We Don’t Do “Winter” in Roatan

We heard about all that crazy winter weather you’re having up north. Bomb-cyclone storms and snowfall in Tallahassee…the world has gone crazy! Of course, we don’t notice much of that nonsense while sitting here on the beach in the sun.

The Thing is, We Don’t Do “Winter” in RoatanWinter Season in Roatan

We spend our winters much like we spend our summers: under the palm trees, toes in the sand, sunglasses on. We pour a cold drink and enjoy the sunset. We go snorkeling and scuba diving and deep sea fishing.

In short, “winter” is just a word to us…a reminder for us expats that we never have to worry about shovelling snow or wearing so many layers that our arms stick straight out like a starfish.

We prefer our starfish gracing the sand by the coral reef.

What is This “Winter”?

“Winter” is a term for another place and time – not for those of us living in the tropics.

Here, we get to enjoy the great outdoors all year long! We can sunbathe and bathe in the sea any day we choose, without hiding away in hibernation for half the year.

We don’t waste that kind of time here in Roatan.

We don’t scurry from the front door to the car door across icy pavement; we tap dance across the warm sand until our feet land happily in the calm surf.

We don’t scrape our windshields with frozen fingers; we roll the windows down and let that fresh salty air fill the car.

Is Rainy Season “Winter”?

Here in Roatan, “winter” is just a word. We have rainy season, sure. But that rainy season is most welcome because it keeps our island green and pretty. We welcome the rain for our fruit trees and palm trees, for our hibiscus and our orchids growing everywhere.

Yes, even during the “winter” our island is alive and fresh and filled with color. There simply are no grey, dreary days here in the tropics. Even when the rain comes down in sheets, the island is alive with growth and color.

We don’t experience the silence of cold winter months when animals hide away and empty brittle branches eerily blow in the wind.

Winter in Roatan is filled with sound and life. Birds sing all day long and geckos call to each other by the outdoor patio lights; raindrops tap palm fronds and glide down those graceful green fingers.

We don’t do “winter” in Roatan…not the way you know it. We do winter our own way, filled with natural beauty and the sweet relief of knowing the only white stuff on the ground is soft powdery sand.

If you love northern winters, this island is not for you. But if you find yourself cursing and hating the cold winter months every year…well, you might just find Roatan to be your paradise.

Come escape the cold and join those of us who choose this tropical island lifestyle. We don’t do “winter” here in Roatan. See for yourself how easy life can be without those winter blues!

I’m happy to help you find your dream home here in warm, sunny, tropical paradise. I don’t regret my move here for one second…and I’m confident you’ll love this island, too. Get in touch and let me know your plans

Roatan Real Estate Terms to Know

Doing business in a foreign country can be confusing. That’s where a local real estate agent steps in to help. Let’s go through some Roatan real estate terms to know so you have an idea of what to expect with your real estate transaction.

Terms are given alternatively in English and in Spanish; most legal matters seen by real estate agents in the Bay Islands are mixed and are loosely translated in private sales agreements.

For general FAQs on Roatan real estate, check out my buyer’s info here, seller’s info here, and Roatan real estate FAQs here.

Roatan Real Estate Terms to KnowRoatan Real Estate

Dominio Pleno: This is the title issued by the municipality to an individual who does not have valid title but has been living on or in possession of the property. The individual must petition the municipality for it and pay 10% of the value of the property. (Some proof of ownership is usually provided).

Public Document: “Escritura Publica” transfers the title before a Notary, in which one party sells, donates, grants, trades, or in any way transfers titles and another party pays and/or accepts the transfer.

Protocolo/Protocol: The continuous book of public documents kept by a Notary during a fiscal year. Sent yearly to the Supreme Court Secretary to be kept as a public record.

Antecedent: The public document from which you receive your current title. This is the public document that enables you to register your title and on which the marginal annotation for transfer of the current title has been written. It’s the chain of title that exists on any given document and must appear on a public document in order for it to be recorded.

Cadastral: The municipal land office that handles the survey and measurement of all property within its delimitated territory.

Certificate Cadastral Map: Survey issued by the land office at municipality on property submitted to registry.

Survey: Map of property, which must accompany documents to registry and can be made by an engineer or by the cadastral office and it usually done by both.

Meets and Bounds: Measurements and boundaries, usually referring to the polygonal data on map or survey as well as indicating neighboring property and owners.

Easements: Right of passage, conduits. Commonly known in Honduran legislation as Servidumbres.

Horizontal property: Special regimen that buildings such as condos and apartments are subjected to. Special document must be prepared to subject property to horizontal property regimen and all covenants and restrictions must be stated as well as managements and common areas and all regulations to which each owner will be subjected.

