Nicaragua Real Estate

Nicaragua Real Estate

Incredible Nicaragua Real Estate and Property

It doesn't demand much imagination to realize where the Nicaragua real estate market is headed. The real estate boom in Nicaragua is similar to what took place in Costa Rica in the 1980s, where people took advantage of an unknown, misunderstood country with a vibrant culture, spectacular landscape, and friendly people, to own a property in paradise for both pleasure and profit.

In Costa Rica, the course of events was much like what is happening today in Nicaragua: First, political stability was achieved with an eye on improving the economy and infrastructure. Then its wealth of spectacular beaches attracted tourists in record numbers…followed by retirees and real estate developers.

This process is exactly what is underway right now in Nicaragua, and as the nation develops, you can find excellent Nicaraguan real estate for sale. But you need to be aware that the window of opportunity is small and you must act soon in order to ensure you will find the best real estate opportunities available.

With numerous Nicaraguan real estate projects in their infancy, now is the perfect time to take advantage of what you may have missed in Costa Rica. But what areas are investors and second-home buyers focusing on as they think about buying property in Nicaragua?

Real Estate on the Pacific Coast

Nicaragua's Pacific coast comprises miles of beach living in the current property market. Today, most of the beachfront real estate activity on the Pacific coast is centered on three primary pockets that are home to some of the most spectacular beaches in Latin America: the "Emerald Coast," the area that includes Tola, Popoyo, Gigante, Colorado and beaches up to Jiquiliste; San Juan del Sur, a small tourist city that boasts super surf, great international restaurants and lots of fun; and the coastal areas within 30 minutes of the northern colonial city of Leon, Poneloya and Las Peñitas.

If your retirement dream includes looking at the ocean every morning, look no further than San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua's most-popular beach town. A small, eclectic town San Juan del Sur offers you an idyllic beach life. Picture yourself in a hammock, cocktail in hand, watching a breathtaking sunset—every day! Swimming, surfing, lounging, meeting your friends at one of the over 50 restaurants in town will become a way of life.

Never thought you could afford the life of Riley? What about an ocean-view condo, two-bedroom, two-bathroom, beautifully furnished for $97,000? Or a luxury house on a cliff with an infinity pool and the great blue ocean beyond for $289,000? Or buy a lot for $20,000 and up and build your own dream house. If you always wanted to live by the ocean, but knew it was out of your reach in your home country, you can do it here in San Juan del Sur.

Real Estate in Colonial City Granada

The jewel in Nicaragua’s crown is a little city called Granada. It’s a beautiful, bewitching place and home to the most expats. And if your dream of an overseas property involves an old colonial home, you’ll get more for your money in Granada.

Granada has an unmistakable colonial charm. Red-tile roofs stand out against the dark-green cloud forest that covers the slopes of the sleeping Volcan Mombacho. Thick-walled adobe homes line the narrow streets, painted in all colors. Yet familiar western-type shops and restaurants can be found everywhere. The central park is a particularly nice place to hang out and people watch, take a horse-and-buggy ride, or stroll around the plaza checking out the artists and vendors who sell their wares there every day.

Here you won’t live life by the clock, rushing from one meeting to the next. Instead, you’ll enjoy life to the full…lingering over meals with friends, spending the day fishing or boating on the lake, or browsing the street markets…

Purchase a colonial home in need of renovation and/or restoration for the purpose of a second home, bar, restaurant, small boutique hotel, or condominium conversion project.

Scout for shell properties (in complete need of renovation), which are available in Granada for $50,000 to $100,000 if you pound the streets looking for unlisted properties for about 2,000 to 4,000 square feet. Some will even have pools. Other colonial homes in better condition, but still in need of restoration, start at $180,000 for approximately 5,000-plus square feet.

Real Estate in León, Nicaragua's Other Colonial City

León and Granada have always been in competition for the title of biggest, best colonial city. In fact, the two cities competed to be the capital of Nicaragua, but Managua was chosen instead. Where Granada is more glitzy and westernized, León provides an inside view on a real Nicaraguan colonial city. Also a university town, Leon has a student culture, which includes many museums and the arts. A very musical town as well, you can visit neighborhood bars for local music as well as concerts. A fascinating city to walk around, León's Cathedral is otherworldly beautiful.

