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Thread: dreams vs reality

  1. #1

    Default dreams vs reality

    Hello I want to introduce my self I am in my mid thirties and from Iceland so you probably understand my fascination with tropical landscape and temperature coming from the frozen north I have bought ticket to Nicaragua in april with the intention of looking for farm to buy, in my head this was no problem everything would be easy and fall in to place. Then i started to do more research especially on this forum and then it hit me I was really naive. I don't now anything about living in Nicaragua or real land prices or if I even like it there, so I will do as any sane person does check out Nicaragua for 6-12 month and hope it is everything i dreamed it would be.

    So I want to thank this forum for kicking me back to sanity with thanks Borri11

  2. #2
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    Saving the saveable, one dreamer at a time. Come on down and see what it's like!

  3. #3

    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    Yea that's the plan to knock around down there and see if I like it or not , just travel until I find place that I love then hunker down for 6-12 months and see if I still love it.

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    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    Sounds like you have some sense, heeding the Advice given (seldom taken) over and over here, try before you buy. For a small Country, Nicaragua is incredibly diverse.

    If traveling around, spend a week here and there, keep notes, go back later for longer periods to the places you likes, after a few weeks or months you may see things much differently than on your first trip.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

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    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    And don't forget the Atlantic Cost in your travels! This is where adventure begins.
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

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    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    Adventure, on the Coast, Where???
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

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    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    You have intermittently erupting volcanos if you feel homesick...
    ==================================================
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  8. #8
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    Can you get me Kaleo's autographs?

    Funny thing, our flight left Orlando from a gate adjacent to an Icelandair flight. My daughter and I thought it would be fun to visit Iceland one day. I guess the grass is always greener somewhere else. Except for Greenland.

  9. #9
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    I think the problem here is not the cost of the farmland but the reality of making it pay. Plus the isolation of living in the mind-robbing, life-robbing countryside. Your greatest challenges will be cultural, not agricultural.
    In the primitive north a huge percentage of the "farmers" are looking for ways to move to the cities or abroad to get a life, so small "farms" for sale are quite common. The best land seems to be held by successful farmers with farming in their veins, and church , privilege, and their multifamilias to sustain them. A lot of farmers live in town for the social and educational opportunities for their families and go on frequent trips to supervise their supervisors back on the farm.

    We all dream of that perfect farm, close to town and utilities with good internet, low crime, and sophisticated neighbors to talk to , but that is a tough reality to find. Best bet is to be independently rich, it smooths out the bumps in life tremendously.

    Come visit, look around. Crops like sugar, corn, rice etc take large acreages and major investments. In the mountains, coffee, potatoes, and cabbage are the money makers but the land tends to be hilly and infrastructure weak. The climate is not perfect, with droughts and flooding common.

    If you really want the life of a farmer, it can be had but expect to be a working supervisor with 24/7 responsibilities. If I were looking to farm I would be looking more at a vertical monopoly or a value added project (making bottled tomato sauce rather than selling tomatoes like all the neighbors, selling packaged coffee rather than raw beans, etc.).

    The govmint and the do-gooders are promoting tourism in some of the agricultural areas, such as having rental cabins and guided tours. It is a possible out for some farmers to have an extra cash cow, but the big problem with this so far is poor infrastructure and lack of tourists. A few are successful at this, but being astute business people and leaning on foreign aid are necessary.

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"

    Covid was an intelligence test and we flunked.



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    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    The Big Elf speaks good sense, was about to write nearly the same and saw he beat me to the Punch.

    Great place if you want a Hobby Farm, trying to make $, another story....
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  11. #11
    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    Quote Originally Posted by cookshow View Post
    Adventure, on the Coast, Where???

    Where? Just follow you around!
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

  12. #12
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Corn Tom View Post
    Where? Just follow you around!