POA: Power of attorney- Power to represent another individual or company, in Honduras done before a Notary in Escritura Publica, when done overseas, it must be authenticated by a notary and carry an APOSTILLE or be authenticated by a Notary at a Honduran Consulate abroad.

APOSTILLE: Certification issue by one of the subscribing countries of the 1961 Hague Convention that validates a document issued by one of the other subscribing members of said convention. International agreement to validate documents originating in and destined to subscribing countries.

Other Roatan Real Estate Terms to Know

Title Opinion and Title Searches

The age of a document is not a determining factor, only public documents done before a Notary, a Titulo Supletorio petitioned before a court of law or Dominio Pleno issued by a Municipality can be registered.

Transfer of title: Only “Public documents” (any of the above) can be transferred by a public document. You must have a public “Registered” document to transfer the same rights in another public document.

Title search: The registry of documents in Honduras is public, meaning the public (any ordinary citizen) is able to see all documents that have been filed and registered at said office.

The chain of the title is what you will be looking at to determine:

  1. Liens, easements, mortgages. These are of interest to real estate agents, as they determine the value of the land and what other documentation is required to deliver a clean title.
  2. If the title has been transferred from a public document (which was not always the case) or if by Titulo Supletario or Dominio Pleno.
  3. How far back the title goes and how many times the title has legally changed hands.
  4. In the event the lands are owned or were owned by a corporation, who owns the corporation and who is the representative of the corporation.

Different Ways to Transfer a Title

Sale outright: Tradición de Dominio por compra-venta. One party selling, one party buying, sale price is paid.

Sale of share in a corporation that owns property. Transfer is then of the company and not the property, but amounts to the same thing as the partners who own the property change.

Permuta: Trade: Exchanging the property for another of estimated equal value, or for another object.

Dacion de Pago: Property can be given in lieu of payment of a debt.

Donation: The person or entity that owns the property donates it to another, free of charge or in exchange for services or rights retained on said property. Take caution with these transfers, as they are revocable under a special clause called “ingratitude”.

Roatan Real Estate Inheritance Laws

There is a procedure that must be followed prior to the transfer of property. The legal heir must first be declared as such by the court, known as probate if there is a will, intestate if there was no will, in which family is called to succeed by order of familiarity. Your attorney will handle this.

Always check with your own attorney for validity of inheritance – this can be tricky. There have been problems before as the law does not state that all relatives who have a right to succeed when there is no will must declare themselves heirs simultaneously, so the individual claims are registered at different times and property can then be sold off by only one heir.

I realize it can be confusing to do business in a foreign country. I’m here to help facilitate the process easily and seamlessly for you! Contact me with any questions any time.

Life in Roatan: Neighborhoods and Developments

If you’re considering moving overseas, there are so many considerations to take into account in your planning. Let’s cover some of your Roatan FAQs more in-depth. Today, we’re talking life in Roatan: neighborhoods and developments.

Moving to Roatan can be a life-changing experience for you. Slow down, appreciate the beauty of nature, and explore a whole new world in the Caribbean.

But island life isn’t just a one-size-fits-all experience. You might envision a sprawling sea view from your quiet hillside home, while another person might picture a luxurious condo with plenty of amenities for an island-style retirement.

Life in Roatan: Neighborhoods and Developments

Roatan Neighborhoods and Developments

There are many different areas on the island of Roatan that can be broken into neighborhoods and developments for easier recognition.

First, there are two municipalities on the island: Roatan and Santos Guardiola. The municipality of Roatan is the western half of the island from French Harbour to West Bay. The municipality of Santos Guardiola is the eastern half of the island from First Bight to Old Port Royal.

Within each area, you can find more developed and less developed neighborhoods. But, generally speaking, the eastern half of Roatan is much less developed and more rural than the western half.

There are also many planned developments and communities in Roatan that have grown in recent years. Let’s break some of those down, alongside some of the popular neighborhoods for expats.

Popular Roatan Neighborhoods for Expats

Expats tend to look at several popular neighborhoods in Roatan. Primarily, those popular areas are Sandy Bay, West End, West Bay, Pristine Bay, Palmetto Bay Plantation, Keyhole Bay and several neighborhoods on the East End. Those include Parrot Tree Plantation, First Bight,  Punta Blanca, Calabash Bight,  Camp Bay, Calabash Bight and Politilly Bight, among others.

Within the western half of Roatan, you’ll find many neighborhoods with lots of real estate listings appealing to expats.

