Tag: invest in Nicaragua
Regardless of what your opinion is of global agencies, such as the United Nations, International Monetary Fund or the World Bank, you have to agree they provide checks and balances in matters of international politics, financing, trade and commerce. Of the 196 countries in the world, 193 of which are members of the United Nations, many need the services and stewardship of these international agencies. Unfortunately, few of those in need actually heed the advice and guidance provided… and usually suffer for not doing so. Nicaragua is not one of those nations. What the World Bank has to say about Nicaragua speaks volumes…
Despite global economic turbulence, Nicaragua has stood out for maintaining growth levels above the average for Latin America and the Caribbean. Disciplined macroeconomic policies, combined with a steady expansion of exports and foreign direct investment, helped Nicaragua to weather the global economic crisis of 2008-09 and rising food and oil prices. By 2011, growth had accelerated to reach a record 6.2 percent, later declining to 3.9 percent in 2015, the lowest rate in the last five years. GDP growth for 2016 is expected to reach 4.4 percent, among the highest rates in Central America. Foreign direct investment and trade also shows an improved outlook.
I’m on the ground in Nicaragua. I’ve been here permanently since July 26, 2014 and visited a great many times before I made the final move. I have seen with my own eyes benefits from foreign investment and the overall improvement of the standard of living it provides the Nicaraguan people. And I have been amazed at the pace of change. There is room for more improvement of course, more investment that is likely to generate impressive returns. But the steady, upward march is comforting, as well as awe inspiring considering Nicaragua is still one of the poorest nations in the Americas.
In a world plagued by political and civil unrest, financial chaos, and religious persecution, it baffles me why the steady trickle of foreign investment in Nicaragua has not already turned into a flood. Maybe it is because I’m here and can see with my own eyes that the objections people come up with for not investing in Nicaragua are misguided, based on misinformation, or, more likely, fear based.
By fear based, I’m not talking about fear for personal safety. Nicaragua is the safest country in Central America, and one of the safest in all of the Americas… far safer than the USA. What I refer to is a fear of stepping outside the box.
So many people I talk to who want to retire somewhere affordable, somewhere where they can live well on their pension income, never make the move.
It’s much the same with investors and entrepreneurs. I present opportunities that promise excellent returns. What I say fails to reach deep enough to alleviate their fears. Investors and entrepreneurs are no different than retiring pensioners. They too fear the unknown. More comfortable in a market that has a 9 to 1 failure rate in virtually ever economic sector, they’d sooner slug it out for single digit returns where they feel comfortable than pursue greater returns in another market.
Retiring To Nicaragua
The real reason people dream of retirement in a tropical paradise never act is because they’re afraid of the unknown. Unhappiness with one’s life often isn’t enough to motivate someone to step through a door they’ve never been through before. The known may be a life that sucks the very soul from a person, but it’s familiar. The unfamiliar is scary.
All I can do for folks wanting to have a comfortable retirement on the same fixed income they’d struggle with back home is present the facts, make suggestions, give advice, and provide assistance if needed. I can not force someone to move outside their comfort zone, no matter how much I think they’ll benefit from doing so.
Investing In Nicaragua
Passive investments in Nicaragua generate a higher ROI then anywhere else I’ve been in the world, and I’ve lived and worked in a great many countries. The returns possible in Nicaragua are good and the investments safe, but they’re investments in an unfamiliar market. There are slightly different laws, rules, and regulations. The language is different and the culture unfamiliar. It’s new, it’s scary. I understand.
As with retirees looking for somewhere to relocate to, I can only advise investors and entrepreneurs. Lead them by the hand if that’s what they wish. But I can not force opportunities on anyone that is tied down and unwilling to have the ropes cut.
Nicaragua is a safe place to live and invest in. I know this because I am here. I can source opportunities, advise on how to capitalize on those opportunities, and even help with hands on support. But as saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”
If you’re someone looking to retire or invest in Nicaragua, contact me. Let’s discuss your specific wants, needs and desires and see if you’ll not agree with me that Nicaragua is where you should be.
Nicaragua has one of the fastest growing GDP rates in Central America. Unlike many other nations, Nicaragua has complied with IMF demands to cut its deficit, implement structural reforms, and maintain overall monetary stability. As a result, Nicaragua is set to benefit from rapid and sustained economic growth in the years ahead. To further assure the nation enjoys economic growth, the government has passed several laws designed to attract and protect foreign investors. Direct foreign investment has grown steadily since the mid 1990s, with a third of all investment coming from the United States. Foreign investment is mostly focused on agriculture, construction, services, manufacturing, mining, energy, and tourism.
