Guide to buying property in Roatan, Honduras
In an attempt to simplify understanding the steps needed to purchase land on Roatan, I have put together a step by step explanation of the purchasing process.
- Select a realtor that you are comfortable with. In this case, I'm hoping that it will be me.
- Explain in detail to your realtor what it is you're looking for.
- See the property for yourself.
- Make sure that all paperwork regarding this property is in order:
- Catastral certificate. (This is generated in the Municipal catastral computer and proves registration of the land.)
- Paid tax receipts for the current year and perhaps the last 3 years
- 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 (Free and clear Title of your property)
- Have your real estate agent draw up an offering on the property in the form of a sales contract with:
- Price offering
- Specific dates for acceptance.
- Any contingencies you may want to add in.
- The terms of payment.
- A date the earnest money (usually 10% of purchase price) is due
- A date for closing. On this date, the remaining monies must be wire transferred to an agreed upon escrow or holding account.
- If your offer is accepted you must at that point contract a Honduran lawyer to represent you in purchasing property. It is important to know that you, as a foreigner, may buy, one time only, up to approximately ¾ of an acre in your own name. Anything beyond that must be done in the name of a Honduran corporation, which you may easily form through your attorney. Your realtor can recommend legal counsel to represent you in these matters.
- On the date of your closing, if you cannot be present, you may appoint someone with a power of attorney to represent you in accepting on your behalf the conveying of your newly purchased property. Many times this person is the realtor that you have chosen to work with in buying this land, though it can be anyone you choose. The power of attorney if done here in Honduras while you are present is much easier to obtain than a power of attorney from outside of Honduras. An example is a power of attorney from the United States must be notarized by a Notary Public and then an Apostille must be obtained from the secretary of the state of the state in which it was notarized.
- If you choose, you may get title insurance from First American Title Co. on the property that you are going to buy and make your acceptance and underwriting a contingency of the sales agreement. First American Title Co. current rates are as follows:
- For properties in Honduras where the amount insured is up to $170,000.00 the fee is $850.00
- For amounts over $170,000.00 and up to $1,000,000.00 calculate $5.00 per each $1,000.00
- For amounts above $1,000,000.00 calculate $4.50 per $1,000.00
- Once the closing has occurred, the attorney or the real estate office will provide you will copies of all documents that were signed on the day of closing and the attorney will take the originals to be registered with the Public Registry and obtain an "escritura publica" which is in your name or your Honduran corporation name. This process can take several months. In the interim you will have copies of your closing documents. You own your property outright as of the day of your closing.