Just an FYI for the Pumpkin Hill property owners that there is a thrust coming from the Utila Power Company to get Pumpkin Hill electrified! For those of you not on facebook, here's the info. (Please note that I am not endorsing or attesting to anything from this project, this is simply a circular of information for those interested. However, feel free to contact me to put you in touch with the right people.
From the Utila Power Company facebook page ( link below this article): Proposal to property owners on Pumpkin Hill road to get Electricity
UPCO has the intention to make a grid extension all the way to Pumpkin Hill.
Be able to do this we have to raise $ 50.000.00 capital. The grid extension will start from the new airport road and pass Capouo farm and continue following the old Pumpkin hill road to the end.
The municipality together with Zolitur are going to widening the road as well and as soon we have these blueprints / surveys, we can start putting in the approximately 40 posts and clear the bushes and trees so they do not interfere with the power lines. for a start it will be a single phase line, but all necessary items for a three phase installation will be in place on the posts.
Because some property owners have already showed interest in the project and participating in the planning and personal I think the majority of the property owners or the already existing houses along side the road, are interested as well
The proposal is as follows:
• Connection fee to hook up is $ 460.00, includes the 15% tax and has to be prepaid with no payment plans.
• The new customer has to prepay $ 1500.00 worth in KW, which would be with the going rate 3687.15 KW and will be getting a voucher. After the meter is electrified, half of these prepaid KW have to be used on the new meter and the other half, if you wish, could be used in any other location, regardless where in Utila or in which name the other meter is in!
• All customers will be hooked up to a transformer, but if the customer is further away as 60 ft from the transformer, the additional cost will be for the end user (secondary line).
• Transformers , probably about 10, will be located strategically along the road, so that as many people could get hooked up as close as possible.
Potential future customers, not participating as stippled out above and wait and sit back and see what is going to happen in the future, will be charged $ 1150.00 to connect, if they decide to hook up after the project is finished and any other connection, even a 2nd connection, the price stays $ 1150.00 for the next 10 years, this applies as well for customers who were part of the initial group that paid the " $460.00 and $ 1500.00" and want a second meter installation later after the project is finnished.
please leave comment, if interested in the project or ask for more information @ the UPCO office.
We even could have a meeting with all the potential people interested in this project, the sooner , the better. I been hearing now for 30 years about this road and electricity in Utila going to Pumpkin Hill, I believe this time it is possible if 25 people participate and come together financially to start this!
The Pumpkin Hill project is taken shape!
In this post I am adding the person or entity by name, who gave verbally his approval and is willing to pay the $ 1960.00 ($460.00 + $1500.00)
There must be at least 25 to 30 people on this list for us to continue making plans and these monies should be in our possession by the end of October this year. Send me a private message on the UPCO face book page or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, that you would like to participate and that you have no problem that your name or company is listed on this public page.
The following people so far gave their verbal approval to pay $ 1960.00 in full
1) Sherry and Danny Owen Bush
2) Tara and Steve Dankewich
3) Linda and Kurt Halverson
4) Andy Phillips
5) Barbara Kempf
6) Chuck Conners
7) Glenn Pedersen
8) Sherry and Danny Owen Bush (2nd connection)
9) Lisa and Frank Morgan
10) Patrick Flynn
11) Shelby McNab
12) Shelby McNab (2nd connection)
13) Barbara Vansteenkiste
14) Mrs Carmen Hill
"A dollar short and a day late". What was that saying for? Rent? Well, I'm not a dollar short, but I AM a couple of days late in posting this information about the Utila & Roatan Market Summary for the last year, compared to the previous year.
First, I'd like to point out something about Utila and Roatan. Potential life-changers often contact me several months in advance of visiting Utila and Roatan for the first time. They have usually seen the episodes on HGTV, and have heard wonderful things about the Bay Islands and the affordable real estate. All of them are true! However there is a difference between Utila and Roatan.
Having had a dive center here and having more than 15,000 divers and travellers go through our dive center over the years, I have some pretty good first-hand data from asking people which island they prefer: Utila or Roatan. It's common knowledge for those that live here, that most people are either "Roatan People" or "Utila People".
If you're looking for laid-back & easy, cozy & quaint; then Utila is your island. If you're looking for amenities and services, then you might prefer Roatan. If you want the benefits of a small population and a small-town feel, then Utila is your choice. If you love the beauty of a Caribbean island, but can't quite leave the city life, then you might prefer Roatan. There are many franchises on Roatan, whereas there is only one chicken supplier franchise here on Utila... and even then, most prefer to purchase their chickens from the local meat supplier here on the island. We even put advance orders in for the chickens which are stronger, happier, free-running chickens! And then we have to wait for them to grow!
Roatan is often named in the top three islands for Retiring (islands.com), visiting (TripAdvisor) and other various other destination awards. Utila is lesser known, and frankly that's probably why it still has a wonderful, magical charm about it, that all those living in Utila love!
So, my point is that you're usually either an Utila person or a Roatan person. And with that in mind, let us proceed to the data:
You can see that the trends for real estate growth are pretty straight forward in that the combined percentage growth, the green line at the bottom, labelled Grand Totals, has a 106% growth from year ending August 24, 2014, compared with the year ending August 24, 2015. That's more than double, even considering the decline in certain property sales in some areas in Roatan.
