Roatan FAQ

Sold real estatePurchasing Property:
The actual purchase of the land is an easy, uncomplicated process, if performed by a competent real estate broker and with the help of lawyer. Foreigners, as individuals, can own up to .75 of an acre of land per investor. A couple, for example, can own up to 1.5 acres. If you wish to own more than .75 of an acre, you can do so by forming a Honduran corporation. A Honduran corporation is easily formed with the help of a qualified lawyer at a cost of about $1500.00. When purchasing land in Honduras, it is important to have a good understanding of the documents associated with clear title. To protect your investment, a qualified real estate broker and lawyer should assist with reviewing the documents. Title insurance is available from both Stuart Title and First American Title Companies.

Financing is usually by owner take-back and becomes part of the negotiating of the offer to purchase. The current rate is 8% – 10% and most owners like at least 50% down but some will accept less.

Cost of Building-
Wood construction is about $65 sq. ft. Concrete is about $100 sq. ft. These are averages and will vary with your home design and the options you choose. Building materials are available both on the island and on the mainland. Some more specific or special items may not be available. Those could be ordered from the U.S. and shipped to the island on one of two main freight carriers.

There is a local water system but most of the water comes from private wells. We advise everyone to build a cistern to collect rain water to supplement the well systems. Roatan Electric Company, RECO, provides the electricity and is distributed to the majority of the island. Sewage is handled by private septic systems in most cases. Generators and solar power are also used in outlying areas. Hondutel is the local phone company of Honduras and is owned and operated by the government.

There are a number of private, bilingual schools, located on the island. There is also a public school system.

Medical Care-
There is one hospital on the island and several clinics from which to choose. A new, three story medical center has been built in Coxen Hole. The main floor opened in the spring of 1999 and they are working on staffing the other two floors. There are also several very good hospitals on the mainland.

Property taxes are very affordable. Expect to pay about $ 3.50/ $1000.00. as an example: Property valued at $50,000.00 would be assessed about $175.00 / year property taxes.

Tax Incentives –
If you have a plan that will bring tourists to the island, there are tax incentives. A 20-year exemption from income tax, no import duties, no property taxes are some of the incentives available.

Building Restrictions-
Depending on what you wish to do with you property in Honduras, you will probably have to apply for a permit. This could be as simple as a building permit for a house to something more complicated like a resort. With a house, the main concerns are sewage treatment, height restrictions, and structural integrity. If you plan on building a resort or doing a housing development, you may need to do an environmental study.

Political Climate –
We have a democratically elected, stable Government who wishes to encourage tourism. The municipal governments on the island also wish to encourage tourism. There is a very large U.S. presence on the mainland and on the Island of Roatan.

Insurance for hurricanes, flooding and many other "acts of god" is available through two companies on the Island.

You do not need a Residency number to own property in Honduras. You may want to apply for residency for various reasons including allowances for bringing in some items duty free or if you plan to spend more than 90 days at a time on the Island. Obtaining a Residency number can be a lengthy process and should be started from your country of residence before you move to the Island. Information on what is required can be obtained from the Honduran consulate nearest to you. We can also introduce you to lawyers on the Island who can answer questions that are more detailed.

Crime on the Island is typically "crimes of opportunity". Much like in many towns and cities in North America, it is not advisable to leave valuables in an unlocked unsupervised vehicle. Nor is it a good idea to leave a house vacant for extended periods unless it is in a secure community. You would, however feel safe walking down the street in the evening.

There are several banks to choose from on the Island. None have automatic teller machines yet but all offer checking accounts and savings accounts and most offer visa advances and Travelers Check cashing.

Roatan has an international airport with direct flights from Miami and Houston each week. You can fly to Mainland Honduras and catch a connecting flight to the island daily. For the direct flights contact Taca Airlines. For daily flights to mainland Honduras check with Taca, American, Continental and Cayman airlines. For daily connections to the island check with Taca, Islena, Sosa and Atlantic Airlines. For lowset rates visit our "Travel" pages.

Travel Documents-
A valid passport is needed to enter the country. There is a $25.00 USD departure tax upon exiting the country.

There are many fine resorts, B&B's and private houses available on the island. These should be booked in advance to ensure availability. If you are in need of a recommendation or if you need help making arrangements please feel free to contact us. We will be glad to assist you. Visit our "Accommodations" page for a list of hospitality providers and discount coupons.

Working in Honduras-
You can work in Honduras with the proper work permits. If you have the management skills and investment capital to start a new business, there are many opportunities from which to choose. An attorney can help you acquire a business license and the other pertinent documents.

If you have other questions – please feel free to contact us.

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