Buying a Home in Nicaragua, Part V
Prepping for the Move
I am still in the excited stage of moving abroad. I am now just waiting for the final paperwork on the house to get certified. Once complete, I will sign the contract with the construction engineer.
It will take months before the remodel and addition are complete. I will need to spend all of my time at the house, supervising the crew. In Nicaragua, everyone is on the take. Without vigilant security, supplies may disappear brick by brick and 2×4 by 2×4.
State-side, I had been packing and selling and purging as much of my stuff as possible. Packing for an international move requires meticulous organization. Each box needs to be properly labeled and valued for customs. Customs may only spot check your packages, but if they find any inconsistencies, they will open and inspect every box.
I have contacted only FIDI certified moving companies. FIDI is a stringent certification organization for international shipping. They take care of everything, from packing and loading, to transport and shipping, to unloading and dealing with the customs agents. They deliver your possessions to your new doorstep (sometimes through an affiliate), reassemble everything, and cart away all shipping materials.
The quotes have been significantly higher than I expected. I am considering tactics to lower my moving expenses. What if I pack myself? What if I drive my belongings to Miami and then have it loaded onto a container? These are viable options and will save a substantial amount of money, but companies will not insure any items that have been out of their supervision.
Appliances and electronics are relatively expensive in Nicaragua. Many other household items are about the same price as in the States. The question is, is it worth paying for packing and shipping, and then paying for the import tax as opposed as just buying it there? I am reconsidering what I really NEED versus what I WANT to take with me. I have done some price comparison and finding that it may cheaper to leave or sell my stuff in the States and just purchase what I NEED when I get there.
If your move is for an investment in a business , there is import tax exemption on most goods shipped up to $250,000. Cars over ten years old are prohibited. Any vehicle that meets the requirements for importation, cannot be legally sold for at least five years.
Time and time again, I have been given different answers to vital questions. Websites contain contradicting information. Lawyers and government official couldn’t give me definitive answer. It took some legwork and a lot of time and patience, but I finally got my issues resolved. Do your research and prep accordingly, this will save you a ton of money and a lot of headaches during your transition.
Have any tips? Share your thoughts.