Pricing, natural beauty, excellent weather
We purchased our beach lot on Nov 11, 2005. Mark Leonard and his staff were very helpful and professional from our boat ride to tour the property to completing the paperwork. The process went very smooth and the owner financing Mark offers was especially helpful to us.
We chose Belize because the pricing was affordable compared to other Caribbean properties we looked at. Belize has a stable democratic government, with fee simple title on land. The people are very friendly and speak English. The natural beauty of the area was a factor as well. The weather in the Corozal region is excellent. The QRP Retired Person Program after age 45 is a bonus. The cost of living and property taxes are inexpensive.
After looking at several Caribbean properties, we chose to purchase in Cerros Sands. The lots available are some of the largest within the excellent price range. We have our own beach front lot and have a beautiful beach to walk. There are deep water channel lots for boaters as well. The roads in Cerros Sands are excellent. The development catches the nice trade breeze. The close proximity to Corozal, Belize and Chetumal, Mexico for shopping, hospital care, etc. is very convenient. The developer has covenants and restrictions to protect the property values. The developer and staff are helpful, friendly and trustworthy.
– Valerie Trampf
Friendly people, relaxed pace
I was asked why did we pick Belize as a destination and why did we pick Cerros Sands as a place we would like to be associated with and to invest in property with the objective of having a place we could winter at and who knows spend time at.
I for some reason had an idea that I really needed to visit Belize and was determined to go. My wife and I went to Mexico with our 2 children actually young adults to the rest of the world but kids to us. My wife and I extended our trip by week and took bus from Tulum to Chetamal and were picked up by a Taxi and went to Corozal.
Rained a lot, very windy, do not speak Spanish etc etc etc. When we got to Corozal and got settled – we met with Mark Leslie and his wife Angie Leslie. Mark took us all over and showed us a lot of properties. One was Cerros Sands and it was just starting in the development stage. We flew to the island for a couple of days and came back to Corozal.
Mark and Angie took us out, we met some of their family and friends and the weather was still somewhat less than nice and hot. We came back to Canada not committed to anything yet as retirement was still quite some time away.
I kept thinking about the people (friendly) the overall relaxed pace, the water, the view and the thoughts were with me almost daily. After some discussion with my wife we decided we would like to own property in this area and with the plans for the area the overall development plans were attractive to us. They was very helpful in us acquiring a lot and we look forward to future visits planning and development.
We do plan on going for a month to stay and live in Corozal this April and it all works out we will come back with more great memories, feelings and looking forward to extended periods of time in the future.
– Jim Derraugh
Looked at Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Panama … Decided on Belize
I was looking for a place in Mexico, but there are many difficulties involved with Americans owning property in Mexico. I have been to Costa Rica, and it has become overly expensive. I have been to the Dominican Republic, and it has also become very expensive and I really was not comfortable with the government or the life style, to many guys with machetes and army strong points. I have been to Panama, and there are many beautiful; towns there, but the same as the Dominican Republic, and I prefer the Caribbean, a much warmer ocean. Also with English the legal language, it seems like a much easier transition. I have yet to move to Belize but look forward to the day when I can.
I picked Cerros Sands primarily because of Mark Leonard and the price. I came to Belize and looked at several properties in the Ambergris Caye area, and on the mainland. And then I came to Tony’s Inn in Corozal and met Mark. He spent 2 solid days with me and took me to his competitors sites as well as his own. He shared his vision with me for this development, and where he hoped that it would go and what it would become.
I found a site that I liked and the price was right, and that Mark was a reasonable man and someone that I could trust to steer me on the correct path, when it became time to build and to navigate the local issues and constraints. I am still several years away from building my dream. However I look forward to the day when I can work with Mark and others to build my retirement home and live in Belize permanently.
– John Smedes
Hates European Winters
Some time ago I got the question from Ted, a dear American friend: When you choose a spot for your winter retirement home why did you pick Belize and why Cerros Sands? I will copy you to my answer.
