Along with firming plans for deepwater port in nearby Monkey Point and a new trans-Nicaraguan paved road from the Pacific to the Atlantic, there are reports and rumors of plans to build a new international airport in the nearby provincial capital of Bluefields and to retrofit the Big Corn Island airport and runway for international flights from Miami and Costa Rica.
The best one can hope to get for a prime beachfront lot with a house on it these days, elsewhere in the Caribbean, is $1,300 to $1,500 per square meter in places like Jamaica, Aruba and the Dominican Republic. But Serenity Real Estate’s Despeignes points out that the Corn Islands offer tranquil, but accessible beachfront for less than $29 per square meter — not far from the center of town or the island airport.
Nicaragua is not only Central America´s best value — it´s the Caribbean´s,” said Despeignes of Serenity. “But buyer beware: There are serious property conflicts on the island, requiring extra due diligence.”
As of December 2007, Nicaragua has effectively ended the rolling blackouts that stifled development for much of the past 2 years. Credit is given to 3 power plants coming on the grid in November. The government projects to have a surplus of power by mid 2008.
To encourage foreign investments, the government passed Law 306 that gives a 10-year tax exemption from income and real estate taxes. There are about 6,000 American expatriates and retirees living in Nicaragua, and the number is rising.
Nicaragua’s retiree incentive program draws thousands of expatriates to reside in the country. To qualify for the program, one has to be over 45 and has a monthly income of at least US$400. Foreign retirees are entitled to these benefits:
Pay no taxes on any out-of-country earnings
Can bring into Nicaragua up to US$10,000 of household goods for their own home, duty free
Can import one vehicle for personal or general use duty- and tariff-free, and sell it after five years, exempt from consumer sales tax.
Can import an additional automobile every five years under the same duty exemptions.
Most purchases are cash transactions with the buyer and seller directly negotiating. And beware – determining who exactly the owner of a property is can be difficult.
Generally, properties that changed ownership during the communist Sandinista regime in the 1980s should be avoided. The Sandinista nationalized several land areas and converted them to cooperatives during their rule that ended in 1990.