Buying A House in Nicaragua, Part I
I spent nearly four months looking for the right house in Nicaragua. Most of my time was spent searching in Léon. I settled on León because it reminded me of the university town that I called home for over twenty years.
That is the same vibe I got from León. The city is bustling with university students, musicians, poets, professors, engineers, doctors, nurses , etc., all in a Colonial setting.
I flew back to Nicaragua, after being home for several weeks to purchase a home I saw online. Seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, all brand new construction. When I got there, none of the paperwork was not in order. I was assured by the seller and the seller’s agent that it would be ready. The property could not be legally sold without it. In the meantime, I had contacted some of the brokers I had met with previously, to see if they had anything else to view.
I spent the next two weeks looking at homes throughout the city. I swear that I am more familiar with Léon than my hometown. I must have walked every street in a two mile radius.
To make a long story, even longer, I kept looking and found another house that was better suited for me. I hired an attorney, on a recommendation of close friend of mine, and signed a purchase agreement. I put down a deposit and headed back stateside until the paperwork was ready. I was assured that the process would take no more than forty-five days.
Before I left, I searched out some construction companies for bids on remodeling and restoring the house to its original beauty. The first two bids that I received from two contractors, I would be able buy a brand new house in the States or VERY nice house in Nicaragua. After several bids, I found a couple that were reasonably priced. I made sure to see some homes or business that they had built to make sure that they weren’t trying to sham me. In Nicaragua, like many other parts of the world, everyone is on the take. Being a foreigner, they assume you have money to burn and charge you a premium. Be careful whether it is a house, a pound of ginger at the market, or anything else from a street vendor. Until I got used to things, I felt safer in brick and mortar stores because the items were priced marked.
The final papers are due to be ready soon. I will be flying back to sign, wire money, and get my keys to my new home. Stay tuned.
Have you had any similar issues?