Riverfront Real Estate In Belize

Real Riverfront Assets For As Little As US$21,250

At our Emergency Offshore Summit last week, we discussed the advantages, in the current global climate, of putting some of your available investment funds into dirt.

I don’t mean burying cash in your back yard. I’m talking about diversifying investment funds into foreign real estate, especially productive land.

First, real estate is a real asset.

Second, foreign real estate is outside the United States and therefore difficult for U.S. authorities to seize or attach.

Third, real estate is one of two asset classes that you needn’t report to the U.S. tax authorities.

This week, I’d like to share some of the global real estate opportunities we highlighted during last week’s conference, starting today with a back-to-basics buy that I like as a lifestyle option, as a long-term investment play, and because it comes with a very modest capital requirement.

I’m talking about a riverfront retirement community called Carmelita being developed in western Belize, in the fertile Belize River Valley.

On one side of Carmelita is rain forest; on the other is the Belize River. The property is 450 acres, with more than a mile of riverfront and a spectacular view of the Maya Mountains. It is within this pastoral setting that Phil Hahn, with seven years of experience developing land and doing business in Belize, is laying out his “New Ruralist” community.

The plan is to preserve the 150 acres of rain forest, home to howler monkeys and native fruit trees, on the north side of the property, while incorporating a new village with room for organic gardens, micro-farms, and community agriculture.

The New Ruralism movement is becoming increasingly popular as more and more people are looking to live “off the grid” and off the land. This beautiful Belize River Valley is an ideal place to pursue this way of life.

Organic food and organic gardening are big and growing industries. Since 1990, the organic food market has seen average growth of 20% per year, and the organic sector of the lawn and garden market, likewise, has enjoyed stellar growth.

While many industries and sectors are struggling in the face of the current economic climate, this organic sector could continue to expand because of the down global economy. Current economic realities are motivating more and more people to look for ways to be more self-sufficient.

Price point is key, the critical element of any buy decision today. This is where Phil has a real advantage at Carmelita. Thanks to his low basis in the land, the availability of resources nearby, and the off-the-grid philosophy, home sites are priced from US$25,000 to US$45,000, depending on size and location, and you can purchase a small off-the-grid Garden Cottage for US$109,500.

However, for you, as a Live and Invest Overseas reader, the pricing is even more appealing. As I explained to Phil when I spoke with him last week, I don’t want my readers to pay retail, ever. He replied to offer a 15% discount for Live and Invest Overseas readers only, meaning the cost to you to purchase a lot at Carmelita could be as little as US$21,250.

The philosophy at Carmelita is simple. Phil is providing an affordable place for people to live a healthy and happy lifestyle. And he’s launching this new opportunity at a time when these back-to-basics values have more resonance than they have had in decades.

The Cayo District, the region of Belize where the Carmelita community is taking shape, has quietly become the fastest-growing area in Belize. The lush tropical rain forests you find here, the abundant fresh-water rivers, the largest underground cave system in the Western Hemisphere, and the fertile Belize River Valley once supported hundreds of thousands of Maya. Today the entire population of Belize is barely 300,000. While there are still Maya villages in the Mountain Pine Ridge region, the friendly residents, both locals and expats, of the Cayo District come from all walks of life and diverse ethnic backgrounds. However, as Belize is a British Commonwealth, with English as its official language, it is an easy place to acclimate.

The Carmelita community will be powered by solar panels, and it will boast the latest eco-friendly septic processing systems. Traffic will be limited to human power (biking and walking) and golf carts.

The big-picture development plan is for sustainability…not eco for the sake of eco, but sustainable for the freedom that brings.

Personal independence is a critical part of the history of Belize. This country was founded by pirates, and it continues to embrace a freedom-loving approach to life and government. Bottom line, Belizeans don’t like government. They don’t like anyone interfering in their affairs. What they do like is minding their own business and living independently. These qualities are perhaps unexpectedly combined with a warm and welcoming hospitality. Phil has been inspired by that combination to design a community where, as he puts it, “People can be independent together.”

The community overall is being conceived to operate as independently as possible. At Carmelita, you won’t have to worry about power outages, because you won’t be dependent on the local electric company. You’ll know where your food comes from, because you’ll be able to look out your window at backyard gardens and community fruit groves. Houses and other structures will be built from local materials, including the beautiful and exotic local hardwoods.

With more and more people looking to escape government control and intervention and to find options for living more independently, the timing for a community like Carmelita is perfect. And, again, Belize is an ideal choice if you’re looking for a place to take control of your life.

Of course, as an investor in Carmelita, you don’t have to buy into all of the premises and philosophy behind the design and the master plan. The important thing for an investor to understand is that there is a fast-growing and very viable market for this kind of independent, sustainable living community. The idea and vision behind Carmelita are very saleable, as is the riverfront location.

And the super-low price point makes this a very realistic option even if your budget is small.

Lief Simon

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