Retiring Way, Way South of the Border
Americans are starting to head into Central America for retirement, lured by luxury real estate and eased residency requirements.
Nicaragua is the latest country to attempt to grab North American interest. In Guacalito de la Isla, a 16,070-acre coastal development—with 600 residences, a pool, restaurant and gym—is under construction. A two-hour drive from Managua’s international airport, the project includes a plan to open a small airport by 2015. The first homes—28 single-family houses—will be turned over to owners in September. The four-bedroom, four-bath pool houses sold for between $700,000 and $750,000, said Jeff Lawrence, director of real estate. A luxury hotel-resort on the property, Mukul, opened in January and has helped boost sales, he said.
“The buyers right now are 85% Nicaraguan and 15% U.S. based,” Mr. Lawrence said. “There is an education hurdle for us to convince people that Nicaragua is safe and is a tropical paradise.”