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Eddy Marin-Ruiz of The Mortgage Store Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
picking coffee Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere is no escrow process in the country of Nicaragua, so all transactions for real estate are handled through an attorney.
 
There are plenty of choices if you need to get an attorney in Nicaragua. I would definitely look for their reputation and ask for references.  There are plenty of reputable attorneys. Getting an attorney is one of the things that you would want to price shop for. I would recommend to people that “cheap” is not best here in Nicaragua, especially when it comes to professional services. 
 
When purchasing property, one of the biggest concerns that a potential buyer would have is making sure that they have the registry of the property dating back to 1979, in order to get comfort that there weren’t any illegal transactions. During the Civil War, there were some possession rights and issues during specific times in Nicaragua. 
 
The main thing that I have to explain to people when buying property in Nicaragua is that it is Fee Simple Title. They do own it. It has been a common misconception in Latin America that everywhere is like Mexico, where it is a 99-year lease.  That is not the case here in Nicaragua. 
 
There are title insurance companies that have been in Nicaragua. First American Title is one of them but unfortunately, they ceased operation not only in Nicaragua but also in all of Latin America. I have been in close communication with other title companies such as Stewart Title this is looking to come in to Nicaragua. Having title insurance would definitely help the comfort level as far as buying property for foreigners and for expats. Right now, making sure the title is good is done through the process of getting an attorney, reviewing the history of the property of more than 30 years, and then getting a certification that the property has a clean title.
 
(Nicaragua coffee farm, pictured.)
Frank Martínez of DISCOVER Real Estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Residencial Malibu near San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
It is recommended that you hire an attorney when buying a house in Nicaragua because he will take you through the entire process. He makes sure that the property has a very solid and legal background going back 30 years or more. He makes sure that it is registered property and you won’t have any issues with the previous owners. He also makes sure that your interest is protected. 
 
(Overlooking San Juan del Sur in Residencial Malibu, Nicaragua, pictured.)
John-Marc Gallagher of Granada Property Services – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

When buying a property in Nicaragua, I highly recommend hiring an attorney to take the existing title and go to the National Registry of the city in which you are buying. The National Registry is a large room with books that are about 2 square feet wide and 4 inches thick.
 
The Spaniards have always been very good at recording history. You can go back to the Spanish archives in cities in Spain where every single cask, hogshead, or bottle of mineral oil is cataloged on boats and ships that were sailing the oceans in the 1400s, the 1500s and the 1600s so that when someone finds a ship at the bottom of the sea, they know what is going to be on that ship or they know what should have been on that ship. My point is, when a property was sold in the 1600s in Granada and sold again in the 1700s and again in 1720 and again, until the present time, all of those deeds have been recorded. You can go back 200 years and see every single time that property has been recorded.
 
When First American Title was here, they required 70 to 100 years of records depending on where the property was. They required 70 years of title records for city properties and 100 years for beach and lakeside properties. They wanted to see who bought it and sold it and when all that happened. They also check if there were liens on it for the last 70 years. All of that documentation exists in the form of longhand on these giant books in the National Registry. The books, the pages, and the entries are numbered and all those numbers exist on your title.
 
So if you want to buy a property in Nicaragua, it’s preferable to hire an attorney to go back to the registry and get the information you need. Within 24 hours, she will have had the time to write a report on how many times that property was bought, sold, liened against, or paid off. If there is anything outstanding on that property, such as a lien or a loan, it will be registered on that book of registry at the city in Nicaragua in which you are looking to buy the property. It is like title search but there is no insurance on that. If your attorney makes a mistake, you could be in trouble.  This is not a problem very often, however, because It is actually very clear in the registry books what happened to a piece of property for hundreds of years.
 
 

Brett DeGreen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
In Nicaragua, hiring a competent attorney is a critical part of all real estate transactions.  You need an attorney who will thoroughly check the history of the real estate you intend to purchase and to verify that all the documentation is correct and accurate.  An attorney is required to create the deed and sale of the property as well as registration of the property in the name of the new owner.  
Paul Tiffer of TIFFER & ASOCIATES – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
If somebody is going to buy a Real Estate property in Nicaragua it is imperative that the person hire a lawyer who must be able to research the history of the property and confirm if no there is any lien or encumbrance. At the same time a Nicaraguan lawyer is a Public Notary and will be able to prepare the Writ in order to transfer the title (at the closing).
 
Nicaraguan law just accepts contracts written in Spanish and with the formalities the law states prepared by a Public Notary in an special paper called: legal paper. Any agreement in English or any other languages in not legal.
 
The final and longer step is the registration into the name of the buyer.  Depending on the area and kind of property it could be between three months to six months if there is any delay. The buyer has the right to hire his own legal / lawyer advisor who must protect the interests of his client.
 
It is not mandatory to be resident to buy a Real Estate property in Nicaragua.
 
It is imperative to know the transfer tax must be paid by the seller. The transfer tax is gradual depending the price of the property:
  • from US $1 to $50,000 the tax will be the 1%;
  • from $50,001 to $100,000, is the 2%;
  • from $100,001 to  200,000 is the 3%;
  • and from $200,001 to up the tax is 4% of the property.
The registration cost must be paid for by the buyer and is gradual too with a ceiling of $1,500
 
Finally just in San Juan del Sur and Tola Municipally there is an extraordinary and additional Municipal tax of 1% for the transaction and must be paid by the seller, too.
 
Best Regards
Tuey Murdock of Title Coordination Services (TCS) – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I often give presentations to groups of individuals who would like to buy real estate in Nicaragua and wish to know what due diligence they should undertake when buying property here.
 
My first suggestion is retain the services of your own Nicaraguan attorney. The attorney should be able to communicate with you the buyer, so if you do not speak Spanish fluently and understand legal terms, it is important to retain an English speaking attorney. Also, the attorney should understand the need to communicate by email often and in clear and understandable language. Since the common law in North America is not the same as the civil law of Nicaragua, the attorney should be able to clearly explain the differences and what to watch out for when acquiring land. The attorney should also only represent you the buyer, not the seller or the real estate agent. 

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