There Are Very Few Restrictions To Foreign Investment In Nicaragua
Nicaragua has privatized nearly all the once state owned monopolies. Doing so has dramatically reduced the amount of government bureaucracy that previously challenged investors. In fact, a foreign investment law ensures that investors can repatriate 100% of profits from day one. After three years investors are able to repatriate their initial investment as well.
There are no legal grounds for discrimination against foreign investors, and there are no restrictive visas or work permits required that may inhibit investment. Laws already in place allow for 100% foreign ownership in all economic sectors.
Investing in Nicaragua Is Safe
Contrary to wide spread misinformation, Nicaragua is a stable and safe country for investment. Nicaragua is one of the safest country in all of the Americas. In fact, Nicaragua has a lower reported crime rate than the USA, France and Germany according to a United Nations-Interpol study.
Tourism Businesses Are Tax Free For Up To 10 Years
I recommend to clients thinking of making an investment in Nicaragua to consider doing so within the tourism industry. Nicaragua has already been discovered as an affordable vacation destination, with tourism growing at an annual rate of approximately 9%. INTUR continues the promotion of Nicaragua as a tourist destination, assuring future growth.
The Nicaragua government appreciates that an improved tourism infrastructure will further enhance visitor traffic and is committed to provide the incentives necessary to realize that growth.
Nicaragua’s Law 306 was enacted in September 1999 to attract investment in the tourist industry. It is not only the most attractive, but also the most aggressive tourism investment incentive law in Latin America. Tourism infrastructure businesses that qualify for incentives run the gambit of B&Bs, hotels, eco resorts, tour operations and such.
Law 360 is broad in scope and offers investors benefits that are hard to beat. If a business qualifies, it pays no income or real estate taxes for up to 10 years. Also, investors can import or purchase locally all that is needed to operate the business; furniture, linen, cleaning supplies, even vehicles and boats, totally tax free.
The application and approval process is straight-forward. INTUR, the federal government tourism agency, cuts through the red tape and outlines very clearly what investors need to do. The process is quick too. Law 360 allows INTUR just 60 days to approve an application. Depending on the type of project, an investment of only $30,000 is all it takes to qualify for these benefits.
To recap, Law 306 offers investors:
- Pay no income taxes for up to 10 years
- Pay no real estate taxes for up to 10 years
- Import all the supplies and materials needed tax free
- Local purchases of goods and services are tax free for up to 10 years
Nicaragua tourism is an industry worth considering. A virtually nonexistent industry back in the 1990s, tourism is now Nicaragua’s top income producer and second largest employment sector, following only agriculture. I strongly recommend considering investment in Nicaragua for anyone interested in the tourism industry.
If you have any questions regarding investment in Nicaragua, please feel free to contact Nica Investments.
This clear title, encumbrance free property atop the Laguna de Apoyo crater rim is approximately 35 acres, and straddles the Granada and Diriomo district borders. Situated at 1700 feet above sea level, this parcel of land has a cool climate and an almost constant, refreshing breeze. Electricity and water are at hand, and there is an official road through the property.
As a private residence building site the existing road is navigable with a four wheel drive. To develop the land for multi-residential use, the road will need to be upgraded.
I have personally walked this property and every potential building site has spectacular views of either the laguna itself, Mombacho volcano, Lake Nicaragua or mountain vistas. This property, being only a few minutes outside of Granada, would make an ideal housing development site.
The owner is open minded and would consider any “reasonable offer”, and may entertain financing a portion of the purchase. Also, the owner may be open to a joint venture proposal. Contact Nica Investments to learn more.
A rule of thumb in marketing goods or services is that you focus on the positive while avoiding any negative aspects. If there are negatives they’re included in a disclaimer written in tiny text at the bottom of the page or, in the case of TV or radio spots, spoken so quickly no one grasps what’s being said. This rule of thumb is especially relevant in the real estate industry. However, I have no choice but to shine a light on the negative aspects of purchasing Nicaraguan real estate to educate those yet to be fleeced.
The plain and simple truth is… there’s a good chance someone, probably more than one person, will try to cheat, overcharge, or under serve you during the real estate purchasing process here in Nicaragua.
Real estate investors considering Nicaragua need to remember what Judy Garland said in the Wizard of Oz, “I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” Definitely not, so forget everything you think you know and venture forth as if you’re following the yellow brick road with all it’s wonders and dangers at every turn.