You can find real estate in León for a song. Fixer-upper colonial homes can be found for $35,000 and up. Buy a completely refurbished, furnished colonial for $180,000 or more, depending on size, location and amenities.

Real Estate in the Big City

Managua, the capital of the country, also has great deals if you feel you must live the big city life. Museums, theaters, concert venues and international dining will keep you busy in this bustling, noisy city. Managua also has the best healthcare in the country with its Metropolitano Vivan Pellas Hospital. Here you can choose to live the way you want to—in a brand new home in a community development for as little as $35,000, or in a home fit for a king with a lake-size pool and seven-bedroom furnished luxury mansion for under a million dollars (think 10 times that price in California!).

Real Estate in the Mountains

Matagalpa is a wonderful city situated in the mountains, surrounded by year-round green forests, lakes, rivers and waterfalls, this place will make a nature lover out of anyone. If you like a San Diego, CA-type climate, crisp clean air, and a lot of places where you can go hiking, bird watching and other outdoor things, you'll love Matagalpa. The city is also beautiful, with two main city parks at either end, great places to people-watch.

Rent a house for $200 to $500 a month, or buy a home in the center of the city for $75,000 to $150,000. This is the only city in Nicaragua that has disability ramps on every corner and doesn't allow smoking in most restaurants. Modern, middle-class, Matagalpa, is the new kid on the block.

Find a house to rent just outside of town for $200 a month and up. Or live right in the city for $300+. Buy a house anywhere from $35,000 to $200,000, depending on location, size and amenities.

Nicaragua Real Estate Purchase Process

Property ownership in Nicaragua is fee simple/freehold, with title issued and registered in your name. In Nicaragua you own the land, just like in your home country. If you are familiar with real estate affairs in Nicaragua (and speak fluent Spanish), you can buy directly from the local farmer or property owner.

As is the case with any other emerging real estate markets, it is strongly recommended that you enlist the help of a reputable local attorney. Nicaraguan property titles can be in disputes at times–an experienced attorney can trace title of the property that interests you to ensure it is not contested. And make sure you have a good translator, since all contracts must be written in Spanish to be legal.

In Nicaragua, the real estate purchase process is essentially a two-tier process involving three parties: the buyer, the seller, and the notary (the position of notary is the highest level of attorney qualification in Nicaragua, and is awarded by the state).

Once you have agreed upon a purchase price with the seller, the notary will prepare a promesa de venta (promise to sell). This is a three-party agreement, signed by the buyer, seller, and notary. Upon its execution, the notary will prepare a testimonio. This is an exact copy of the promesa and is placed in the public records to advise other prospective real estate buyers that the property is under contract.

Once all conditions of the promesa have been met, the notary will prepare an escritura (deed) to be executed by the buyer, seller, and notary. Once again, a testimonio is prepared. This is taken to the property registry and an appraisal of the property is done. An appraisal certificate is issued along with the testimonio. Once the transfer taxes have been paid, the testimonio is recorded in the public registry office at the local municipal office.

*Prices as of 2015

Get Your Free Real Estate Report Now

Sign up for International Living's free daily postcard e-letters now and receive a special report "International Living's Insider Guide to Buying Real Estate Overseas."

This special report covers information on the 25 things you must know before buying property overseas as well as some of the best places in the world to buy real estate…and is yours free when you sign up for IL’s daily postcards below.

Get Your Free Report Here

Find Out More About Buying Real Estate Overseas Here



A Charming Colonial City Where You Can Still Pick Up a Bargain

In January, I stepped out from the front doors of my colonial hotel into the already bright morning sunshine. Past perfectly preserved colonial buildings, I walked past a wide central park, lined with vendors selling cool drinks and snacks, and horse-drawn carriages offering rides to waiting tourists. It was just a few more steps—past a colorful Spanish colonial cathedral—to get a fresh-brewed coffee or a gelado. You can buy fresh-baked pastries or gourmet jellies or sauces in little street-side cafes.