If you’re looking for houses in Roatan, take a look at Turrets, Turtle Crossing and Lighthouse Estates in West Bay overlooking the point of Roatan. You can also look at some neighborhoods along West Bay Road, including around Tamarind Drive.

Other neighborhoods with plenty of houses include Mangrove Bight and Gibson Bight, Sandy Bay, and the Lawson Rock community, which includes both condos and houses.

You’ll also find plenty of opportunities for condos or apartments throughout the western half of Roatan. There are many options in West End and along West Bay Beach in particular, in addition to the Lawson Rock community in Sandy Bay.

Developments in Roatan for Expats

Expats also tend to love the many planned developments and communities in Roatan. You can choose from the more luxurious options at Pristine Bay, offering a private beach, clubhouse, and the island’s 18-hole championship golf course.

Or enjoy the location of Lawson Rock in Sandy Bay with its appealing rental market offering snowbirds the perfect combination for an investment. These condo units especially frequently rent well as vacation homes, so you can come enjoy paradise for a few months each year, and then allow a property management company to facilitate the rentals throughout the rest of the calendar.

Keyhole Bay, just up the road from West Bay Beach, is another luxury opportunity for a quiet retreat from the crowds. Sunset Villas in West End is an incredibly popular neighborhood offering both residents and visitors walking access to all of the bars, restaurants, and activities of this vibrant community.

Parrot Tree Plantation and Palmetto Bay Plantation offer a variety of home options and are both centrally located for easy access to commercial French Harbour, including the brand new hospital based at Mega Plaza. They both enjoy great convenience while staying far off the main road and the tourist crowds.

There are other neighborhood developments with amenities, like Turtle Crossing and Lighthouse Estates in West Bay, that enjoy community pools and landscaping, in addition to security and utility set-up.

Where Should You Live in Roatan?

Your own situation is unique, so only you can decide what’s best in terms of location. But you should certainly consider several important questions.

Do you need to work or are you retired? If you require work and are seeking employment, you’ll need to consider the availability of jobs in reference to homes.

While Roatan is not a large island, the single main road is narrow and winding and can be very congested when cruise ships are in port. Commuting long distances is not ideal.

If you can work from home, then you probably need to just consider your access to reliable internet. Ask around and test speeds before committing to a lease. If you’re building or buying real estate, you can ask neighbors which company they use.

Then again, maybe you’re coming to Roatan to pursue a new opportunity as an entrepreneur! Take a look at our available commercial land and properties for ideas.

If you want to walk to restaurants, bars, shops, or activities, you should look at developments, or at the far western side of the island.

Living on the East End absolutely requires a vehicle, as the public transport is not as readily available without the high tourist volume the western side receives.

These are all considerations to take into account when choosing neighborhoods and developments in Roatan. The lifestyle you want will determine your search starting point, but you might have to compromise based on your specific circumstances.

Family Life in Roatan

If you’re moving to Roatan with your family, it’s also vitally important to consider everyone’s needs for daily life.

Schools, activities, job opportunities, and access to commercial areas are all considerations you should remember while looking at real estate opportunities.

There are many more schools available – especially bilingual private schools – on the western side of Roatan. French Harbour, Coxen Hole, and Sandy Bay all offer opportunities for expat kids.

There are plenty of activities for kids, too, from sports to arts to all the amazing water-based activities of island life. Check out programs offered by the SOL International Foundation to get an idea of community opportunities.

We’ll delve more into this and other considerations throughout my Life in Roatan series.

Be sure to check out the rest of my blog for more insights into real estate in Roatan, and never hesitate to reach out with any questions!

A Caribbean Island Safe From Hurricanes

The hurricane season has been particularly harsh in 2017. It’s been awful to see the destruction of these storms rolling through the Eastern Caribbean islands and up into the southeastern United States. We are so lucky that Roatan is a Caribbean island safe from hurricanes.

I get this question a lot generally, but especially lately, given all the news surrounding Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. Both were devastating to so many other Caribbean islands.

If you are willing and able, I encourage you to donate to the many amazing organizations working hard to help these islanders recover from the damages.

Given our location, we’re fairly safe from direct hurricane hits here in Roatan. While that doesn’t mean we never get hit or that we never have to worry, we are very lucky and are one of very few Caribbean islands generally safe from the annual hurricane season.

Why is Roatan Safe From Hurricanes?Why is Roatan safe from hurricanes

Roatan is located in the western Caribbean, just off the northern coast of Honduras. This location offers us protection from the main hurricane belt of the Eastern Caribbean.

