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Jana and Brent Jopko, Calgary, Canada

Purchasing land in a 3rd world country can be a daunting experience especially when our first go at it with another real estate firm was a negative one. Second time around we were more careful in selecting who would be a better fit for our needs and decided to work with Matt and Margot Halliday.

Unknowingly to us, before our arrival Matt contacted a potential seller that had not yet listed his property but who’s land matched our criteria. Upon our arrival we went to view the properties we had selected ahead of time and then Matt and Margot showed us one that was listed just prior to our arrival; it was that property that we ended up purchasing! This was a fairly quick purchase and Margot worked late into the night to ensure our offer was accepted. We did hit a problem with the property along the way and Matt and Margot were on top of it immediately communicating with us. The problem was resolved to the satisfaction of the seller and us, the buyers. We all ended up commenting that it’s not always that all parties end up happy in the end even when problems arise. Thanks to Matt and Margot we are happy land owners in Roatan!

 

 
From Paul and Eva, Winnipeg, Canada

I found Matt on the web and had a couple preliminary discussions with him about what we wanted and arranged to meet him during our trip. From the get go he was very easy to work with stayed within our budget and had solid knowledge of the island. We never felt pressure and he really listened. The after sales service was solid and we are looking forward to enjoying our new home for years to come.

 

 
From: Jerry and Michelle Goddard, Atlanta, GA USA

One of the many reasons we ended up working with Margot and Matt was their testimonial site along with Matt's initial prompt and informational communications. If you have yet to meet either of these two wonderful folks, I suggest that you read through all of the comments as every statement is accurate.

You may find the comments hard to believe but rest assured, not only will you find competent, friendly and knowledgeable real estate agents; you will find a wonderful couple that are genuinely interested in finding you the right property…… not to mention new genuine friends.

We discovered more in a week on Roatan with Margot and Matt than we could have in a month on our own. As others mentioned before us, they are prompt, reliable, patient and honest to name just a few shortly after meeting them in person. They follow through and provide service that is simply unparalleled in our previous real estate experiences. They even acted on our behalf to close absentee on our new home without a worry on our part.

As new home owners in Roatan, we can't wait to return with friends and family. Our first stop will be to share another giant "thank you" to both Margot and Matt for a making a very difficult and challenging decision one of the most pleasurable anyone could ask for.

If Roatan is your island of interest, we wholeheartedly suggest you give these folks a shout. You will be more than happy you did.

 

 
Jeff Schweitzer, Ph.D.
 
 
I do not know where to begin to thank you for your assistance. Purchasing property in a foreign country for the first time is daunting, but you made the process easy, understandable, stress-free, straightforward and transparent. With your careful guidance and professionalism we were able to close in one month without the slightest hiccup or drama. The process could not possibly have gone more smoothly. You always under-promised and over-delivered on every aspect of the transaction. You went way beyond the call of duty to make our purchase easy and painless. Your commitment to service is truly admirable. Your recommendations to us for an attorney, insurance agent, property manager and housecleaner all proved to be invaluable, and we cherish those new relationships. Choosing you as our real estate agents is one of the most fortuitously smart moves we have ever made.

My wife and I are grateful for your integrity, honesty and transparency. Working with you has been a great pleasure; you have earned our trust completely. We look forward to becoming your friends and neighbors on Roatan.

 
Ken Schmitt and MJ Harden
 
Maui, Hawaii
 
 
Thank you for handling this transaction so competently and completely! We are delighted that we found you! And you couldn’t have found a more perfect buyer for us. It has been a totally positive experience working with you. You have both been efficient and dependable in every respect. We could not have asked for a better experience in selling our lot. We received our funds in a timely manner and in the exact amount that you informed us would be sent.

Thank you again, and we wish you the best in your future.

 
Paul and Carole Roy
 
Ontario, Canada
 
 
In beginning our search for property on Roatan, I contacted several realtors by email. Matt answered my email almost immediately without knowing a thing about us. Having explored their website, I knew that Matt and Margot were Canadians that had been on the island for many years and dealing with another Canadian couple was re-assuring to us. Over the next few months, I continued to communicate to Matt through email as we began to narrow down our search for property based on our interests.

