Why Jade Monkey?...
Individual.. Affordable.. Paradise..
Below are some of the possible differences between becoming a Jade Monkey Property owner, with a Turn-Key 'Personal Vacation Casita' - or Buying a Lot somewhere and Constructing Your Own Home - based upon personal experience:
- You would probably expend several months looking for property, then negotiating a price with Contracts being sent back and forth, initialed at every change, and finally signing a Real Estate Contract, by 'proxy' or by 'actually being there'.
- 'Proxy' entails getting a signed and notarized 'Special Power of Attorney' to your Roatan Real Estate Agent so he can 'Act' on your behalf, along with proof that the Notary that you used was authorized to witness your signature. That generally entails monies to get a certification from your State's Attorney General.
- 'Actually being there' entails, in my case, a round trip flight to Roatan from Salt Lake City, with a week stay on Roatan. Just that one week trip to finally see the property, and sign the Real Estate Contract, cost me over US$2,300. It included airline tickets, rental car, food, fuel, fees, stay at resort, etc. And that was pretty inexpensive, as I am pretty frugal with my money.
- Property, with guaranteed access to West Bay Beach, is rapidly becoming scarce. If you found a lot, the minimum price would probably be at least US$110,000.
- There are 'Closing Costs' associated with the signing of the Real Estate Contract. They include Attorney Fees to draw up the Contract; Per Page Charges to have the Contract translated into English; Transfer Tax; Bar Association Stamps; Cadastre Statement; Notary and Legal Fees, etc. Even with all these costs being cheaper than in the US, they do add up in time and monies. Closing Costs for Jade Monkey Properties were US$6,169.
- Property Taxes and HOA dues are prorated, based upon how many days are left in the year, and paid to the seller. Jade Monkey Properties will not be prorating those costs to you.
- Money Wire Transfers for Progress Payments from the U.S. to Roatan cost me US$35, along with a US$30 'Incoming Fee' on Roatan. That is eliminated with Jade Monkey Properties as we have a US bank that Progress Payments can be transferred into.
Now that you own your Roatan property, this is just the beginning of the time and monies to be expended constructing your home. The following are some of them:
- There are 'No Building Codes' on Roatan. That makes Roatan a 'paradise' for Unscrupulous and 'cost-cutting' Contractors. There are no Inspections by Qualified Government Persons to guarantee proper construction techniques and quality. Not real good if you live hundreds, or thousands, of miles away, and can only inspect the progress of your home 'once in a while'. Really, really bad if you do not know much about Home Construction.
- You will need to find a licensed, reputable contractor, with integrity. Not real easy on Roatan, especially 'Long Distance'. Roatan Contractors will require a 'Surcharge' of between 15% to 25% above the actual costs of overheads, labor and materials. This 'Surcharge' is their payment for 'Overseeing and Running' your project, including their Profits. You can also 'negotiate' with the Contractor a 'Lump Sum Price' that can include all materials, labor, overheads and profits expected on the Project.
Obviously, in either case, there are always 'items' that are forgotten or extras wanted. This will generate 'Change Orders' which can seriously impact the original, agreed upon and budgeted for, contract price because of inflated extra costs to the owner from the contractor. As you have read throughout this website, Jade Monkey Properties believes it has addressed 99% of items wanted or needed to construct a very energy-efficient, quality, and very functional 'Personal Vacation Casita' on Roatan. We also offer options that are available for your personal 'touch' that are negotiated at the beginning of the contract process, thereby eliminating costly 'surprises' to you later on, during construction.
- Even though there are 'No Building Codes', you will still need to purchase a Building Permit from the Local Government Municipality to construct a home on your property.
In order to do so, you will have to hire a Registered Honduran Architect. They will draw up your proposed house floor plans; foundation plans; structural plans; etc.; etc. and 'stamp' the drawings for approval. That took me over 4 months of emails back and forth, which included explaining again and again what I wanted, having drawings changed, and finally approving the drawings to be submitted. And I did a majority of the proposed drawings and layouts. That cost me US$1,920. Utilizing our proposed home plans for your Jade Monkey property will cost you nothing more as we are already approved for those home plans.
- Once you receive the approved and 'stamped' drawings from the Registered Honduran Architect, you will have to go to the Local Municipality and pay for the Building Permit. I paid US$3,326 for Jade Monkey Properties. Jade Monkey Properties has already received approved drawings and Building Permits for the Casita's on the property so there will be no extra costs to you in either time or monies.
