We turn visitors into locals

"We turn visitors into locals" proclaims a local real estate agency in a magazine advert. And that's exactly what happens. As more visitors arrive each year, a growing number find they don't want to leave. They find a way to stay longer: They buy real estate.

San Juan del Sur has emerged as the real estate hub for the entire southern Pacific coast of Nicaragua. From ocean view lots overlooking the horseshoe bay, remote eco-inspired fincas in the hills, landmark homes on high bluffs or low key property close to surf breaks, there's something to suit everyone.

This is still an early-in real estate destination. The asking prices for lots, condos and houses in San Juan del Sur are consistently lower than the premier coastal locations in Costa Rica, Belize or Panama.

If you're looking to call San Juan del Sur home, exploring your retirement options or looking for an investment property search for properties for sale on the San Juan Live Real Estate Marketplace.

For more information on buying property here you will find our Insider Tips Series for Nicaragua Real Estate Investors useful. The series provides valuable information about buying strategies, the best locations and neighborhoods, as well as tips on negotiation, real estate legal issues and the property buying process. It's designed to make you an expert at investing in real estate in Nicaragua. Sign up today.

For answers to the biggest questions we get asked about buying property here, head to our Buyer's Learning Center.

Key Steps to Purchasing Real Estate Safely: Interview with Eduardo Cabrales Cuadra

The process of purchasing property as a foreigner in Nicaragua is not the same as in North America. For starters, there’s no multiple listing service or easy access to public records on recent sales prices.

Hiring a local attorney is critical in order to check the title history, ensure there are no liens or encumbrances on the property and to register the title in the local registry. Miss one step and the consequences could prove costly and time consuming to resolve.

In an exclusive interview with Eduardo Cabrales Cuadra, managing partner with Garcia & Bodan Law Firm, Eduardo explains the key steps to purchasing real estate in Nicaragua.

Understanding the process of purchasing property in Nicaragua is critical

In this video Eduardo breaks down the five key steps to purchasing property: (i) private sales agreement, (ii) designation of a third-party to escrow the funds, (iii) legal due diligence by an independent attorney, (iv) closing and finally (v) title registration.

For more detailed information on the main conditions included in a typical purchase and sale contract, check out this article in our Seller's Learning Center.

The 4 Steps of Title Research

In this video, Eduardo dives further into the details of the title research process for property investigation. These 4 critical steps of the title research process could impact your ownership rights, uncover potential conflicts of interest and ultimately save you a lot of time and money. Have a look at his exclusive interview below.

Pair these videos with the answers to frequently asked questions in our Buyer's Learning Center.

Next step: Sign up for our Free Insider Tips Series for Nicaragua Real Estate Investors.  And track the most up-to-date real estate listings in Nicaragua on our owner updated real estate marketplace.

Why a sense of belonging is the secret behind Rancho Chilamate’s success

Have you ever been to a place that you instantly clicked with?

A place you felt you somehow belonged.

Great feeling, isn’t it?

Well, here in San Juan del Sur there’s one place that more than any other makes people feel at home.

That place is Rancho Chilamate.

It’s brought so much joy to so many people that I’ve got a big smile on my face as I write this.

Technically it’s a 10 acre horse ranch in the south western corner of Nicaragua.  A ranch with rivers, mountains, forests, haciendas, big skies, beaches and surf-breaks… as well as lots of horses and cowboy hats.

But the attraction of Rancho Chilamate isn’t just about these tangible aspects.

It’s about the atmosphere of the place and its personality. It’s about the smiles of the people you meet when you visit.  It’s about living in relationship with the local community and giving back to it. It’s about Blue, the owner and original cowgirl, and her careful stewardship of the land.

Something in the air, under those big skies, makes you feel at ease.

Talk to people who’ve visited and they’ll rave about epic horseback rides along the beach.

They’ll tell you how they felt thrilled, soothed, pampered, deliriously happy and filled with possibility.

They go back to the ranch again, and again.

Because long after the adrenaline rush has faded they still feel drawn to what Rancho Chilamate represents.

That want to feel like they belong again. [Read more…]

See what your life could look like in San Juan del Sur

Picture this: you wake up in the morning and walk out to your balcony to feel the gentle breeze from Lake Nicaragua and listen to the tropical birds. The sun is shining, so you put on your swimsuit, grab your surfboard and head to the nearby beach.

