Good and Bad News – Rent prices for a nice house starts at about $300
My first rental experience was very good for learning about Nica culture and making new friendships with my neighbors, and it wasn’t good for my 1st time doing business with a property owner.
I rented a house in a small middle-class gated 20 home community with a pool and communal areas. It had a high HOA fee, for Nicaragua ($60), a total of $1200 monthly (a lot of money to spend on cheap Nica labor to pay for repairs) and the place was a mess. Unfortunately, the fee wasn’t typically used to execute regular maintenance; therefore, the play areas were in gross disrepair. They didn’t even plan to do maintenance, so it got to be a very bad investment, while living there, because I didn’t have full use of the facilities that I was paying top dollar for.
How they do biz-ness: my experience has been that people are typically very slow to act and somewhat unreliable, I would schedule a time with the gardener, for house repairs or to be painted and the person just doesn’t show up and doesn’t call or give an excuse call. (it’s kinda pathetic and immature, but a subject for another blog, (per many Nicas, it’s said that Nicas have a reputation of not wanting to work).
The house owner was almost always slow to fix problems in the house, they may have a lot of money and own a lot of property, but have no real education in best business practices, such as, property management (like in the USA or Europe). Too frequently, people have jobs they aren’t qualified for. It was and can be a nightmare when trying to get something done here.
The woman I rented from was married to well off man from Spain and she had her job, because she’s his wife (she was no Ivana Trump); basically, she had no idea how to run a real estate management operation on the scale she needed to effectively manage. She was arrogant and clueless. Her communication was awful, she would make appointments and not show up, or text you after you waited all day for the repair man or her. She had no respect for my time, always had an excuse, was mostly unapologetic, very cheap (never wanted to pay for basic repairs) and just very frustrating to deal with for the entire year.
She insisted I pay for painting (even though, the house needed painting when I moved in), then she charged me for repainting, I paid in total $300 to paint her house. The house leaked severely from the roof during rain, and it took 8 months to repair; the first floor was flooded (took me all day to clean and ruined my new rug) she never mentioned it or repaired the bathroom that caused the flood; I had 2 used non-functioning refrigerators (all my food spoiled 3X), eventually, I had to buy one of my own.
The worse part: She needed proof that I paid the rent for the entire year, because I made direct bank deposits, per her request, but I guess there was no accounts receivable process (to manage 10+ properties); then, afterwards, she also failed to read the deposit amount listed, (on the bank receipts, which she demanded) nor did she bother to read the note I sent, telling her she paid too me back too much– ironically, again, she gives me more money than owed. I mean, amazingly idiotic and INCOMPETENT.
Now this isn’t necessarily a Nicaraguense issue– honestly, she was just a ditz!
Side Note: like in many countries outside of the so called “Western World”, you’re going to need to adjust to their culture’s sense of time, so some of this flightiness is just that they move slower, with certain things. However, I can’t use this as an excuse for my old landlord.
I would never live in another house and pay an HOA– unless, you are in a very ritzy area paying an HOA of $120 a month and $2000 to rent a house (with Europeans or American expats); otherwise, they just don’t seem to understand the concept of the HOA to do any regular repairs with the money and/or use it poorly– (3 weeks after I moved, the playground swing set and slide totally fell apart– I am so glad I left just in time, avoiding more frustration and a waste of money).
or start a new post.