Costa Rica or Nicaragua Real Estate: which is the best deal today?

I love Nicaragua. Its a lot like I remember Costa Rica when i first arrived here in 1989, when it was a laid back gentle country with shitty roads, cheap food and beer, plenty of gorgeous women, cheap real estate, and friendly people. Nicaragua has excellent long haul highway roads, about 2 meters wider then the highways in costa rica which means you won’t hit that guy on the bicycle! The people are friendly and attractive but real estate is not so cheap anymore. In fact due to a bunch of greedy land developers who bought super cheap and then inflated their projects to outrageous levels, its hard to find any good land from a local Nicaraguan at a fair price – they are all waiting on stupid gringos to show up and over pay for their property.

Nicaragua Real Estate

Many people dream of owning beach front property some where in the world with warm gentle oceans, tall cool palm trees, and brown skin maidens bringing trays of treats. And you might find this in Nicaragua real estate. The oceans around the south western part of Nicaragua are world famous for great surf so the gentle seas are hard to find although they do exist as I have been on a number of calm sandy stretches just around the corner from monster waves.

A surfer in Nicaragua

A surfer in Nicaragua real estate.

Thanks to Nicaragua 365 for their photo above.

There are a number of property developments in Nicaragua offering beach front ownership opportunities. I have not yet visited any of these, but have seen their web sites and read marketing materials. A number of these are at the end of long dirty dusty roads and have no real town structure near by. You are on your own. Others are close in and seem to have a lot to offer but again I am amazed at the high asking prices of these properties in Nicaragua.

I have talked to many expats who have purchased Nicaragua real estate and property and they have a variety of tales from being very happy to hoping to sell and move on with their lives. Some of the developments had improper paperwork and after purchase customers discovered that they did not own the property and were forced off by the courts. In other cases petty thievery and unpleasant mischief caused much heartache to home owners.

Of the most import is the fact that you will probably not be able to make any money working in Nicaragua unless you are a scammer. As a foreigner you are not legally allowed to work in Nicaragua anyway. If you want to run a hotel or restaurant you better hope the economy turns around soon and maybe you might get by, barely. If you are an internet worker, you should do fine as your customers and money are outside of the country. If you want to be a real estate sales person well good luck to you, it seems a great many gringos in the popular towns of San Juan del Sur and Granada are real estate agents and happy to show you overpriced properties for sale in Nicaragua.

I believe if you stay away from popular beach towns and major tourist cities like Granada, and you work with a Nicaraguan real estate agent, you may be able to find a good deal on a house or farm in NIcaragua. Just beware of the traps and pitfalls. Do your homework. Make sure the property has titles from all political parties and time frames.

Buying Real Estate in Costa Rica

Real estate in Costa Rica is making a come back now because the prices have fallen and many expats are frustrated with their home country politicos and wish to escape to the tropics to live out a tranquil and peaceful existence avoiding the police state and high taxes of the modern western worlds. One can safely purchase and maintain ownership control of property in Costa rica provided the land or home is lived in or watched year round, as their still is a problem with squatters. Infrastructure is quite improved with quality phone and internet services and many shopping centers where just about anything the expat needs or wants can be acquired locally.

If you are interested in buying real estate I suggest you take a close look at both Costa Rica and real estate in Nicaragua.