Honduras is a Central American country where it is relatively easy for foreigners to purchase real estate. Although they have the same rights as native citizens, it is important to hire a real estate attorney to conduct all of the necessary research.
Attorneys and Real Estate Agents
It is very much recommended to hire a real estate attorney when buying real estate in Honduras. This person will assist with many of the legal steps and the necessary research (see below).
A good real estate agent is helpful when buying real estate in Honduras, but is not necessary.
Rules, Regulations and Restrictions
Foreign individuals are allowed to buy land in Honduras that is up to 3,000 square meters in size, which is about 3/4 of an acre (this law applies to native citizens as well). Corporations are allowed to own more land.
First, the buyer should settle on a property and make an offer to its seller. An initial sales agreement should then be drawn up and signed by both parties. This contract should include information on the price of the property and the closing date for all of the work. At this time, the buyer should put down a deposit which is 10% of the final purchase price.
After this document is signed, the buyer’s attorney is then responsible for conducting research regarding the real estate. The buyer should use this time to arrange a mortgage from a bank and figure out any financial issues. Subjects that need to be investigated include the title, property registry, restrictions or any fees like taxes or hidden leases. The attorney must make sure that the prospective property is correctly measured and recorded in the Land Registry.
If all clears with the research, then a final sales agreement must be drawn up and signed in from of a notary on the closing date. A Honduran Protocol can then be drawn up, which allows the transfer of title from the seller to the buyer. The buyer’s attorney must then take this to the public land registry, so that the officials can legally transfer the title into the new name. The buyer is also responsible for transferring the remainder of the money to the seller.