I hate European winters and the lack of light and sun in the dark & cold winter season. For years I have been looking for places in the sun. This search has lead me to the south of Europe (Italy) to Africa both north (Tunisia & Morocco) & south (Cape town). Italy can be pretty dark & gloomy in winter and the idea of settling in beautiful and attractive Africa was abandoned for reasons of (lack of) safety & political stability. For a time I have envisaged retiring to Australia or Nea Zealand, but there the visa requirements are “extra ordinary”. Even the Bahamas were on the radar for some time, but you need a bigger wallet than mine to buy sea front property there.
Two or three years ago I got a subscription to International Living and my attention got drawn to Belize. Belize is English speaking which is a big advantage as it is one of the three languages I speak & write. And I do not care for learning yet another language, retirement should be fun and to too much of hard work. Also when I retire and invest I can live with some level of exotics, but I do appreciate a good night sleep and do not want to push the envelope too far. Belize as a former British colony has a law and political system that may be strange to continental Europeans but at least it is not totally exotic. Big advantage also is that seafront land in Belize is relatively inexpensive compared to other places in the Caribbean. It is even very inexpensive compared to owning a property on the Belgian cost: for the price of a crappy small seafront apartment on the Belgian coast you can build a nice seafront residence in Belize. Why live as a pauper when you can live as a king?
In March 2010 I booked a flight to Belize (not very evident coming from Europe and I do hope that international travel to Belize will improve a lot in the next couple of years). During this trip I visited Corozal (and Chetumal), Belize City, San Ignacio & Placencia. I did not go to Ambergris but researched it (relatively expensive and very touristy) the alternative for Ambergris was Cay Caulker which I visited in July 2010 (somewhat less expensive, very laidback but small). Ambergris and Cay Caulker were not considered by me as I do not want to be on an reef island when a hurricane hits.
I did like very beautiful Placencia a lot, but it is relatively expensive and very far away from everything.
Corozal is a very nice small town, but to me as a future winter resident of Belize the real attraction of Corozal is its closeness to Chetumal in Mexico, which is literally a stone throw away. Chetumal has about 400.000 inhabitants with all the shopping malls, hospitals an international airport and other amenities of a big city. A second point of attraction is the geography of Corozal/Chetumal bay. If you look at the map you’ll see there is some protection from the hurricanes as these will first hit Ambergris and loose some strength doing so. By the way my research indicated that most hurricanes go up into the Gulf of Mexico, far less go down into the Caribbean sea.
In Corozal I visited two developments: Cerros Sands which I visited extensively and I also drove by Orchid Bay.
Orchid Bay which is relatively close to Cerros Sands is a much more marketed development. Although further in its development stage I decided against Orchid Bay for the following reasons: Compared to Cerros Sands, Orchid Bay less is less exposed to the sea breeze and therefore has a lot more mosquitoes and in the Case Of Orchid Bay it is clear that marketing costs are passed on to the final customer as Orchid Bay is way more expensive than Cerros Sands.
To be totally sure (and before committing a lot of funds to the winter retirement project) I visited Cerros and Belize again with with the entire family early July. The wife and children gave the project their kudos. Isabelle, my wife has given me 5 years to build our dream house on the beach in Cerros Sands. Right now the adventure has begun as I have started the planning stage with Dan, a local retired American engineer. With some luck in January 2011 I hope we will put in the pilings for our Caribbean home.