The most glaring difference between Nicaraguan real estate transactions and what most foreigners expect is that the price being asked by a “Realtor” is over and above what the seller seeks to receive. This means that selling commissions are added to the amount the seller wants. This means the total of what the seller is willing to accept and the amount a selling agent wants for his or her services totals the “asking price”. This is the way business is conducted in Nicaragua, so it isn’t anything sinister on the part of the country’s many reputable real estate agents. However, I personally know of properties being advertised for double what the seller will accept, so caution is necessary.
There is no such thing as a “real estate listing” as it’s known in North America or Europe. Owners seeking to sell their property will allow real estate agents (the plural is not a typo) to sell their land or home provided they get what they want. The seller is just as likely to employ the services of friends, family members, co-workers and outright hucksters to sell their property as well. It’s perfectly legal to do so. The owner is only bound by a “listing agreement” if he or she has entered into a contract that expressly states that the selling agent has sole rights to sell their property and the agreement is registered with the court. Such agreements do exist, but they’re usually agreements entered into by expats selling property through other expats. I do not know of any Nicaraguan national agreeing to enter into an exclusive listing agreement. Since 90+% of real estate on the market in Nicaragua is owned by Nicaraguans, or Nicaraguan corporations, it’s best to assume no exclusivity has been granted. Personally, I insist that I be granted a Power or Attorney or an ironclad Option to Purchase before I consider myself to hold an enforceable “listing agreement” that is worth my time to market.
In the case of Nica Investments being retained to market developments or commercial property, holding an Option is non-negotiable, and my interest will be registered on title. It costs money to do so, but I only commit to sell properties I know are worth the amount being asked, that the titles are free and clear, the survey registered at the Alcadia (City hall) is accurate, and taxes are current. To the best of my knowledge, I’m the only person in Nicaragua with such a requirement.
It’s accepted by North Americans and Europeans that a property survey and title registered at a federal land registry or municipal taxation agency will be accurate. In Nicaragua such an assumption is ill advised. I’ve been involved in real estate transactions that had significant discrepancies between the stated boundaries in the title and the official survey. In only one case was the discrepancy to the advantage of the purchaser, and it was huge. There was ten feet gained on both long sides of the rectangular lot and 81 feet on the ocean frontage. All others were to the purchasers disadvantage, and some involved significant square footage. Such discrepancies are correctable, but to rectify them is a time consuming, and sometimes costly undertaking. So it is best to identify issues before being bound to a purchase agreement. I advise making the resolution of encroachments, meets and bounds discrepancies, or inaccuracies in the title documentation, including misspellings and typo errors, the responsibility of the seller to rectify.
There is no Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in Nicaragua, nor any other similar service. Thus there’s no reliably way to calculate what comparable properties have sold for, nor how long they were on the market. Ironically, there are appraisal firms that assess the value of a property. I’ve retained a number of them to secure bank financing and none have ever satisfied me that the values applied have any relevance to anything other than the sale price. So even if someone provides an appraisal, the true value is what someone is willing to pay for the property, and what the seller is willing to accept.
Investing In Nicaragua Real Estate Can Be Horrendously Profitable – Or Not
I talk to dozens of people each month who have tales of horror to tell. They’re generally people seeking my help to recover their money or get title to a property they’d already paid for and assumed they owned. Often I have to be the bearer of bad news. I shouldn’t have to be if only folks would apply Caveat Emptor, Latin for Buyer Beware. The principle is as applicable anywhere in the world and means to be cautious and perform thorough due diligence.
For sure Nicaragua has real estate title issues. However, most of those stemming from the time when the US backed Somoza dynasty and their cronies were sent packing have been settled. What remains problematic are older holdings that have been handed down through generations. It is necessary to have everyone with any claim on title sign off on a transfer, otherwise the purchaser may find their ownership contested. Claims can included multiple family members, some of which may no longer be living. In such cases heirs, who may not even know they share ownership in a property, would have a claim. Also claims on title may include tax authorities, utility companies, creditors and unpaid workers who built, repaired or maintained a property. The document required to identify claims on title is the “certificato de Gaveman”. For my clients I always have the title searched and recommend anyone interested in a property do the same.
In conclusion, it has to be stressed that the tales of horror told by people investing in Nicaragua real estate generally share one underlying fact the tellers of such tales fails to share. That is that the purchaser did not perform their due diligence or have someone do so on their behalf. There are still bargains to be found in Nicaragua real estate, but not every property is a bargain no matter how cheap the priced. Nica Investments specializes in sourcing well prices properties that are free and clear of encumbrances and are able to be transferred without problems. To learn more, Contact Us.