Wednesday, August 19, 2015 by Patty (Roatan Vacation Rental Villa).  Link to Review

Buying Real Estate in Roatan

     “It had always been my dream to own a vacation home in a foreign country. I hoped to visit it often, and even trade it for 2 weeks vacation in another location that I wanted to visit. We already own a ski condo across the country from us but don’t visit often. It was purchased as more of an investment. I love to travel outside of the US and had been collecting information for years about purchasing a vacation home in Italy. Watching HGTV’s House Hunters International only fueled that desire more. People were buying run down villas for $ 40,000 and fixing them up. I thought, I could do that. Then we started visiting South and Central America and saw so much more potential in real estate there. The real estate prices were cheaper and for us, it was easier to get to, closer to the US in case of a medical emergency, and in some cases there was no time difference, a huge plus. In Ecuador, Panama and Belize, we would look at property in tourist destinations, but without a real plan, we got nowhere fast. Then enter Roatan.

Being a certified scuba diver, I had been familiar with Roatan for years, and we were planning a trip during my daughter’s school break in April. Most of my friends had never heard of it but from everything I read, it was becoming more popular, especially with the new cruise ship terminal, Mahogony Bay. Now was the time to buy before it got discovered. So I started my research. I found that there was a Multiple Listing Service, MLS, on the island and US branded real estate companies along with many local companies. I started checking out the MLS and saw there were many properties in our price range, both free standing homes and condos. Our requirements were simple, 2 bed, 2 bath, beach access and a pool. Never having been there, I wasn’t sure of the location we should chose but I know us, we are not party people and prefer peace and quiet yet need to be close to shops and restaurants. I found many listings all over the island and figured once we were there, we could get a feel for the areas and make a decision then.

Now to find an agent. One local agency seemed to be all over the Internet and had a lot of the listings on the MLS so I sent them an email outlining what we were looking for and our budget. Basically what I got in a return email was a kiss off. I was told if that was my budget, I should look elsewhere. What??? I knew from my extensive research that they were many properties that fit my criteria and budget on Roatan. Oh well, time to move on. Next I decided to forgo a local company and try the US branded companies. I reached out to both and got calls back almost immediately. Both seemed good and answered all my questions though one kept pushing a complex that I was not interested in as it was not on or near a beach. As we would email back and forth, that same agent kept pushing that same complex so I moved on to the other agent, Marisol, from Century 21, who really listened to me and what we were looking for. She sent me listings and answered many questions from me on property I saw on MLS, steering me away from properties that had issues.  Before we left for Roatan, we gave her our list of top properties we were interested in seeing and she set everything up for us. Again, because we weren’t familiar with all the locations, we had properties all over the island we wanted to see.

We stayed at Infinity Bay on West Bay Beach and was glad we did because we realized it was not for us. West Bay Beach is beautiful, but crowded, noisy and the beach is narrow. When the cruise ships came in, it got even worse. Time to cross the West Bay condos off our list. Marisol picked us up the 2nd day of our trip at our condo and showed us many properties that fit our criteria. We saw houses and condos and realized condos weren’t for us nor were freestanding homes not in gated communities. Then we went to the Resort at Palmetto Bay, a gated community of Bali inspired homes. We loved the location, the north shore about midway on the island, peaceful and quiet, away from the hustle and bustle of West End and West Bay, but close enough to get to all that Roatan has to offer. In addition, we figured development could only move eastward, thus hopefully making our home appreciate in value. Before we left home, the MLS had 4 homes at Palmetto for sale but when we got there a few days later, 2 were already under contract. We viewed the remaining 2 homes and fell in love with one, of course the one that was more expensive and over our budget. On the ride back to West Bay we decided to put an offer in on the expensive house at Palmetto. We asked Marisol to put the offer in for a price much below asking but what we could afford. We figured we did really like the other house also, and it was much cheaper, so if this offer wasn’t accepted, we always had the other house to fall back on. We expected to return home and wait for a response to the offer but within a day, we received a counter offer and after some minor negotiation, the house was ours. Marisol then offered to take us back to Palmetto so we could more carefully inspect the home as home inspections are not common on Roatan. We took her up on the offer and went back on our last day of vacation with our cameras. We met one of the managing companies at Palmetto, there are about 4, and decided to go with them as they seemed on the ball and trustworthy.
We went back to the states and handled all the closing paperwork, insurance, etc, through email and with the help of Marisol, who also recommended a Honduran attorney to handle the legal matters. Everything went off without a hitch and we are now the proud owners of the Tropical Garden Villa, a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home at the Resort at Palmetto Bay. If you are looking for property on Roatan, I highly recommend Marisol Johnson at Century 21″

By: Rachel S.

“Love at first sight! So much so that we bought there.”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Parrot Tree Plantation, in my humble opinion is the most beautiful resort in the Caribbean. We had been traveling around Roatan looking for a retirement property and had booked what we thought would be a vanilla hotel room to spend the night. We were blown away by the unexpected beauty of the place! It was much more than we had anticipated. The room included beautiful design detail, including a kitchenette with granite counters, and a washer/dryer combo. The pool, lagoon and ocean access offer any type of water activity you could want. There is a fantastic spot to snorkel right outside of the lagoon, but you need to find a time when the ocean is calm enough.

The resort is beautifully appointed, and relatively quiet. It is a great place for families (the lagoon is an ideal spot for younger children learning to swim), and middle-aged couples looking to relax. I would NOT recommend it for younger people looking for a place to party.

Our first morning there, we wandered over to the Palapa for food that I would classify as “adequate”, but the people we met there – guests and staff alike – were friendly and fun. (i understand that the Palapa management has changed, so I harbor hopes for an uptick in the food quality.)We met several villa and condo owners and found that they were all very pleased with their experience as owners.

We tracked down the on-site real estate agent, Marisol Johnson. She was amazing! She is knowledgeable, helpful, and most of all – HONEST! I cannot recommend her highly enough.

She showed us several units and offered to take us all over the island. Fortunately we had already “been there, done that”, and we purchased a villa that day. We haven’t regretted a minute of it since except for the fact that we don’t know how long it will be before we can go back.

By: John L.

“Loved it so much ended up buying property there!”

Flew out to the Roatan the second week of January to look for property for retirement. Since we were looking at several properties around the island, we stayed at Parrot Tree because it was centrally located.

Drove up to the gate and were questioned by security before we were allowed in. Great to see that! Security is very important to us. We stayed at Gaviota de Azul, a house in the resort. We spent an afternoon looking at Parrot Tree properties then spent the next day looking in Camp Bay, Milton Bight, Sandy Bay and other areas.

The last two days we just relaxed at Parrot Tree. The pool was beautiful and clean and most importantly quiet! Not sure why other reviewers complained about the food at the Palapa bar. Ate there twice and both times it was excellent and fairly priced. This is not a fast food restaurant so yes it did take about ten minutes for the food to arrive, but it was hot and tasted great. Saw a worker spraying for sand flies several times.

Also saw security making their rounds on a daily basis. Everyone was friendly. So we ended up buying a beach front lot at Parrot Tree. The association fee is extremely fair for what you get, especially the gorgeously manicured landscape and most importantly the great security.

If you are looking to buy on the island, call Marisol Johnson at Century 21. She was the third agent I went through. The others would take forever to return emails and many times not at all. Marisol answered my emails within a day even when I was just getting basic info. Even though her office is located at Parrot Tree, she enthusiastically showed me properties all around the island. Great time and looking forward to building A great place.