For your convenience, our most common customer questions are answered right here.
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Q: Can foreigners own property in Roatan?
A: Foreigners can own property in their own names in Roatan. A single person can own up to 3/4 of an acre. 2 people can own 1.5 acres in their names. Many people who purchase in Roatan put their property into a corporation. Honduran corporations are run by the persons who are named as the administrators, and foreigners can be administrators. This costs a little more when purchasing a property if the property isn’t in a corporation, but has some advantages. If the property is sold the costs to transfer the administration to the new owners is less than buying a property in your own name which might make the property easier to sell. Heirs can be included in the corporation as co administrators, so that in the event of a death, the succession is clear and immediate. It takes years of legal work for an heir to prove they’ve inherited a property. Lastly, there is often talk about taxing capital gains of foreigners that sell property in addition the normal 4% capital gains tax. Since the corporation is Honduran, and stays in Honduras, that tax wouldn’t be applied when the property is sold.
Q: Is it easy to furnish a house?
A: Yes, there are several furniture stores on the Island. We recommend ‘Atocha’ for high end, Caribbean style furniture. There is ‘The Shop’, which has small kitchen appliances, as well as furniture. There are also several Honduran departments stores – Curacao, Lady Lee, Molinaro’s and Carion to name a few. Some shop in La Ceiba and San Pedro Sula on the mainland and have furniture shipped to the Island. And some buy things in the US and have it shipped ocean freight. Most finished homes and condos are sold furnished.
Q: How easy/fast is it to have new construction done?
A: There are several good contractors on the Island, and finding one is easy. Depending on their availability, the availability of materials and the style of the house, construction can take a few months to a year or more.
Q: Can you get materials for a remodel or repairs on the island?
A: Yes, there are several lumber yards and hardware stores that supply most things you need for construction and remodeling. There are other smaller stores that sell more specialized building materials like tiles, marble and granite or kitchen cabinets or Sherwin Williams paint.
Q: How long does it take to close on a property?
A: As long as all the paperwork and financing are in order, closings can be completed just a few weeks.
Q: Can a property be financed?
A: Financing through a Honduran bank is difficult for a non-Honduran, and interest rates are high. But many sellers will finance themselves. Interest rates can vary, but let that be part of the negotiation.
Q: Can I rent my property out?
A: Yes, you can rent your property. You can rent the property yourself, or rent through a property management company. Some owners prefer to advertise themselves and send the client to their property manager to handle the details, others leave it entirely to the management company. We recommend Roatan Vacation Rentals and Roatan Property Management. A benefit of working with property management company is they will look after your property when you’re away.
Q: Is Roatan Safe?
A: Roatan is safe, but one should take care, and that’s true of anywhere. Roatan’s distance from the mainland, it’s geology and the cultural differences of the people living on Roatan have kept it a safe place to live. There is very little violent crime, but petty theft can be a problem. We recommend the same things that you would normally do to prevent calling attention to yourself – don’t wear flashy jewelry or show a lot of money in places you don’t know and don’t leave your cellphone or computer unattended in a public place. If you’re leaving the Island, have someone look after your property while you’re away.