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Century 21 Roatan Real Estate

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Roatan Living Home


Our Life on Roatan: A Leisurely, Luxurious, Affordable Caribbean Dream
By Judith Allred


September 2006
You smell the perfume of the white ginger and watch the palm fronds sway in the southeastern trade winds… slip into quiet, blue water that feels like velvet on the skin… walk along the white sand and scoop up shells, adding to a collection already spilling onto the patio table...

Experiences like those -- a daily pleasure on Roatan, Honduras -- are, really, what enticed us to invest here.

Just this morning, perched on the railing of our open porch, I sipped my tea as horses galloped by with early riders. I swam for a bit, and from the water, I looked back at the island, rising to mountain forests. Nobody else was on our beach at Lawson Rock.

We never imagined we'd be able to afford an island retreat -- let alone one right on a secluded beach. But we're here pretty much full-time these days, enjoying the beautiful, open-air house we had built -- and an incredible quality of life -- for a fraction of what it would cost us elsewhere in the region.

The truth is: We're living a dream retirement we never even dared dream about before we came here.

Leisurely Days and Comfortable Lunches

Our days are leisurely. Climbing into our diesel 4-door pick-up today, I thought: "How nice to NOT have so many luncheon choices as one does in the big cities of the world." We're at Que Tal Café in five minutes -- it's the place to meet-and-greet, always peppered with locals.

Friends, stopping in as we are, chat about the past weekend, ask if we got their email. I’ve never tried much else on the homemade comfort-food menu, since I adore the cranberry chicken salad and locally grown lettuce with Kim’s salad dressing, served in a little silver pitcher. We linger over two, three refills of iced tea, our glasses wet with condensation puddling on our coasters.

Another day, it's lunch at The View, on the east end of the island. It’s a 20-30 minute drive from our place, past farmland, banana groves, and chickens miraculously walking the tightrope that makes the shoulder of the 2-lane highway.

I stop en route at the new bakery to pick up some little raspberry cheesecake squares as a gift for my friends. We sit in the shade on The View’s deck, overlooking the 190-degree stretch of multi-hued water -- turquoise, then green, then periwinkle blue. It's hot, but even so, we all order the warm shrimp marinara soup, the best on the planet.

A World Away, But Just Two Hours by Plane

On days like that, it feels like we're a long way from the United States. We've traded crowded freeways for two-lane roads that land crabs amble across.

But for my husband and me, moving here turned out to be an easy decision. We joined the Agora Travel tour to Roatan on our wedding anniversary, back in March 2003. We'd traveled widely before that and always asked ourselves, “Would we want to live here?” But until we landed on this island, the answer was always, “No, too far from the children, grandchildren, and friends.”

The quick, two-hour direct flight from Houston to Roatan made our decision easy... as did the incredibly well-priced properties.

We spent an exhausting (though enjoyable) week exploring with the Agora Travel tour -- sightseeing; excursions; informational presentations by realtors, developers, local expats; great meals; personal visits to homes; boating; swimming; snorkeling.

Never would we have been able to accomplish so much in seven days on our own. We bid farewell to our group at Rick’s American Café, high up on the tree house-like, open-air deck. We had fallen in love with the island. And we were staying for two more weeks on our own.

We Built Our Dream Home and Settled In

Within five days, we had bought lot #3 at Lawson Rock and met the Canadian designer who would build us our dream house. Actually, it wasn’t really our dream house, as we had never had thoughts that we could afford a home right on the water.

But the description of our ideal home all but tumbled out of us in short order. We wanted a pod-style Balinese house. Hal Sorrenti designed it, and Nelson Abbott built it. (Contact Hal at: www.sorrentidesign.com email inspire@sorrentidesign.com); contact Nelson at: abnel@bitelnet.com.)

One year later, we moved in.

The boxes piled high in our container on the ship from Miami, FL, held Pier One furnishings in reds and oranges. We brought everything, from refrigerators to light bulbs.

And today we have an inside garden flourishing riotously and tables groaning under vases of newly picked orange birds of paradise, red hibiscus, pinks of the torch ginger, and leaves from the varieties of crotons.

Our nearest neighbor, five lots away, became our dearest first friend. She, a mother of twins, was a writer who spoke of her assignments and how they exposed her to island lore and locations. Immediately, I jumped at the chance to write while here, and I met the publishers of the two island magazines.

(On Roatan, there's no daily newspaper with news of murders and wars, so in the mornings, we simply enjoy our fresh mango juice and slices of sourdough French bread from the bakery.)

