There was a point when I was seriously considering the possibility of moving to Belize. I live in a cold climate so the prospect of living in a warmer area for at least part of the year appeals strongly to me. However, after visiting Belize, I quickly realized that – while I love the country – I personally do not want to live there – mainly because their cost of living is higher than I had been told. That being said, while there, I did quite a bit of research and gained a sense of what it would mean to be an appraiser there. I can only speak specifically to Belize since that is the country I directly researched; however, after asking around, the appraisal situation in Belize seems to be fairly standard in most third-world countries.
While in Belize, I found that there are not really any appraisal laws. You do not need to be certified, there is no such thing as USPAP, and there are no specific forms you need to use. I often found that realtors did their own appraisals or banks had their own in-house appraisers. While having an appraiser that is certified from the United States would likely appeal to some individuals there, you would likely have to do quite a bit of work to sell yourself as a qualified professional since it is not the norm there.
Appraisal reports there typically pay around $600 and there is hardly any liability as an appraiser because there are no appraisal laws. However, since the cost of living is so high and there is not a huge market for certified real estate appraisers, I decided to continue my search for a warmer appraising climate elsewhere. Perhaps Panama?
For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 116 Appraising in Third World Countries