Tag: invest in Nicaragua

 

Deal Of The Day & Clarification Of What I Do

Clarification Of What I Do

It’s important that subscribers to my newsletter, and prospective clients in general, understand what services I provide and which I do not. Likewise it’s important clients understand how I’m compensated, and by whom.

I’M NOT A REAL ESTATE BROKER/AGENT… I’ve explained in articles and an earlier newsletter that not only am I not a “real estate agent or broker”, but that such a person a North American or European would understand he term to describe doesn’t exist in Nicaragua. If you want to know about the unique differences in real estate laws that govern the industry in Nicaragua I welcome your inquiries.

What I am is a consultant. I advise clients and often act on their behalf to assist with the purchase or sale of a property or business, coordinate land use changes, oversee developments, or negotiate leases, either for the leasee or leasor. It would take far to long to cover the myriad of tasks, duties and functions I carry out in the interest on my clients, and that’s not the point… What is the point is that I represent a client and assist that client in accomplishing defined goals or completing specific tasks.

I work on a per Diem, meaning I’m paid by the day. My fee is US$100 per day. This may sound expensive but like a good accountant, my services save clients far more than my services cost. I require a US$700 retainer that is applied to the first week billing. The initial consultation is free of course, and once I know what a client’s needs are, I can accurately quote what a specific undertaking will cost a client.

A Cheap Bed & Breakfast Opportunity

B&B eating areaI was recently approached to find a leasee for a small hotel in the center of Granada. The property has been closed for quite some time but has been well maintained and is in remarkably good condition, clean and able to be reopened reasonably quickly.

It would not be the best use to operate a hotel at this location however, even though it is still licensed as such. What this property is ideal for is a Bed & Breakfast.

Operating as a B&B the property would have 5 rooms with private bathrooms, each with both street and courtyard access. The operator would have the option of having an upper floor two bedroom suite to live in, or create a sixth room and live in a one bedroom apartment.

The building is for sale but can be leased for US$1500 a month for 5 years. The owner is open to offering the tenant an option to purchase the property during the term of the lease. Currently the asking price is US$250,000. A tenant would be required to pay the first and last month rent up front, and a security deposit of US$1500. Thus the buy in is US$4500.

What makes this opportunity even more attractive is that I have a hotelier client willing to work with whichever client leases the space. My existing client has a small boutique hotel close by and often requires additional rooms to accommodate group bookings. The exact details of such an arrangement would have to be negotiated, but the opportunity exists.

Although this property is not advertised, I’m sure I am not the only person who has been approached to find a tenant or buyer. November is the start of the busy tourist season in Granada, so anyone seeking a tourism based business will be motivated to act quickly, so it is reasonable to assume this opportunity will not remain available for long.

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A Pre-Sell Bargain In Granada

Neither of the investment opportunities mentioned are still available. There are others though, so contact Nica Investments.

Good & Bad News…

First the bad news. The Joint Venture opportunity featured in the earlier newsletter entitled Joint Venture Development Opportunity In Nicaragua as been sold.

The good news is that a very similar opportunity is available on the property next door. It has lake frontage of about 65 feet, perfect for a private moorage jetty. The total land area is about 2 manzanas (3.4 acres) of land. The seller is asking US$150,000 but will consider a joint venture arrangement.

I will feature this property in an upcoming newsletter. I need to research the title, take some photos and do a bit of due diligence. Being lakefront I have to determine that there will be no problem building on the property. Stand by because this could be an excellent opportunity.

A Pre-Sell Condo Bargain

Barrio Otra Banda in the city of Granada is quickly becoming gentrified. Homes are being renovated and new dwellings are being built. A new hotel was recently constructed and has already opened for business, and just down the street for this new hotel, vacation/retirement condos are being built.

The condominium development is offering presell bargains to smart investors who get in early. I know what you’re thinking… “Another attempt to get future buyers to pay for the construction of a condominium complex that may never be built.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Investors wanting to lock in a below market purchase price on a one or two bedroom condo need only pay a small percentage down to reserve a unit and lock in the pre-sell price. At the moment 5% of the purchase amount will reserve one of the limited number of one and two bedroom condos.

Below is a rough rendering of the proposed development. These condos, located close to the city center, are ideal for use as personal residences, vacation rental properties, or both. Already retail mortgages are in place to facilitate purchasers requiring financing to complete purchases. To learn more about this property contact us for an information package.

Othra Banda Condo Development

Shortly after this newsletter was sent, I received an inquiry for more information, price, size, number of bathrooms and so on. Later the subscriber asked if a single purchaser would be able to tie up more than one condo unit at the presell prices. I hadn’t had an opportunity to discuss it with the developer, but felt comfortable stating there would be no problem.

