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Six Tips to Finding Affordable Long Term Rentals in Nicaragua

With more and more people relocating to Nicaragua finding a desirable and affordable rental isn’t always easy. But if you’re persistent, avoid getting discouraged and follow these tips you might just find your perfect rental today!

#1

POUNDING THE PAVEMENT:
Since most locals rent their homes by placing a small “SE ALQUILA” sign on the front of the house get out there every single day and walk the neighborhoods that you’re interested in living in.  Properties commonly rent on a month to month basis – so beware – a home that was occupied yesterday may be available today and then gone tomorrow.  Remember – you aren’t the only one pounding the pavement – the best deals come and go in the blink of an eye.

#2

WORD OF MOUTH:
Tell everyone you know that you’re looking for rental. Talk to expats and business owners in the area. Post messages in forums and Facebook groups such as Expats in NicaraguaExpats in San Juan del Sur. When we were looking for a long term rental in San Juan del Sur we talked to so many people there were times when random waiters at restaurants would approach us as we were walking by to tell us they had a friend or family member who had a place for rent.

#3

CLASSIFIED ADS:
Typically classified ads for long term rentals are posted by foreigners or computer savvy Nicas who expect a higher price for their properties because they know how to market. There are some good deals to be found through classified ads, but the very best opportunities are almost always found through word of mouth or pounding the pavement. Listed below are  a couple classified sites that are worth checking out.

Craigslist
Encuentra24
Nicaragua Community Classifieds

#4

REAL ESTATE AGENCIES:
Although most real estate agents and property managers deal almost exclusively with highly priced, short term vacation rentals occasionally they do have a gem in their back pocket. On occasion they may have a few sale listings where the seller wants to rent out their home while they wait for a buyer.  Visiting local real estate agencies is definitely worthwhile, but consider this option a long shot to finding your rental.

#5

BULLETIN BOARDS:
Posting boards are commonly found in bars, restaurants, corner stores, laundry mats, hostels, etc. and are also a good place to find rentals.  It’s not uncommon for the business owner to have a home for rent, so don’t forget to enquire with the proprietor and his/her staff.

#6

NEGOTIATE A SHORT TERM RENTAL INTO SOMETHING LONG TERM
If you find yourself searching for a rental during slow season and you’re willing to sign a long term lease you may just be lucky enough to negotiate a fair price on a short term rental turning into an affordable long term option. It never hurts to ask.

A House to Write Home About: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

One month shy of our one year anniversary in Nicaragua we moved into our seventh rental house.

Our new place sits high on a hill in a neighborhood that locals refer to as Barrio Chino. The extra altitude allows us to take advantage of the nearly constant offshore breezes.

Situated three short blocks from the beach and about 130 steps from our best friend’s place the location of our seventh rental couldn’t be better!

A House with a View

– From this high vantage point we have a great view of the city and the day to day activities of our Nica neighbors.

– There is no better place to enjoy a cup of Nicaraguan black gold with my buddy Coco.

The market comes to us daily via the fruit and vegetable trucks that stop in our neighborhood.

Water, pop, juice and beer are delivered to our door from a local distributor.  Our delivery boy  – who comes by almost every day to see if we have an order – is a young man who drives a three-wheel bike with a huge basket on the front. 

We often see an older fellow with a horse drawn buggy delivering milk in the mornings. He transports the milk in large metal canisters and uses a huge ladle to scoop it into into his customers’ pitchers, bowls or buckets.

A House to Write Home About

The monthly rent for this lovely three bedroom, two bathroom casa on the hill is $500 USD per month. High speed Internet and Cable TV are included in our rent.  

Electricity is our only extra cost.

A House to Write Home About

– We have air conditioning in the bedrooms, but due to the high cost of electricity in Nicaragua we use it sparingly.

A House to Write Home About

– After a year of “cool” showers it’s a real treat to have hot water.

IMGP0878

– With San Juan del Sur’s frequent water outages the huge water tanks on our roof come in handy.

The kitchen and living area is open concept, which we love.  A living room with two seating areas, combined with a”bar” in the kitchen makes this house perfect for entertaining.

A House to Write Home About

– Windows wrap around the entire house making it bright and airy.

Rockers

A House to Write Home About

– Our large kitchen makes meal prep easy and enjoyable.

As mentioned in previous posts finding a comfortable and affordable long term rental in San Juan del Sur takes a bit of effort. So as you can imagine we feel quite lucky to have found such a nice place.

For the first time since leaving Canada twelve months ago we finally have a home and it feels great!

We are really enjoying our new digs and San Juan del Sur. For now we’ve committed to six months here, but quite honestly, we don’t foresee moving again until we take the plunge and buy (or build) something of our own.

We’re looking forward to celebrating the Christmas season and ringing in the New Year with our friends and family here in beautiful San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua!

Another Rental Home: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

On October 4th we moved into our sixth rental since arriving in Nicaragua ten and a half months ago. It is a fully furnished two bedroom, one bath home in the barrio of Frente Sur.  The monthly rent is $300 USD. Water and cable TV are included, but we are responsible to cover the extra cost of electricity and internet.

Another Rental Home:  San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Bienvenidos Al Barrio Frente Sur

When Gord and I were planning our move to Nicaragua we discussed living in a Nica neighborhood, rather than a gated community and this is just one of the things we love our new place – it’s location. 

Another Rental Home:  San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Home Sweet Home

Another Rental Home - San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Our Street

The front porch is our favorite part of the house. It’s a great place to sit and enjoy a cold Tona (local beer) while watching real Nica life happen around us. 

