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Grand Baymen is one such condo community in San Pedro that we've told you about in the past. The developer here has contacted me to alert me to the launch of a new phase of one-bedroom apartments specifically intended for the rental market. He has put together a program that is attractive for both investors and future retirees. The big attraction is the guaranteed rent for the first three years.

Normally, I avoid guaranteed return investments. You have to question how a developer is going to be able to afford paying out the guaranteed yield. Maybe by overpricing the units? In truth, that's often the case.

In this case, however, I know the developer well. The pricing for these new units is in line with prices for condos of similar quality, and the developer owns an operating resort, meaning he has the ability to fill the units with renters to generate the income to cover the guarantee. In addition, he also has the financial stability to make up any shortfall should he not meet the occupancy rates needed to generate the required cash flow.

You don't have to take the guaranteed yield offer. You could simply buy a unit and put it into the rental pool yourself. You'd have to expect, though, that the units in the program would be filled first.

The real benefit of the offer the developer has packaged for these one-bedroom rental units (other apartments are available for those looking for something larger, but those don't come with the yield guarantee) is that he is also offering financing. The terms tie into the three-year guarantee. You make a down payment of 20% (US$23,980) and furnish the apartment (the developer has put together an US$8,000 furniture package). You finance the balance with the developer over the three-year guaranteed-yield period and then can refinance at the end of those three years through a local bank if you'd like.

The developer financing is at 10% interest with a 30-year amortization. This translates to a monthly payment of US$842. The monthly guaranteed rental income from the developer is US$1,250. Out of that US$1,250 per month, you pay the mortgage, the HOA fees (US$82 per month), and the property taxes (US$25 per month). That leaves you with a positive cash flow of US$301 per month. That's an 11% cash-on-cash return on your down payment and furniture cost.

After the guarantee period, you can refinance with the bank and keep your unit in the rental pool, pay off the loan and move in, rent out the place yourself, or any combination of those you like.

If you're an investor, this is a great opportunity to invest with a relatively small capital requirement (US$31,980 in total). You don't have to qualify for the initial developer financing, and you know that your first three years of mortgage payments are covered going in.

If you're a future retiree, you could buy today and lock in a good price on your apartment, enjoy some extra cash flow over the next three years, then move in when you eventually retire in three or more years.

The apartments are to be built in a development where the amenities are already in place, and the developer has a track record both in development and resort management. Both renters and owners at Grand Baymen have access to the beach through the sister resort Exotic Caye.

For the price, you'll be hard pressed to find a better offer from a developer on Ambergris Caye or anywhere in the Caribbean. For more details, inquire here.

Lief SimonContinue Reading:

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Because I couldn't be in Belize City with the group myself, I asked Belize Correspondent Ann Kuffner, resident in this country, on Ambergris Caye, for five years, to keep you (and me) in touch with the goings-on...

"Carl," Ann wrote overnight, "is in Belize City this week with us for his second Live and Invest in Belize event. Last year, he explained, he hesitated to approach me or the other speakers. He just wasn't comfortable yet with the whole idea of moving to a new country.

"This year he contacted me via e-mail before the conference and asked if we could arrange time to speak one-on-one. I encouraged him, assuring him that this is what we are here for! In the meeting rooms of the Ft. George Hotel this week, we've convened about three-dozen Belize experts, all of us on hand to assist the attendees, answer their questions, and work through their fears about moving overseas.

"Carl joined my husband Mike and me for breakfast Monday morning. It's great fun to watch as he embraces the opportunities before him. I can see that he is beginning to grasp how exciting it can be to make a move like this...to reinvent your life in a new place.

"Carl was a paralegal in his professional life and continues to work part-time on the side. He also trades online. But now what he'd like is to find a way to give back. He's looking for opportunities to volunteer in Belize. Meantime, he's not sure which location in this country is right for him. He'll be going to visit Carmelita after the conference and then traveling over to Ambergris Caye to join the Grand Baymen tour group. He is staying on in Belize for a month and really intends, this trip, to figure out a plan. He is glad that he came back for a second LIO conference, because, now, he's ready.

"Carl isn't alone. Several other attendees in Belize City with us this week have been to other LIO events. As they've realized, there is so much to learn, and now, for them, this second (even third) time around, so much more is sinking in. Some have returned with a spouse or significant other, recognizing that that's key...to make this kind of decision jointly.

"Carolyn and Ed, for example, are a 70-something couple from Michigan. They've sold their home recently and are working through the adjustment to being free now to pursue adventure. They're here at the conference this week to prepare to explore options for living part-time in this country. Like many others I'm speaking with, they want to take time to look at both Ambergris Caye (Caribbean island) and the Cayo (in Belize's interior). Carolyn and Ed, again like so many readers I'm speaking with, are taking things one step at a time, getting comfortable before making a commitment.

"In fact, I met Carolyn before this week's conference, on Ambergris Caye last February, when she and Ed spent a few days at Grand Baymen's resort in San Pedro. We chatted at the pool one day. When I found out she lived in Michigan, I told her I grew up in Detroit. She was a teacher there, she said, at an all-girl Catholic high school.

"'Ah, I graduated from an all-girl Catholic high school," I replied. "Dominican."

"It turns out, that's where Carolyn taught! She was a young nun at my school when I was a student. When she explained that she had been Sister Serena, I remembered her right away. She was an attractive, lively young nun, one of our favorites. Not long after that she left the convent and eventually married. What a small world!

"Harvey Kidman, another attendee here in Belize this week, is a man on a mission. Harvey sets up and runs non-profit vocational schools around the world to teach locals skills that will help them to earn a living. Harvey has been living in Afghanistan for the last few years, where he set up several schools with help from USAID and other organizations.

"Now Harvey has targeted Belize. He likes what Belize has to offer, both politically and from a doing-business point of view, and he is here this week to find out if this country is interested in the kinds of program he wants to create.

"After hearing Arturro Lizarraga, who spoke today about opportunities in Belize's Free Zone, Harvey was encouraged. He and Arturro are meeting for dinner to discuss Harvey's plan further..."

Kathleen Peddicord

P.S. Ann has promised to continue to report from the scene each day this week as our Live and Invest in Belize Conference continues. More tomorrow...Continue Reading:

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Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter.

Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.

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