Typical hurricanes develop and strengthen in the Atlantic Ocean and head west toward the Caribbean islands and the southeastern United States. Occasionally those same hurricanes come as far west and south as the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. More often, they hit Florida – well north of Roatan island.

Roatan occasionally gets the outskirts of a hurricane or tropical storm, with some rain and wind causing a little bit of bad weather for us. But, luckily, it is very rare that a hurricane directly hits Roatan.

Our most protective feature, however, is our fringing barrier reef. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is the second-largest in the world and protects our island from most damage. We are very lucky in that respect, especially since surge waters are typically the most deadly aspect of a hurricane.

A Caribbean Island Safe From HurricanesA caribbean Island safe from hurricanes Roatan Bay Islands

Roatan is safe from hurricanes on a general basis. The last major direct hit that Honduras suffered was Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Statistically, hurricanes hit Honduras directly once every 25 years or so. That allows us the liberty of breathing easier throughout every hurricane season.

While other Caribbean islands have to worry every summer into autumn, we tend not to notice too many weather changes this far west. The only hurricanes we keep a very close watch for are those forming off the north coast of South America.

When those do form, we are still pretty lucky, as they tend not to come to our island directly.

The mainland can get a harder hit, but then once a hurricane goes over land for an extended period of time, it loses strength and tends to fade.

Is Hurricane Insurance Necessary in Roatan?Is hurricane insurance necessary in Roatan

This is a common question I get as a follow-up to the general hurricane preparedness of our island.

Again, generally speaking, Roatan is a fairly safe Caribbean island in terms of hurricane damage.

However, that doesn’t mean that you should just ignore the potential of a storm hitting our island.

If you’re building a home in Roatan, I always recommend that you work with a local architect and builder to maximize your use of the local environment and to ensure your preparedness for all types of weather. That’s of vital importance

In terms of insurance requirements and recommendations, your home location and building type will determine the types of insurance you might need. Flood insurance is obviously more likely for waterfront homes than for hilltop homes.

General comprehensive plans might include hurricane insurance, but be sure to check for yourself. On a case-by-case basis, you can look into your options and needs.

No insurance is compulsory in Honduras, but it’s a good idea to be prepared and to have your own coverage.

I’m always happy to advise based on your specific situation.

Feel free to reach out anytime to ask me more about life in Roatan. I’m happy to talk real estate, moving to the island, and the logistics of life in paradise.

Moving to a Caribbean Island

Moving to a Caribbean island sounds like a far-fetched idea to some – but to those of us who feel called to the islands, it’s only a matter of time. We love the rhythm of life here, the sunshine, and the salty breeze. Moving to the Caribbean is the best decision for so many of us!

Moving to a Caribbean Island

Moving to a Caribbean island is probably easier than you think! The toughest part is choosing which island to move to…

The island of Roatan is the largest of the Bay Islands of Honduras. With direct flights to the U.S. and Canada, you don’t have to worry about taking those tiny island hopper planes to reach this paradise.

We enjoy a wonderful, eclectic mix of residents in Roatan, with people from all over the world calling this particular island “home.”

If you’ve been thinking about moving to a Caribbean island, moving to Roatan is certainly an easy option. Retirees enjoy a fabulous lifestyle filled with outdoor social activities and a low cost of living.

There are opportunities for entrepreneurs and highly qualified people are always needed to boost the growing industries on this island, especially in tourism, education, and medicine.

Moving to this Caribbean island is an opportunity just waiting to be seized!

Move to Roatan in the CaribbeanBuy Roatan Island Real Estate

Roatan is frequently called the Gem of the Caribbean for its lush green jungle covering the hilly terrain leading to the turquoise Caribbean Sea below.

Powder soft white sandy beaches and dramatic black iron shore (fossilized coral) lines the coastline, with the world’s second-largest barrier reef just off shore – close enough to swim!

Snorkeling and scuba diving have long been popular in Roatan, but outdoor sports of all variety are available for your enjoyment. From kite surfing to paddleboarding, kayaking to beach volleyball, baseball to parasailing…Roatan has something for everyone in this natural playground!

Roatan is also a well-established expat destination, with expats from all around the world moving to this Caribbean island for a better lifestyle by the sea. With a relatively low cost of living and continuous upward growth, Roatan is regularly hailed as a premier destination for both tourists and expats.

Make it Happen

If you’ve been dreaming of moving to a Caribbean island, now is the time. Just do it. You have to make your own dreams come true and there’s no better time than the present!

Yes, there are logistics involved and family to consider and holidays you’ll miss. There are jobs and pensions and investments to worry about. Of course!

But, at the end of the day, if you’re dreaming of living a different life in the tropics, only you can make it happen. Go for it!

