It is a relatively straightforward process for any foreigner to purchase property in Honduras. A non-Honduran citizen can purchase up to .74 acres (3,000 sqm) or less for residential use. For larger properties, an individual can set up corporation, which can then purchase any size property the individual would like. Setting up a corporation is simple, and Roatan Sotheby’s International Realty has an attorney on staff to help guide our buyers through the process. The cost of setting up a corporation ranges between $1,000-$1,500, and the corporation will entitle you to the same rights and protections that Honduran citizens have with respect to their own properties.
Guide to the Transaction
Once the right property is found, the buyer will enter into a simple purchase agreement that defines the purchase price and timeline for closing. If the seller accepts, the buyer then makes a deposit (10% is most common with a 30-45 closing period). Buyers receive a “Title” registered with the National Government within about four months of closing, with copies of the closing documents generated immediately. Closing documents in Honduras are generated by a Honduran Notary. This is usually at the buyer’s expense, while the seller pays the real estate commission, fees, and a 4% capital gains tax. Closing fees and expenses are approximately 4.5% of the sales price, plus the cost of the corporation, if necessary.
Typically, Roatan real estate sales are transacted in cash or are seller-financed. This is due to the fact that expats, without residency, are not permitted to finance through Honduran banks. Even expats who are residents find that financing comes at a very high interest rate.
Recently, however, financing through some American mortgage companies is now available, as well as the ability to utilize your IRA or 401K funds for Roatan real estate purchases.
One of Roatan’s best assets is the high quality of life it provides at an affordable price. Even after your home purchase, we can help you navigate the smaller necessities, such as setting up your internet, finding a suitable local bank, getting a local phone number, and the steps to obtaining your Honduran residency. Once you become a part of the Roatan Sotheby’s International Realty family, we are always here to help!