Even though we have not finished our house, I have already applied for and received Honduran residency. There are several types of residency available, but I have what is called a 'rentista' visa. I can maintain my residency as long as I convert a $1000.00 a month into lemperas. When I say $1000.00/month, it does not have to be done on a monthly basis, I can convert $500.00 one time, next time $4,000.00 and the next time $1,500.00 for example. If I did this, my residency would be covered for six months.
The laws are subject to change of course, but at the time I got my residency (about two years ago), this type of residentcy entitled me to import all my household furnishings duty free. Also, I'm entitled to bring in a new car duty free every five years.
I believe that everyone contemplating building a home in Honduras should get their residency first. I cannot stress this enough!!! The reason is that you will be spending a large sum of money building or buying your home. If you get the residency first, all the money that you convert into lempieras to pay for the construction or purchase can be applied to fullfilling the currency conversion requirements of your residency. For example, if your home costs $250,000, you would be able to generate foreign exchange receipts sufficient to cover the next 20 years!!
The residency is relatively easy to get, but you should have a local attorney walk you through the process. If you need a referral, please leave a comment and I will email you the details of the attorney who handled mine.