Before getting into the steps of buying real estate in Nicaragua, we would like to repeat a very old but very valuable advice: Rent first before buying. And if possible come to stay in the town of your choice during the different seasons. In Nicaragua there are only two seasons, dry and rainy (Rainy season from May to November, at its rainiest in September and October and dry season from November to April). The house or farm of your dreams can be the most beautiful place in the world during dry season, but when the rainy season comes around you might be unable to even reach the property due to flooded roads. And lush greens gardens with beautiful flowers all over the place in November might look like a desert in March.
Now that you have decided to stay and buy your own property you have to decide what will be best for you, buying a lot and build your own dream house, buy an existing house or move into a development.
Developments are the safest choice, as you will probably have water, electricity, cable TV, telephone and Internet. And in the bigger developments will even offer activities like golf or tennis, there are clubhouses and pools for the owners to meet and mingle and get to know each other.
If you choose to live in a smaller town with the locals you might find chicken coming to your yard in search of food and probably bigger animals (piglets and calves) roaming your neighbour’s lot, as it is not uncommon to buy them when they are babies and fatten them up over the year to either sell the meat or feed the family.
Wherever you choose to live please make sure to consider the following:
- Access to the property
- Zoning laws
- Water, power, internet, telephone, cable TV (if it is not already installed, you can’t be sure when it will be provided). And you should think about a back-up plan regarding water and electricity supply, as there are regular outages of one or the other)
- Surveys to have all the boundary corners marked clearly
It is possible to buy directly from the property owner without consulting a realtor or lawyer, but it is not advisable. The smartest thing to do is to hire your own attorney to make sure everything is taken care of in your best interest. The seller of the property is not always the sole owner, as property titles are often in dispute. Your attorney can trace the title of the property you are interested in to make sure it is not contested. You also want to make sure that no back taxes are owed and that the title is free and clear.
After doing all your due diligence you will find that buying a property in Nicaragua is a pretty straightforward business and worth your while.
Please read of 2016 guide to buying real estate in Nicaragua as a foreigner.