Frequently Asked Questions
Our most popular asked questions by visitors, buyers and investors.
Can a Foreigner actually own property in the Bay Islands?
Yes, foreigners have been able to own property in Honduras since 1991.
Are there limitations of how much property I can buy?
A non-Honduran citizen can purchase, as an individual, 3000 square meters (.74 acres), or less for residential use. That being said, a Honduran Corporation can easily be set up with foreigner ownership as the ‘Administrator’ in which the Corporation can own as an asset of the corporation, virtually any sized property to develop or for residential use.
How do you form a Honduran Corporation?
This is a simple process which can be accomplished by a local attorney at a cost of approx. $1.500.00. If you do not speak Spanish, an English-speaking lawyer is essential as all documents have to be written in Spanish. By forming this corporation, you are entitled to all the rights of a Honduran citizen regarding ownership of your property. We can provide you with a referral on some real estate attorneys to choose from if you wish. Some attorneys are now offering a “combo” package that would provide the necessary services for both a corporation and a residency.
What is the process for purchasing property in the Bay Islands?
From a client’s perspective, “outside looking in”, it differs little from any purchase you may have made at home. You choose the property best suited for your needs and enter into a simple ‘Purchase Agreement’ outlining the details of the property purchase, price, timeline, details, etc. thus making an ‘Offer to Purchase’. After acceptance of the Seller, you would make a deposit, which here is usually 10% of the purchase price, and close on the transaction within 30 to 45 days. When it is stated ‘From a client’s perspective’, ‘outside looking in’ what I mean is this is when your real estate Professional and his Brokerage office really kicks in and their part of the scenario is considerably different than in North America for example. They go to work with an attorney that you choose, (Agents and Brokers may make recommendations if you wish), to obtain Title Copies, do Title searches, obtain recent surveys, and work towards the conclusion or ‘closing’. The duties, responsibilities and knowledge base differ greatly in comparison to Agents in most other locations. You then would be present for the ‘closing’ where Seller and Buyer at that time sign the Notary Protocol (Closing Documentation), and the transaction is completed, (For a more detailed description of this process go to the ‘Buyer Info link on this Site)
Is financing available?
Many, if not most Sellers will consider financing the purchase themselves with either a legal, registered mortgage contract or possibly with the stock certificates, (which become ‘bearer bonds’, held in Escrow until the mortgage is paid). Some choose to obtain financing in their home country via a second on their residence or personal loan and pay Cash here. Several alternatives may be available and may differ from property to property. Overall financing is available through a bank it is offered to citizens and legal Residents only and normally at higher interest rates, higher down payments and shorter term.
Do I need Residency to have a Property in Honduras?
You do not need a legal Residency to visit here or be in the country for 90 days or less, (a one-time extension can be obtained for additional 30-day period). If you wish to move here or stay for extended periods of time a Residency would be advisable.
What is the residency process?
There are several different types of Residencies in Honduras. A Retirement Residency (with a retirement monthly income – not from Honduras of U.S. $2,000.00 or more) is available with some benefits. This would need to be in the form of a pension or investment income that is verifiable. The benefits include the ability to bring in a new or used car and personal items duty free. If you are of the age that you are still interested in working but on your terms, you can start a small business here, either physical or an ‘e-business’. That could be done by creating a Honduran Corporation. Also available is an Investor’s Residency or a ‘Rentista’ Residency, (a type that would allow you to live off of any type of income generated here or ‘there’. The necessary documents for this process usually include police report, passport, marriage license/ birth certificate (if spouse & children are also applying), and a Honduran health certificate. It usually takes 6-12 months for the procedure, and costs start at $1500.00 (depending on the number of people and type of residency). FURTHER NOTE- This information can change annually, and you should ask your Broker or Agent for the name and contact of a DEPENDABLE local Attorney to communicate with previous to the start of the process.
Can I set up a Bank Account there on the island?
Each Bank on the island has policies that may differ from the next. If your property purchase is through a Honduran Corporation with you as the ‘Administrator’ of that Corporation, you can set up an account. Some banks here will set up a foreigner account here with your passport, others wish you to be a legal resident. Ask your REALTOR Professional or Attorney for assistance or guidance in regard to help with this.
What are closing costs for a real estate transaction on the island?
This expense is normally the expense of the Buyer, the Seller paying real estate commission/fees, (the fees taxable at a rate up to 15%), and a 4% capital gains tax. If the transfer of property comes in the form of a ‘Change of Administrators’ of a corporation the cost is normally much less, depending upon the attorney and efforts on their part. If there is not a corporation transfer involved, costs are about 5.7 to 6 % of the purchase price.
What is the ‘cost of living’ in the Bay Islands?
This is always a tough question to answer in that things are so much different in so many ways to actually judge that. The question really is what sort of lifestyle do you wish to lead? Check out https://roatan.online/cost-of-living and https://internationalliving.com/countries/honduras/roatan-honduras/ for details on COL in Roatan Bay Islands.