    I am getting Old and Boring, have not hit or been hit with a Machete in a good while, few close calls but nothing worth reporting. There is always Today...
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  13. #13
    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    The standard advice is ignored by people who have read too much International Living. Any number of realtors will try to sell you land that they will assure you is good for farming. I live in town (Jinotega) and am pleased to be here, but my patio is enough garden space for me. The other thing is getting residency -- you need to have money coming in each month. From investments, needs to be $800 a month; from a government pension, $600 a month. Investing in a farm probably does qualify you for investor residency ($30,000 US in the property).

    Selva Negra is the prime example of a farm that has all the connections and works all the angle. They grow coffee, have a demonstration model farm, have cabins and a hotel, horse rentals, hiking trails, and do weddings and receptions, plus serve an amazing Sunday brunch. They have a lot of acreage and are surrounded by a nature preserve and are eight miles or so from a city of 100,000 and are around an hour and a half from Managua. Old German stock family has been marrying Nicaraguans for three or four generations.

    Coffee land between Jinotega and Matagalpa is yuppie prices, not affordable for a real farmer. If you raised sheep and ponies in Iceland, you might look at cattle farming, but as someone else said, that takes a considerable investment.

    My uncle was a farmer in an area plagued with back to the landers. He'd tell them that people in that area (SW Virginia) were given good farms and failed to make a living at it. Did the newcomers think they were smarter? Of course, they did but they were too polite to say so to his face. If you weren't in agriculture in Iceland, a whole lot of agricultural land is closer than Central America. Africa, for example.

  14. #14
    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    All of the above is extremely good advice.

    Now what about you? What is your background and experience? Hell, for that matter, what is your sex? That is how little we know about you.
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

  15. #15
    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    Quote Originally Posted by el duende grande View Post
    The govmint and the do-gooders are promoting tourism in some of the agricultural areas, such as having rental cabins and guided tours. It is a possible out for some farmers to have an extra cash cow, but the big problem with this so far is poor infrastructure and lack of tourists. A few are successful at this, but being astute business people and leaning on foreign aid are necessary.
    The idea was to try to keep the country small holders on the land rather than have them pile up in Managua or Matagalpa without skills sufficient to get decent urban work. I meet very few people who've actually stayed in the rural home stay tourist places -- maybe three in six years.


    The other thing is that the towns are getting too modernized to be quaint. I ran into one woman backpacker who didn't like the BancPro office because it had modern fixtures and could pass for a suburban branch of any bank in the US.

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    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    Culture is definitely a BIGGIE..

    If you are (mostly) non judgmental and easy going you can make it there... If you are punctual, have a deep sense of the right of property, and that a "little extra persuasion" is all you need to get what you want done... Oh you are in for a world of hurt.

    Especially if you panic at the thought of non running water and electricity, mind you you only get one or two days without these days... Much better than n the past.
    Last edited by bill_bly_ca; 12-19-2016 at 12:56 PM.
    ==================================================
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    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    Quote Originally Posted by bill_bly_ca View Post
    Culture is defiantly a BIGGIE..

    If you are (mostly) non judgmental and easy going you can make it there... If you are punctual, have a deep sense of the right of property, and that a "little extra persuasion" is all you need to get what you want done... Oh you are in for a world of hurt.

    Especially if you panic at the thought of non running water and electricity, mind you you only get one or two days without these days... Much better than n the past.
    ...
    "Defiantly"????
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

  18. #18
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Corn Tom View Post
    ...
    "Defiantly"????
    As in "He Defiantly accepted the Google spell check offering, without reading the final output"
    ==================================================
    Dude !!!.... Its a Canal !!! Can you Dig it ??

  19. #19
    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    Kinda, what I thought!
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

  20. #20

    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    Sorry for my late reply just got off work.I am rater laid back guy, can live almost anywhere and tolerate most people, kind of live and let live. Dropped out of collage and been working most of the time in construction and other manual labour jobs for the last 15-16 years. I think that what I am looking for is rather a hobby farm, some place that i can just work little with horses, raise few cows and pay some one other to do the manual labour for a change and just enjoy life. thanks evrybody for your questions and answers there is with out a doubt a lot to think about and learn when i land in Nicaragua but the learning part is the part i'm looking forward to with thanks Borri11.