Finding Your Dream Home in Cool-Weather Nicaragua

With a general subtropical climate, Nicaragua is pretty hot everywhere and has a specific six-month dry season (December to May) and six-month wet season (June to November). However, Matagalpa is different. Here you wake up to sunshine most days with rain throughout the year.

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Enjoy Your Dream Retirement On Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast

The proverbial retirement…life in a beach home overlooking the ocean. Most of us experience this fleeting thought, but realize it’s never going to happen, so we settle on a more affordable, comfortable plan. And then a financial crisis hits, and it looks like we’ll just stay where we are and never move to that quaint town in the mountains that we had been dreaming about for the past 10 years. Unfortunately, retirement dreams just don’t look the same anymore.


Cheap, Productive Farmland: Your Path to Fortune

The world is roaring toward food shortages. According to the World Bank, at least 50% more food is needed by 2050 to feed nine billion people. And it’s not just more food that’s needed; this fast-growing, global middle class wants different foods—producing meat takes a lot of water and animal feed. China, for example, has added 100 million new middle-class mouths in the past decade. Brazil has seen its middle class grow by 40 million from 2005 to 2011. Now 54% of the population, or 103 million people, fall within Brazil’s middle class.


The Pleasures of a Walkable Neighborhood

Before the automobile came along, people lived life on a more intimate scale. You shopped at the local butcher, baker, and grocer (whom you knew by name). The café downstairs, or down the street, was your second home, and its patrons your second family. You scheduled your day by how long it took to walk from place to place…and nobody was in a rush, anyway.


Matagalpa: Nicaragua’s Cool, Green, Mountain Retreat

You notice the difference the minute your vehicle starts lumbering up the excellent road that circles the city. You suddenly feel a cool breeze through the window; everything is green and fresh. You’ve left the hot lowlands behind. You feel like you are somewhere else as you pass acres of coffee beans drying out in the sun, trees that you’ve never seen before, mountain vistas at every turn, and horses and cattle on their ranches eyeing you curiously. Miles and miles of thick forest beckon you to explore.


Southern Nicaragua: Get Killer Views for Low Prices… While You Can

Eleven years ago, I made my first public speech about opportunity in international real estate. The topic? “Nicaragua: The Next Costa Rica?” I argued that indeed it was. The premise of my talk was straightforward. Over time, I predicted, Nicaragua would develop along lines similar to those tourist-friendly Costa Rica has followed.


“I’ve Never Seen a Better Time to Buy Development Land in Latin America”

For more than 11 years I’ve traveled all over Latin America. From the U.S.-Mexican border all the way to Argentina, I see firsthand the opportunities this vast land has to offer. I’ve never seen a better time to invest in development land in Latin America than right now. The biggest returns in development come to the earliest speculators who take positions. You don’t need deep pockets to invest in development land—if you know how to do it. Nicaragua, for example, is a country of stunning natural beauty and abundant resources. It has a young population and its economy is catching up from a very low base. It has great potential as a retirement and vacation locale for North Americans. In the early 2000s, money and people raced in. Many didn’t have the skills or the experience to develop real estate.

Homes on the World’s Rivieras

The original Riviera (from the Italian word for “seashore”) sprang up in southern France and the bordering region of Italy. Upper-crust Brits, northern Europeans, and—later—well-heeled Americans flocked here for the beach resorts, casinos, and parties. Author F. Scott Fitzgerald had a villa here in the Jazz Age, although it’s said he was a horrible party guest. The term riviera has been adopted by regions all over the world, in places where the sun, surf, and vacation vibe live on. And when we hit the new-school rivieras in the developing world, expect to get a real bang for your real estate buck.

Granada, Nicaragua

Work, Play, Volunteer: Why Retirement in Granada, Nicaragua is so Appealing to Expats

Back home, you are energetic and enjoy a life full of activities, friends and diversity. You want it to stay that way and you have your priorities. Nature makes you happy. After a lifetime living in cold weather, you’d like to throw away your winter coats. Health care and safety are major concerns. Starting a business entices you, but isn’t it too late? You love your delicious coffee and going to great restaurants with your friends. You seek volunteer opportunities to help people and give your life more purpose.