We made arrangement with Matt and Margot to visit the island and decide if this was the right investment to make. We arranged for a week of viewings and arrived on the island. We had arranged to meet Matt, Margot and their son Brock on the night of our arrival to introduce ourselves. Picking us up at our hotel, they took us out for dinner and we knew right away that our relationship with Matt and Margot would become more then a realtor/client relationship.

The following day we set off to explore the island and get a feel for the different opportunities. Although, our internet search had guided us to a specific area on the East end of the island, Matt and Margot insisted that we see all the opportunities so we would be comfortable with our investment choice. As it turns out, luck worked on our side and an unlisted piece of property became available in the area we were interested in and Matt and Margot were able to secure the property for us.

Buying property on Roatan is really just the beginnings of your real estate experience. Having to leave the island within a few days, we had to leave our trust in Matt and Margot to deal with all the paperwork and closing issues. Our next big hurdle was finding a reliable contractor that could build a place for us. Margot recommended Leonard Dilbert a local contractor that has built many homes for clients of Matt and Margot. Leonard was able to build our place exactly to spec, and under budget.

Matt and Margot have been there for us through more then just the buying process, but have been there for us every step of the way from buying, closing, helping with getting a contractor, to checking up on our place every now and then when we are off the island.

I can’t say enough nice things about this couple, give them a shout, you might find your island paradise property, and you will definitely find some new friends in Matt and Margot.

 
From Patz & Ron Turner

Miramar, Florida
 
 
I want to thank you once again for the wonderful service you have provided in selling our home on Roatan.

In a difficult market you put together a great deal for both us and the buyer, and we think you went above and beyond to help us market the property.

For all your efforts, we sincerely thank you and will be happy to recommend your service to anyone who is interested in buying or selling on the wonderful island of Roatan.

Best regards,
Patz and Ron Turner

 
From Thad Wardall

Seattle, Washington

When it came to selling my house on Roatan, selecting Margo and Matt as my agents turned out to be the best decision I made. It was a tough sell because of the weak market at the time. Margo and Matt remained positive and uplifting all along, even in the face of having one couple back out of a sale at the last minute. My house sold a few months later, and I could not have been more pleased with the level of friendly professionalism they displayed throughout the entire process.

 

 
From Danny and Thom

As I sit here on the deck having my coffee, staring out across the vast ocean and seeing the faint outline of the mainland, I felt I had to write you a letter. I suppose the primary reason is to say thank you so much for finding this wonderful house for us.

You both seem to have a knack for matching the person to the house and, if I must say so, this was a match made in heaven (and I suppose in the offices of Margo and Matt).

Anyway, thank you again for making this all possible. It has been a year now and never a moment has passed that we have had one single regret for having bought this beautiful place.

 

 
From Kelley and Jim Storey, Chattanooga, TN

We came, we met, we listened, we saw, we became friends, we bought, AND with no small dose of sadness, we left our new friends, Matt and Margot, to return to the US and figure out how to get back to Roatan sooner rather than later. But this letter is to tell you and anyone else that may be considering a real estate investment on Roatan, what a pleasure it was to deal with you in making our purchase.

I believe that we are like a lot of other potential buyers. We had a time limit, but we didn't want to spend 100% of our time looking at property. We were new to the island. We could only hope that the island would be everything that we wanted it to be. We knew no one, except some people at the other end of an email address. Our good luck was that those people were you, Matt and Margot Halliday.

You communicated with us in advance. You suggested lodging and auto rental. You made sure we were settled in. You explained lempira and the exchange rate. You introduced us to Port Royal beer. Then and more importantly, you spent just the right amount of time understanding what our objectives and our vision were, and since we were "all over the map", you guys had to be good. You explained the island. You described the differences in the north shore and the south shore, the East End and the West End. The short version of the long story is that you were of immense help in finding our piece of paradise. We couldn't have done it (nor would we have wanted to try to) do it without you.

And to others who are looking for professional but personable real estate representation, I heartily recommend that you contact Matt and Margot. When you are in a new place with new and different laws and procedures and buying something you don't buy every day, the most important person you can find is a person you can trust. We did and those people were you. Folks, these are good people!

