The Orchid Bay community in Belize that I’ve been telling you about for some time has big plans for 2015. Orchid Bay is turning its former Cazadores Park into a water feature and connecting it via canal to the Bay of Chetumal. The kilometer of canal is being designed for kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards. No gas engine boats allowed in an effort to keep the area quiet for owners and the local wildlife.
Fronting the new canal will be turn-key villas designed specifically for the retiree and vacation home owner.
Orchid Bay enjoys four kilometers of coastline. Still, not every residence on the property is waterfront. The chance to live right on the water is a big part of the appeal for this community. Thus the new canal. More than half of the canal villas will be on the water, and nearly all will have water views from their rooftop terraces.
Water views aren’t the only amenity at Orchid Bay. This development in the north of Belize already has in place a restaurant, pool, docks (for your motorized boats), and gardens. Orchid Bay is home to 20 full-time residents and another 70 seasonal residents. More than 50 houses and condos have been completed, and a sense of community is building.
Orchid Bay embraces the ideas of New Urbanism and walkability. The town is planned around central plazas, providing gathering spaces for residents.
One of Orchid Bay’s biggest advantages is its location, on the bay but also only 10 miles (across the bay) to Chetumal, Mexico, with its hospitals, museums, movie theatres, restaurants, and shopping malls. There’s even a Sam’s Club in Chetumal, meaning you could live a quiet and simple life by the Caribbean Sea but not have to travel too far for supplies or medical support. This situation near Mexico also means easy access from North America. You could fly directly to Belize City and then drive up the mainland coast to Orchid Bay…or you could fly into Cancun or Chetumal (via Mexico City).
Starting at US$189,000, the new canal villas are designed for flexibility. The one-bedroom model comes with a rooftop terrace so owners can take advantage of the sunshine and the water views. You could convert the terrace into a second level, adding one or two bedrooms, depending on your needs, and you could a third-story observation tower for bigger water views.
Even better than the low starting price for these villas is the available financing. The developer has worked with a local Belize bank to create a developer financing package. You put down 25% and then can finance the balance at 9.25% over five years using a 10-year amortization schedule. In other words, for the base model, you put down US$47,250, pay US$1,815 a month for 60 months, then pay the balance of US$86,919 at the end of five years.
While those terms aren’t what you’re likely used to back home, they are good for Belize. In addition, as it’s the developer offering the financing, you don’t have a high approval hurdle to clear.
For the investor or retiree not quite ready to move to Belize full-time, the financing coupled with the opportunity to rent out your villa when you’re not using it creates a retirement plan. Assuming furnishing costs of US$25,000, you could hit a 7% net yield if you achieved 50% occupancy and a US$175 average nightly rate for your one-bedroom villa. While 7% net yield is a decent yield, the cash flow from those figures would leave you short about US$500 a month if you did the developer financing.
Still, paying US$500 a month toward your dream retirement home today and being able to use it for vacations until you do retire amounts to great retirement planning.
Orchid Bay has developed into a ready-to-move-into Caribbean lifestyle option, with infrastructure in place, amenities built, and a community growing. If you’re in the market for a tropical paradise on the Caribbean, this is a great option…and an affordable one, thanks to the new 2015 canal villas.
You and your fellow Live and Invest Overseas readers are the first to hear about this new offering. This is a sneak peak of a new phase to be launched in the New Year.