I’m a single guy, aged 55, no children. My goal was to leave the rat race and the USA and to retire to a tropical paradise with a low cost of living. I was looking for a fully furnished apartment with an ocean view within walking distance of the town center/beach.
Gordon and Elisha found the perfect place for me and I could not be happier with the location, the view, the price, the amenities and the big fat smile on my face as I live the dream.
What Elisha and Gordon do is so, so much more than just find you a place to live. The information and assistance they provided before, during, and after my move here to San Juan del Sur was invaluable for the following reasons at the specified times:
BEFORE THE MOVE
I had a shortlist of places to move to (Cambodia, Colombia, Mexico and Nicaragua) and I had to do my research and due diligence on all of them.
The information that was posted on In Nica Now was so thorough and detailed and written exactly from a prospective mover’s viewpoint it helped me decide on Nicaragua, and specifically San Juan del Sur, as my destination. Not only was the information useful but it was also enthusiastic – always a good sign!
DURING THE MOVE
Once I had decided on San Juan del Sur the next thing to do was to work out where to live and how to find an apartment. This is where the relocation service that Gordon and Elisha provide is awesome.
Elisha and Gordon know all the people, all the locations, and have an ear to the ground with your best interests at heart. They will check the postings, reach out to their multiple contacts and ask around to see what is suitable and available. After sharing their results with you (including pictures, movies and detailed descriptions of the properties) they will then help with setting up the rental agreement with the property owner.
If you need to do a reconnaissance trip they can help with the travel and accommodation for that also.
AFTER THE MOVE
So you have moved. Now what? You probably need some help with figuring out such things as best places to visit, best places to eat and drink, things to be mindful of, how to order prescription drugs, how to set up local mobile phone service, how to set up a local PO Box, etc.
If, like me, your Spanish skills are severely limited having people here that speak the lingo and have been through all of this sort of stuff before and can help guide you is a lifesaver. Even after you’ve gotten through all these “basics” Gordon and Elisha continue to be there as helpful and ongoing guides and resources. They obviously like what they do and it shows.
At the time of writing this testimonial I had been here in San Juan del Sur exactly one month and Gordon and Elisha continue to be instrumental and helpful to me as I try to establish myself in the community.
So, in a nutshell — Elisha and Gordon — invaluable, friendly, welcoming, helpful and fun. Isn’t this exactly what you are looking for as you transition from one country and/or phase in life to another?
Relocated from Dallas, Texas, USA
I came to San Juan del Sur to visit with my family February of 2016. The mellow lifestyle, amazing people, culture and international vibe of the town captured our hearts. Before we left my 13 year old son told me he really wanted to learn Spanish. He had been meeting up with a local group of kids to play soccer every night at 5 and was inspired to understand and speak their language. Of course a dream come true for any parent.
I learned about Elisha and Gordon from a local realtor in town. With their help the process to find a summer rental was complete within a couple days.
I loved being able to FaceTime and speak directly with Elisha and Gordon as they found me the perfect house in town. Their first hand experience living here for 4.5 years, attention to detail and love of San Juan really sets them apart.
We have returned the first day of summer vacation and are currently spending five weeks studying Spanish in the mornings and surfing in the afternoon. Thanks to In Nica Now we wake up each morning living a dream.
Costa Mesa, California, USA
I stumbled upon In Nica Now through a referral by Sarah, one of the authors of “An Expat Life in Nicaragua”. Google searches on the terms “expat” and “Nicaragua” popped that website first, and I had inquired about the scope of relocation services. Sarah responded swiftly with a recommendation of Elisha and Gordon, as she was no longer offering that service. I feel as if I need to hug Sarah when I meet her and drown her in a torrent of praise for Elisha and Gordon.
As a senior woman traveling solo to a foreign country in Central America, without Spanish speaking skills, I had spent years mulling over different destinations – Ecuador, Belize, Panama, Costa Rica or Cartagena, Columbia – pulling State Department country reports and attending one International Living seminar to learn the merits of various locations first hand.
