Kanantik Belize spoke with a Placencia-based realtor, originally from Southern California. Charmaine Voss is the Managing Director of Coldwell Banker Belize and has been coming to Belize since 2012. In fact, she came specifically because of the demand for good real estate brokers. It represented that much of an opportunity. With the opening of the Coldwell Banker welcome center on Norwegian Cruise Lines’ new Harvest Caye private island resort, she’s spending a lot more time there.
Charmaine spends her free time in and around Placencia, where she does some snorkeling or on the mainland where she’s been known to hike some of Belize’s best waterfalls. She describes the people of the country as incredibly friendly and she reminds readers of just how much there is to do in the great outdoors of Belize. We wanted to ask Charmaine about some of the specifics in the real estate market and with an eye towards those who’ve already bought and are planning homes in Belize in the next several years.
Thanks for agreeing to speak with us Charmaine. Can you tell us how long you’ve lived in Belize and what inspired you to stay, live and work in Belize?
Q: About how many transactions are you a party to each year?
A: About 60 transactions in total.
Q: What are the most important differences between buying or selling a house in California vs. Belize?
A: The biggest difference would be that we have no licensing or governing board for the Real Estate profession here which makes it really hard to police the industry. There are no MLS systems and each individual agency has listings but also works with other agencies to promote those listings as well. It’s super important for someone to find a reputable agent or broker to work with. This was my biggest reason for wanting to start a real estate company down here.
Q: What changes in the Belize marketplace do you think potential Kanantik buyers should be most aware of?
A: There are so many exciting things happening with several fortune 500 companies investing millions in Belize. I believe it’s creating more and more awareness and it’s becoming really easy to get here. I firmly believe the market will continue to grow for the next 10 years as more and more people are exposed to this beautiful country.
Q: What do you think are some of the chief advantages for buyers interested in Kanantik at the present moment?
A: The real estate market in Belize is growing at a rapid pace. I have seen so much growth since I started coming here almost 5 years ago. With all the attention that our beautiful county is receiving from not only Fortune 500 companies right now along with the ease of purchasing property, I believe the perfect time to purchase is now as prices are increasing with all the attention our little gem is getting worldwide.
Q: How long, on average, does it take for buyers to close on a sale in Belize?
A: We’ve closed sales as quickly as 2 weeks and as long as 3 months.
Q: What do you think are the chief advantages to buying in a development versus any of the numerous other individual properties in and around Belize?
A: I think that buying in a development gives you a lot of advantages. There is security, a wonderful place for people to bond and form a community, and also have amenities at your fingertips without having to drive somewhere far to get them.
Q: What have been the most important factors for those who’ve already bought at Kanantik Belize?
A: There are truly quite a few, in my opinion. I’d say one of the biggest would be the need for vacation properties. There’s such a shortage in supply and we have a high demand. For those Kanantik owners that are looking for the perfect investment/vacation home, it’s perfect timing. I’m excited that we will have a vacation property management division located at Kanantik.
Q: What can people expect when they come to visit you?
A: Our main office is located in Placencia right next to Tutti Fruity and I’m there when I’m not at our newest location located on Harvest Caye.
Q: How long does a trip to Kanantik take, from say, Placencia?
A: It usually takes about 50 minutes to drive from our Coldwell Banker office in Placencia to the resort at Kanantik.
Extreme thanks go out to Charmaine for taking the time to answer our questions, and interested readers can inquire further through the Coldwell Banker Belize website.