Knowing the particular subscriber as well as I do, I believe he may be intending to buy multiple units at the discounted rate to rent out while he attempts to resell them for a profit. This was not something I saw as a potential business model, but looking at comparable condominiums in Granada, it’s an entirely plausible business plan.

To learn more about this investment opportunity or others contact Nica Investments.

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Shopping Online For Nicaragua Real Estate? Don’t!

With the season upon us when the most Nicaraguan real estate changes hands, I thought this would be a timely newsletter.

If you’ve been scouring the Internet for deals on Nicaraguan real estate, stop wasting your time. I say this to almost every client, and have to say it over and over again to potential new clients… You must not only come to Nicaragua, but be prepared to spend a couple of weeks here to learn about the market, view properties that fit your budget, familiarize yourself with the different market areas, and learn about the processes involved in purchasing a property and transferring ownership.

That said, there are people I know who have purchased property sight unseen. Amazingly, a lucky few have only minimal complaints, but none are completely satisfied. Plan and simple… Invest your time before you invest your money!!!

A real life case study

I was recently contacted by clients, a couple from the USA who have been subscribers to my newsletter for some time. They’ve been shopping for a potential retirement home for almost four years. I was surprised to learn that the last time they were in Nicaragua was four years earlier, and that all of their subsequent home searching was conducted online.

They emailed to ask me, “Why have house prices doubled?”

Lake NicaraguaI explained that real property values were going up nationally by about 10% per year, more in some specific geographical areas, but less in others. This is a healthy equity gain, but not the doubling in prices the client’s suggested they were seeing. When they sent me some links to homes that were twice what they were before, I realized what the problem was. I’m not going to include the links because I don’t know for sure the prices had actually doubled. I also don’t know without doing research if there were improvements made to the properties to justify the price increase. Likewise, there may be market factors at play that would make price increases entirely justified.

However, there were a few properties listed that I’ve had occasion to investigate for clients and they are now grossly inflated. I pointed these out to my client and explained that I knew for a fact the owners would take significantly less. In one case 40% less. Of course these prices were net to the seller. I did my best to explain that the amounts advertised includes a profit for the realtor, and no doubt some added negotiation room.

These clients are Americans, used to a set asking price and the seller would pay the sales commission from the proceeds of the sale. I explained that may be what they’re used to, but it is not how it works in Nicaragua. I suggested this difference in real estate rules and regulations is why they should retain my services.

The Unique Nicaragua Real Estate Industry

The rumors everyone seems to have heard are true, there are a lot of unsavory characters presenting themselves as “real estate agents” in Nicaragua. However, there are also a lot of reputable people acting as middleman for people selling properties. And just to be clear, that is what all “real estate agents” in Nicaragua are, middlemen.

There is no government agency, nor self governing body that enforces ethics within the industry, sets standards, or hears and then rules on complaints. In fact, there is nothing foreigners assume is in place to protect buyers other than if fraud is committed. Then there is a good chance someone will go to jail or be heavily fined.

To be clear… there is no special training or licensing needed to be a “real estate agent”. Only a business license is required. Likewise, there is no government or real estate industry body such as a real estate board dedicated to monitoring the conduct of agents/brokers, registering listings, tracking sales, arbitrating disputes, etc. There’s also nothing like a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to facilitate doing comparable on asking prices.

Investors Need An Independent Consultant

Novice and even experienced real estate investors tend to get themselves into trouble by assuming they know what they’re doing. Back home they probably do. In Nicaragua the game is played using local rules. Sadly, half of the folks who come to me do so to rectify transactions that have gone bad. I do not like this type of business but take it on because I want to help, if I can.

What I prefer to do is walk clients through the entire process from the very beginning to assure it is done correctly…

What I do is meet with the purchaser to determine the budget and needs. I then source prospective properties I have research thoroughly. If the property’s title, survey, taxes, and ownership are in order, I make an offer and handle negotiations. If an agreement is reached, I oversee the closing, proper transfer of the title and registering it in the new owner’s name.

Some prospective clients balk at letting me serve them because I work on a per diem. I provide a service, and do not work on commission. My services will not only save them money, but most probably avoid wasting a lot of time too. But it is that hurdle of the buyer having to retain a representative that is hard to swallow. Unfortunately I can not afford to work for free, and in Nicaragua there is no legal grounds to collect a commission is the seller does not want to pay.