 

 
From Milesse & John Kennedy, Barefoot Cay, Roatan

How you have changed our lives! Little did we suspect when we first visited Roatan this past February that we would be living here not six months later. Our trip was to visit our friends who brought their yacht here for a second winter. Our friend asked if we were interested in looking at real estate and we said of course, as I am a commercial real estate broker with a CCIM designation in the U.S. However, our interest was strictly to look, as we were not interested in investing and never dreamed of moving from Bellevue, Washington.

Our second day here was Valentines Day and Margot, you gave us your royal tour of the best of Roatan's properties, showing us a broad range of waterfront, view and investment properties. All during the drives from one property to the next, you told us in detail what living on Roatan is like.

That night, we returned to our friends' boat, then had dinner and an evening swim at the Yacht Club. When we were in the pool we said to each other, what if we moved here. The decision was made that quickly! We returned to Bellevue, sold our home, wound down business affairs and now here we are developing our small island in the sun!

Our friend had been here the previous year and had looked at property extensively. Shortly before our arrival, she had spoken with a gentleman who owned a small cay between French Harbour and Coxen Hole. He told her that he wanted to sell the small island, but that it was not on the market. When we decided with our friend to purchase the cay, we immediately agreed that we wanted Margot and Matt to represent us in the transaction.

Even though commercial real estate brokerage is my own area of expertise, we realized that special skills and local knowledge are required in Honduras. We are so thankful for having Margot and Matt handle the acquisition of our cay, as well as the identification and acquisition of land on the adjacent shore. We had confidence in Margot and Matt's professionalism and knowledge, which is crucial since real estate people are not licensed in Honduras. A buyer has no recourse if a transaction is not handled properly. There are no trust fund accounts that are regulated, as in the U.S., so security of our deposit funds was of utmost importance to us. Doing a real estate transaction in Honduras is very much buyer beware.

Thanks to both of you from John and myself for being such professionals. Please feel free to share this letter with prospective clients. We would be happy to speak with anyone having further questions. Sincerely,

Milesse Kennedy

 

 
From Jo Buescher, Portland, Oregon

Early in 1998, Bob and I began construction on our little cabin high on the hill in Colonia Dorcas. For several months we lived nearby in rented quarters and watched our dream take form. It was quite an adventure! Over the next 3 years, we structured our business schedule around opportunities to be on Roatan, working on our modest dwelling in Paradise.

In late February 2001, Bob was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. Unfortunately, it was time to sell. Matt and Margot Halliday made this process as easy as possible, handling our situation with care and respect, coupled with efficiency and professionalism. Their evaluation was prompt, pricing was realistic and fair, and their marketing was excellent.

When the property sold they facilitated execution of the documents. They were knowledgeable, paid close attention to each detail and had the professional contacts to make the transaction of closing go smoothly.

I'm very grateful to Matt and Margot for their help, and for their expertise!

 

 
From Boud & Yvonne Heilijgers Vught/Netherlands

After sailing around the Caribbean for several years, and having a good look at green and hilly islands, as that was the first condition we specified for a possibly holiday home, i.e. future place to retire, we happened to stumble on Roatan in the early spring of 2001. Gathering information on this intriguing place via the Internet was relatively easy.

We planned a 3 week visit in July/August 2001 in order to check out this, at least in Europe, fairly unknown island. During this process, we also found Margot & Matt Halliday, then not yet independent, but already fully committed to Roatan and to building up a serious reputation as realtors.

During our first trip Margot and Matt did not only show tremendous patience, by showing us almost every house or lot for sale on the island, but they were also a very welcome source of all sort of useful information.

In the end we decided to buy a lot in the Lawson Rock development, we fell in love with Roatan, with it being relatively unspoilt, with its very friendly inhabitants, and are presently building our dream house. This very much thanks to Margot and Matt, who became good friends. They were not only interested and involved till the deal was closed, but are still there after their official part is done. That is really looking after your customers.

We can recommend them to anyone interested in property on Roatan !

 

 
From: Otto and Patricia Studhalter, Aspen Colorado

After several months of deciding to make a lifestyle change, the next decision was "where". After extensive research on the web, we decided to check out Roatan. We contacted several realtors trying to get information on prices, locations etc. We communicated quite clearly to Matt and Margo and another realtors that we were looking for a private home that would have a private dock large enough for a 40 foot motor boat. We were NOT looking to be in a development. We made a firm commitment with other realtor for a full two days of our valuable time and a full day with Matt and Margo.

