My wife and I bought a casa in Granada and ended up spending more—and getting more—than we ever planned on for our winter retirement home. Was it a totally rational decision to buy a home here? Have most other expats who’ve settled here really done an exhaustive pros-and-cons number-crunching analysis before settling on Granada? I doubt it. Perhaps you’ll agree and add comments below about what drove your decision to move here.
For us, there was just something intangible about Granada that made it right for us; it was partially the people, partially the colonial architecture, the very good restaurants, the city’s position at head of Lake Nicaragua. It was also the gorgeous vistas and that nearby gem, the Laguna de Apoyo. It was also the charming nearby town of Caterina. It was certainly the city’s ambiance—its particular mood and atmosphere. It was an emotional feeling more than anything rational.
Yes its warm here—certainly compared to Canada in the winter. But then again, so are lots of other places. Granada is also rather inexpensive compared to Costa Rica or the Caribbean islands. But then so too are places in Guatemala, Panama, Ecuador and Mexico, to name a few. Even Florida has some bargains going these days. But the value for your money spent puts Granada—even as one of the more expensive locations in Nicaragua—close to the top of anyone’s list of places to retire.
Still, that doesn’t explain the warm, emotional response that many people get when they come to Granada. I feel physically safe when wandering about Granada, although I realize I must also take care and keep my eyes open.
Of course there are the ridiculously high electricity costs, the street litter, the panhandlers and all stray animals on the street, but I consider them “inconveniences” just as I do the bureaucratic nonsense that’s part of life in Nicaragua. I would probably drive me crazy somewhere else, but here I just grumble and shrug.
One thing that is a bit unexpected is the new experiences I have on a near-daily basis here. Most of them are usually good, some are occasionally frustrating and many are funny. It all makes for an interesting life here.
I’ve met and enjoyed talking to quite a few other expats in Granada. In talking to others about why they chose to come here, it often seems to come down to this simple answer: “I fell in love with the place.”
Fred Cressman is partners with his identical twin brother at Polylabel.com. He’s an ex-banker and commercial insurer, married to Lilian, his wife of 42 years. Fred and Lilian have traveled extensively in UK, Europe, Cuba, and Costa Rica.