$1,000 Kits Out Your Home in Nicaragua

$1,000 Kits Out Your Home in Nicaragua

I bought my house in Nicaragua in one day on a whim. While I wouldn’t recommend doing something so hasty, it worked out great. I went back to the U.S. and neatly closed up my life there. Arriving three months later in Nicaragua, I was ready to start my new life in my new house.

Pacific-Coast Buys for a Fraction of the U.S. Price

Warm and sunny days…beautiful people lounging on the sand as surfers vie for choice waves… palm tree-lined boardwalks in picturesque beachside towns, dramatic craggy cliffs…the California coast has certainly captured the popular imagination. No wonder; it’s one of the most pleasant places in the world to live. But on the flip side, it also has some of the most expensive real estate in the world and a high cost of living.

It Costs as Little as $43 a Day to Live in Beautiful San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

It Costs as Little as $43 a Day to Live in Beautiful San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

I’m just a middle-class gal. There you can pay $1.5 million for something like that. Yet in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua I own a small two-bedroom/two-bathroom house, on an acre with an ocean view, which cost just $132,000. I pay real estate taxes of just $151 a year. And in my backyard, in addition to what I mentioned before, I also grow mangos, papayas, citrus trees, a cinnamon tree, and even moringa, the tree of life.


Five Spots Where You Can Find Premium Views for Less than $150,000

A great view usually translates into a premium price tag. But you can afford a home with stunning vistas if know the right place to look. For example, I know of one Pacific coast town where a beachfront condo with Californian-style ocean views and a similar lifestyle will only set you back $119,000. You’d need at least three times that to get close to the beach in California.

For the fifth year in a row, Ecuador has ranked number one for great value property.

The Best Places to Buy Real Estate When You Retire Overseas

Whether you are looking for a home on the coast, on an island or in a colonial city, these three countries have the best value real estate. If your dream home includes a pool, a big back yard in which to swing from a hammock in the sun, a place close to the beach where you can snorkel, relax with a good book or watch the sunset…rest assured, you can have it—because your real estate dollar stretches further overseas. You can buy a superior property in a better location for the same amount or less than you would spend on a home in the U.S.

Forbes has described Nicaragua's Pacific coast as “simply stunning.”

Buy on the World’s Last Great Frontier

In Nicaragua, you’ll find some of the most dramatically beautiful Pacific coastline…anywhere. And in one development I’ve visited, there are five beaches, 2,700 acres and more than two miles of coast.All of those beaches have their own unique character and appeal. Each has different colored sands: white, tan and even pink. Some have flat waters for swimming or waves for surfing.

Property is affordable in Ecuador compared to the U.S. and Europe.

The Top Three Best Places to Retire Overseas to Buy Real Estate

Buying real estate overseas is different in each country as they all have their own laws and rules to abide by. But once you have an in-country attorney the process should be straightforward. In International Living’s annual Global Retirement Index 2013 we took real estate into consideration when coming up with the best places to retire overseas.


Under-the-Radar Trophy Properties

You’ve heard the economy is slow. You can see it for yourself just walking down main street. But one place you won’t find any sign of it is among the pages of luxury real estate listings. Floods of cheap money are working their way into the luxury real estate market at home and in world cities like London, Melbourne, Hong Kong and New York.


Chase Summertime to These Snow-Bird Escapes

Winter is nigh in North America. Bitter cold, ice storms, flurries, and blizzards are on their way. These are the months spent indoors, staring out at grey skies, pining for spring. But there are places where the sun is shining right now, temperatures are going up, and it’s already beach season.


The Decline of the West

There’s always room for wealth creation. Despite the world’s economic woes, the number of people with $30 million or more in net assets rose by 5% globally last year. And according to the Frank Knight Wealth Report 2013, over the next 10 years there’ll be a 50% rise in the number of people breaking that barrier.