    P.s. John if i see Kaleo I'l ask them for that autograph no problem there

  21. #21

    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    Welcome !

  22. #22

    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    thanks looking forward to joining the Tona club

  23. #23

    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    Quote Originally Posted by cookshow View Post
    The Big Elf speaks good sense, was about to write nearly the same and saw he beat me to the Punch.

    Great place if you want a Hobby Farm, trying to make $, another story....


    It's kind of like,,, not making any money but working your butt off anyway.

    We've been plagued by endless rain, a horse that got a bot fly in her knee and licked and chewed a hole we can't seem to fill, chickens and pigs that won't stay in their pens, and a drunk who claims to be a veterinarian.

    El Flaco showed up this morning, a gash over his eye, his face looking like Simon & Garfunkel's Boxer

    In the clearing stands a boxer
    And a fighter by his trade
    And he carries the reminders
    Of ev'ry glove that laid him down
    And cut him till he cried out

    In his anger and his shame
    "I am leaving, I am leaving"
    But the fighter still remains

    He left after I loaned him 70 cords. It comes out to a bus ride back to Condega (where he got beat up) and a bottle of guaro.

    Wasn't someone talking about the culture in one of the posts?

  24. #24
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    I am not doubting that somebody could come here and farm as a business. It all falls into the Lots of Room at the Top category. A experienced farmer focusing on the bottom line with a little luck could make it, but it will be a no frills kind of thing--good capitalization, good management, and tenacity.

    Seems most folks coming here, including me, are smell the roses sort of people. We want to do this, we want to do that, but we want comfort, convenience, etc. etc.

    I am sure there are farmers making it in Somalia, West Africa, Haiti, and other garden spots, but they are a special breed. Nic. seems better at attracting hobby farms, although I have heard of some big Tico rice farms in the south.

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"

    Covid was an intelligence test and we flunked.



  25. #25
    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: dreams vs reality

    Quote Originally Posted by el duende grande View Post
    I am not doubting that somebody could come here and farm as a business. It all falls into the Lots of Room at the Top category. A experienced farmer focusing on the bottom line with a little luck could make it, but it will be a no frills kind of thing--good capitalization, good management, and tenacity.
    An experienced farmer wants crops that can be mechanically harvested with relatively low chemical inputs. Neither coffee or cacao qualifies. Andrew Colluci explained that when people were living on the landlord's place, and growing most of their and his food, getting coffee pickers was relatively easy. Now with people leaving the land for cities (Mexico City has population of 24 million and the whole country is maybe 120 million; Nicaragua has 6 million more or less population with a sixth of the population living in the greater Managua area and some 500,000 living in Leon and Matagalpa), getting pickers isn't as easy. Not surprised that people are investing in rice -- it can be handled mechanically. Cotton ended up requiring too many chemical inputs. Cattle at scale requires land to be relatively cheap and not in demand as hobby farms, plus having a market for it.

    Hobby farms in large numbers destroy working farms. Working farmers have to figure land prices against crop sales and if the ratio isn't favorable, they can't afford to buy land. Hobby farmers can pay $100K for a three to six manzana plot here or a ten acre plots in the US without having to make it pay the land costs.

    If people want to grow most of their own food and have access to water, that's doable on a manzana (1.6 acres) since we've got a 12 month growing season, but that's not getting income from the farm. Beans, bananas, yuca, malaga, corn, squashes, plus some chickens for occasional meat. The folks who actually live that life tend to be Nicaraguans, not gringos.

    One coffee grower said if he didn't check on the farm every week, he got a third of the coffee he got when he did check. The farm laborers put their energy into their own food crops rather than his coffee.

    Met an English-speaking couple (from Canada or the US, can't remember now which) who had a honey farm in the Boaco area. Don't know if they made money from that or not.

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