Taking Advantage of Nicaragua’s Path of Progress Development

Once one of the wealthiest countries in Central America, Nicaragua was rocked by war and economic crisis in recent decades. Now, it’s on the path to reclaiming its former status. Tourism is set for a growth boom. Last year, revenue from tourism in Nicaragua was up 18.7%. Tourism numbers increased 5.8%. And this trend is set to continue.

You’ll find a stunning coastline, dramatic lakes, and volcanoes. It’s not the poor, war-torn region that people think of. It has vibrant, safe, and historic towns and cities, along with smooth highways and state-of-the-art energy plants. Before wars took hold, Nicaragua was strong and rich agriculturally and industrially.

But as real estate investors, the misconceptions are good news. There’s opportunity to make a killing by snapping up real estate that’s set to rise in value—and profit from the Path of Progress rolling through.

In Northern Nicaragua, for example, real estate is still at those war-torn prices. But this area is on the up and big things are coming. For years, the north has been almost entirely overlooked. But this is a definite Path of Progress story and the government is investing in infrastructure—new roads are being put in place.

Tourism is a big deal for Nicaragua and a big part of its development initiative. Northern Nicaragua has it all. You can surf (kite or board), ski on a volcano, take your yacht from Nicaragua’s only full-service marina, and hike in one of the many nature reserves. The problem was getting here. But now that’s changing. Now, adventurers and pioneers are coming from Europe and North America to provide the service to these tourists

That’s how I’ve seen tourism development play out. First, the in-the-know vacationers come. Then more and more come. The economy starts to grow…and real estate values start to rise. We’re ahead of the curve. I see big opportunity to buy for pricing far below what you’d pay in the south. But as word gets out, those opportunities will get rarer.

Leon has my attention. It’s a place to buy the properties that the new upper-middle class there want to own or rent. Because you can buy at the ground floor of this trend, you can buy cheap. From the get go, you can generate a strong rental yield. And watch this grow as demand grows.

On trips here in the past months, I’ve found homes on offer for as little as $68,500. Spend around $80,000 and I figure you can rent for close to $800 per month.

Another part of Nicaragua where I see opportunity to pick up a bargain is Granada. It’s the country’s best-known colonial city. It teems with life and a laidback-energy from morning until evening. I’ve been visiting Granada for more than a decade and it hasn’t been for the sake of vacation. It’s been to check out the local real estate market…and to track its evolution into a vacationer hotspot.

It’s a fun city with a growing tourist market. But still retains its charming and old-school Latin America feel. You still get a friendly “hola” as you pass the locals, while horse-drawn carriages pass you in the streets.

I’ve found opportunity here in the past, like “fixer upper” colonial homes in the historic district for as little as $80,000. You can also find more turnkey colonials going for $160,000. The cheapest ones still go for under $100,000—but they tend to be snapped up quickly. Prices have risen since my last visit—but you can still find a bargain today. Some could be renovated into small hotels…or guesthouses. There’s a good market here for colonial-style, short-term rentals.

But whether it’s Leon or Granada, Nicaragua has seen huge growth. It’s a place I’m continuing to keep an eye on for opportunity. Prices are rising but you can still find that good-value, bargain, pricing that I look for.

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