The chart is split into columns where the first set of numbers are for listings, or properties that have been put up for sale, Total Active. As the market grows, more people are putting their properties up for sale. On an island, there is only so much inventory, and moreso in Utila.
The second set of numbers is for the Numbers Sold. That's usually the data which interests most people. A growth of 106%, remember that means more than doubling the number of properties sold from this year compared to last! So the bottom line is, the same message all around the Bay Islands of Honduras... better get here quick! And yes there has been more property bought and sold in Utila, however, we are just beginning to use the MLS which is what this data is based upon.
If you would like other information from this database, please feel free to comment here, or email me. I will mine the data for you as you like, if I can. Meanwhile, enjoy life!
Yesterday, someone asked me for some general data on the Utila real estate market. I thought I'd share with you just a little snapshot of property sale data taken from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for Honduras. The MLS is a search-able database of properties which shows you all available properties around the country, viewable from each real estate agent's websites, should they choose to use it. Check out our home page and scroll down to see our Portal, which is basically a window into the store of Honduran properties for sale. In another blogpost, I will walk you through some searches you can make to find the right property for you.
On the green line labelled "Totals" it shows that the Utila market as a whole, compared with the same year prior, has growth in all sales areas of 1,100%! The "PCT" column indicates the percentage growth when compared with the previous year. Another remarkable item to note is that residential lot sales are skyrocketing, increasing by 900% over the previous year. This is usually a good indicator that you'd best purchase your piece of paradise now! Utila is a small island with the majority of people living within a few square miles of each other. Prices always increase with more demand than supply.
This table shows Utila's data based on the properties sold in the MLS. "This Year" is the year ending today to the same date in 2014. "Last Year" as a comparison is from the same dates, but from 2013-2014. The MLS is a great tool providing historical data that helps in determining listing prices for current properties for sale, projections for the future, and data mining.
Thankfully, Utila lags behind Roatan in growth and development, but Roatan's data is a good indicator of what is to come on this lesser-known island we all call home. Although Utila will happily never catch up to the population on Roatan, their property data is exponentially greater than the data from Utila. This is due largely to the fact that most agents did not place their property listings on the MLS, as there was little need with such a small market. Hence it's difficult to provide accurate information based on such little data. However, Roatan statistics can be consulted when projecting and determining real estate information in Utila, with the use of a 'correction calculation' to tweak the data for Utila. Do you want to know how Utila data compares to our neighboring island of Roatan?
If you like this post, and if there is any specific information you would like to see, just ask me, and I'll see what I can do.
Tomorrow's post will show how Utila data compares to Roatan's. Stay tuned...
Did you purchase a property in Utila many moons ago and are interested in selling it now?
Please keep in mind that I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. This is simply some information that you can verify and discuss with your attorney if you want to learn how you can reduce the amount of Capital Gains you'll pay upon selling your property.
The current rate of capital gains is 4 percent (fortunately down from 10% a few months ago). You can mitigate the amount of capital gains that you need to pay by filing for a Declaration of Improvements which detail any improvements that you have made to your property. If you have built a road, constructed a home, fenced in your property, or any other improvements you have made to the land, you can apply for a Declaration of Improvements.
Upon selling your property you can take your selling price, deduct the initial investment and the amount of the declaration of improvements (did you know you can also deduct real estate commissions?) to arrive at the amount to calculate your capital gains.
The cost of the application is US $475 dollars to submit through a lawyer + 0.15% of the amount of a declaration of the improvement. If you compare that to the current rate of capital gains at 4 percent, most often this will result in more money in your pocket when you sell your property.
Here's a sample calculation provided by Attorney Juan Jose Alcerro:
The current applicable regulation has 2 different scenarios, one for the situation where the Seller is a Honduran resident for tax purposes and one where the Seller is not a Honduran resident for tax purposes.
If the Seller (individual or corporation) is a Honduran resident, then 4% capital gains regulation applies, and Seller is bound to pay capital gains tax on the sale. Tax payment is due 10 business days after closing and, according to the applicable regulation is to be calculated as follows:
(Sales Price – “Present time value” of the real estate) / 4
[Sales Price (SP) – “Present time value” of the real estate (PTV)] / 4
“Sales Price” (SP) is the Price of the sale of the real estate
“Present-time value” (PTV) of the real estate is the “Acquisition Price” (AP) brought to current date + Declared & Registered Improvements (DRI)
In the event the Sales Price is $600,000.00
And the real estate was acquired in 1995 at a Price equivalent to $50,000.00
And No Appraised Improvements are registered
Capital Gains Tax (4%) = $22,000
In the event the Sales Price is $600,000.00
And the real estate was acquired in 1995 at a Price equivalent to $50,000.00
And Appraised Improvements are registered for $350,000.00
PTV: $50,000 + $350,000 = $400,000
Capital Gains Tax (4%) = $8,000
Don't forget the calculation of the Declaration application and tax: $475 (attorney and filing) + 0.15% additionally.
I hope this helps. Please feel free to email me if you need more information or for a list of reputable real estate attorneys.
Utila's First Converted Attire Fashion Show
To better serve retirees & those seeking a slower pace of life in the Caribbean, I became the First and Only Accredited Buyer's Representative in the country of Honduras. This means you can be assured of the best representation of your real estate needs, like no one else can.