What do you think? Are you ready to move to a Caribbean island? I have so many amazing real estate opportunities to share – regardless of your budget. Get in touch and let’s talk about seriously making this happen.

It’s your life. If you want to live it in the tropics on the beach, make it happen!

Roatan Real Estate Information for Buyers

We’ve covered the costs for sellers in Roatan, so now let’s turn to buying. Here’s some Roatan real estate information for buyers so you feel prepared for the journey ahead…the journey that ends with your Caribbean island home dream coming true!

Roatan Real Estate Information for BuyersRoatan Realtor Jorge Chavez on Roatan

The first things to consider when buying real estate overseas are the legal questions. Can you purchase land or real estate as a foreigner? Do you require residency? What legal implications are there?

In Honduras, foreigners are able to purchase up to 3,000 square meters (approximately 0.72 acres) of land within 40 kilometers of the country’s borders or coastlines. That makes it easy in Roatan since you’re never that far from the sea!

If you want to purchase a property that exceeds the size limitation, you will have to form a Honduran corporation in order to do so. It’s not a complicated process and I’m happy to connect you with a reputable attorney to discuss your options.

Obtaining Honduran Residency

When it comes to buying real estate in Roatan, you have a few options to consider with residency. If you intend to reside here full-time, then obtaining your Honduran residency is obviously recommended.

If you are purchasing Roatan real estate for a second home or vacation home, then you might not require residency.

If you hold a Canadian, US, or EU-member country passport, you’re likely to be allowed to visit Honduras on a tourist visa for up to 90 days at a time. You won’t need to apply for the visa in advance; it will simply be issued upon arrival.

If your goal is to buy Roatan real estate to spend your winters here as a snowbird, then you can easily plan to spend three of those cold winter months in paradise instead.

If, however, you want to move here as a primary residence, you should apply for your Honduran residency right away. I’m happy to help you connect with the right local attorney to facilitate that process.

About Roatan Real Estate

Roatan is fairly unique in the region in that we have a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which allows all potential buyers the chance to peruse all available inventory.

Because of this online real estate search system, you can be in the comfort of your current home while scanning all the options here in paradise. It makes it so much easier for you to find your perfect dream home!

After you find that dream home, and after we’ve negotiated the price with the seller, I will get you an exact closing cost quote from the attorney of your choice.

In Roatan, buyers pay all closing costs and sellers pay capital gains and commissions. Closing costs and any corporation formation costs are all paid at closing.

Once everyone approves the contract, you’ll have up to 10 working days to wire the 10% earnest money deposit to my escrow account. After you wire that earnest money, and as long as the seller meets all contingencies and terms of the contract, if you back out from the sale you will lose your earnest money deposit.

So let’s make sure you definitely want that property!

While you wait for the closing, I’ll assist the attorneys in getting the catastral certification – or the satellite registered plot – as well as an updated survey, the paid tax receipts, title documents, etc., to complete the closing.

At least a week before closing, you’ll need to wire the final funds, including the attorney fees.

The closing is done after the attorney completes the title opinion search, confirming that the land has a valid title with no unanswered questions. If there are any issues on the seller’s side with the paperwork, they must be resolved to the attorney’s satisfaction.

A final important consideration is in regards to estate planning. With your investment undoubtedly being in another country from your relatives and heirs, you’ll want to make sure your legal considerations are all handled.

Roatan Real Estate Financial Information

As a property owner in Honduras, It’s important to note the financial obligations you’ll have. You’ll need an RTN Number (Registro Tributario Nacional or Tax Filing Number) to do any business or legal transactions in Honduras, including the purchase of property.

Again, I’m always available to help to ensure all your legal obligations are met during the buying process.

Another financial obligation is your property taxes, which are quite low here in Honduras. Generally speaking, you can estimate around $4 per $1,000 of property value per year for taxes. That property value is determined by the deeded value cost or the catastral value, whichever is greater. The catastral value is what the municipal declares the property to be worth.

Those property taxes are paid annually in August at the municipal offices in Oakridge or in Coxen Hole. You can get a discount if you pay your property taxes in the first quarter of the year.

Don’t forget about Capital Gains Taxes as you consider your real estate purchase in Roatan!

Another consideration is customs duties, which are typically around 40%, so calculate that into your costs if you wish to ship large items from home.

Finally, financing in Roatan might be different than what you’re used to back home. Roatan banks don’t usually make loans to non-residents, and North American banks don’t usually make loans on foreign properties.

What tends to happen in Roatan is that buyers will take a second mortgage back home, or they’ll buy a property in full in Roatan after the sale of property back home.

