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An Expat Talks about Moving to
Jul 17, 2017
Central Square in Leon, Nicaragua
An expat who moved to Leon, Nicaragua talks about how she chose Leon, finding her first place to live with the help of a local real estate agency, getting advice from other expats before she moved and much more. She advises others to bring more sheets and towels, more pots and pans and to leave fancy, warm clothing and shoes at home.
What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
More pots and pans - quality cookware is not easily available.
More sheets and towels - cotton sheets are impossible to find.
More hair products - it is impossible to find the products that my hair type needs.
I could have left all of my high heeled shoes, my jackets and most of my jewelry. My life here is simple and I don't need all the "trappings" I am used to, and it is too hot for jackets at any time of day.
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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
I encourage anyone serious about relocating to reach out to the ExPat web site group before you move here. They are full of sound advice on what is necessary to bring and what you can buy here. My kitchen and bedroom would be in sad shape if they hadn't advised me, as I'm advising you above. Also, spend a week or more visiting before you fully commit to the move. You will find that what you thought you knew was just the surface of what your new town is about. I spent 4 days here before making the decision to move and I fell in love with the vibes of life I got from the people around me. Leon is a lively town with very active people and I wouldn't have known that. Work with a realtor on finding your first place to live, they know what is safe and what isn't. Once you're there, you can discover your next place to live on your own. Bring someone with you going to the airport because Managua changes their luggage allowances with no advance notice. I had to leave one of my suitcases with my daughter.. If you are bringing pets, that is another whole ordeal, so make preparations months in advance. Good luck!
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
I currently live in an apartment within a community. It's a one bedroom with hot water, washer-dryer and air conditioning, which is very unusual for Leon. This is another reason why I chose this neighborhood, the houses have more amenities. Next year I plan to move to a small home in the community because I miss having a yard and patio. ExPats here live in a variety of areas in the city, there is no one spot heavily populated by ExPats, in fact, Leon itself is not heavily populated by ExPats, which is why I chose it.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
I worked with a realty company that I had found while at a conference. I went on the web to narrow down some choices and then spent a day looking at my short list. It quickly became apparent that I would not feel safe in all neighborhoods as a single female and so I chose the best and safest neighborhood in the city. This was a good decision as I can walk my dog at night with no fear.
Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
My housing costs are 1/4 of what I would pay in my old state of PA and 1/2 of what I would pay in the lower cost area of the southern US.
You can rent a decent house in Leon for $300 a month. If you want air, a dryer and hot water, you will pay more. Also, when the listing says unfurnished, it means there is absolutely nothing in it but 4 walls and a toilet and sinks.
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On the Nicaragua Expat Forum
Residencies Processing Faster
I posted this earlier on another thread, but it was a long thread that meandered in many strange directions :)
I've seen three really fast residencies,, where before it was taking a year or longer,, now six months or less seems to be the norm. Here's the post:
This seems a good time to be applying, despite the political situation. I found INTUR very welcoming.
I used a young lady in Estelí to package my residency and interface with INTUR. My package was perfect, and they began to process it that day. You need three trips, one to present your package, one to pick up your collila (get out of jail free card), one to pick up the INTUR paperwork, which you can immediately take to Migracion for your cedula. The cedula takes about an hour or two, depending on the line, and costs C$5000.
I paid Arielka $350,, she accompanied me on all the trips,, and I paid Arielka's lawyer $200. Arielka's English is flawless, and she handled the lawyer as well. A thoroughly pleasant experience
Arielka Torrez, 505 8909 4421, ArielkaTorrez24@gmail.com
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Retiring in Nicaragua
I was convinced I would retire in Colombia, but their taxes on worldwide income even SSN or pension income, and mandatory 12.5% for their government EPS health makes that look difficult if I keep paying for Medicare . In Latin America I can only find Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, and Nicaragua that do not tax worldwide income. I am a single, 62 year old guy, and was hoping for thoughts on retiring there. Thanks so much in advance!
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Visa advice please
I am so frustrated trying to obtain info for getting a visa.
My wife is has Cambodian passport. The internet sites say she is eligible for a :"On Arrival visa" but nothing about how many days are granted in the country.
We want to book flights so we need this information.
We have written to 6 different Nicaraguan consulates or Embassies and only one (in USA) has replied but only to send a visa application form. There are NO instructions where to send it, NO answer to confirm that a Visa On Arrival is available and therefore bring the form on arrival and most importantly NO answer to how many days is the duration of the visa.
Is this typical for Nicaragua Embassy personnel? Am I doing something wrong, any suggestions?
Does anyone know the answer to our questions?
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