You follow it up with a dip in the pool and order a fruity cocktail with a plate of plantains and fried cheese (tostones con queso) plus a side of fresh salsa. After soaking up the sun by the pool, you return to your villa to read a magazine in the rocking chair on your private porch overlooking the bay. Your friends pop round in time to watch the sun slowly dip into the ocean.

It doesn’t have to be a dream. Take a peak at what your life could look like:

Right now, 2 bedroom ocean view villas are available at Villas de Palermo starting at $110,000. That’s a lot of house for your money. Take a look.

In a recent article by Dwell, Award-winning landscape architect Margie Ruddick explains landscape architecture as the discipline in which, “the sometimes murky but exquisitely beautiful world of ecologists intersects with design“.

For nature enthusiasts who want to be as close as as they can get to the wild outdoors without compromising comforts, the villas at Palermo Hotel & Resort are the best of both worlds.

Villas de Palermo37 copy (1)

Check out these 7 high yield rental properties for sale in Nicaragua

2015 was another record breaking year for Nicaragua tourism.  According to Prensa Latina, 1.4 million tourists visited the country generating $450 million in economic activity.

A chunk of that money is spent on accommodation which is why we are highlighting properties that hold the promise for great rental returns.  They’re all located in areas popular with tourists and many are already producing an income and generating a return on investment. If you’re in the market for a rental property you should definitely check these out: [Read more…]

A Vision Ride to Big Sky Ranch

BigSkyHotel_mood (1)Dig your heels in and lean back” said my friend Blue just before we descended the steepest part of the ridge on horseback.  I grabbed the back of my saddle with my left hand and tightened up on the reins with my right.

The irony of her giving me a property tour on horseback was not lost on me. Seven years ago our roles were reversed.  She walked into my real estate office, a tourist on a fact-finding mission for property, and I took her horseback riding with Donn Wilson through the eco-inspired community of Las Fincas de Escamequita.

Even back then, she traveled with her cowboy boots.

But this ride was different. There were no lot lines, clean-cut horse trails or vehicle access roads.  I had to trust the horse’s footing because I could not see the ground beneath the thick brush.

We were on a “vision ride”.  She had a crystal clear vision for the future of the land and I hoped to wrap my head around it.

[Read more…]

11 Tips For Making Your Vacation Home More Eco-Friendly

11 Tips for Making Your Vacation Rental more Eco-FriendlyFrom eco-friendly materials to hybrid vehicles and clean energy, we are inundated by calls to take responsibility for our environmental impact and reminded of the consequences of ignoring it. This global transition of environmental consciousness is becoming mainstream in every sector, including real estate.

Fortunately, going green doesn’t just have to be a feel-good trend, there is a compelling financial case to making your Nicaragua property more eco-friendly.

Let’s start with things to consider for your vacation home in Nicaragua:

Energy – Using renewable energy sources such as solar panels, wind turbines and geothermal cooling systems will save you money on your bills from Union Fenosa (Nicaragua’s power company).

H2O – Collecting rainwater and recycling your grey water will drastically reduce utility costs and reliance on the local government supply.

Design – Orientating your house to take advantage of natural lighting, allowing for through ventilation and cooling breezes, while deflecting direct sun rays will all make a huge difference.

The bottom line is that logical housing solutions that are sustainable save money, no matter which country you reside.

And even if your property is already built, it’s not too late to “greenify” your Nicaragua property.  Here are a few inexpensive and relatively easy suggestions that can be implemented into the Nicaraguan home you already own.   We suggest you take this list one at a time rather than tackling it all once.

1. Instead of renting a car, encourage your guests to share an airport shuttle, catch one of the many beach shuttles from the local surf shops in town or share in public transportation.

2. Use fluorescent light bulbs to save energy and money.  They can be difficult and expensive to find in Managua, but can easily be brought into the country.

3. Landscape your garden or terrace with native plants that require less water.  There’s a great selection on offer at the local “vivero”, or nursery, in town.

4. Use organic housekeeping products and pest control.  With a little baking soda, some lemons and vinegar, you might even consider making your own.