Cliff-Top Homes and Staggering Views

There’s no other view in the world like it. In a cliff-top home, there’s nothing between you and the beautiful vista but empty space. You never have to worry about a house going up in front of you or that your neighbor’s new satellite dish will block your line of sight. Badminton in the back yard may be out. But morning coffee and sunset drinks on the terrace are in. If you’re on the seaside, the rumbling waves pounding the rocks below will be your lullaby.


A New Start in an Unusual Home in Nicaragua

Lee’s biggest business is advising people how to build eco-friendly homes out of shipping containers, throwing in alternative-energy systems, like solar panels, if they’re interested. He’s also the go-to guy in San Juan when expats and business owners have computer trouble. And he helps fellow expats transition to life in Nicaragua…


Uncovering Nicaragua’s “Emerald Coast” and How to Play It

Four-and-a-half hours’ flight-time south of California are opportunities that feel a world away. This short plane ride from the snapped-up beachfront and million-dollar mansions of the Golden State brings you to deserted beaches, lush, jungle-clad hills, and low-cost real estate that has to be seen to be believed.

Colonial Homes from $50,000 in Granada, Nicaragua

Colonial Homes from $50,000 in Granada, Nicaragua

Nicaragua is now cool. And Granada is at ground zero of the new, cool Nicaragua. Yet there never has been a better time to buy a colonial home in Granada. I’ve followed the real-estate market here closely since my first visit in 2004. Through boom and bust I’ve watched prices fluctuate. And on this visit I saw a 900-square-foot home, a short stroll from the historic center, with an asking price of $39,000.


Everything is Negotiable: Colonial Homes from $50,000 in Granada

In the nine years I’ve been savoring her charms through regular visits, I have never seen Nicaragua’s colonial city of Granada look better. Cute bakeries and cafés are opening up in brightly-painted, tiled- floor colonial homes. Artists and art galleries are setting up shop. Italians have come to make great pizza. The terrace in front of the Irish bar, O’Shea’s, is buzzing by day. Inside it’s rocking at night. Nine years ago expats were mostly from the U.S. There was a real-estate agent on every corner of the main square, Parque Central.


Nicaragua: Gussied Up and Brimming with Opportunity

Nicaragua is going mainstream. A country that war and conspiracy made infamous in the Reagan years is today home to eco-lodges, spas, and restored colonials. It’s at the top of the New York Times’ list of places to see in 2013. Food and Wine has pronounced it “affordable, safe and undiscovered.” Outside magazine declares, “it feels like Nicaragua’s moment is now.”


Buy a Colonial Property in Granada, Nicaragua

Granada is where Nicaragua puts on its best face for visitors. It sits on the shore of the vast Lake Nicaragua, just an hour’s drive from the country’s capital, Managua. Centuries-old colonial architecture fills the historic city center surrounding the neoclassical-style Cathedral of Granada and the Parque Central.

Outdoor Adventure Pads

Outdoor Adventure Pads

Your perfect oceanfront retreat is just a five-minute boat ride from one of the world’s premier diving destinations, the Belize Barrier Reef. It’s on Ambergris Caye, with the Caribbean spread out before you. Diving spots nearby include the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, known for its formations of elkhorn, brain, and staghorn corals. The coral is 20 to 40 feet tall, providing the perfect habitat for reef sharks, yellowtail snapper, lobster, grouper, sea turtles, and many other species.

Latin American Lake Homes

Latin American Lake Homes

Chile’s Lake District is all about spectacular scenery…forests, snowcapped volcanoes, the towering Andes, and hundreds of deep blue mountain lakes…German emigrants brought their distinctive traditions to the region and it’s been compared to Switzerland for its beauty and cosmopolitan resort towns…

Properties that Earn their Keep

Properties that Earn their Keep

Every month we take a look at some of the properties available around the world. This time out, we’re highlighting properties that not only provide you with a roof over your head, but an income to boot. Escape to Ecuador’s Yunguilla Valley and surround yourself with blossoming fruit trees and fresh fish on your own tropical property.

Bargain Hunting on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast

Bargain Hunting on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast

I first visited Nicaragua nearly a decade ago and fell in love with its rough-around-the-edges beauty and the genuine warmth of its people. In 2007, my husband and I lived for a while on this hilltop overlooking San Juan del Sur. We spent lazy days exploring hidden beaches and lively evenings with friends at the thatch-roofed seafood restaurants that line the beach.