However, it is actually less expensive paying a per Diem than it is to pay a built in commission anyway. I invoice for days spent on a transaction, which is often no more than 10 days to two weeks. The actual closing may take two to three months, but most of that time is spent waiting on one government office or another to process documents, or lawyers to prepared, exchange and review documents. My billing is for days spent on a client’s file. So if a transaction that takes 3 months to close requires 14 day of my time, the amount billed is US$1400.00. I can guarantee that amount will pale in comparison to the savings I realize for clients. On a home with an asking price of US$60,000 I will likely negotiate a purchase of US$50,000. If the selling commission were just 5%, that would be US$2500.00.

If you want to learn more about my services, or are in need of advice regarding an ongoing purchase, feel free to contact me. Better still, let’s get together here in Nicaragua and find you a building lot, home, condominium or farm. I would be my pleasure to arrange your flight and accommodations, airport pick up and drop off, some interesting activities to fill free time, even a rental car if you desire one.

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The Word On Living & Investing 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.

Nicaragua on the globeIn 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.

Conclusion

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.

Ref: http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/nicaragua/overview

Nicaragua Offers Excellent Investment Opportunities

Pacific coast sunsetNicaragua 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

INTUR Logo

Logo of INTUR

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.

Joint Venture Development Opportunity In Nicaragua

Joint Ventures are not common in Nicaragua and those that do launch are usually through agreements between foreigners. That said, there are some clever local Nica landowners who see the financial advantages of working with developers. I know of a few such situations, but I recently came across a very exciting opportunity.

I was asked to view a property on Lake Nicaragua, on the Granada shore. It’s 2.8 Manzanas (4.844 acres), or for the metric folks like myself, 19,772.5 square meters. Lake frontage is approximately 40 meters. Depth is 200+ meters.

The only development on the property is an attractive stone and concrete jetty, sea wall, boat launch ramp, and a small building where outboard boat motors are serviced, maintained and repaired.

The title is clear, and the seller is the sole owner on title.

Granada Isletas

The Granada Isletas, Lake Nicaragua.

Most of the nearby properties are owned by foreigners. The attraction is the closeness to Granada, while being tucked away in a quite, forested bay looking out upon the Granada Isletas. The isletas are a collection of 365 small islands formed long ago when Mombacho volcano blew its top.

What makes this property most exciting though is the open mindedness of the seller. He’s willing to sell the property outright of course. However, he’ll also consider working with a developer to subdivide the land and construct individual homes, condominiums or rental units.

Personally, I would go for a joint venture development arrangement. The owner will want US$200,000 to compensate himself for waiting to receive his sales proceeds. My initial take would be to subdivide the land into eight large (2000+ square meter lots) and build individual homes on each. Of course the lots can be made smaller to increase the number of lots and potential profit. But my gut tells me buyers interested in property at this location are looking for a private, green sanctuary, and that will require a decent sized lot.

Hotel de Sonrisas, Granada, Nicaragua

Both construction and pre-approved, retail mortgage funding is available through local lending institutions.

It is a rare opportunity in Nicaragua, a cash society, to find a vendor willing to work with a purchaser to the financial benefit of both. For this reason alone this opportunity will not last long.

If you miss this property, there are other joint venture opportunities available throughout Nicaragua. Many are much larger though. This one is a nice size and allows for a decent profit to be made on both the sale of lots and/or the sale of completed homes.

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The Tourists Are Coming & Tourism Highlights

Pacific coast beach in the north of Nicaragua.October for the tourism industry in Nicaragua is a slow month. It’s the tail end of the rainy season and not cold enough in most countries to motivate people to seek out sun and sand.

The rainy season lasts from May to October, and the wettest months are September and October. Of course there has been a drought in Nicaragua for 5 years, so the “wet season”, as the locals call it, has not been very wet at all. This year though the rain has been better, with a torrential downpour occurring usually once each day. I can rain for a few minutes or over and hour, then stops. This is much needed to bring lake and river levels back up to their norm, and replenish the aquifer.

Next month, November, will see tourists trickling in, with the peak season crowds pretty much filling up hotels, hostels, guest houses and bed and breakfasts. With the incentives available to foreign investors in tourism, courtesy of the Nicaraguan government, anytime is a good time to invest in Nicaragua’s tourist infrastructure. However, now is the ideal time to purchase any tourism related property or business because business will literally be banging on your door from day one.

Law 360 is the law that envelopes the advantages and incentives available to foreigners making an investment in the tourism industry. View the English version of Law 360 here.

Nica Investments’ participation in the perks available to foreign investment in tourism thus far is restricted to an application for subsidy of the electricity costs of Hotel de Sonrisas. However, we will be applying for tax credits and a grant for upgrading plumbing. We wish to install more efficient toilets and showers to cut down on both the expense and to minimize water use. We are also connecting to the newly installed sewage system. Possession of the hotel property was July 1, 2016. Assembling the necessary permissions, certifications and licenses, revamping the property, converting an empty space to a restaurant and another to operate as a spa took until the end of September. Now that the hotel is open and fully operational there’s lots to do in the way of securing the perks the operation is entitled to.

