Buying A House in Nicaragua, Part I

kitchen, outdoor, Leon, Nicaragua, buy a house, real estate, doors

The Search

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.

IMG_4906

The yard is overgrown with banana trees

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?

11 Comments on “Buying A House in Nicaragua, Part I

  1. Hi, I think you’re blog is super interesting. I live in Madrid so we both have the foreign language thing in common 🙂
    I was wondering, out of curiosity, is it fairly cheap to purchase a home there? Is it better than renting? I didn’t know where to start with all your posts so I chose this one. They all look interesting from their titles!

    Like

    • Hello, thank you very much. I’m glad you enjoy it.
      Houses are fairly cheap, but cheap is a relative term. If you think in terms of US Dollars or Euros, then yes, they are fairly cheap. For someone earning a Nicaraguan wage, they can be relatively expensive. In Léon, they start at about 5oK-70K for a fairly nice house. You can definitely find some that are less expensive or mansions that sell for over a million.
      The same goes for rent. Most rooms in Léon rent for about $75-$100 a month, two bedroom apartments for about $250-$300, and I’ve seen nice four bedroom homes with patio and maid’s quarters rent for about $450 a month.
      For someone moving from abroad, it sounds cheap, but keep in mind the a “normal” wage here is about $250-$300 a month.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting and informative. I planned on retiring in Nicaragua, so the information is very helpful. Thank you.

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  3. Thanks for posting, I’m looking to purchase as well, I’ve found uhh..mixed results thus far. The lack of knowledgeable attorneys is a stark difference than stateside. I just returned after another 3wk.surge there…with more questions than answers. I’ll shoulder part of the blame because of Spanish is lacking, but my friends assisting whom are fluent describe it as the blind leading the guy who stole the white guys money. I’ve inquired about purchasing expat owned property also. I’ll summarize that experience…his;ego, arrogance, horrible communications were the top 3 reasons we never got to a deal on the property. If any knows, could recommend realtor, firms, attorneys in-the-know. I’d be forever indebted.

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