The first day we were taken to every "development" by the other realtor and were shown only one house. He obviously wanted to sell us his developments and nothing else. He canceled the second day we had booked with him citing that he had meetings all day. We were so disappointed that we thought we had wasted our time and money coming to Roatan since we saw nothing that we wanted. Our appointment with Matt and Margo was on the third day and we were very apprehensive. They showed us several great houses and went out of their way to make us comfortable. They knew exactly what we were looking for and had a full selection of houses for us to see.

Matt and Margo made sure that we got a FULL feel of the island while showing us properties. When they showed us Casa pirateas, we knew we had found exactly what we were looking for. Matt and Margo cleared their schedule to spend the next day with us. While generally a real estate agent works for the seller, we found Margo's true talents were in her negotiating skills. She made sure both the seller and us were able to bargain in a fair and open manner. To accomplish the making of "a deal" with such a positive outcome takes a person who is honest and caring about both parties.

The deal doesn't just end with the signing of papers. Matt and Margo have helped us getting to know our neighbors and all the cultural ins and outs of living in Roatan. We feel we have new friends as well as an ongoing business relationship.

 

 
From: Bob and Anne Brown, Cobblehill, BC Canada

In the year 2000 my wife and I sold our business in Canada and with careful financial planning we were able to realize our dreams of spending our winters in a tropical climate. For over two years we visited and/or researched countries such as Costa Rica, Mexico, Belize, Bahamas, Exumas and Honduras. Each country seemed to have distinct advantages but also disadvantages. We finally made up our minds and chose Roatan, Honduras.

What influenced our decision the most was spending some time on the island of Roatan before we purchased a property. During this time we worked with Matt and Margot Halliday from Re/Max Realty. What first introduced me to Re/Max on Roatan was their very informative web-site. We were able to preview developed and under-developed tracts of land as well as condominiums, resort properties, businesses as well as single family homes, all at a very reasonable and affordable price. When we arrived in Roatan, Matt met me at the airport and spent considerable effort in insuring that we were comfortable in our hotel and surroundings. Over the next few weeks Matt and Margot spent a considerable amount of time showing us numerous properties as well as being excellent ambassadors. We met quite a few people, local as well as from other parts of the world.

What may have convinced us more about our decision in purchasing property in Roatan was the kind people we met everywhere. Although we were visitors, we felt very much a part of the community. When we had decided on the property, Matt and Margot were with us every step of the way. Once the final documents were in place we felt very comfortable that our investment in Roatan was very secure.

 

 
From: Gil Garcia, Sundancer, Cabin Owner

My name is Gil Garcia, I bought a cabin at Sundancer, Sandy Bay Roatan. There may not be any thing extraordinary about this transaction, other than I bought it "sight unseen". Well that is not exactly correct, I had not see the place but Margot and Matt of Remax had. They sent an enormous amount of pictures via email along with their assurances that the place was worth the price and a match to what I was looking for. Matt and Margot were extremely helpful to me and I very grateful I went with them because even though I bombarded them with questions, they were patient and accurate.

When I finally flew down there to close on the purchase, I was so relieved that the cabin was as quaint as the pictures showed. Especially, since my inspection was the day before closing. I could not have done this without Matt & Margot's continuous and cordial assistance. I recommend their services without reservations, in fact I'll say I wouldn't have my place were it not for their professional assistance.

 

 
From: John and Kathi Parkman, Minneapolis

When my husband and I knew we wanted to purchase a home on the island of Roatan, we were directed to Matt and Margot Halliday. They were not only professional and honest in their approach, but we've become close friends since the day we met. Their honesty and integrity puts this great team miles ahead of the competition on the island.

Our purchase and closing on our home went smoothly and without any hassles...something that's almost impossible in a Third World Country. We would not hesitate in any way to purchase another home or sell our present home with Matt and Margot. They are a great team and good friends.

 

 
From: Kevin and Sandi, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

When my husband and I dreamed of owning a home in the Bay Islands we went to Remax because of their reputation. We emailed Matt and Margo, who began helping us immediately. By the time we made the trip to the islands to look at property Matt and Margot knew just what we were looking for and what our price range was. They had several properties in a variety of locations for us to look over, each one more beautiful than the last.

