RE/MAX February 2013 Newsletter

-Why Should I?

-Property Deals, Steals and New Listings

– Roatan Overview- ‘International Living Magazine’ Coffee & Mountain Hikes

-Property Taxes ?

-Rotary Club of Roatan

-Clarion Suites


-Why Should I?

I have a fair number of readers that find this Newsletter in their ‘in-box’ each month; some have been reading for years.  I have been publishing for about 11+ years now. You are among thousands; some have been with me since the beginning. Like many they started out looking for information on real estate but they found that the letter helps them keep tabs on the island, some of its events, new businesses and places of interest and general information.

The many new readers each month, like many of the long-time readers, are wondering if they should make the move to the island either full time or part time, with a property purchase now for vacations or for future retirement.  Some folks want to escape the grip of winter; others wish to move assets off shore.  Still others just have a great sense of adventure.

One of the questions I get regularly is why should I buy property there with property so cheap in many places here in North America? There is no doubt that the past few years have generated some real bargains in warm weather climates in many places in the U.S. We have a seldom used, but still there, residence in the states and the value of it has decreased considerably.

I guess if you are looking to buy property in this country and you are only looking at the price of the property as your only criteria you probably wonder if in fact you should buy off shore. Although the properties here on the island are far, far, cheaper than they were, (49.5% less in regard to vacant property comparing 2007 to 2012 on average median price). Other expenses in your life make up a lot of your out of pocket expenses that pay a large role also. How much will it cost you to heat your home this year where you are now? The residences here of course do not even have heaters.  Most property taxes here are very reasonable ranging from as little $40 to $50 for non planned community home sites to between $200 and $400 annually for a small home. We buy Sea Bass here for $2-$3 /pound for nice fillets, the carrots here look like they come from a person’s garden, not corporately grown, all the same sized, in orange bags with all but no flavor, (but hey they look great on the produce rack right?).  No doubt gasoline is about $1.00+ a gallon more here. That said most people are burning diesel in that the world market on diesel is about a dollar a gallon less than gas making it about the same price for fuel as you pay and let’s face it with an island 35 miles long how much are you really going to be racking up the miles. Sugar, vanilla, and many other items fall into the same category as the above-mentioned diesel in that ‘price supports’ or taxes can cost you dearly there. If you are a smoker you will be spending about $2.00 a pack instead of the $5 to $10 that you pay there, depending on where you live.

You can pay more for many items here, but let’s face it, if you buy Capt’n Crunch here it is imported from there and absolutely will cost more than there, as do many other ‘imported’ items. That said you can get a U.S.  N.Y. Prime Steak here that is as good or better than any top end steak house in the States, for one third the price, (Pineapple Grill, French Harbor).

Medical care can also be a real plus in regard to financial outlay and in some instances results. You can get a dental implant here for about ¼ of the price in North America and a routine MRI for about $200.  I had a MRI done in San Pedro as a part of a physical that ended up saving my life when an aortic aneurysm was found.   In the U.S. the cost on that MRI would be prohibitive.  I would have died as early as six years ago.  I had another MRI after doctors there, (in the U.S.), told me for over 20 years that I had arthritis in my left shoulder. A $200 MRI found a non-malignant tumor instead, that was easily removed. You can visit a General Practice Medical doctor for about $25 and a Specialist for less than $100.

Are you an entrepreneur?  Maybe you can work with an internet connection only? If you were here last year and had a business and you were a U.S. citizen, you would have a ‘earned income tax credit’  of $95,100 before you would have had to pay U.S. taxes PLUS if you had a island ZOLITUR status you would income tax free here also.

I guess the bottom line is if you are only looking at the price of property and not considering anything else, your place is probably Florida or Arizona or some other place where you do not have to shovel snow. If you dig deeper, there may be other considerations both in expense and lifestyle that enter into the equation.

That said if you are looking for some of those great deals on property here we have them…………

-Property Deals, Steals and New Listings

This Seller has told me to ‘move it out’. This 30 acre property with over 600 feet of water frontage, large flat buildable areas. elevations that provide views to both the north & south shores is directly east of the Pete Dye designed golf course.  It is a great spot for a future development. Drastically reduced by over TWO MILLION DOLLARS-

Check it out here-


We have a new development of home sites – beach lots starting at just $29,000!


A water front home with a short walk to the famous West Bay Beach. Waterfall swimming pool, very quality built.        


This quality built home was just reduced $25,000. 3br/3ba with a separate in-laws quarters with beautiful views and breezes-


90 Feet of Road Frontage, on a gently sloping area. Marvelous deep blue ocean views, cool trade winds, lush vegetation – all a short distance to the exceptional powdered-sugar sands of West Bay Beach. Good commercial location.–road/

How about  an inexpensive beachfront condo with NO HOA fees for five years? This may be your spot –,2

Are you looking to retire but really not feeling that old, or how about a great longterm investment? This estate sized home is fully equipped with a rental history that pays its own way with enough left over to pay for some vacation time too!

NEW Listing- This recently built two story loft style home with sunlights is filled with natural light.                                     

NEW Listing- Priced right 3br home-    

Price reduction to $369K on large 7 bedroom house  located on the hilltop above west bay. Built as a bed and breakfast it has 4 identical bedrooms with on-suites on a lower floor. Two large bedrooms inside the main house and a separate maids quarters. Three large eastward facing decks with arguably the best views on the island make this an entertainment paradise.

