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Building on Roatan Part II

Construction Costs
Currently, building costs on Roatan run approximately $100 a square foot for wood structures and $110 a square foot for cement structures. This cost can be lowered if you average in the cost of decking. Decks or outdoor living spaces usually cost from 40% to 60% of the cost of interior spaces.

Insurance Costs
Insuring your property on Roatan costs $4.00 per thousand dollars
of construction cost for cement structures and $6.25 per thousand dollars of construction cost for wood structures, plus 12% sales tax. Insurance usually covers everything (hurricanes, flooding, etc.) with the exception of theft.

Property Taxes
Property taxes are approximately $200 or less per $100,000 in value, which is calculated on the sales price of the property. If you build on the property, the constructed area is measured, the data entered into a computer. That computer figures the tax based on enclosed house area-not including deck. Annual property taxes are payable until April 30.
When you purchase property, all the property taxes should be up to date. When you go to pay the property taxes the year following your purchase, you will have the additional one-time expense of changing the Municipal Cadastral Number to your name. You must bring with you the property deed (Escritura Publica) in your name to make the change. In the Municipality of Santos Guardiola the cost is Lps. 1,000 and in the Municipality of Roatan the cost is Lps. 1,000, if under $100,000.

Do it yourself?
After you acquire the building plans for your house, the next step is hiring a builder. This is another step that some people consider omitting. They decide that they’ll hire the sub-contractors themselves. Their reasoning is they’ll save money if they do it themselves. While this may be true in more developed countries, it may or may not the case in Honduras. There are several factors to consider:

1) As mentioned before, things generally take longer in Honduras. This condition is often exacerbated in the Bay Islands where basically everything –including building
supplies- must be imported.

2) Do you have the time to supervise the construction? Are you going to be on Roatan long enough to take care of all the details? Most builders initiate construction in February to April and plan to conclude within 6 to 8 months to avoid building during the rainy season.

3) Do you have the necessary know how to supervise a construction project? As one builder says, “Sub-contractors tend to pass the blame along when problems arise.”

Hiring a builder
Whether you choose to supervise construction yourself or to hire a builder, the most important part of the building process is choosing well who you hire. Well-reputed builder Ben Welcome recommends, “Do your homework concerning builders and sub-contractors, find out if they have experience on the island, go see some of their projects, talk to people who they’ve worked for. Only allow experienced builders with good reputations to bid on your project.” Another important consideration is the availability of a potential builder. If a builder has too many projects going on, he/she may neglect your project at some point in time. Try and get recent reviews from customers to make sure the builder you like is still doing a good job. Potential builders should provide you with a detailed bid for the work including a building schedule. Once you’ve decided on a builder, you should sign a contract. In this manner, the law protects both parties. You should also make sure the contract includes a guarantee of the quality of work. Good builders will usually repair construction flaws free of charge within warranty period.

For more on Living in Roatan we recommend the Roatan Relocation Guide. The guide supplies you with the insiders information necessary for you to make an informed decision about Investing and Living in the Bay Islands of Honduras. A must have guidebook for any one considering relocating, living or investing in real estate in Roatan, Utila, Guanaja or La Ceiba.

Roatan Relocation and Investment Guide
Purchase Online at

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