I was interested in learning more about our new home, and so I began writing for the magazine that covers the community and the people who make it work. And within time, I became the editor, in fact.

Would it be corny to say it’s a joy rounding the bend of the road on the way to do an interview? Would it surprise you to know that we think of Roatan as our home, and our USA townhouse as our jumping-off place?

Our gray hairs are showing, yet we feel alive and adventuresome.

Plenty of Good-Value Real Estate Still Exists

Can you do what we did? Absolutely.

There are still a multitude of opportunities in real estate -- affordable and beautiful.

• On the Bay Island of Utila there is Escapa, a new exiting unique community with white sand beaches and azure waters. Here residential lots start at $59,000 and beachfront at $249,000.

• Design a house atop a hill, to see the far-ending reaches of the sky meet the water. You could do it at Blue Ocean Reef, where lots start at just $119,000.

• See the possibilities of a family grouping themselves together in a condominium project with elevators for grandma and swimming pools for the wee ones. You could do that comfortably at Pineapple Villas, where units list for $179,000 and up.

• Picture nestling in the trees (mangos, cashews, almonds) at Casa Can-Do, a home wrapped around a dipping pool with total privacy and serenity…but with a mile long white sand beach, large swimming pool, and a soaring A-frame open-air restaurant just a short walk away at Palmetto Bay Plantation. Asking price is $459,500

• Be comfortable in an upscale resort environment. At the sophisticated, south-side Parrot Tree Plantation, there are established condominiums, beachfront homes, and hillside lots. Preconstruction prices on the beachside condos start at $249,900.

• Key Hole Bay is a planned community, still in the early building stages. They have won two Honduran awards for environmental innovative methods of protecting the reef from run-off. An easy walk from the gorgeous West Bay Beach, 1500 sq ft. condominiums start at $394,000 with 15% and 20% preconstruction discounts.

• Infinity Bay Resort and Spa on West Bay Beach is for those who enjoy the crowds, as many Europeans do when they go to the seashore. Located right on West Bay Beach, ocean view units here are priced (pre-construction) from $258,760 for a one-bedroom to $789,360 for a three-bedroom.

• Sunset Villas is a quiet retreat behind West End, a young person’s paradise. Music at night, plenty of walking and meeting on the funky oceanfront street, and gatherings of tightly pressed, laughing people at bars like the Purple Turtle and Sundowners makes it the in-place. Units here start at $99,999 for a one-bedroom condominium and larger units start at $199,999 (pre-construction).

Click Here for more information on Bay Islands Properties

Prices on the Rise, But Still a Caribbean Bargain

Prices for properties on Roatan have increased since we bought three years ago. More people have discovered the island. More amenities are in place -- better roads, new restaurants, a bakery, a deli, etc. And it's easier to get here on more frequent flights.

So for us, it's been a sound investment. Those trends will continue, I believe.

And, as I've said, you've hardly missed all the good deals. When you compare the prices here today to what you'd pay for comparable properties elsewhere in the Caribbean, the condos, homes, and lots on Roatan still represent an extraordinarily good bargain.

For many, many years, this island was known only among divers and adventurers -- with more than 100 dive sites, it's an underwater paradise. Because it was relatively difficult to get to, it wasn't over-built or over-commercialized.

That's a blessing. Because even today, as more people discover it and prices creep up, it's still not a jumble of buildings. There are vast tracts of undeveloped land, and it feels like you have space to breathe and enjoy a relaxing lifestyle.

Plus this has become a splendidly international destination, too. We have friends from mainland Honduras, Canada, South Africa, Great Britain, Holland, Vietnam, Italy, China, and many from the United States.
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If, like us, you never tho

 

 

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Roatan Living Real Estate

Century 21 Roatan, J. Edwards Real Estate
Office: Mayan Princess Beach Resort, West Bay Beach
Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

Philip Buck
PBuck@RoatanLiving.com
Roatan: 011-504-9970-3378
US Voip # That Rings in Roatan: 831-359-4244

Roatan Living Real Estate and property for sale serves Roatan the Bay Islands of Honduras. Selling Real estate and Property for sale on Roatan! You can find an assortment of properties to suit your needs. Whether you are looking for an investment property, business opportunity or just an island hideaway property. Roatan real estate includes luxury homes, condos, resorts, beachfront homes, land for sale and development properties located in developments such as Mayan Princess, Parrot Tree Plantation, Marbella Beach, Pristine Bay - Roatan Golf Club, Rohan by the Sea, Palmetto Bay Plantation, Lawson Rock, La Sirena, Infinity Bay, Keyhole Bay and Coral Sands.