Only you can know your financial situation, but I am more than happy to advise based on common practices in Roatan. Feel free to contact me any time.

If you’re ready to invest in your Caribbean island dream home, take a look at available properties on the Roatan MLS, or just get in touch and tell me your wish list. Let’s make that dream a reality!

 

How to Move to Roatan Island

The idea of moving to a tropical island sounds like a dream come true! But, of course, there are plenty of logistics to worry about with any sort of house move. Here are some important tips on how to move to Roatan island, with insights specific to our beautiful slice of paradise in the Caribbean.

How to move to  Roatan IslandHow to Move to Roatan Island

Roatan enjoys excellent connections with the U.S. and Canada via direct international flights. This makes your journey much easier than it could be for such a small island!

We also have many options for cargo to be shipped from the U.S. or elsewhere in Central America.

If you’re moving here full-time without keeping a home or storage unit back home, then it’s especially important to consider your packing and shipping options. The best thing to do whenever you move home is to minimize – you don’t want to just take everything without considering its value in your new home.

Shipping Items to Roatan

There are several notable shipping options for sending your belongings to Roatan. A few you might recognize, while others are Honduran-based companies.

DHL and FedEx deliver to Roatan, with an office across the street from the international airport collecting and holding items for pick-up. This option is best for small shipments, like small Amazon deliveries or important paperwork.

Island Shipping and Dip Shipping are two other popular options for shipping items to Roatan. Both of these are local companies that offer excellent service for crates and pallets to be brought to Roatan.

Carefully consider what you might actually need versus just shipping your whole home. Remember that this is a tropical island, likely meaning a different climate from what you’re used to experiencing. That affects what you need to bring as well.

For example, electronics will deteriorate more quickly in salt air, so if you’re moving to a beachfront home you want to consider the types of electronics you might import. If there’s no way to repair any issues in Roatan, is it worthwhile?

If you have questions about shipping certain items to Roatan, feel free to contact me anytime!

Packing to Move to Roatan Island

If you’re bringing most of your belongings with you on the plane, it’s important to pack carefully. You can check in several pieces of luggage, but you’ll want to ensure that what you’re paying to bring is worthwhile.

Remember that we do have plenty of options for shopping on the island, plus easy access to the mainland for other items. You aren’t moving to the middle of nowhere with zero options to replace or buy new clothing.

Remember also that Roatan is a rather casual island. You don’t need to bring all your black tie formalwear here! Flip-flops and casual summer attire are absolutely appropriate year-round.

You’ll want a waterproof jacket with a hood for rainy season, along with some cold-weather clothes. You’ll be surprised, but once you live here for a little while, even 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius) will make you shiver!

Pack what you need, but know that your lifestyle here will be different than back home. You’ll be outdoors more often than in front of the TV and you’ll be spending time with friends regularly. It’s the island lifestyle we all love!

Do you want some more tips for moving to Roatan? Be sure to check out the rest of my blog with tips for potential expats in Roatan. You can also reach out anytime with questions – I’m more than happy to help!

Roatan Real Estate Seller Closing Costs

Roatan Casa Sol y Mar

Roatan Casa Sol y Mar

A common question I receive is in regards to seller closing costs in Roatan. It can be hard to navigate a foreign system and bureaucracy, so I thought it might help to pull together all of the Roatan real estate seller closing costs here.

If you’re considering selling your Roatan real estate, take a look through this list to be sure you’re prepared.

You can also check out my thoughts on why I’m the best realtor for selling your Roatan real estate.

And never hesitate to reach out and ask me questions directly – I’m always happy to help!

Roatan Real Estate Seller Closing Costs 

The following is an outline of what you can expect to pay when selling your Roatan real estate:

Real Estate commission: The standard commission amongst all Roatan real estate companies in the Roatan Realtors Association is 10%.

Capital Gains Taxes: If your property has proven any gain, taxes are set at 4%.

Survey: A survey of your property will usually cost between $250 and $300.

Catastral: Catastral is the deeded value according to the municipal government. You will pay usually between $50 and $80.

National Taxes: The Honduran National Government Tax Agency (CPAT) levies taxes related to the sale of real estate property up to 15%. The total taxable amount can vary based on the real estate company or agent you work with, so it’s best to clarify these exact costs up front. At RE/MAX, we charge from escrow, and only 20% of the total commission is taxable based on the final breakdown. Feel free to contact me directly if you want further clarification on this point.

RTN (Registro Tributario Nacional): Your RTN is your personal tax ID number in Honduras. If a new RTN card is needed, that price is between $100 and $200 to obtain it.