5. Add weather stripping to your doors and windows, especially if you have A/C.  Wooden door and window frames oscillate with the extreme sunshine and moisture, leaving gaps in the frames. Weather stripping will prevent cold air from leaking out and warm air from entering.  In addition to saving money on electric bills, it will help keep the bugs out which your guests will appreciate.

6. Build a rainwater collection system to water your garden or fill your pool.  With just a simple rain barrel, you’ll be surprised by how much water you can collect in the rainy season.

7. Use Energy Star rated appliances when it’s time to replace or upgrade your current appliances. There are Energy Star rated appliances in stock in Managua.

8. Compost.  Everyone should compost.  It’s so easy to do and it will make your garden flourish.

9. Don’t use the plastic bags handed out at Pali and the pulperias.  Bring a few reusable grocery backs down for your guests to use. Or better yet, buy a reusable grocery bag made of old rice bags from Manos Unidas, the local cooperative for adults with disabilities in San Juan del Sur.

Free Guide Reveals: 9 Things Your Vacation Rental In Nicaragua Absolutely Must Have

If you have a vacation rental in Nicaragua then you should take a look at our free guide on the 9 things your vacation rental absolutely must have.

The guide will be really useful to you because if your vacation rental has these 9 things, you’ll attract more renters and earn more rental income.

Learn 8 Tips on Property Management in San Juan del Sur (You’ll Definitely Want to Read #6)

San Juan del Sur attracts all types of travelers.  Some come to escape cold winters.  Others in search of an endless summer.  Surfers come for waves.  Backpackers for parties. Volunteers visit to offer service. Nature enthusiasts are attracted by the uninterrupted wildlife. Retirees seek a new chapter in life.

Whatever the reason, people are arriving daily.  Some stay only a few days. Others weeks.  Many stay longer than planned.

What does this mean for property owners?  It means there’s a strong rental market – especially for long term rentals. In San Juan del Sur “long term” generally means anything over a month.

So if you’ve got a vacation home in San Juan del Sur that you are not currently living in, it makes sense to get your property management strategy right. To help you get the most out of your Nicaragua vacation home and ensure that your investment is being looked after we interviewed a few reputable property managers for advice.

We had 8 questions. The answers the local experts gave provide valuable insight:

[Read more…]

How’s the market?

How's the real estate market?

This article was originally published in Del Sur News

One of the most common questions we get asked is, “How’s the real estate market?” And it’s a good question. Buyers want to get informed about the marketplace so that they can negotiate the best price possible. And Sellers want to make sure they’re listing their property at a price that attracts buyers.

Unlike in North America, we can’t point to official market statistics or a central database that tracks price trends over time. But we can still provide insight on how the market is doing based on a review of asking prices for individual properties, published price lists from developers and feedback from local agents and market commentators. Let’s start by looking back a few years: [Read more…]

Video Interview: What you need to know before you build a home in Nicaragua

You want to design your dream home in Nicaragua, and take advantage of the lower construction costs. But you live in the US and can’t just hop on a flight every time you want to see how the building is progressing.

You want to feel confident in the builder, confident in the construction supervisor and confident of the construction methods.  Fortunately there are ways to navigate the home building process and we’ve asked Will Pattison from GroupoMax, for his best advice to ensure a smooth experience.

GroupoMax has built over 50 projects in the area from custom homes (like these lovely ocean view casitas) to multi-level commercial buildings and hotels, so he’s the perfect person to get your questions answered.

Will ends the interview with some great insights on starting a business here.  So make sure you watch until the end.
[Read more…]

How much is a Nicaragua property worth in this market?

appraisal-report-cover-outlineIf you’re looking to buy a property in Nicaragua, market comparables (or “comps”) will help you determine will help you determine what’s good value (and what’s not) to ensure you get a good deal.

And if you’re going to sell your Nicaragua property quickly the first thing you’ll need to know is how much your property is worth compared to other properties in today’s market.

It’s obvious really… Reliable market comps help both sellers and buyers make better decisions and move forward with confidence.

Trouble is, in Nicaragua official market data is not available. So savvy buyers and sellers need to find different ways to plug the data gap.

If you’re interested, we’ll show you how to do just that.

How to plug the real estate market data gap in Nicaragua.

Take a look and you’ll see what we mean.