HON­DURAS CALLS TO CANA­DI­ANS

Sunny sea­side com­mu­nity awaits new res­i­dents at Njoi Tru­jillo

National Post (Latest Edition) - - FINANCIAL POST - PETER KENTER Njoi Tru­jillo is host­ing a sem­i­nar at Casino Rama Four Points Sher­a­ton in Oril­lia on Novem­ber 19 at 2 and 6 p.m. Regis­ter at njoitru­jillo.com

Tem­per­ate, af­ford­able, wel­com­ing. Gino San­tarossa, se­nior part­ner with Toronto’s Njoi Mar­ket­ing Ltd. be­lieves he’s found all three at­tributes in Hon­duras, a Cen­tral Amer­i­can coun­try that of­fers far more than that to peo­ple look­ing for a home away from home.

Njoi is the driv­ing force be­hind two beach hous­ing de­vel­op­ments in Hon­duras. A 2011 trip con­vinced San­tarossa and his part­ners, Cristina San­tarossa and Paul and Lu­cia To­dos, to pur­chase prop­erty there.

“We’d heard that they would be build­ing a $20-mil­lion Cana­dian cruise ship ter­mi­nal in our area,” he says. “That project came to fruition in 2014. We bought be­fore land prices sky­rock­eted. We’re also hear­ing about plans to open an in­ter­na­tional air­port in our area.”

The Njoi de­vel­op­ments are built along­side the world’s sec­ond-largest rain­for­est, and strad­dle a pris­tine 21-kilo­me­tre beach along the Caribbean.

Both de­vel­op­ments are be­ing con­structed in phases. Phase Three at Njoi Tru­jillo of­fers a range of homes, all with ocean views. These in­clude: two-bed­room split vil­las at 788-square feet for $149,000; two-bed­room de­tached homes with rooftop ter­race for US$215,000; and three-bed­room de­tached homes with rooftop ter­race at 1,333-square feet, start­ing at US$249,000. The de­vel­op­ment in­cludes a com­mu­nity pool, spa, ath­letic cen­tre and 25-boat slip ma­rina.

Phase Two at Njoi Santa Fe of­fers homes rang­ing from 1,000 to 6,000 square feet, built on moun­tain­side lots. Each lot is of­fered at US$98,000.

Both Njoi Tru­jillo and Njoi Santa Fe were jointly hon­oured as the best de­vel­op­ments in Latin and Cen­tral Amer­ica for 2017-18 by the In­ter­na­tional Prop­erty Awards.

“No­body from Canada will be dis­ap­pointed once they walk through the front door of their new home,” says San­tarossa. “Each home is cus­tom built. You’ll find con­crete foun­da­tions, gran­ite coun­ter­tops and air con­di­tion­ing in ev­ery room.”

Njoi in­sists on be­ing part of the com­mu­nity. All con­struc­tion is com­pleted by Hon­duran work­ers, who ben­e­fit from the de­vel­op­ment of the land. Con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als are lo­cally sourced where pos­si­ble.

Buy­ers at the Njoi de­vel­op­ments range in age from about 40 to 70, in­clud­ing par­ents with young chil­dren. “If they’re not us­ing their prop­er­ties, we can man­age them as tourist rentals on their be­half and pro­vide a stream of in­come,” says San­tarossa.

The near­est pop­u­la­tion cen­tre is Tru­jillo, a city of 30,000 lo­cated six kilo­me­tres from Njoi Tru­jillo and 10 from Njoi Santa Fe. It’s rich in his­tory that dates back more than 500 years to the first visit by Christo­pher Colum­bus and a thou­sand more to the Mayan civ­i­liza­tion. At­trac­tions in­clude the Fortress of Santa Bar­bara, built by Span­ish con­quis­ta­dors, his­toric churches and cob­ble­stone streets. The city of­fers hos­pi­tals, mar­kets, gro­cery stores, restau­rants and other ameni­ties. Abun­dant seafood and or­ganic pro­duce are read­ily avail­able.

The sur­round­ing area also fea­tures at­trac­tions that in­clude zi­plin­ing, jun­gle tours, horse­back rid­ing and nat­u­ral hot springs.

The av­er­age day­time tem­per­a­ture in the area is 28 de­grees C, ex­cept dur­ing a brief rainy sea­son from Oc­to­ber to De­cem­ber. San­tarossa says most po­ten­tial buy­ers ask about hur­ri­canes.

“We’re in a shel­tered lo­ca­tion,” he says. “Dur­ing my life­time, only one hur­ri­cane has ever touched the area and that was in 1998.”

Sofía Cer­rato, the Am­bas­sador of Hon­duras in Canada, notes that Cana­di­ans are warmly wel­comed.

“Canada has al­ways been sup­port­ive of our coun­try,” she says. “You’ve helped us with so many good things, as­sist­ing us with es­tab­lish­ing our na­tional parks, supporting our ca­cao and cof­fee pro­duc­ers and work­ing with us on is­sues in­volv­ing in­dige­nous women. We look to you as friends. De­vel­op­ers like Gino, who source lo­cal labour and ma­te­ri­als, help to cre­ate so many jobs.”

Hon­duras has made con­sid­er­able ef­forts to de­velop its tourist in­dus­try, Cer­rato says that she fre­quently fields ques­tions from Cana­di­ans who are con­sid­er­ing re­tire­ment there.

“They tell me that they don’t ex­pect much on in­comes of $2,000 a month, for ex­am­ple,” she says. “I tell them that in Hon­duras that kind of money buys a gen­er­ous life­style. You could hire peo­ple to cook for you and look af­ter you. You could pam­per your­self.”

Prospec­tive buy­ers can check out the Njoi prop­er­ties on a week-long va­ca­tion of­fered by the de­vel­oper for only $500 per cou­ple, in­clud­ing air­port pick up and drop off, ac­com­mo­da­tion at Njoi, water­fall, stafish colony, snorkelling, hot spring and nat­u­ral re­serve tours, as well as vis­its to the Fortress and Botan­i­cal Gar­dens. Meals and drinks are not in­cluded.

“Ev­ery one of our buy­ers so far has taken the tour be­fore buy­ing,” says San­tarossa.

He plans to move into the Santa Fe de­vel­op­ment him­self some­day, but he’s last in line.

“I will be re­tir­ing there when I’m ready,” says San­tarossa. “But I’ve got some homes to build first.”

Each home is cus­tom built with con­crete foun­da­tions, gran­ite coun­ter­tops and air con­di­tion­ing in ev­ery room.

SUPPLIED

Phase Three at Njoi Tru­jillo of­fers a range of homes, all with ocean views.

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