- Just preparing Jade Monkey Properties to be built on cost over US$1,700. That included clearing of undergrowth; cutting small and damaged trees and hauling away; getting rid of ants and termites; road construction; etc; etc. That doesn't include the constant 'upkeep' on the property as plants grow exceedingly well on Roatan, which really is a great 'plus'.
- Next is the construction of the Septic System. That cost Jade Monkey over US$7,500. You don't just go to the local Plumbing Supply Business or Concrete Company and purchase a pre-fab concrete septic tank. It is 'Hand-Built' with cinder blocks, rebar, etc. Obviously, this type of construction can get very 'Time-Consuming', 'Labor-Intensive' and expensive.
- Then there is getting Main Power to your Home. That cost Jade Monkey over US$11,000. Unlike in the United States, you pay for all the necessary Power Poles, Transformer, Service Wire, etc., etc.
- If a Water Well is desired or needed, then you can run into problems with Honduran Law. Roatan has a law that no new Wells can be drilled within 700 meters (2,297 feet) of an existing well. So you can't just drill a Well whenever or wherever you want. You have to make sure you are guaranteed access to water before you purchase your lot.
Jade Monkey Properties has installed its own Water Well on its property for the benefit of its Private Property Owners. The Water Well at Jade Monkey Properties cost over US$15,000, including the well building, pump, etc., and over 6 months of construction time. Emerald Beach has its own Community Water System for the Property Owners, of which Jade Monkey Properties is one. Therefore, Jade Monkey Property Owners have another potential access to water, if somehow needed later on.
- And to 'Top It All Off', there is not much choice in Building Materials, Doors, Windows, Appliances, Trim Work, Furniture, etc., etc. on Roatan Island. 'Most everything needs to be shipped in. Because of this lack of choice and competition, the prices are high on what is available.
To overcome this, Jade Monkey Properties rents a shipping container in Miami, Florida and has the manufactured 'Casita Vacation Package' sent there. Then all the rest of the building materials, furnishings, appliances, interior finishes, decking, plumbing, electrical, etc., etc. are purchased in the Miami area and placed in that container. This allows Jade Monkey Properties to have a great selection of materials, with quality and reasonable pricing, to choose from. The filled container is then loaded on a ship and 4 days later it arrives in Roatan. All of the materials, etc. for your complete 'Turnkey Casita' are now on Roatan Island, ready for installation.
There is a 16% 'Import Duty' added onto the actual cost of items shipped into Roatan from outside Honduras. Obviously, that can add more to the construction costs and furnishings within your home. But there is a 16% 'Government Sales Tax' on all items purchased on the Island anyway so it really does not cost any more to import. However, the availability of 'choices' and be able to select quality materials from several different stores greatly outweigh any extra costs. Buying quality, while costing a little more, will make a big difference on Roatan. Guarantees are not usually honored in Honduras. Also, it would be very difficult to find someone qualified to repair your refrigerator or washer on the Island. Local parts would almost be non-existent. Plus, shipping a poor quality washer back to the country where it was purchased, and then reshipping it back to Roatan after being fixed is generally out of the question.
The reason why I even mention the above costs is to show that if there had been something available even close to what is being offered at Jade Monkey Properties, my 'Family' would have been enjoying vacationing on Roatan for 4 years now. As it is, we are now, finally, at a point in time that we can start construction of our own 'Personal Vacation Casita'. There just isn't anything available in this price range, close to West Bay Beach, especially with all of the 'Features' that are included in each Jade Monkey Turn-Key Casita. There is nothing available on Roatan that includes all these 'standard features'. Plus, a lot of wasted time, concerns about quality construction and building materials, concerns about the contractor, excessive costs with budget overruns, 'hassles', etc., are eliminated.
For Your Information:
If you are wanting to purchase a larger building lot, or larger existing home than what Jade Monkey Properties has to offer, then Larry Schlesser, of RE/MAX Real Estate, is your 'Man on Roatan'. If you are looking for a "licensed, reputable Real Estate Agent, with integrity", check out his website www.roatan-realestate.com/. Larry Schlesser, and his Personnel, would come highly recommended by me. Just mention my name for a 'little extra service'. Maybe you would rather have a 'View Property' instead of guaranteed access to West Bay Beach. Larry has access to all available properties for sale on the Island, even the other Islands, and the Mainland.
Also, if you are wanting to have a 'Personal Vacation Casita' quickly erected on your own existing property, then let me know. I can have a Quality, Custom-Designed Pre-fab Package sent to your Building Lot and erected. You can then decide to do the rest of the work by yourself, some of it or we can completely finish your 'Casita' turnkey.
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