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At home in Honduras

Canadian couple build retirement home at Caribbean eco resort

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A Canadian couple could build a bigger home on their lot at a sun-soaked Caribbean resort -- but they don't see the point, since they won't be spending much time indoors.

"Other than sleeping, when you've got a beach and a swimming pool, then you're outside," says Deanna Lakusta.

She and husband, Larry, are building at Trujillo Beach Eco-Development, a development by Recap Investment in Honduras. They trimmed what was a 2,000-square-foot floor plan to something closer to 1,500 square feet. It includes two bedrooms and two bathrooms. It's also got a swimming pool off the patio.

"The back of the house of the living room is all windows," says Deanna, adding it won't be short on natural light.

The gated resort community is on 242 hectares of land with almost 15,000 feet of private beachfront. It also includes rainforest and plantations.

Deanna is an accountant and Larry works for the City of Medicine Hat. "I work in a basement five days a week and need the outside," says Deanna.

The project has an eco-friendly and self-sustaining approach involving features such as on-site organic plantations and farms. There's also a nursery with more than 15,000 exotic plants that will be used to landscape the yards of homes at the development.

A bit of a green thumb, Deanna says she'd like, where possible, to donate her time to assist with growing vegetables at the project's various sites.

"I have a garden at home that I putt around in. If they need help or anything, that's pretty much what I'd like to do," she says.

Other than that, the couple's time in Honduras will be about relaxation. At the project, residents can scuba dive, kayak, hike, bird watch and mountain bike. Popular activities near the site include rafting, zip-lining and swimming with dolphins. The development is also close to historical sites and national parks.

The Lakustas plans to spend anywhere from three to six months each year at the project. No strangers to suitcases and airplanes, they've been to parts of Africa, Asia and Costa Rica, but never Honduras. However, while looking at options for a second home, the Central American country made an impression.

"When my husband was surfing on the Net looking for different places to go to and check out different properties and that, (Trujillo Beach Eco-Development) popped up and he put a deposit down, sight unseen," says Deanna.

"He doesn't normally do stuff like that. He just said, 'This is going to be a good one.'"

It wasn't long before the couple toured the site and picked their lot.

"We are on a lot where there is nobody behind us and there's nobody beside us except for trees," says Deanna. "We only have one neighbour and that's a corner lot."

Their lot isn't on the beach, itself, but Deanna gives top marks to the views of natural beauty from their home.

"I see the ocean and trees," she says. "It's what I've dreamed of."

For a custom home, it's about US$70 per square foot to build. The lots are available from $25,000. Furniture and appliance packages are available, as are landscaping options. The homes qualify to be entered in a rental-management program, which the Lakustas plan to make use of when they're in Canada.

Other than custom-built homes, the project offers villas from $69,900 and will offer condos from $99,900 and luxury estate homes from $450,000.

While there's a lot to like about Honduras, the Lakustas say their trips south will allow them to experience other nearby countries besides Honduras.

"Where we're sitting, it's so easy to go into other countries like Nicaragua and Costa Rica," says Deanna. "It's easy to get from one place to the next around there."


-- Postmedia Network Inc. 2014

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 11, 2014 E7

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