How do I buy property on Roatan? Where do I even start?
Becoming a homeowner on Roatan is easier than you think. Just follow these simple steps to find your dream home.
First, choose a realtor who makes you feel comfortable based on your research and your communication. In this case, obviously I’m hoping it will be me.
Much like you would do when purchasing a property back home, you need to start out by explaining to your selected realtor what your ideal option looks like. Go into as much detail as possible so your realtor has a better chance to match your vision with reality.
Next, you need to go see the property options for yourself. See what the whole neighborhood looks like and what life would be like in that particular property. Once you’ve chosen one, you need to make sure that all paperwork regarding this property is in order. This includes the following:
- Catastral certificate – this is generated by the Municipal government and it proves the registration of the land.
- Paid tax receipts for the current year, and perhaps the last 3 years if possible.
- A copy of a signed and stamped survey of the property indicating all of the polygonals and points of the property.
- Copy of the escritura publica – this is the free and clear title of your property
Your real estate agent will then draw up an offer on the property in the form of a sales contract with the following important points:
- Price offering
- Specific dates for acceptance
- Any contingencies you may want to add in
- The terms of payment
- A date for when the earnest money (usually 10% of purchase price) is due
- A date for closing – on this date, the outstanding balance must be wire-transferred to an escrow or holding account previously agreed upon by both parties.
If your offer is accepted, at that time you must contract a Honduran lawyer to represent you in finalizing the purchase of the property. An important point to keep in mind is that as a foreigner, you may buy up to 0.72 acres in your own name, and only one time. If you wish to purchase property exceeding that area or if you wish to purchase multiple properties, you must do so in the name of a Honduran corporation, which your attorney can form for you quite easily. Your realtor can recommend legal counsel to represent you in all of these matters.
If you cannot be present on the date of your closing, you may appoint someone with the power of attorney to represent you. On your behalf, he or she will accept the conveying of your newly purchased property. Oftentimes, this person is the realtor you have chosen to work with in buying the property, though it can be anyone you choose. It is much easier to complete the paperwork for the power of attorney while in Honduras rather than trying to complete the paperwork outside of Honduras. For example, if a power of attorney is granted from the United States, it must be notarized by a Notary Public and then an Apostille must be obtained from the Secretary of State of the state in which it was notarized.
Once the closing has occurred, either the attorney or the real estate office will provide you with copies of all documents that were signed on the day of closing. Your attorney will take the original documents to be registered with the Public Registry to obtain an escritura publica (that’s your title), which will be in your name or in the name of your Honduran corporation. This process can take several months. In the meantime, you have copies of your closing documents and you own your property outright as of the day of your closing.
“All information provided on this website is believed to be true and accurate but is subject to change.”
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