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Kent Payne of Gran Pacifica – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Nicaragua has a wide variety of homes and they, in many ways, are different that those in the United States or Canada.  The similarities are self-evident…..walls, floor, roof, bedrooms, common areas.  But the styles can be vastly different, and with designs for different purposes.
Nicaraguan Provencail Backyard with Pool – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
Styles, for the most part are what we’d call colonial, Spanish colonial, or Nicaraguan provincial.  In Granada, for example, the colonial style will include high walls straight up from sidewalk.  There will be doors along a series of connected walls along a sidewalk/street.  Each door covers the entrance to an interior courtyard, with flowers and trees growing inside what is essentially the house. The bedrooms, kitchen and maid’s quarters/laundry room surround the courtyard.   Some of the original concrete wall supports may be hundreds of years old, with layers of construction on top of each other.
In Managua, the Spanish Colonial (Mediterranean) styles include walls around a large home, making an estate.  The home will be constructed of concrete and steel, much like a commercial building in North America.   Most homes in the states are concrete slab, or on concrete supports, with wood construction (2x4 walls) sheetrock inside and brick, stucco, or clapboard on the outside.  Homes in the states may be subject to termite infestation, but this can be treated.  Because the potential for heavy infestation, builders in Nicaragua construct with concrete and steel columns, with heavy headers (over doors and windows) and then use concrete block for filling the walls.  Most of the roof in the states are plywood or OSB (oriented strand board) which make up the decking, and then covered with tar paper and then covered again with shingles.  In Central America, the joists are usually steel, covered with metal or a type of corrugated fiberglass, and this has the look of roof tiles.   In Granada, and many of the beach resorts, the roof tiles are hand-formed tile, and give an old world look to the completed homes.
Beach areas have varied looks, and in the development where I live there is a style called Nicaraguan provincial as in the picture above.  This allows for long, low rooflines and very large front terraces and back porches.  The homes sometimes have a maid’s quarters attached to the laundry or kitchen areas, giving the family space to enjoy without have worry of meal preparation or laundry activity.  All in all there are many “Spanish” styles, and home sized from 800 sq. ft. to mansions of over 6,000 sq. ft. on several levels.  
Mario Robleto of SAENICSA Accounting and Tax Services – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
 Nicaraguan house – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn Nicaragua, they use a lot more artisanal construction methods. They use a lot of re-bar, a lot of iron, a lot of stone, a lot of cement, a lot of zinc, a lot of steel. There are very few houses made of wood. There are very few houses with poured concrete. There are very few houses with shingled roofs. There are a few but it’s usually only Nicaragua’s elite that has them. So construction methods here are more rustic and use a lot more basic materials—cement, re-bar, zinc.
Other than that you can find construction that uses the newest methods.  The WalMart store, for example, is very similar to a Wal-Mart in the US. So while construction methods can vary, in the general sense most of what you see is basically concrete and steel.  
(Nicaraguan house, pictured.)
Esmerelda Vargas of Schuvar Tours – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Nicaragua dining room – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe homes in Nicaragua do not have centralized air-conditioning and heaters, but there are also big homes here that are like the ones in the US. 
What you will not find here in Nicaragua are buildings. There are a few buildings. Nicaragua is very similar to Miami because if you see Miami, most of the homes there only have one floor and you will not see a lot of buildings. It is the same here in Nicaragua. Most people here in Nicaragua have homes with only one level.  
(One story Nicaraguan home with colored plastered walls, pictured.)
Frank Martínez of DISCOVER Real Estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Houses in Managua Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe homes in Nicaragua are different than the ones in the US or Canada, relative to a number of factors.
  • First, homes are built with concrete or cement in Nicaragua because of the earthquake situation.
  • Secondly, Nicaraguan homes don’t use light materials like they do in the States. Nicaraguan houses only have concrete blocks or concrete.
  • Third, Nicaraguan houses are two-stories at most. That is the highest they can go because of the occurrence of earthquakes.
  • Fourth, Nicaraguans tend to buy houses with large patios or gardens.
  • Fifth, Nicaragua has good standards. We have good architects and developers who build good houses with good construction and in good surroundings. We implement a lot of methods in Nicaragua that are also used in the United States. For example, all condominiums have club houses. We are trying to copy the lifestyle in the United States and Canada, but we build the houses in Nicaragua in a very secure manner.
Carlos Roman Gutierrez Solis of Casa Granada Properties – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
houses homes Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe city of Granada is just like any other city in Spain where the most prominent homes are always closer to the center and the less desirable neighborhoods are the ones that are farther away from the plaza.
The city is getting bigger and is starting to extend further out, so the government is now putting more money into the infrastructure in those areas that used to be considered not ideal for living. I have been working in Granada for eight years now and I have seen a lot of differences then and now. There used to be no roads and no sewage, but now that the city is moving forward, I see new roads and new sewage systems. Even the old and unpleasant looking neighborhoods are now looking better.  The roads are now paved. The houses that were not paid much attention to are now being fixed by the local Nicaraguans who own them.
My market is now changing because we now have more Nicas coming back from Costa Rica, Los Angeles, and Miami and they are trying to buy homes in Granada. I have more Nicaraguans looking at my website and checking out my listings. A lot of the Nicaraguans who have left the country and went to places like the US are now looking at moving back, and they are bringing their money with them. Some of those places in Granada that were not as nice before, are now being upgraded by people who are bringing in money from other places who are actually native Nicaraguans.
There is also another group of Nicas who are married to expats. These people are maybe 60 to 70 years old now and are similar to an American couple trying to leave the States because they don't have a lot of money and their budget is too tight, so they try to put their budget somewhere else. The only difference is that they are from Nicaragua, so for them to make the decision of living here is easier because they know the place. In my opinion, the confidence in our future in Nicaragua is much stronger now than it was before; otherwise, nobody would put more money in the country like today.
In the States, you will be expecting to pay $300,000 to $400,000 for a house, but then you realize that you do not have the budget for it, so you start looking into other places where you can get a decent house to live in. In Nicaragua, you will find houses for $85,000 and on top of that, you will pay less tax. Nicaraguans are not as demanding as Americans are in quality or style. Houses here have the same four walls, the same roof above their head, the same windows and door, and a toilet, the only difference is the price.
Tanya Hartill of NicaTour Group – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Beachfront properties in Nicaragua are cheaper than in the US, but they are equally beautiful. Beach communities have a laid-back lifestyle. Gran Pacifica, like most beach communities, has a golf course attached to it. There are also little shops around these communities where basic necessities can be bought, so expats won't have to drive to the nearest city to get what they need. However, for most groceries and supplies people will have to drive to the larger towns/cities
There are coastal communities on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua where you can buy properties in gated communities varying from condos to beach houses There are property developments well underway at Tamarindo Beach. Other property developments include:
  • Montecristo
  • Rancho Santana
  • Guacalito (which is part of Carlos Pellas’ development group)

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