Meet Francie & Franklin Christopher

Meet Happy Buyers
Francie & Franklin Christopher

Home from the bayWhen asked who we should feature as our latest “happy clients,” Franklin and Francie Christopher, from Kansas City, Missouri, immediately came to mind.

We had recently been invited to an “End of the World” party at Casa Roca Grande, named in honor of the landmark mass of iron rock just off shore from the property. Our hosts radiated happiness as each guest was welcomed and presented with an “End of the World” pendant.

“If the world is going to end today, this is certainly where I want to be when it ends,” said one of our friends. It was hard to disagree. A live band playing catchy island tunes set the mood as we gathered around the sparkling infinity pool. A breathtaking view of the turquoise Caribbean Sea below and the dense tropical jungle above was ours as we were treated to a never ending array of delectable hors d’oeuvres.

“What made you choose Roatan as the location for your retirement home?” I asked our hosts.

Pool side“Over the years, we travelled and sailed around much of Caribbean and decided we wanted to invest in a home on a tropical island. Ideally, it would be directly on the water, or at least with a great view of the ocean,” said Franklin. “When we began our search, we focused on the Virgin Islands and the Leeward and Windward islands – the part of the Caribbean that we had most exposure to. We experienced severe sticker shock in these well-known areas, so we expanded our search and came across the Honduran Bay Islands and specifically, Roatan.

“We had heard a little about Roatan,” added Francie. “I remembered stopping on the island years ago, while on a cruise, so we began to research what the island had to offer. We learned the island has pristine beaches, great marine life and is a top diving destination.

It has easy access, with regular direct flights to the island from the states, US style grocery stores, and is mostly English speaking. There is a large community of expats living on the island but it is still not crowded. The cost of living and real-estate costs on Roatan are significantly less than on other Caribbean islands. Finally, it had the laid back atmosphere that we long for.”

living room“What made you choose About Roatan Real Estate to help you find your dream property?” I asked Franklin.

“Once we decided that Roatan was our likely destination, we contacted a couple of real-estate agencies on the island to decide which one could best help us.

It seemed to us that ARRE had years of experience and a lot of satisfied clients.

We contacted Marci, who in turn had Alex contact us. After just a few e-mail exchanges, we knew that we wanted to work with ARRE and Alex.

Upon arriving on the island, we checked in at Casa de Paradise on West Bay Beach. We loved the gorgeous beach and the sunset but felt overwhelmed with the crowds. Alex began in West End and literally took us to every area of the island, looking at houses on the water. After three days, our search led us to the east end of the island, through Oak Ridge, and then off the paved road to look at houses in Punta Blanca. After enjoying lunch at Paya Bay, we finally arrived at Quiet Hill, just East of Calabash Bight.

Although on our list of houses to see when we arrived, it was the last house we saw, after three long days. Casa Amarilla – the Yellow House. All the areas of the island, all the other views prepared us for what was immediately to us a perfect fit. A beautiful home overlooked a sandy beach and boasted the view that we had dreamed of. The large property was covered with tropical flowers and plenty of mature fruit, coconut and palm trees,.

A bonus to us was the caretakers’ house – situated right on the property. The caretaker and family from the previous owner was desperate to stay on with us and came highly recommended.

We closed the deal quickly and within a few short weeks had hired an architect and builder to build a pool, outdoor kitchen and walkways throughout the property. Local contractors built a boat house, dock and retaining walls – all at a cost far below what you’d expect to pay in the US.

When we arrive, we are welcomed by our caretaker and his family, who have worked hard in our absence to maintain the property. The drinks are chilled and everything we need is ready for us.

That’s not to say we don’t have a lot of work to do when we are on the island. What my friends back in the States don’t realize is that we don’t go to our island house to vacation – we go there to live. And live there we will!

We recommend working with Marci and Alex without reservation. They are long-time residents and understand the cultural differences and ways of doing business in Roatan. What really sold us on Roatan is the amazing expat community that Alex introduced us to. Until you experience it first-hand you can’t begin to appreciate how wonderful these friends really are. Relationships seemed to be magnified in this island.