What should I buy in Roatan?

Updated: Mar 29

Real Estate Options on Roatan:

  1. Business – Operational and Income Producing

  2. Condos – Rental or Full Time Living

  3. Homes – Jungle or Ocean View

  4. Land – Development or Independent Area

With so many ideas, one needs to decide the following to determine what is your best purchase…

  1. What is my cash budget? – Cash transactions typically as owner financing is very limited on the island (typically 6-7%)

  2. What’s my goal for owning property:  Income producing, lifestyle, vacation home or retirement home

  3. What is my island lifestyle going to be?  Diving, socializing, volunteering, beach life, or relaxing at home

When you have decided it is time to move down to Roatan, you need to have a plan but remember all plans need to be flexible as island living isn’t too rigid.  You need to be able to go with the flow and not get too flustered when the store is out of your favorite item.  Living on the island comes with a great freedom from first world problems and stressors but comes with it’s own set of challenges which is usually the lack of convenience we all are accustomed to in the first world.

 

Pros & Cons of Investments on Roatan:

Operating Business 

With buying an existing business, it is a great way to get on the island and start with an income producing business.  Many business owners on the island are not your typical professionals from the first world.   Many owners came here, bought or started a business to enjoy the island life.  It is important to recognize buying a business on Roatan means they don’t have great record keeping (QuickBooks), marketing skills beyond Social Media, but they do often have great customer service skills, connections to the community and repeat customers!   Most business are sold with a transferrable lease, business equipment and social media and websites.

Condos

When buying a condo, there are a great deal of benefits including the location to the beach, community pools, security, manicured gardens and onsite management often.   Condos offer the great turnkey deal, usually fully furnished, maintained and easy rental income based on location. Some drawbacks to owning a condo can be the development restrictions for time usage per year or blackout dates, and some HOA restrictions on exterior changes or rental restrictions.  It is important to read the CC&R for each development.

Homes

Buying a home on Roatan offers so many pros including it being fully furnished, possibly income producing with rentals, ocean and jungle views or beachfront, and privacy.  Depending on where you purchase, there are neighborhoods with full time residents, rental units, community pools, beach access, tropical gardens and an HOA to help maintain the integrity of the area.  Buying outside of an HOA community has its benefits and cons too, like no security, gardener, or community pool but also has no restrictions or monthly dues.   If you decide you are looking for a little more independence, remember to budget for a security system/watch man and gardener to help maintain your safety and property.

Land

Well they aren’t making more of it…so it is always a good investment to own a slice of paradise.  Of course, the value is determined on the location, size, and views.  With new developments on mid island, the lots have sold quickly in the last year during the pandemic.  With most of the lots in Lighthouse Estates sold, and recently built upon, the prices of vacant residential lots of have increased.   It is always a good idea to buy and hold it if you aren’t ready to take the full leap onto the island.  Land values have increased recently and I believe will continue to do so in the desirable locations of West End, West Bay, Sandy Bay, Coral Views Village and surrounding areas.

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