When I work with someone who is considering buying a home in Nicaragua, I am not in a hurry because I understand it is an entire process. It can take a year before someone says “OK, I’m ready; I’ll buy it.”
Before making any decision, I advise my clients to stay a couple of months, explore, check things out, talk with everybody, etc. You have to be convinced that you want to buy in Nicaragua. We have different rules and our society has a different way of doing things. My recommendations for anyone who has never been in Nicaragua is first to come as a tourist, then talk with locals and expats who can explain how things work. Obviously, you’re going to hear good and bad comments about people’s experiences. I would rather say to try it first as a tourist and then see if Nicaragua is your place.
Be patient. The first thing you need to do is to know that, compared with many other places, in Nicaragua things don’t happen fast. We have ways of doing things that we follow. Nicaragua is still a country whose people are learning how to do many things, for example, to provide better customer service. By North American standards, some people are lazy.
Know as many people as you can, and you need to be cautious. Don’t just jump at the first thing that’s presented to you.
I recommend highly that you find a local hotel with a good reputation that can tell you easily who to talk to, because they are used to recommending people. I would definitely not work with someone just from the street. You have to be very careful not to deal with those “runners”, which is our name for less than qualified people who show you properties or lawyers who offer that everything can be done without full disclosure.
Never, ever, sign a document in Spanish without having the English version in your hands, and always take it to a lawyer that speaks some English.