Reduced 3 bedroom home with mortgage. Located within Henry Morgan Resort West Bay this house has a guaranteed gross income of $24K. Only minutes walk from West Bay beach with access to all resort amenities. Reduced to $269K with a transferable $147K mortgage means purchase can be made with just $122K. MLS 12-148


Roatan Overview- ‘International Living Magazine’-

Although this article is from last year we have had so many new subscribers since its publication I thought it would be good to send this out again. This way it is not just the ‘real estate’ guy saying it…


Honduras wasn’t on our list of retirement destinations until International Living introduced us to the Bay Islands of Honduras in 2003. After checking out the islands, we knew this was the place for us and have since moved to Roatan (the largest of the Bay Islands). Below are just some of the reasons we love living here.

1. Roatan is beautiful. It’s not densely populated (neither are the other islands)…and everywhere you look you’ll see beautiful shades of blue from the ocean and land that is deep green and punctuated with flowers. The water is clear and warm and the beaches are white-sand. The world’s second largest coral reef lies just offshore, making the Bay Islands a favorite with divers, not only for their beauty and abundant facilities, but for their ultra-low cost.

2. It’s affordable and a great place to retire. There are not yet crowds bidding up prices here, although that may soon change. In 2011, Islands Magazine named Roatan the #1 island in the world to retire to and listed it as among “8 great places to retire abroad.” With hundreds of thousands of new cruise ship visitors arriving here each year, and countless others taking virtual real estate tours on House Hunters International, anything left of the secret is long gone.

Because it’s a tourist destination, you’ll find a variety of good restaurants offering everything from sushi to Thai to steak houses. And the large expat community is now supporting four modern supermarkets with almost everything you can buy at home, and some that you can’t.

Retiring in Roatan, Honduras

3. Getting residency is easy. You can get a retirement visa, for example, by showing an income of $1,500 per month, and you can own title up to ¾ acre of land in your own name or an unlimited amount through a corporation. Property taxes are a fraction of that in the U.S., and foreign-earned income is not taxed at all.

4. Roatan is easy to get to. Honduras is 2.5 hours by plane south of Houston and is served every day by several major airlines. We have been traveling back and forth to Los Angeles every few weeks for three years and we are glad each time that our home is in Roatan and not Rarotonga.

5. It’s a good time to buy property here. Real estate in Roatan has long been tied to the economies of the U.S., where most of the large community of expats and second home owners come from. Just as now is a great time to bargain-hunt in that market, so it is in Roatan. Sales are just now starting to show momentum after a two-year slump, beginning with the lowest priced properties selling at a discount. As in the U.S., the recovery has some distance to go, but when it’s over, it’s over.

You can get everything you need in Roatan, Honduras

Honduras is not lacking in challenges. When our friends in the “old country” ask us skeptically what we do there, we don’t tell them about the great restaurants, the world-class beaches or that it’s like being on vacation full-time. They would be too jealous. Rather, we say, it’s at first like joining a scavenger hunt. Everything you want is here, you just don’t know exactly where. The diet pomegranate juice you bought last week at the supermarket has disappeared, but it might be at another market. You can ship in things you just can’t find at reasonable rates from Miami or New Orleans. But frankly, getting out and greeting your friends in the stores is part of the fun of this place.

In the end, when choosing a country to retire to you can only go so far with a checklist. You’ve got to go there and ask yourself: “Does this place feel like home?” For us it did. Put Roatan on your list and check it out.

Country tid-bit-Interested in coffee?  Honduras has some of the best quality coffee in the world. Gourmet food chains like ‘La Peep’ restaurants, (now in 14 states), actually own their own coffee fincas, (farms) here in country,  enabling them to obtain some of the best coffee in the world.  Here is a new article about coffee in this country. An interesting read
Located in Western Honduras, this park boasts the highest elevation in
Honduras, 2,849 meters above sea level (9,350 feet above sea level). The park is
within the boundaries of the departments of Lempira, Copan and Ocotepeque, and
can be visited from various points, however the easiest, most convenient access
is from the lovely colonial city […]


-Property Taxes ?

Do you need your Property taxes paid or Corporate taxes filed? If you are not going to be here and wish RE/MAX to provide that service just let me know and we can provide that service.

-Rotary Club of Roatán

I am not sure how many ‘Rotarians’ there are out there as readers but I did wish to mention we have a very active group here. If you are coming via cruise ship for a visit we even have a booth at Mahogany Bay and at the Port of Roatan. If you are a reader that lives on the island please get behind the efforts for the community. 100% of the money goes directly to the stated cause.  Projects like ‘Baños para Niños’ , which is installing washrooms facilities in every school on the island or their fund raisers selling ‘Police Support’ stickers or ‘Rotary Cook Books’ all funnel funds to much needed island projects. If you are on the island stop by ‘ACME Sanitation’ (Lawson Rock) or my RE/MAX Office (Mt.Pleasant) and pick up a sticker and a cookbook. A really good way for you to buy, give to great causes and enjoy some really good food.

-Clarion Suites

I know many visitors to the island gravitate to the West Bay and West End areas based on the marketing of the beaches on that end of the island but if you are researching a trip to other worthy parts of the island, put Clarion Suites on your list. With a waterfall pool in front of each building, the best spa on the island, one of the best restaurants, a spectacular sports bar and convenient mid island location, it should be a consideration.  Spacious condo or a hotel rooms are plentiful and beautiful.


-Like us on Facebook?

We have some really nice island and Central America photos there.  Check us out and make us a ‘friend’


Personal –

That is it for this month folks. I thank you for reading and hope that you find this venue informative and helpful in your research and decision making process.

Obviously we hope you make RE/MAX your choice of REALTOR’s here in Honduras for your  purchase or the sale of your property.

Best to all and I hope to see you soon on our beautiful island.


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