buying property

i am looking for some help to possibly solve a real estate deal i have been involved in. i feel like im gettin the standard horror story sequence when it comes to actually registering my purchase. i started my buy in may of 2005. any one out there with some advice or recommend a trust-worthy lawyer (lol.)

thanks in advance


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Which department matters

While officially the law is the same for the whole country, what works depends on the department. In many cases a lawyer from a different department just treated as badly as a Gringo with too many gold chains.

I only have first-hand knowledge for Estelí and it is not a pretty picture.


I can recommend a good lawyer who speaks fluent english and is based in Leon. Send me a pm if you're interested.

if i were

looking at a property in Esteli, and the seller was represented by 3 lawyers I have met or 2 topografos I have met, I would drop the property immediately and look elsewhere. It`s a viscious circle of corrupt professionals finding sucker clients and corrupt or sucker clients finding bad lawyers.

Yes, there are good professionals, but you have to find them and still they are fighting an uphill battle themselves with the corruptos. Like street thieves, the issue is not necessarily with the number of thieves, but the fact that they operate with impunity.

"You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." Ayn Rand

Sample size problem

There are lots of lawyers and more than two topographers in Estelí. There are corrupt lawyers and they will typically be working where there is the possibility of a lot of corruption, doing a sub-division being a prime candidate. There are also some public registry issues but they really are an irritation rather than incorrect/fudged records.

I have used six different lawyers in Estelí, five of whom I would use again. But, their skills are not interchangable. Picking the right one for the job is very important.

Also, in matters of real property, there is no substitute for a trip to the public registry. If there isn't someone you can send there that you trust 100%, do it yourself.

I happen to like the system used in at least the states of California and Washington where you typically have a disinterested third party called an Escrow Agent involved in the transaction. It costs (typically 1% of the transaction price) but it keeps everyone honest. But, that doesn't exist here and your really can't just pretend someone into that role as without licensing/regulation you don't gain any protection. Thus, you need to do your own homework.

I Have An

excellent lawyer that I have used for over two years, and for two separate property purchases. Her husband is a lawyer, she teaches law, and they both have business administration degrees as well as their law degrees.

Carla did the entire process on the second purchase, driving two or three times from Esteli to Somoto to examine the title records --(purchase was a drug out affair, and the seller was having financial difficulty, so there was always a possibility of a last minute lien)--, twice to Telpaneca to deal with the municipal authorities, and then finally registering the property for me. I did the registration myself the first time, but I was really tight on time the last trip. Her only flaw is her maddening attention to detail; every i has to be dotted, every t crossed to her satisfaction, every possible contingency documented and addressed. She got me a letter of no objection (which I don't think I really needed for my mountain farm). but what the hey . . .this is Nicaragua, better safe than sorry!

She is also a very pleasant person to deal with.

I've used her bank account on several occasions to transfer funds to Nicaragua, and Carla as kind of an "escrow agent". Legal services are still one of the best bargains in Nicaragua; you just have to find the right lawyer. Like everything else in Nicaragua, there is a lot of inconsistency in the competence and integrity among lawyers.

Carla doesn't speak much English, but her sister Karelia was an exchange student in the US and she brings Karelia in to translate when necessary. Both she and her husband have their own cars, which is handy when the work is out of town. They have professional offices, and this huge safe where they store my paperwork for me.

Carla Lopez Rodriguez & email:

And still they come....

"I have a beach with a swamp and a bridge....the title can be 'Cleaned up' and the new Coastal Law can be gotten around...Whadya say Joe?...

Crazy part is, someone would still buy it.

Nicaragua - The Adventure


I actually have an escritura between General Somoza and myself, granting me title to the property described in the El Nuevo Diario article. I just haven't got around to registering it yet :)

Playa Amarillo Project will be secured with bonds denominated in the new ALBA currency, the BUBU (not to be confused with the new CA currency, the CUCU). However, the two currencies do trade on a 1 for 1 basis . . .

If you want to place a deposit on a Mz of Playa Amarillo beachfront, please PM me for Western Union payment info. I can take your money as easily as Mr Thorn can . . .

another tip

Before buying a property, you not only need to have an good lawyer and a good topografo, but you need to find out the scoop on the other party`s lawyer and topografo. If they are crooks, incompetents, drunks, or sleepyheads, they will negatively impact the transaction.

"You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." Ayn Rand