Should I Buy an Existing Home, Land or Restore a Home?

OK, there are three options in having your new home in Nicaragua.

1. Buy an existing home

Buying an existing home is convenient, fast and you know what you are getting. You can move in immediately with fewer headaches and quite often the home comes furnished. Don’t forget the hammock, it is not a home without a hammock down here. There will be a few surprises depending on the age of the house and who built it or restored it. Remember, there are fewer building codes here so don’t be surprised to find there is only one electrical outlet in a room and other oddities. You can still change the appearance of the house by painting rooms a different color or even making major renovations.

2. Buy a lot and build a home

Building a home in Nicaragua is not for the faint of heart. Most if not all of the construction companies state they build to North American standards but there are fewer rules here. Homes are much simpler here since they normally do not have A/C or heating ducts and vented roofs are virtually unheard of. Air flow is the most important consideration in the design. Houses can be 10 degrees cooler with just the right design.

The major reason for this option is you can design and build exactly what you want. Unless you live here while it is being built you will need to hire a good architect and a good building contractor you can trust in your absence. We can help you with finding these people. Labor is cheap but cheap labor needs much more supervision. There are no trade unions here and most workers need a job so will say they are skilled in whatever you need done.

3. Restore a colonial home

Everyone has considered this option that has visited Granada and there are all levels of restoration. You might be buying four crumbling perimeter walls or a home that is in fairly good shape that just needs modernization. So, you may have a small project or a major project. Another consideration is that if the home is in the historical district of Granada there will be additional regulations especially concerning the exterior of the home. Again you will need a good architect and a good building contractor.

Which option for me?

It is your decision but unless you are fluent in Spanish and have excellent building skills and experience, you should probably depend heavily on local people. Check with other expats on the background of those you hire. We will help you every step of the way.