Rental Home - San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Rental House - San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– At times it’s difficult to get Gord out of his hammock chair

As with most Nicaraguan neighborhoods there are a few roosters and some noisy dogs around. There are also lots of kids playing in the street, some of which happen to be very entertaining. 

We have traveling sales people come through selling everything you can imagine – and maybe even some things you can’t. The lady who came by the other day carrying an armload of bras and a suitcase full of boxers made us chuckle. Door to door underwear sales?  Really?

Al Barrio Frente Sur - San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Through the front door you enter the living room which comfortably seats four.

Rental Home - San Juan del Sur

Rental Home - San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

To the right of the living room is the master bedroom. It’s just big enough for a queen bed and wardrobe for our clothes. We may not have a lot of space, but we do have a comfy mattress and that makes me very happy.

Rental Home - San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Our second favourite feature in the house is the shower. It’s double wide and has loads of water flow and pressure. Of all the places we’ve rented in Nicaragua to date, this shower gets our vote as the best!

Rental Home - San Juan del Sur

Rental Home - San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– In full Nica fashion we have a teal toilet and beige sink

Compared to our last place the kitchen in our new house is a dream. We are excited to have counter space for food prep which means we can get back to eating more meals at home again.  

Rental Home - San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Rental Home - San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Can we offer you a drink?

Rental Home - San Juan del Sur, Nicaragau

– As you can see we are without cupboard or cabinet space, but boxes and baskets work just as well

Rental Home - San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Beautiful tropical flowers grow just outside our kitchen window

Our guest bedroom is just off the kitchen. It too, is very basic with a queen bed and small wardrobe for clothes. I find it a bit odd that there is no window in the room, but apparently this is quite common here in Nica.

Rental Home - San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Rental Home - San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

We are really enjoying everything our new little house has to offer.  In fact it’s the first place we rented that feels like a home. But – we’re only here temporarily.

Next month we’re moving on to bigger and better things. We were able to secure a three bedroom, two bathroom, air conditioned house here in town.  It’s up on the hill overlooking San Juan and has huge windows on three sides that will allow the nearly constant off-shore winds to blow through. We have committed to 6 months in this house, but realistically we can’t see moving…unless…we decide to build a home of our own.

We can’t wait to move in to the new place and are super pumped that friends and family will now have a comfortable place to stay in beautiful San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.

Soooooooo….who wants to come for a visit???

Living Large in a Long Term Rental: Granada, Nicaragua

For $550 USD per month, plus electricity we are now living large at Vista Mombacho Apartments. Our brand new studio apartment is centrally located in the beautiful colonial city of Granada. We are just four blocks from La Colonial Supermercado and about seven blocks from Calle la Calzeda.

Our favorite thing about Vista Mombacho is the large saltwater pool. Although this area looks a little sparse at the moment plants are being delivered and planted daily.

We’ve already enjoyed a couple of days relaxing pool side with our kindles and cold Tona and we look forward to many more to come.

Second on our list of favorite features at Vista Mombacho is the BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze) Rooftop Terrace. It offers great views and cool gentle breezes off the lake.  We can’t wait for the barbecue to be installed so we can start taking advantage of this awesome outdoor space.

The living, dining and kitchen area is a combined space. In case we have a guest that needs to crash over for the night the futon lays out flat to make a bed.

 

In the kitchen we have ample cupboard space with a double stainless steel sink and a full size fridge with freezer.  Our four burner gas stove has an oven and we are equipped with everything we need to cook and bake.  From pots and pans and cutlery to baking sheets – we have it all!

Our dining table seats two and doubles as our office at times when we are working on blog updates or just surfing the net.

Our bedroom area is outfitted with a very cozy, but comfortable double bed.  The large windows allow for a nice breeze to blow through pretty much all of the time.  The ceiling fan helps with the airflow and allows us to sleep very well at night without having to use the air conditioner.

We have a extra large closet with built in dresser and shelving that allows us to tuck away our clothes and other miscellaneous belongings so that everything is out of sight and that I like!

Vista Mombacho offers a couple different floor plans but we opted for the studio apartment. We were drawn to it’s open concept and the gorgeous cane ceilings.

As a bonus we have a great spot to store our suitcases and other large items that wouldn’t fit in the closet.  Gord being a “do-it-yourselfer” decided it wasn’t necessary to bother our maintenance guy Ricardo for the ladder; he just climbed on up and got the job done.

I love, love that our place is brand new and clean.  To ensure it stays that way we have maid service twice per week that is included in the cost of our rent. Wi-fi and cable television are also included in the monthly rental fee. Worth noting is the fact that we have hot water and air conditioning, even though we aren’t currently using either one.

Our bathroom isn’t overly large but it’s functional and like the rest of the apartment it’s new and clean!  The shower is equipped with an on-demand hot water heating system but with daily temperatures in the mid to high 30s we’re not sure who would ever want a hot shower. Not us – that’s for sure!  We turned off the breaker on day one.

In the event that we want to entertain we have a large community kitchen available by reservation.  However, with the limited number of Nica friends we currently have we don’t forsee any dinner parties in our near future.  It’s nice to have,  just the same.

And last, but certainly not least, another great feature at our apartment complex is the two bedroom guest suite available for friends and family who don’t want to pay for expensive hotels when they come to visit. It doesn’t have a kitchen, but sleeps five and the rental fee of just $20 USD per night. Gord and I are wondering who our first guests will be.  *Hint, hint!*

Here at Vista Mombacho we feel like we are living on a mini-resort.  And in case you haven’t figured it out yet – IT ROCKS!

If you would like more information regarding Vista Mombacho Apartments or are interested in renting a unit you may contact Glenn or Jeannie Koons by telephone at  (512) 346-2326 or by email at contactowner@granadahomerental.net.
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