Attorney Fees: The attorney who calculates the capital gains will charge between $200 and $250.

Wire Fees: Outgoing wire fees are usually $45 per transfer.

POA (Power of Attorney): If you cannot attend your closing and instead use your Power of Attorney to process all closing documents, this usually costs $250. 

HOA (Home Owners Association): All current year fees must be accounted for, with costs prorated between the buyer and seller. These will obviously vary based on your home location and annual fees.

Other Considerations for Selling Roatan Real Estate

When selling your real estate, it’s not only the numbers that matter. Especially when looking at foreign-owned property, there are many other considerations to take into account.

For example, if you’re leaving the island and moving out of the country, you’ll need to consider the timing of selling your property and moving on. While you can provide Power of Attorney if you can’t attend the closing, that’s something you need to consider in your total selling costs.

If you do choose to attend after leaving, add in the expenses associated with travel to the island, accommodations, food, etc, all while you’re here.

You could also consider the idea of renting your property as a vacation rental, if that’s feasible for you. Vacation rental properties are incredibly popular in Roatan and could prove to be a solid investment.

Ask me for further advice; I will be perfectly honest about your specific situation and will try to help guide you in the best direction.

All the Best Annual Events in Roatan

Annual Events in Roatan

Annual Events in Roatan

There certainly is no wrong time of year to visit the island of Roatan! We celebrate so many fun annual events and we love to share those times with visitors. Whatever your vacation plans entail, here are all the best annual events in Roatan that you might want to plan your visit around – whether to enjoy the festivities or avoid them for smaller crowds!

Spring Annual Events in Roatan

One of my favorite annual events, the Music Festival for the Angels happens every March. This outdoor jamfest benefits two wonderful organizations here in Roatan: the SOL International Foundation and Clinica Esperanza.

Clinica Esperanza provides vital medical care to our island’s residents. You can donate to Clinica Esperanza throughout the year via their website. There is also a list of in-kind donations they regularly need, so make a little space in your suitcase and bring some supplies to Roatan!

If you’re from Canada, be sure to contact Not Just Tourists before you leave to see if they have any medical equipment heading to Roatan. You can help deliver it by just checking in an extra suitcase for your flight. It’s that easy!

Another major annual event in Roatan is Semana Santa, or Easter Week. While the dates vary each year, Semana Santa is a week of fun in the sun! Tourists from all over Central America flock to our beautiful islands as schools and businesses tend to close for much of Holy Week.

Lots of North Americans have time off during that time as well, so it’s a busy – but electric – time for Roatan! Large cruise ship crowds add to the large Semana Santa crowds, so it’s a common time for expats and other Roatan residents to avoid West Bay Beach and West End altogether.

But if you’re ready for a party atmosphere and some great people-watching, this could become your favorite week of the year!

Summer Annual Events in Roatan

Come June, Roatan enjoys the annual SOL International Foundation Dive Shop Olympics. West End and West Bay both become a playground for all sorts of fun competitions, all to raise money for the fabulous SOL Foundation.

You’ll see street hockey tournaments and three-legged bar crawls, beach volleyball matches and basura boat races (basura means trash in Spanish…you can imagine the creativity that goes into this one!).

The SOL Foundation is a fantastic part of our community in Roatan, so please support them whenever you visit our beautiful islands. You can donate throughout the year to the wonderful work of the SOL International Foundation through their website.

Another popular Spring/Summer event is the Caribbean Cup Freediving Competition. It is typically held at the end of May each year, but Roatan will host this international competition in August 2017, in conjunction with the 2017 AIDA Freediving World Championship in Roatan.

Hosting the World Championship is a huge honor for Roatan and just shows how important the sport is for our island. The annual Caribbean Cup has become so popular that the two events will coincide in August for an international event of incredible scope.

Autumn Annual Events in Roatan

The ever-popular Roatan International Fishing Tournament is held in September each year, during the week of Honduran Independence Day (September 15th).

The Fishing Tournament is a fun atmosphere for all, with an almost Carnival atmosphere in West End and many visitors coming from all around the world to compete and enjoy the island life.

Whether you fish or not, you’ll love the celebratory feel of this week in September. During this otherwise quieter time for the island, the Fishing Tournament offers us a fun distraction!

Also in September, the annual Sundae by the Sea event raises money to benefit Clinica Esperanza. Unfortunately, this year’s event is currently postponed with no definite rescheduled date yet. Hopefully this is just a short-term delay for such a fantastic fundraising event!

