How we built our dream home in Roatan

It started in the Fall of 2021. We were about 18 months into the pandemic and our daily life grinded to a screeching halt. No more commuting, going out to the movies, out to restaurants, no vacations and more importantly, no competitive hockey. 

We had two boys playing competitive hockey where we estimated cost us around $15K-$20K in fees, equipment, tournaments and training. So we had managed to save a nice nest egg, not through any kind of financial discipline but circumstance.

We had always wanted to own a rental property. We rented out our basement for 1 year while I was on maternity leave and it was the easiest money I had ever made for the amount of hours I put in. So we started looking for a country cottage thinking it could also be a great place to escape the big city every so often.

But everyone else had the same idea and prices all over Ontario were skyrocketing to well over $500k-$1million dollars for modest size homes that needed a lot of work.

I shared my mission at work where my colleague Renee said I should consider Roatan where she had just recently purchased a home and was renting it out. She told me Roatan was the hidden gem of the Caribbean. 

I had only heard of Roatan as a cruise ship stop but knew it was in Honduras. I never thought of Honduras as being a vacation destination. But another colleague in the office used to work on cruise ships and said Roatan was his favourite port. 

I told my husband about this magical island off the coast of Honduras that was famous for its diving and snorkelling as it’s on the second largest reef in the world. 

His response, “I know someone who lives in Honduras”. 

Me: “You do? Who?”

“My friend Shauna. I wonder what else she does there.”

He looked her up on the internet. Turns out, she just got her real estate license. 

“It’s a sign!” I told my husband. 

The more we researched, the more we loved what we saw. My colleague put me in touch with her real estate agent Marian and she found us a great plot of land that was a 4 minute walk to West Bay beach. She also put us in touch with a builder, Fernando Diaz. 

We had only seen a map of the land we bought. This was the first time we saw the plot in person, two months after purchase.

We booked a flight to Roatan but due to the pandemic, the airline canceled the route altogether. We had to scramble to find a connecting flight but they were extremely expensive at the time. Fernando suggested we come by cruise boat as he only needed to show us around for a day.

We found a ridiculously cheap cruise that stopped in Roatan. We visited our newly purchased land. It was hard to visualize as it was just an empty plot in a tropical jungle. There were no other homes close to it.

But just down the road, he brought us to West Bay beach which was magnificent even though it was overcast that day and the tide was strong. Fernando and Marian apologized saying that normally the water was like glass. 

West Bay beach was amazing. It was white powdery sand and one of those beach where you could walk up and down and find great places to eat and drink or do an excursion. It convinced us that we could do this. 

 

Fernando showed us a bit more of his work around the island and then he brought us back to the cruise ship port and we signed a contract with him to build Casa Coral Dreams. We just had a really good feeling about him and we were excited to begin this adventure. 

Was it risky? Yes. Were we crazy? Fernando sure thought so. Who comes off a cruise ship and signs a contract in one day? But the end result is a beautiful home on a stunning island.

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