What does it cost to build a house here?
This keeps coming up, so let me throw in some opinions.
First , my suggestions are of a house that a small family of middle income foreigners will be happy in for the long haul. Keep in mind that these comments are coming from someone who has spent most of his life living in houses of less than 1200 sf in average southwestern US neighborhoods. If you have lesser or higher standards, make your adjustments accordingly
My experiences reflect time spent in Esteli but are not meant as a recommendation for living in Esteli. Land prices vary considerably in the country with the tourist/expat areas more expensive and the small towns less so. Esteli prices seem to be pumped up by remittances and foreign projects.
First. A lot sufficiently large enough to be comfortable and insulate you a little from the neighbors would measure about 15 by 30 meters, roughly 5000 sf. In a neighborhood not excessively grubby and with utilities available this will cost 15 to 18,000 usd and be hard to find because so much of the land has been divided up into 10 by 21 lots. Having to piece together 2 or 3 lots to get one big enough for you can drive the price up over 20k.
Second, construction of a 1000sf house of decent materials at 20/sf equals 20,000 usd. This should get you the extras, such as glass windows, indoor plumbing, ceramic floors, doors that aren’t pine, electric lights and plugs in every room, and a roof that doesn’t flap in the breeze.
Third, allow 5000 usd for your security fence.
If utilities are available to the property, hookup costs are negligible, as are permit fees.
So far this adds up to about about 45k, but there is more!
Don’t forget the soft costs, such things as mileage, lunch for the workers, night watchman, rental housing for you, paying the neighbors for use of water and power, etc. While these might seems like minor items, multiply them by 6 days a week and then by an untold number of months, and they start to add up. The mason alone may take 3 to 6 months just to do his part, depending on rain and holidays in particular. Then come the roofer, finish carpenter, wire-stringer, etc. At first you think the labor is poorly paid down here, which it may be, but when you see their methods and materials you will understand the situation better. Their time is worth little; your time is worth nothing.
So as a bare minimum, add another 20% for soft costs and contingencies and keep this money available. In round terms, your little dream house is now up to 55k.
The above assumes you have the time, patience, language skills, and construction experience to be subbing and supervising the job. If not, add more money for an engineer or contractor with enough experience to do the job. This may be very good money spent for many people, but I have no idea of the cost.
This probably boosts your cost up to the 60-70 range, a bargain in many parts of the US, a luxury house in NW Nic.
But notice the above does not include landscaping, hardscaping, covered patio or garage unless you somehow managed to squeeze them in under your 20 % fudge factor.
If you decide to bail for whatever reason, your marketability would be poor in this price range because the locals just don’t have that kind of money and there are few foreign buyers. You could probably rent the house out for $300 a month.
These are the numbers as I see them. 75k should do it. Buena suerte.