I work in banking but I did buy a restaurant here in Belize and I know many people who own property. You have to be very careful when you do buy something. What I usually advise people who come here is when looking at purchasing a property, once you find what you like, ask for the copy of the title. You get a title search done and notarized to show no encumbrances or liens on the property. That way, At least you are aware of any situations you need to be aware of and you can deal with it.
Also, make sure that the names on the title search match the name on the title. That is very important. If the property is held in the name of a company, which is another way to purchase property here in Belize, you need to get a certificate of good standing for the company showing the directors and shareholders of it to make sure that too matches the title. With that, you know who owns the property and that you are free and clear to buy it. With the person’s standing in front of you is the person named on the title, we would consider lending on that as a bank, too.
As a bank we need to see clear title. If it is in the name of a corporation, we need to know that the corporation is in good standing and the corporation has no liens or encumbrances against it, too. So while the property might have clear title but the ownership is in the name of a company, somebody might have a lien or a restriction on that company. We are very conscientious when it comes to our lending. We need to increase our loans portfolio, but we will only do it if the property is free and clear title.