We found our dream location and Matt and Margot held our hands during the whole process, which was really very easy. They have remained in touch and are always still available to help us as we build our house. Matt and Margot of Bay Islands Remax helped us make a dream come true.

 

 
From: Mary and David Finkelstein, New Jersey

Before I landed at the airport in Roatan in January 2000, I had already made two good friends on the island. I had been in touch with Margo and Matt from Remax Realtors for a few months. They provided me with listings of homes for sale in Roatan, many with pictures. I was there to "look" for my piece of paradise.

After retrieving my luggage and clearing customs I immediately recognized Margot from her pictures on the Remax web site. She drove my daughter and I into West End where we had reservations for our stay on the island. Besides house hunting we were planning on doing some scuba diving. Over the next week, Margo and Matt showed me home after home. Each one had a special charm to it. I was able to see the whole island and get a real feel of what life in Roatan might be like. I settled on a small home in West End that fit my needs perfectly.

I can honestly say that it's been a wonderful investment. Property values are increasing rapidly. I'm only able to spend five or six weeks a year right now on the island and am renting the house to people looking for a beautiful place to stay on their vacation. It's working out even better than anticipated. I hope to retire there eventually.

Margo and Matt gave me a great deal of insight about Roatan. They were and still are always available to answer questions. I don't think there are two harder working honest people in the real estate business in Roatan.

 

 
From: Jeffrey Kuken, Boston

I would like to take a minute to thank you for everything that you did to assist me in purchasing two separate properties on Roatan. It took 3 trips to the island this past year for me to find what I was looking for. When I first met you in April 2000, I didn't really expect to buy anything on the island. Margot spent a day and a half with me showing me all kinds of property helping me to figure out what I was looking for in real estate. I returned to the island in August for two weeks and again Margot spent a couple of days showing me property. Even though I still didn't know what I was looking for, Margot was always helpful and pleasant.

Upon returning home, I realized that I was falling in love with Roatan and I needed to find a way to spend more time there and to find a way to make a living on the island. I went back to Roatan in November with a business plan and now knowing that I was searching for commercial property to build my business on.

During that visit, I spent a great deal of time with Margo and Matt. They introduced me to so many wonderful people on the island. I also found the land I was looking for. They took the time to listen to how I want to make my offer and assisted with everything right up to and including the closing. I have never dealt with a realtor in the States that ever came close to giving me the kind of service and attention that I received from Margot and Matt.

On my last trip to Roatan, Margot showed me a few home that she though I would be interested in that were in my price range. I found a beautiful home on the water in the West End, my favorite town on Roatan. Now less that a year after my first visit to Roatan, I own property for my Movie Theater that I'm building and a water front home, plus I have made many friends in the process including Matt and Margot Halliday.

 

 
From: Matthew Gurewitsch

Our first visit to Roatan was meant to be exclusively exploratory. My wife Susan and I had heard about the island through newsletters, which made it sound extremely appealing for its landscape, affordability, people, and reasonably modern conveniences. By sheer chance, we met Margot and Matt Halliday at a cocktail party, and got into a chat about what we liked and what we didn't like in the various parts of the island we had seen.

Margot told us about Palmetto Bay Plantation, and it sounded like a place we would like to get to know--so we took a spin and fell in love with the secluded setting and the open, airy architecture. This, we immediately knew, was the right environment for us.

Very quickly, we decided we would like to build there. But we wanted to customize the design of the house. Our initial conversations with Gary Chamer, the developer, were very promising. But Margot's help in thinking through the issues was equally crucial. Buyers, real-estate agents, and developers all have their own agendas, of course, and of course Margot was eager to make the sale. But she was always thoroughly candid about the pros and cons of any given situation, and when she felt herself to be in a conflict of interest (however minor), she would say so. Her knowledge of the legal aspects of purchasing real-estate on the island was likewise indispensible to the smooth completion of the sale.

Friends in the United States were incredulous when we told them we were building a house in Central America without being onsite to supervise the work. But there was no way we could put our lives on hold to do so. Yet our house was completed on schedule (in just nine months!). The workmanship was superb, the formalities hassle-free.

We feel that Matt and Margot's knowledge of the market and their legal connections made them invaluable helpers in our quest for the Caribbean property of our dreams. Feel free to CONTACT US with any specific questions.”