already been snatched up. While there is still great opportunity there, the developers realized the growing demand and recently began a second development, Kanantik. This is where Rosie and I chose to purchase two lots simply because we were able to get in on the ground floor (we’re investor number 16 in this development). The developers haven’t yet opened up Kanantik to more investors but they will soon and I have no doubt it will follow the same trend as Sanctuary Belize.

Kanantik borders Sanctuary Belize to the south. Originally it was planned as a much smaller, 400 acre development with few amenities but the developers were able to purchase another 5400 acres and add amenities rivaling, if not surpassing those in Sanctuary, including a golf course, restaurants, and private cay.

Belize is a beautiful nation full of friendly and vibrant people and a wealth of opportunity. Sanctuary Belize and Kanantik Belize are Belize’s premier developments. I’d love to share more about this opportunity and maybe even count you as a neighbor there in the future. If this interests you or you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call or email me. If enough people are interested, the developers have agreed to make another visit up to the Seattle area to go over things in more detail and answer questions that I may not be able to.