If you find vacant land in Granada, Nicaragua, you are not bound by having to maintain colonial architecture. In that case, you can build using the materials we do now: concrete, brick, columns, reinforced walls, metal roof, tile, etc. and you can build a swimming pool where you want. In Granada, you can do pretty much anything you want on vacant land. It’s much less restrictive to build on vacant land than to remodel a colonial house. (See my answer under “How hard is it to remodel in Nicaragua” for a discussion of the restrictions relative to remodeling in Granada.)
The price to build a home in Granada ranges from US $350 / square meter ($32 / square foot) to $600 / square meter ($56 / square foot), depending on the quality you want. Wood is expensive, metal is expensive, but labor costs in Granada are inexpensive. As a result, the overall cost of building a home in Granada balances out with materials and labor costs to be much less than building a home in the US.
For $350 / square meter, you will get a basic home; concrete with non-luxury finishes. However, you would be surprised how nice it could be, depending on the quality, competence, and connections of your builder. At $350 / square meter, a 2,000 square foot home would cost you roughly $64,000 to build.
For $480 / square meter, if you have a good architect with good workers, you can do a lot very well; you can have a very nice home. At $480 / square meter, the same 2,000 square foot home would cost you $89,000 to build.
For $650 / sure meter, you would get a very nice home, with cedar and mahogany, good tiles, good finished floor, good appliances, good water faucets, granite countertops, etc. At $650 / square meter, the same 2,000 square foot home would cost you $112,000 to build.
All of these costs are without the land. The cost for land in Granada varies extremely, depending on many factors, including how far away the land is from the center of town. The lots in the center of town are the most expensive. I’ll give you some examples, starting at the center of town.
- In the center of Granada, it will cost you $50,000 to $60,000 for a 350 square meter lot (not even 1/10th of an acre). For $200,000, you can buy a 1,000 square meter lot (about a quarter of an acre).
- Seven to ten blocks from the center of Granada, it will cost you $50,000 for 600 square meters (about .15 of an acre)
- Ten minutes from the Granada city center in a nice, safe, tranquil area, $50,000 will buy you 1,000 square meters (about a quarter of an acre).
- Just outside the city of Granada, I’m buying a 15 acre piece of property $207,000.
In addition to having land that is much, much less expensive, the area just outside the city actually has a nicer elevation and a nice breeze, but it still feels close to the city.