Go Bargain Hunting Now on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast

Go Bargain Hunting Now on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast

I first visited Nicaragua nearly a decade ago and fell in love with its rough-around-the-edges beauty and the genuine warmth of its people. In 2007, my husband and I lived for a while on this hilltop overlooking San Juan del Sur. We spent lazy days exploring hidden beaches and lively evenings with friends at the thatch-roofed seafood restaurants that line the beach. Now we had returned to reacquaint ourselves…

Beach-living in Nicaragua

Beach-living in Nicaragua

With few exceptions, today’s Masachapa is not fancy…and generally not a place where you’d come to experience fine dining and high-end amenities. But it does offer authentic Nicaraguan charm, a fantastic beach, and reasonable property prices.

Colonial Property Bargains in Latin America

Colonial Property Bargains in Latin America

Whenever I travel to any of Latin America’s colonial cities, I can’t help but compare them to my home, the historic Casco Viejo district of Panama City. I’ve lived here for almost five years and I love this neighborhood’s friendly, bohemian vibe and beautiful buildings.


Colonial Bargains in Latin America — from $115,000

Whenever I travel to any of Latin America’s colonial cities, I can’t help but compare them to my home, the historic Casco Viejo district of Panama City. I’ve lived here for almost five years and I love this neighborhood’s friendly, bohemian vibe and beautiful buildings.


Where to Find Nicaragua’s Beach Bargains

I came away from my first visit to Nicaragua, in 2004, with a lopsided image of the coastal lifestyle in Central America’s largest country. There’s another, far more “authentic” and affordable environment to explore along this country’s central and northern Pacific coast.


Nicaragua Better Than Ever: Colonial Homes from $145,000

Imagine yourself awakening to a symphony of tropical birds and brilliant sunshine. You walk into the open-air, center courtyard of your colonial home and pour yourself a rich cup of locally grown coffee. The courtyard’s lush, tropical vegetation is the home’s centerpiece oasis… and almost hides the blue, shimmering pool, right in your “living room.”

Get Your Free Report


Previous to my moving overseas I based on my diving trip in Belize after reading many great things about it in International Living magazine. I loved it here and so dumped everything in the U.S. and moved to Placencia, Belize last September. One of the better decisions in my life.

Read More Testimonials

Need a Way to Fund Your Life Overseas?

Before you go, sign up for our Fund Your Life Overseas e-letter and we’ll immediately send you a FREE RESEARCH REPORT on six portable careers you can earn with from anywhere in the world.

You’ll hear from us five times a week, showing you ways to earn that can hand you the freedom and flexibility to live anywhere… travel anytime… and fund the life of your dreams overseas.

Enter your E-mail Address Below
We Value Your Privacy
Click here for our Privacy Policy

Wait – Don’t Miss Out:

Announcing: The Best Places in the World to Retire for 2016

For the 25th year in a row, we’ve ranked, rated, compared, and contrasted the best retirement havens in the world.

I’d like to offer you International Living’s brand new Global Retirement Index today — FREE. Whatever you dream about, you can be sure that in our 2016 Global Retirement Index there’s a place where you could make it real.

With this special offer, you can get a copy of this brand-new Index immediately—FREE.

Get Access Today


Your Last Chance to Retire Overseas Now

Before you go sign up for our free daily Postcard e-letter and we’ll immediately send you a FREE RESEARCH REPORT on the most desirable —and cheapest— retirement havens available to you today.

Each day you’ll learn about the best places to retire, travel, buy real estate and enjoy life overseas.

Enter your E-mail Address Below
We Value Your Privacy
Click here for our Privacy Policy


Your Chance to Retire Overseas Now

Sign up for our free daily Postcard e-letter and we'll immediately send you a FREE RESEARCH REPORT on the most desirable —and cheapest— retirement havens available to you today.

Each day you'll learn about the best places to retire, travel, buy real estate and enjoy life overseas.

Enter your E-mail Address Below

We Value Your Privacy.