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Anyone own property on Roatan?

Toronto, Canada
4 posts
2 reviews
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Anyone own property on Roatan?

Hello,

I am curious if anyone can chat about owning property on Roatan.

I am Canadian and am interested in purchasing property.

Any tips? Advice? Stories to share?

Cheers

Joe

Roatan, Honduras
Level Contributor
585 posts
24 reviews
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1. Re: Anyone own property on Roatan?

Send me a pm and I'll give you the names of some reliable relators to use. Oh, and don't buy anything until you have rented something for a least a few months and LIVED here, so you can figure out what area you wish to be in and what is out there for purchase. You learn a lot by actually experiencing the island for yourself and NOT relying on someone else's opinion.

NJ
Level Contributor
378 posts
15 reviews
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2. Re: Anyone own property on Roatan?

We own property at Pristine Bay - purchased 2 years ago - I would be happy to help you with any questions.

Coxen Hole, Honduras
9 posts
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3. Re: Anyone own property on Roatan?

2 houses on about 10 acres

Toronto, Canada
4 posts
2 reviews
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4. Re: Anyone own property on Roatan?

HI All,

Thanks for the information. I am definitely just dipping my toes in the water right now, but I like the way the water feels.

I will reach out with some PM's for some specific information, but one question I want to throw out to the group is about the stability/crime of Honduras.

I have read some scary stuff about what goes on on the mainland, is crime/safety an issue on Roatan?

Does it exist? Do they stay away from tourists?

Thanks

Minneapolis...
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4,490 posts
129 reviews
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5. Re: Anyone own property on Roatan?

Hi, j_dob...

I see you are relatively new to TA forums. It took me a while to discover two especially helpful features.

There are two search boxes. The one at the top of the page is general, but the second one is located just above your post and allows one to search just withing the forums. You can get people's thoughts on a topic ranging back over several years rather than just the few who happen to read the forum while your post is near the top.

Also very helpful is the section in the right hand column labeled Top Questions. Safety has come up so often over the years that it got its own FAQ - the third one down. You will find a thread with 83 responses and some spirited disagreements on this question.

And as long as I'm at it - one more vote for "don't even consider buying property until you've rented on the island for a significant amount of time." You really need to form your own feel for safety and security... and what part of the island appeals to your style and interests. I believe in fairly long engagements for the same reason. Far easier to avoid mistakes than to repair them later...

Toronto, Canada
4 posts
2 reviews
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6. Re: Anyone own property on Roatan?

Thanks for the tips Abroad!

Saskatoon, Canada
Level Contributor
878 posts
2 reviews
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7. Re: Anyone own property on Roatan?

J_dobso; don't hold back like that - just go ahead and call him Idiots like all the rest of us do...haha.

I did a search for Roatan on a Kindle a few days ago and one of the results that came up was something about Buyers Guide to Property on Roatan. I downloaded the free preview and had a peek at the table of contents. It looked quite comprehensive. The preface also acknowledged the contributions from several well respected names that I recognized, so it might be worth your while to take a look. I don't remember the cost for the book.

Saskatoon, Canada
Level Contributor
878 posts
2 reviews
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8. Re: Anyone own property on Roatan?

The title of that book was Roatan Relocation and Investment Guide.

Calypso, North...
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676 posts
1 review
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9. Re: Anyone own property on Roatan?

I have owned various property on islands, including Roatan.

Some very good advice above....

"....one more vote for "don't even consider buying property until you've rented on the island for a significant amount of time." You really need to form your own feel for safety and security... and what part of the island appeals to your style and interests."

I'm thinking a minimum of 6 months to a more recommended 1 year. None of this scampering back North for a trip to Walmart, either. Honduras and the Bay Islands are a lovely place to visit, but owning and living there is an entirely different kettle of Wahoo. The Governmental structure is Byzantine, it approaches trying to do acts of civil process in Russia. You gotta have the piece of paper, and that is going to cost you and you're going to have to stand in line for it. Just like Russia, there are now Bay Islanders that make a living by standing in line for ex-pats to file paperwork. (My advice? Pay your real-estate taxes for the next ten years in advance. This will cause their faces to screw into a knot, but it's technically possible and legal, and it will save you untold future hours).

There wasn't a Title Search per-se the last time I went 'round on the merry go round, but there is something called "protocolization". This is where you pay the lawyer, who pays the judge to issue a piece of paper that says that he believes that you own the property. A few years ago, they did a satellite survey and that was supposed to fix a lot of problems in terms of property lines, but with jungle vegetation and local power structures the way they are, nothing got written in stone.

I'm not sure I would recommend any book by anybody who is in the business of selling land, but I would suggest "Don't Stop the Carnival" by Herman Wouk. It is a novel of a fictional place that is an island of absolute jabberwocky in terms of laws, rules and behaviors- but somehow as I read it, the Bay Islands really seemed further down that scale in terms of what I now understand as the "H Factor".

The "elephant in the room", or at least one of the big ones- is something most people will chose to not recognize, or maybe is invisible to most. See the zones that have land that is for sale. Then understand that there are certain zones that are simply not being offered. Huge tracts of the most desirable land are simply not available to the "build my shack in paradise" market. Anything from French Harbour East along the Southern shore? Good luck on that one- and that's the place to be... Any doubt? Look at where the wealthy locals own, live and buy. This is the land that is sold in 100 acre parcels to opera stars and the like. They sell us nickel and dime ex-pats the other stuff.

Things are just a little different on an Ilsand where the local land owners speak English but are governed by politicians who speak Spanish and are elected by the population of the mainland portion of the country. It is part of what gives you the "H Factor". Many local owners are still waiting for HRM the Queen to return and reclaim the land for the British Empire. Whoops, bananas got in the way, for Honduras, you must understand, is THE original Banana Republic (not the clothing store).

Spend a year in paradise. Then invest. And with any such similar thing, whether it's art, exotic cars, or mid-life crisis dalliances- never invest more than you can stand to lose. All the same, we never regretted owning a piece of our island dream. It may be for you, as well.

wix
Vancouver Island...
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758 posts
42 reviews
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10. Re: Anyone own property on Roatan?

At the risk of being redundant, I strongly second the rent-first message. We stayed on Utila earlier this year and there were a huge number of great places for sale. There would be many factors - the economy, aging - but I wondered how many of the for sale signs represented people who had found the island paradise dream was not everything they had expected. (And Utila is a wonderful place.) Renting is a great way to explore the day-to-day pleasures and hassles of life in a very different environment.

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