Winter Annual Events in Roatan

A new event on the annual calendar is the Roatan Humane Society’s Annual Fur Ball held in January. This is one of very few times that Roatan residents will don their finest for an evening of glamor and fundraising for the island’s stray animal population. After three successful years in a row, I hope this one continues for many more to come!

Winter is also the busy season for Roatan as snowbirds join us for several months to escape the snow. More cruise ships arrive in the winter than other times throughout the year, so just keep this in mind for your planning.

If you want some wintertime sunshine, then you’re sure to find it in Roatan! But if you’d prefer to avoid all the crowds, consider staying farther from the tourist hotspots or consider coming at a different time of year.

Winter is also our rainy season! Don’t forget that all that lush tropical jungle we love has to be properly watered. Rainy season isn’t like monsoon season, but there are still plenty of days with rainfall between October and March.

Storms are also more likely, although we are luckily outside of the main hurricane belt of the Eastern Caribbean.

And, don’t forget, this is also the holiday season in Roatan! We love to celebrate by supporting each other in the community and giving back where we can. We would love for you to join us in these endeavors.

Best Annual Events in Roatan

My favorite annual events are the ones that bring people together for happy memories and good causes. The Music Festival for the Angels is an all-time favorite that I highly recommend everyone enjoy.

One of the charities that benefits from the music festival is the SOL International Foundation, whose summer Olympics event is always a favorite for anyone in West End or West Bay especially. There’s bound to be something fun and entertaining going on throughout that competition, so just ask around while you’re here!

The fishing tournament and the freediving tournament bring people from all over the world to our little island, so even if you don’t care about the actual activities, it’s a fun environment to have such a variety of people gathering together to enjoy a common interest.

Whatever events are your favorites, be sure to schedule your visit to check them all out! And remember that many of these events are fundraisers to support our community and to ensure that everyone benefits from the increasing popularity of Roatan.

If you have questions about your visit or about moving to Roatan, contact me anytime! I love this island life and I love to share it with others.

Top Destinations in the World: Roatan

Roatan a Caribbean destinationThose of us who live here know it already, but the word is getting out: Roatan is a premier destination. We are regularly on the list for places to visit and islands to live on. In fact, in TripAdvisor’s “Best Of 2017” list, Roatan is one of the top destinations in the world!

Top Destinations in the World

Roatan comes in at #15 in the entire world according to TripAdvisor rankings. Considering the wide range of places included in that top destinations list, we are thrilled to see how much people love Roatan!

Other top destinations in the world include London, Paris, Rome, and NYC. Amongst those giants of tourism and historical fanfare, Roatan seems even smaller. But that’s what makes this list so wonderful.

Being voted by travellers as a top destination in the entire world is a true honor. It means that the smaller numbers of tourists who visit Roatan as compared to those massive capital cities all believe that Roatan is worthy of the accolades.

We’re more than proud to receive the recognition from all our visitors. But, those of us who live here will say this isn’t news to us!

We’ve always known that this piece of paradise is one of the top places in the whole world.

Visit Roatan in 2017

If you haven’t yet visited our beautiful tropical isle, there’s no better time than the present. With continuous recognition on an international scale, we will undoubtedly grow and change in the years to come.

From a real estate perspective, of course that’s promising! Buyers can still grab a great deal now before prices inevitably rise with increased interest in Roatan.

Sellers can make plans with confidence that their property will sell quickly as more and more people want to move to paradise.

It’s no wonder that even cruise ship tourists ask for real estate tours. Once you see the beauty of this Caribbean island, it’s easy to get sucked into what we call The Vortex.

Roatan just mesmerizes you and keeps you here longer than you might have intended to stay.

(I’m not saying you should purposely miss your cruise ship all aboard…but if you do, just give me a call and I’ll help you find a great place to stay!)

Why Is Roatan a Top Destination?

There are so many reasons to love the island of Roatan. If you look through TripAdvisor for the island, you’ll notice endless activity options.

Roatan is known as a scuba diver and snorkeler’s paradise. The coral reef that fringes close to shore is the second largest in the world, smaller only than the famous Great Barrier Reef.

Roatan also offers plenty of other water activities, from paddleboarding in our calm sea to deep-sea fishing only a few minutes from shore.

You can walk through botanical gardens or soar through the jungle on a zipline canopy tour.

The diversity of fun on this small island is truly astounding! Add to all that the breath-taking natural beauty and you can easily see why visitors love Roatan so much.

I love Roatan so much that I moved my family here after years of living in the States. Our lifestyle is dramatically better here. We have the Caribbean Sea as our front yard and playground…it was the best move we ever made.

If you want to move to paradise, let me know what you’re looking for and let’s make it happen together. I look forward to helping make your dreams your new reality!