– Tom Hillen
I Love the Sun
My name is Sara and I love the sun! I live in Wisconsin, where if you don’t know, has three months where you don’t have to wear a jacket, if you’re lucky! Therefore, when I go on vacation I want sun and heat, guaranteed!!! I have been very frustrated by vacationing in the continental U.S. and having to wear a sweatshirt. For example, one January I went to Key West and was never able to take off my jacket! Therefore, I started vacationing in Mexico as I knew I would always have heat and sun! I have gone to Mexico several times, and have also been to Jamaica. Tulum was my last destination in Mexico where I continued to be awed by the beauty of paradise beach. It was during that visit that I learned of the new airport to be built there by 2013. Somehow it won’t be the same lying on paradise beach with planes taking off and landing nearby. Then I learned about Cerros Sands and Belize through my brother who is a Cerros Sands owner. I have now purchased the lot behind and adjacent to my brother!!! Why? First of all the geography is ideal. I don’t just mean the guarantee of sun most of the year, but more importantly the Cerros Peninsula and Corozal Bay which offer protection from hurricanes and tropical storms. A stable government, English speaking citizens, and the largest natural barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere are also huge plusses. Belize is sparsely populated and very conscious about maintain their rainforest which takes up almost half of its land. Belize is a short flight from Wisconsin and also in the same time zone. The amount I paid for my lot in Cerros Sands is the same amount that the lot next to my parents in Wisconsin is selling for! Can you imagine paying the same amount of money for 9 months of winter versus virtually year round paradise!! Finally, my brother has known Mark Leonard for years and trusts him unconditionally. I feel like I got the deal of my life time for my lot and can’t wait to build!
– Sarah Trampf
Beauty, Peacefulness, and Your Own Slice of Paradise
I had looked at several places in Belize to make our new home. There was just something very special about Cerros Sands when Mark took us out there. First there was Mark. I have spent a lot of time on Los Angeles radio and you get to evaluate people pretty quick when you get them on the air. Mark impressed me with his knowledge and vision. Then there was the property which is ideal and perfect in so many ways. You really have to see it to appreciate the beauty and peacefulness of the future community that is already making their way there today.
If you seek beauty and the ability to create your own slice of paradise you only have to explore Cerros Sands to discover what you are looking for.
– Dusty Roads
A Place in the Sun
My wife and I were looking for a life style change … a place in the sun to retire to. We looked at a few places like Costa Rica, but we find out we are 10 years behind the time to buy property. We looked at the Cayman Islands but after a few trips found out we were short a few million and got bored very easily. It was just by luck that we stumbled on to Belize.
We did our research and saw that northern Belize was the next part of the country that had potential growth and loved the look and sound of Corozal … it reminded us of cottage country in Ontario, Canada. That led us to Cerros Sands and Mark Leonard. To be perfectly honest he was the first developer I came across in the Corozal area. Mark told me to look around and visit the other locations but the more I looked the more it brought me back to Cerros Sands and the opportunities it offered. After our first trip down we bought beach front property. One year later my in-laws come with us for a vacation trip to Corozal and bought property too. Now we are working with Mark on the designs of our home and can’t wait to see Cerros Sands blossom into a true paradise.
These Canucks can’t wait to become Belizeans — snowbirds and spend our winters at Cerros Sands.
– Hugo and Caroline Ouimet
For several years now, I have been searching for the perfect place to buy property in the tropics. This has been a lifelong goal of mine. My search has taken me thru Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico … This entire area was my destination. In which country to buy, I was undecided. A few years ago I came across a developing project in Northern Belize.
My thoughts were … Wow, this is exactly what I’ve been searching for. I began contact with a gentleman named Mark Leonard to find out more information of this development. I exchanged several mails to Mark over the next few months … asking more in detail. His replies were prompt and professional … I felt very confident and now was the time to visit.
Upon Arrival to Cerros Sands in 2011 for my first visit, I was even more impressed and amazed to see just how beautiful it truly was. Prior to arriving I had picked out a channel lot for the purpose of having a boat slip located on my parcel. How perfect could this be. So I purchased.
It is now March 2013 and I am excited to say within days I will be headed to Cerros to begin construction. Mark has been a tremendous help with his knowledge in the development of plans and recommendations.
My only advice … if you are searching for your place in paradise than Cerros Sands at is the place to be.
– Robert Twitchell
Fulfilling a Dream
Prior to visiting Belize, I only had heard of the country and watched stories about Mayan culture on TV with a passing interest. Then one day I was surfing the internet, being that I was approaching retirement (about 10 years) and looking for some different options. I looked up English speaking countries and retirement or something to that effect and Belize came up in my search. It sounded like an interesting country. I put it in the back of my mind for the time being.
