So…what have I learned so far? Mostly that I still have a lot to learn!
My mornings usually consist of making some breakfast and coffee and a brief video chat with Arlene before she has to take off for work. Man, I can hardly wait til that’s over. We both loaded a countdown app on our phones to track the days.
I try to spend some time responding to a few emails and doing more research into the inner workings of the real estate operation here. I also block some time off for a program called One Month Spanish. I like it because it focuses more on conversational Spanish rather than just throwing a bunch of words at me. I’ve found Google Translate to be a good tool for figuring out the meanings of new words in the lessons. The program lets you listen to a conversation, figure out the words, translate from Spanish to English by sight, then you have to write out in Spanish what you hear in Spanish. That’s the part I struggle with the most. Mostly because of the speed in which they speak. A lot of repetition is involved.
I also try to spend a little time with my bass, learning all those things I promised myself I’d do once I have the time. Well guess what, even here I don’t have the time, so I have to make the time. Imagine that.
I’ve been fortunate to be able to shadow a fellow real estate agent by the name of Sadis. He’s been very open to getting me up and running. He’s situated in Managua which is an hour away. So, once I’m more familiar with things he can just message me to look after someone on the ground here at Gran Pacifica.
I’ve learned that clients here aren’t just looking for a place to retire. Diversifying their investments outside of North America is a common theme with those looking that direction.
Because Nicaragua is emerging in that area, the prices are still quite attractive. For example, a single ocean front condo, hotel room size, can be had for $149,000 US. A larger unit for $279,000.
Because Nica is open to foreign investment, there are some tax breaks for units intended for rental. A property management company looks after things for you while you’re not here.
I’ve learned that the water is supplied through underground aquifers. It was recently tested because locals were concerned that chemical from the sugar cane farms surrounding the area were leaching into the water supply. It was determined that was not the case. Rather, they said it was some of the best quality water they’d ever tested. The resort still adds a little chlorine. I drink straight from the tap. No problems. And that’s sayin’ something.
I had a client want to know if he could live off the land if he moved here. There is space for a community garden. Not sure if there’s one up and running already. But they’re certainly open to that. We have a section of 14 lots dedicated to being off the grid in that they are solar powered homes being built there. A number of homes have already be built. A couple are up for resale. One which was built on spec by a few investors and another by a couple looking to move to a city.
I’ve learned that it’s pretty quiet in a house by yourself in the evening. Going to bed early is becoming a thing. Even evenings when a group of us gather around the pool to catch a sunset, that’s around 6 pm. Party usually breaks up around 8 when everyone meanders home. Sunrise is consistently between 5:30 and 6 am. The birds start making noise and life begins again for another day.
In the house I’m staying in I have AC in the bedrooms only. Ceiling fans and open windows help keep things reasonable. I must be acclimatizing because I’ve gone a couple of nights with no AC at all. I remember on our vacations people talking about that, but never thought I’d get to that point. To have a peek at my house click here.
I’m glad for screens on the windows. We may not have the giant mosquitoes here that exist in Manitoba, but there are these little no see-ums. Sunset seems to be the time they like to attack your ankles. Once it’s dark they subside. Rainy season brings a few more bugs out, but again, nothing I usually experienced on a hot humid summer night back home.
The rainy season isn’t supposed to start for another couple of months, but we’ve had some brief showers the last couple of weeks. Kind of welcoming if you ask me. Everything feels fresh again and they don’t last long.
I’ve been able to catch pretty much every Jets game so far. Wifi will be getting better here as we switch to a new system in April. The equipment in use for TV etc was purchased just before HD came out. The new system will allow for a lot more stations and more internet bandwidth.
Had the pleasure of visiting the home of one of the servers here. Simple little cinder block home, but it’s his. He worked hard for it and is so happy there. I think that’s what still strikes me the most. Although the resort affords wonderful homes by a beautiful beach, the locals are just as content living in smaller homes. The markets supply inexpensive food. There’s not the hustle and bustle of getting from one scheduled thing to the other. Their kids want to go to school to learn and better themselves. If you need a banana or plantain, there’s usually one growing close by. My friend Ken and I took him out for dinner at a restaurant in Masachapa, his home town. Some great views while you eat.
I may have mentioned it a time or two, but I do miss the local music scene back home. Just not something easy to get to here. I imagine there’s clubs in Leon, Granada or Managua. But like doing a grocery run, you have to make a special effort to get some people together to go.
As Gran Pacifica grows, there are plans for convenience stores and meeting places. Maybe even a coffee barista! 2008 put a big damper on houses being built on lots that were purchased prior to that. A few other resorts like this went under. So credit the people of ECI Developments for keeping this place alive and now expanding.
For a look at the community of San Diego Viejo where a majority of the lots are sold and homes are coming up, click here.
You notice I’ve used the word “I” or “I’ve” a lot in this post. Pretty soon it’ll be “We” or We’ve” …. April 4, 7:30 pm she arrives. But who’s counting? If you see her, give her a hug for me ok? Hug ’em all…