First of all, it’s important to clarify that the potential buyer that wants to dabble in real estate in Nicaragua must know that our customs and our way of doing business are ingrained into the public’s mind, which will not always be on par with the standards of other countries, even more so if we’re referring to Europe or North America.
There are basic concepts and procedures to follow, however the type of service offered by Government institutions are not always as fast as we would like.
If basic control points are met and you are accompanied by a professional with experience in the field, investing in Nicaragua offers a range of opportunities with great results.
1. Get to know the place in which you want to invest.
If you want to invest, try renting before, for around 2-3 months. This will let you know the environment and the customs of the place that you selected. Cities can feel different in everyday life.If you want to invest, try renting before, for around 2-3 months. This will let you know the environment and the customs of the place that you selected. Cities can feel different in everyday life.
2. Never buy at random
The customer must find a company that has in the real estate market for a while, a local agent with lots of experience can help you and become your guide through the best places with potential for investment and return.
The chosen properties can be scams, depending on whether the property was shown by day or night, on the week or the weekend. Sometimes it can be harboring an illegal liquor business or it might be next to an annoying neighbor who is usually loud in the worst times. Therefore, an agent must place it in the list of suggested sites or visit the place at different times, for you to be sure of what kind of property are you getting.
Many times, a professional agent can’t be in complete control of the streets, which is why inspecting the site in different schedules is suggested as part of the property hunt.
3. Find the right attorney
There are plenty of lawyers working in this field, which can range from good to very bad ones. Just like with the real estate agent, it is key that the firm or lawyer chosen have the necessary experience in these types of transactions. Usually, saving a little cash now can result in plenty of problems down the line.
You’ll find many charlatans out there, who can give the customer a lot of headaches, causing them to even lose everything they are investing. As a buyer, you have the option to go online and go through a list of lawyers with good reputation in the market.
Many times, mouth-to-mouth can help when choosing a legal firm, but real estate companies can also provide an extensive list of lawyers whom they have worked with before, and that will meet the honesty and knowledge requirements for real estate transactions, and even better, if there’s a specific topic regarding the property, such as environmental or construction permits, you’ll be able to have a wide range of options for assistance. This is key, especially if the buyer is interested in specific sites, such as protected areas or farms.
4. Street agents of freelancers
I do not recommend going this route for the most part, because many times the buyer believes this will mean paying less and this is not always the case. In fact, many of the market prices they advertise can have up to a 50% Premium over the regular price or they might be trying to get a double commission, which sadly is a practice we still see nowadays.
They offer no legal guarantees, and hire lawyers that might not be officially licensed to practice, which results in a really risky proposition for buyers.
Again: saving a little cash now can result in plenty of problems down the line!
5. Initial budget and where to buy for the first time
When you want to invest or retire, it’s best to start with a medium-size investment, as you don’t wants to aim too high. It’s wise to choose busy cities, where the needs are clear and demand is always high, since it’s very easy to resell in cities where places have a lot of commercial or residential value.
These will have roads and the major conveniences of a city: supermarkets, hospitals, roads and access to the airport, as well as police.
If the buyer wants to retire and live in the country full-time, it’s important to have the assistance of a real estate company that if is familiar with the areas. This might be in or outside the city, so you get fair prices without any markups, and a properly registered real estate company will be able to perform transactions through banks, which will mean transparency and peace of mind for you in the transaction.
Again, freelancers or street agents do not have licenses as businesses do, nor do they offer such benefits or the support of a bank that can easy the purchase process.
A foreign buyer does not need to be a resident to buy property or to immediately get a bank account, which is where the benefit of registered companies lie.
6. Renovations and construction
If the buyer chooses to build or remodel a house, it’s important to keep in mind that many contractors will try to take advantage of opportunities as much as possible, especially when they know you are new to the country, which can often lead to paying overprice or getting scammed if you don’t know the field.
Real estate agents are qualified to suggest a list of options, because their experience allows them access to a database of companies that if they may offer these kinds of services.
Try to always explore more than two options. We suggest getting at least three budgets, that way you can find out if the prices provided are standard or if someone is trying to charge more than what the market is currently asking for.
The real estate advisor, Carlos Gutierrez has been in the market for over 7 years, and just like many of its clients is started from scratch, and the accumulated knowledge of many positive and negative experiences showed us where not to go and with who to do business with.
Our mission is to serve as a bridge between buyers and sellers, while educating our national and foreign clients in the right way to buy real estate, always looking for the best information and warning customers about the potential risks of a purchase.
I encourage you to us visit us to find out more about these topics, so we can provide clear and concrete guidance.
Nicaragua is still a place with many good investment opportunities, uncharted in many fields, allowing for local or foreign investors to expand their portfolio of options.
You can buy and get good results doing things the right way.