A few months later I was in Chapters and since I have an interest in investing I always walk through that area of the store. I was looking for information on investing in real estate. Living in Canada we get a lot of books in this vein that are written in the US and based on US laws, the general theories are good information but in many cases talk about how the US system works without application to Canada. After looking at a few books I noticed the spine of a book with a Canadian flag on it, I picked it up and randomly flipped it open and immediately read Chapter 3 “Your Own Personal Belize” (what were the chances of that). From there on I felt this was a sign. After much investigation and research into the country of Belize, my wife and I travelled there in 2009. We were impressed with the culture and the beauty of the country.
We returned for a second visit in 2011, this time for the whole month of July. I did much exploring with my wife, Laurie and our 21 year old daughter, Brooke. We had a great time. It was when I was looking at different locations that I came across Marks development, Cerros Sands. I had called a couple of other realtors and developers about their developments only to get voicemail messages. When I called Mark he answered the phone immediately. Within a few minutes of speaking we decided to fly from San Pedro to Corozal the next day. One realtor returned our call a few weeks later (yes, weeks later) when we were back in Canada and the other never did return my call. Mark picked us up at the Corozal airport and took the whole day to show us around. We visited and drove around everywhere; he was very accommodating and willing to take this time. It was a great day seeing the other areas as well as Cerros Sands. Mark introduced us to some local expats which was very helpful to us, finding out all the ins and outs of Belize. After we returned to San Pedro for a couple of days we were hooked, we had to go back. Again, Mark along with Angie were great to deal with. It was confirmed in our minds that the timing of the development of Cerros Sands was perfect for our long range plans and we purchased our seafront dream property.
March 2013 was our third trip to Belize, we spent the entire time in the Corozal with a day trip to San Pedro to do some diving. It was the best vacation we have ever had. Mark again was great, he showed us around, introduced us to many and it became very difficult to return to Canada knowing the relaxed lifestyle and great people we met would be missed.
Everything that Mark has discussed with us and the plans he has for Cerros Sands are coming to pass. There is no big sales pitch or empty promises, the development is moving forward and Mark is fulfilling the plans that he has laid out. There are no high pressures sales tactics, this has been just been an overall great experience for us. We are excited to get to the end of our 5 year plan as it is the beginning of living the winter months away from the snow and cold weather of Canada.
Thanks Mark and Angie for providing such a great opportunity for us to fulfill a dream in our own personal Belize.
– Murray & Laurie Berezowski
Such an Amazing Price!
Where else can you get beachfront Caribbean property at such an amazing price?? Belize! Cerros Sands, to be more specific. This community sounded almost too good to be true when I first heard about it in early 2012. So I began emailing Mark Leonard to inquire about some more details. Mark gave me very clear, honest answers to all my questions about not only Cerros Sands, but Belize in general. There are a lot of unknowns when buying land in another country, yet Mark made me feel very comfortable with the entire process.
My first visit to Belize was in May of 2012. I planned to meet up with Mark and have him show me around the development. He not only did this, but also recommended hotels to stay in, places to eat around town, and activities for me and my girlfriend to do while in the area. Upon meeting Mark, he was a straightforward, non-salesman kind of guy which I liked immediately. We drove out to Cerros Sands through the sugarcane fields and came out from behind some trees and that’s when we saw it; gorgeous white sand and the most beautiful blue water (Corozal Bay) that you’ve ever seen! No sales pitch required.
Mark walked me through the entire purchase and had helpful advice and tips all along the way. I’ve never felt more comfortable with such a big decision in my life. I’ve told many friends about my tremendous experience with Mark and Cerros Sands and could not recommend it highly enough! I am looking forward to my early retirement in the beautiful country of Belize and the stress-free, upscale yet affordable community of Cerros Sands
– Donato Faoro