Hotel de Sonrisas, Granada, Nicaragua

Whether investment capabilities are large or small, the Nicaragua tourism industry offers something for everyone. Please note though, if your intention is to relocate to Nicaragua and become a resident, investor status residency requires a minimum investment of US$30,000.00 at this time.

Some of the properties and business opportunities available right now are…

An ideally located, 13 room hotel in Granada that can be purchased, renovated, refurbished and equipped for under US$200,000. This is a perfect operation for either an experienced hotelier or for novices wanting a mom and pop operation.

There are a number of hotels and hostels on Ometepe that are for sale. Some are businesses operating in leased properties, usually offered for sale turnkey. Others are land, chattels and business. Ometepe is a must see on most tourists’ Nicaragua itineraries. However, the number of accommodation operations is more than adequate to meet the demand. This means rates are low, so earning potential is limited. That said, if your goal is to enjoy a rent free existence with a little income to supplement a pension, there are a number of perfect opportunities on Ometepe.

San Juan del Sur is a hot market for tourism related business investments but the market demographics limit the return. San Juan del Sur is a beach community on the southern Pacific coast of Nicaragua. It is a Mecca for surfers and backpackers who generally stay in hostels or other cheap accommodations.

Ironically, there are a number of surf shops within the city but the waves in the bay are not much good for surfing. Each day surfers hop on shuttles that take them to the surrounding beaches where the waves are better. The two most popular beaches are, Playa Maderas to the north and to the south, Playa Remanso and Playa Hermosa. Thus the town of San Juan del Sur can be almost deserted during the day, even though the hotels and hostels are full. At night though, the surfers are back and San Juan del Sur lives up to its reputation as Nicaragua’s Party Central.

Click here to visit HotelLaCalzada.com

The demographics of the tourists visiting San Juan del Sur means that the wiser investments are at the low end of the tourist accommodation spectrum, hostels, cheap hotels or affordable vacation apartments and houses. Restaurants and bars too are a wise investment, especially those on the beach.

Conclusion

No matter if your interest is in making a large or small investment in real estate or a business in Nicaragua, retain the services of a competent lawyer and get good market advice. Nica Investments will be happy to assist you with your acquisition and we can recommend a few competent, reputable lawyers… Contact us.

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Dispelling Myths & Sharing Facts

Dispelling a myth.

The US government’s travel advisory is cautioning Americans that travel to Nicaragua at this time may be risky. The reason given is that emotions during the upcoming national election may lead to some sort of backlash against foreigners, particularly Americans. What a load of crap!

It seems someone in the USA State Department has confused the Nicaragua national elections in November with that of the USA. I can assure everyone that most Nicaraguans don’t become hostile over an election here as the world sees voters in the USA becoming. Daniel Ortega will win the election and the consistency in governance is good for the country, generally speaking.

That’s all I have to say on that subject.

Will The Canal Be Built?

I am asked about the future of The Nicaraguan Canal, formally the Nicaraguan Canal and Development Project, a few times a month. I know there is a lot of misinformation out there, mostly originating from Panama, the USA, and other sources with special interests. These information sources suggest a canal will not be built. This too is a load of crap!

Since the canal project was proposed China’s economy has taken a hit. Wang Jing, the Chinese businessman and force behind the canal, lost and estimated 85% of his net worth during the 2015-16 Chinese stock market downturn. However, both Russia and Iran are rumored to be in discussions about investing in the canal project. Which countries or individuals are involved in the construction of a new canal is irrelevant. What is important for investors to know is that the canal will be built… eventually.

Hotel de Sonrisas, Granada, Nicaragua

Forget all of the negative spin and outright misinformation. The fact is that The Nicaragua Canal HAS to be built. The Panama Canal was widened to extend it’s lifespan, but it will become obsolete within a decade or two. Logistics demands that another inter-ocean waterway be constructed that is wider and deeper than even the revamped Panama Canal. The next generation of super tanker, container and ore carrying ships, and even super cruise liners, are going to be wider, have deeper keels, and be longer than the Panama Canal will allow. This is the simple reality, and no amount of spin is going to change this fact.

The Deal Of The Day!

There are a number of properties being offered for sale around the Laguna de Apoyo crater. Some are rim properties, while others are inside the crater. Some properties are already developed, some land is used for agriculture, and the rest is undeveloped.

