Critical to any successful real estate investment is the question of timing. Ideally, you want to invest in any real estate market at the right time and in the right place. In Nicaragua today there is an opportunity to catch a positive growth trend before the rest of the world catches on - what we call an early-in investment real estate market.
Vacation and retirement destinations spring up all over the world - Costa Rica, The Bahamas, Jamaica, Aruba, were all once a figment of someone's imagination. Today, these countries welcome millions of people from all corners of the earth and Nicaragua has set her sights on being added to that list. If you missed taking profits in places like Mexico, The Virgin Islands, and Hawaii, now is the time to discover opportunities in Nicaragua.
Nicaragua boasts a rich cultural heritage, beautiful scenery, incredible biodiversity, lakes and volcanoes and an ever growing range of leisure activities. Tourism was a non existent industry not long ago but is now the country's top earner. The tourism industry in Nicaragua has been growing at a fast clip for several years. The latest figures for 2012 reveal an increase in visitors of 10% from 2011.
Tourism trends are useful predictors of real estate sales. You know how it goes. You go on holiday, you find a charming little fishing village and spend two glorious weeks relaxing and enjoying the lifestyle. On one of your last days you glance in a real estate agent's window and start looking at property. In Costa Rica the course of events was much like what is happening today in Nicaragua: First, political stability was achieved with focus on improving the economy and infrastructure. Then its wealth of spectacular beaches attracted tourists in record numbers; followed by retirees, investors and real estate developers.
The demographics are set to underpin considerable future growth in Nicaragua's real estate market. Time Magazine recently reported: "Many of the 76 million American boomers are more likely than their parents to consider retiring to a foreign land, because they have traveled more, have higher hopes for retirement, and tend to be more active and adventuresome." The Baby Boomers are looking beyond Florida and the southern states to countries in Central America. Nicaragua stands out as offering a unique combination of low cost of living, affordable properties as well as one of the most attractive retiree benefits package in Central America. In fact the AARP recently rated Nicaragua as one of the best places to retire abroad because of its affordability, breathtaking beauty and easy-going lifestyle.
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Nicaragua's foreign investment law establishes equal treatment of foreign and domestic investment, eliminates restrictions on the way in which foreign capital can enter the country, and recognizes the foreign investor's right to own and use property without limitation. There are no restrictive visa or work-permit requirements to inhibit investment. Much of the property is held as freehold (fee simple) title and major international title insurance companies offer insurance on property in Nicaragua: First American, Stuart Title and Land America.
Without question, and at times contrary to popular belief, Nicaragua is a stable, safe, and peaceful country for investment. It is this misunderstanding that many investors work to their advantage. Here are the facts: Nicaragua is the second safest country in all of Latin America (behind Uruguay) and has a lower reported crime rate that than France, Germany and the United States, according to a United Nations/Interpol study.
Nicaragua's Law 306 is one of the most attractive, and extensive, tourism-incentive laws in Latin America. This law is sweeping in scope and offers hard-to-beat benefits for investors who take advantage of the program. If your business qualifies, you pay no income taxes for up to 10 years, pay no real estate taxes for up to 10 years, and bring in (or buy locally) all the supplies you need, from furniture and boats to linens and cash registers tax-free. If you've ever considered starting a business, opening a cafe, having a B&B or running guided tours, then Nicaragua is the place to do it.
Nicaragua has one of the fastest real-GDP growth rates in Central America and has complied with prescribed IMF demands for cutting its deficit, implementing structural reforms, and maintaining overall monetary stability. The Nicaraguan Government has participated in successful completion of negotiations of the Central American Free Trade Agreement.
Nicaragua is set to benefit from rapid and sustained economic growth in the years to come. The passage of several laws specifically designed to attract and protect foreign investors have opened an exciting window for investment in Nicaragua. Those arriving will have witnessed the massive upgrade taking place in roads and utilities, particularly in Granada, the capital Managua, the beach town San Juan del Sur and elsewhere on the Pacific coast.
Nicaragua's budding economy is growing faster than the Latin American average of 3%. The 5.2% economic expansion reported for 2012 was driven by a 30% growth in construction and 18% growth in exports. But despite the booming economic growth, Nicaragua remains the most affordable location in Central America. A place where you can reinvent your life, without burning through your money.
It takes little imagination to see where Nicaragua is heading.
A new Lonely Planet guide to the country will be published in October, and is available on pre-order. Here's the link to the current edition, packed with the quality information travelers have come to expect from Lonely Planet, including some off-the-beaten-track trip ideas. Locals also sound off about their favorite bars, towns and sunset views. Get the details here.
The latest edition of Moon Nicaragua (Moon Handbooks) was released in 2010. If you are looking for insider knowledge about the country then this is the book to get. This edition has been fully updated and is packed full of rich insight and well-researched information.
The same author, Joshua Berman, has also written a guide to living in the country called Moon Living Abroad in Nicaragua. This guide is a must-have for anyone considering moving to Nicaragua full time (or even for a few months of the year). The book is smart, organized, and straightforward. It provides a step by step guide to setting up your daily life in the country.
The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey is a personal narrative by Salman Rushdie, written when he visited Nicaragua in 1986 . Times have moved on, some of the characters have changed but many of his arguments still ring loud and clear. Exactly what you would expect the 1980 Booker Prize winning author of Midnight's Children: A Novel
No reading list for Nicaragua would be complete without The Country Under My Skin: A Memoir of Love and War The story follows Belli from her upper class roots to the underground Sandinista movement. Belli is the author of the much acclaimed novel The Inhabited Woman.
For advice, tips, lots of checklists (and a great roadmap) for buying property overseas check out: How to Buy Property Overseas For Profit and Lifestyle published by RevealRealEstate.com. Right now it's only available on the Kindle (via Amazon). We'll let you know when the hardcopy version comes out.
Law 344: Establishes equal treatment of foreign and domestic investment, eliminates restrictions on the way in which foreign capital can enter the country, and recognizes the foreign investor's right to own and use property without limitation.
CAFTA: The Nicaraguan Government has participated in successful completion of negotiations of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).
Business: In 2005 GE acquired a 49.9% stake in BAC Bank, one of Central America’s largest banks.
HIPC: After completing conditions of an IMF-monitored economic program, Nicaragua has been granted relief of foreign debt via the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.
Property: Three major title insurance companies offer insurance on property in Nicaragua: First American, Stuart Title and Land America.
Arbitration: Nicaragua is a party to the Inter-American Convention on Arbitration.
Security: Nicaragua is the safest country, and Granada is one of the safest cities, in all of Central America. –INCAE.
OPIC: The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and an Nicaraguan investment promotion agency have agreed to promote U.S. small-business investment in Nicaragua.
Retirement: Nicaragua improved the tax incentives and benefits offered under its retirement program in 2009, making it one of the most attractive in the region.
Tourism: Tourism visitors in 2010 exceeded 1 million for the first time, and have been growing year on year since.
The views from the property are magnificent. View Listing.
Ocean view villa in a luxury resort for $115,000. View Listing.
A beachfront condo sitting 3 stories high. View Listing.
A value-packed, Eco-inspired acreage opportunity. View Listing.
These condos are truly a grade above the rest. View listing.
One of the best views of San Juan del Sur bay. View Listing.
You'll want to frame the view from this luxury home. View Listing.
Join a whole community of green living. View Listing.
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