Rancho Santana, Bill Bonner’s and the Agora Group’s project started more than a decade ago in Nicaragua, has been a favorite on this page for some time. The development (and construction of homes) has continued to grow throughout the years. Rancho Santana has further benefited from the construction of Guacalito de la Isla nearby. Guacalito is the development of Nicaraguan Billionaire Carlos Pellas, and has caused coincidental benefits to Rancho by, among other things, the paving and improvement of the road from Tola (previously a rough dirt road) and also the construction of an airport nearby.
Nonetheless, I’ve heard grumbling by some Rancho owners of a two-tiered system in place in the development. Now some of the amenities previously offered by the development are not available to owners or their guests if the home is NOT within the Rancho Santana rental pool. Some users accuse the rental pool of being overly expensive in its costs, and claim that if they don’t maintain their properties within the rental pool, the Rancho Santana management does not have an interest in helping them in their day to day ownership issues.
I from time to time ask Rancho Santana’s real estate department to send me their latest offerings. Apparently the parent company has set up a loan fund. Previously, if you wanted to purchase a lot or a condo directly from Rancho Santana, it came with some owner financing. Now they’re offering financing for purchase of Rancho Santana properties from third parties within the development. I sound like a shill for it, but it’s a place that has improved every time I went there, and I’m ready to go back.
I’m subscribed to a newsgroup for Rancho Santana owners. Last summer a few owners in the rental pool were complaining about a slower summer/fall rental season. This year a few of them are saying their rental sign-ups are at an all-time low. It’s my personal opinion that it’s not an issue of demand drying up but rather supply increasing, with the addition of the new “residences” at Rancho Santana, which are higher-end condos fashioned in the design of the Inn. And of course, there’s the Inn itself, which creates more supply.
Great time of year to get a deal on a rental if anyone wants to go.