Laguna de Apoyo is a water reserve and recent laws have limited what can be done with land inside the crater. Basically, unless a property has an existing foundation it can not be built upon, period. Existing landowners are not pleased with this turn of events of course, and many are trying to sell their property. I assume they’re hoping to find someone who wants a piece of land they can pitch a tent on. Then again, maybe a seller is looking for a sucker who does not do their due diligence and will buy the property, only to find out later they can not build anything.

There are a number of existing homes, abandoned homesteads with derelict structures, and already subdivided land with lots that can be developed or expanded. There are also a few rim properties that can be developed because they are outside the restriction zone. Of these rim properties, some titles extend down the slope of the crater walls and along the shore. Only the rim portion of such parcels can actually be developed.

One choice piece of property is detailed here. It is a parcel of land approximately 35 acres in total with a clear title. There is water and electricity available and the road to the property, although not maintained well, is an official roadway. The price and terms are negotiable. In fact, the property can be purchased for the cost of a couple of existing rim lots, or for less than any of the American standard houses for sale around Laguna de Apoyo.

It is a bit of a challenging hike down to the lake-shore, but the shore can be reached by car as well. However, for someone wanting a one of a kind view, this rim property has spectacular views for 360 degrees. These views include Mombacho volcano, the crater lake of course, Lake Nicaragua in the distance, mountain vistas, and the cities of Catarina and Granada. There is not a single potential building site within the 35 acres that doesn’t provide a breathtaking view. The elevation and constant breeze cools the temperature, keeping it in the mid 20s Celsius.

For photos and more information check out: Laguna de Apoyo Rim Property

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Laguna de Apoyo Rim

Location of 35 acres of land for sale.

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.

Hotel de Sonrisas, Granada, Nicaragua

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.

View from the rim of Laguna de Apoyo property. Laguan de Apoyo - 35 acres of view property View of Lake Nicaragua and Laguna de Apoyo from crater rim.
View of Mombacho volcano from Laguna de Apoyo rim property that is for sale The view from another Laguan de Apoyo building site. View from a building lot on the rim of the Laguna de Apoyo crater

What Gives With The Nicaragua Real Estate Market?

I Love Nicaragua IconOver the past couple of months I’ve met a number of foreigners looking for property in Nicaragua who voiced their disappointment that the properties they looked at were not discounted much. Their assumption was that with Nicaragua’s real estate market not as robust as it once was, there would be bargains aplenty.

The market is down for sure, but prices don’t reflect this. Here’s why…

Most of the large tracts of land and many developed properties in Nicaragua are owned by wealthy Nicaraguans who are used to having to wait to sell a property. Potential sellers acknowledge that the market is down, but they’re unwilling to discount prices, choosing to wait out market downturns. That said, there are always owners who have to sell quickly and will sell at discounted prices. The trick is to find these motivated sellers.

Another factor contributing to making the Nicaragua real estate market appear overpriced is that what’s advertised for sale is not necessarily for sale. Often owners will offer their property for sale at a price that’s too high to be taken seriously by anyone knowledgeable. I assume these sellers are hoping a sucker will come along and overpay. Unfortunately it happens often enough for property owners to keep putting overpriced real estate on the market.

Hotel de Sonrisas, Granada, Nicaragua

Peculiarities of the Nicaraguan real estate market.

Those properties that are reasonably price are not necessarily going to be sold by the seller for the price suggested. Sellers will ask for a reasonable amount but then refuse to accept it if someone actually wants to buy their property. I’ve experienced this myself and it’s annoying. The assumption on the part of these “sellers” is that if someone is willing to pay the price they are asking, then they’re not asking enough. These “sellers” are a waste of time.

The solution to time wasters is to have the word spread that there are buyers if a property can be purchased at a reasonable price. Nica Investments does just that and we’re constantly offered properties someone wants to sell.

Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware)

A good 25% of reasonably priced properties are either outright fraud attempts or the properties can not be sold because the titles are too muddy. Once a con artist actually offered me a parcel of land to pitch to clients that included five fairways of a neighboring golf course within the boundaries of the offered parcel. It was news to the owner of the golf course that someone was offering a portion of it for sale.

Another 50+% are priced ridiculously high and nothing but a waste of time to even talk about. I handle these as diplomatically as possible while I show the “seller” the door.

Twenty to twenty-five percent of properties offered for sale are well priced. Unfortunately, half of these have title issues or some other negative factor that makes them impossible to take ownership of. The remaining properties that are well priced, with owners motivated to sell, and clear titles are excellent opportunities. These properties I immediately try to match up with existing clients’ desires. These properties usually sell within a matter of days, sometimes a week or two, so time is of the essence.

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