It was down to the 11th hour and I was still undecided, until I contacted Elisha and Gordon. After the referral I immediately went to their website. It was extremely well organized, easy to navigate, and offered useful information – budgets for the cost of living, activities, tips for a successful transition and a well-thought out housing request form. That attention to detail, combined with a firm grasp of the objectives of an individual who wishes to adventure into the world of expat living, makes dealing with Elisha and Gordon both pleasant and successful.
My needs and goals were quickly identified. Various suitable housing options were presented. Skype calls and discussions helped reveal hidden wants and social/financial needs to achieve a smooth transition. At each step I took, Gordon and Elisha were ahead of me, prepared and showing the way.
When I arrived in Managua, exhausted, alone and mildly apprehensive, there was a driver, known to them for two years, with a sign with my name written on it. He was a welcome sight. Courteous to the point of putting American classics on his car radio for a two and a half hour drive to San Juan del Sur, I felt protected, safe and able to gaze serenely at the sights and sounds of a new country.
I arrived at 11:00 pm to a fresh apartment, a stocked refrigerator and a night manager who had stayed late to oversee my arrival.
The hand holding did not stop there. The next day this marvellous Canadian couple met me to provide a whirlwind tour of San Juan del Sur, introducing me personally to vendors, restaurants, the local physician and apothecary, and allowing me to buy plants and complete the purchase of necessities for a six month stay.
It isn’t just the service and impeccable attention to detail, it is the fact that Elisha and Gordon are simply very nice people who relate to individuals of all ages, nationalities and walks of life. Everyone is made to feel welcome. You feel as if you have met a friend who also happens to run a business superbly.
I recommend In Nica Now without reservation to anyone who would like to relocate to San Juan del Sur. You will be quite pleased with yourself that you just made your transition a thousand times easier.
Relocated from Birmingham, Alabama, USA
One day my wife and I were doing some Canadian surfing (on the internet, NOT ocean waves) and we came across In Nica Now, Gordon and Elisha’s website. We read about how a living life overseas was possible and really quite affordable, especially in San Juan del Sur. The detailed information which they gave reassured us that moving there was the right thing to do, even with three young children.
We sent them and email and received a reply almost instantly. That’s the kind of service you can expect from them.
A couple of weeks later we Skyped and discussed what we were looking for in a place. A few days after that they emailed us back with detailed descriptions and photos of places that would suit our needs, were in our price range, and that were available for when we wanted to go.
Once we choose a place Gordon and Elisha spoke with the property manager and negotiated a rate $300 less than advertised and cut the damage deposit less than half.
Between that time and when we arrived we exchanged several emails with questions we had about preparing to move there, and what to expect, always getting a detailed response in a timely manner. The days prior to making the big move Gordon and Elisha emailed asking if we had any more questions; and we could tell that they were actually excited for us, not just providing a service.
Gordon and Elisha set up an amazing hotel for us to stay at the evening our flight got in, arranged transportation to pick us up at check out to bring us to San Juan del Sur, and were both waiting at our rental property when we arrived. Gordon even carried the majority of our 15 suitcases up 33 steps to our condo going back and fourth. Elisha told us to sit back and relax while she went through the condo with the property manager making sure everything was perfect. Gordon and Elisha even went out the morning of our arrival and did grocery shopping for us stocking up our fridge with fresh fruits, meats, snacks, and beverages we selected prior to our arrival. We got to sit down and enjoy some Toñas while they did all the work upon our arrival.
Two days later Elisha took us all around San Juan del Sur personally introducing us to their favorite vendors, and giving detailed information about which places to go, at what times, and what is best at each shop/restaurant. She took us to a cell phone store and got us new phone numbers. She took us to the post office and got us a new mailing address. Meanwhile, Gordon volunteered to watch our three children (ages 9, 11 and 12) for us while we were out! He took them to the beach to hunt for crabs, and later took them swimming at our pool! The kids loved him and said he was super cool and funny.
At the end of the day they told us, just because you’re moved in and have everything you need doesn’t mean the service stops, and they meant it. I have been in contact with them almost daily asking questions as they arise and Gordon and Elisha are there for me always. I’ve been in the customer service industry for over 20 years, and what Gordon and Elisha do is not for making money. They do what they do, because they truly care and want to help people. They are genuine people.
For everything Gordon and Elisha have done for me and my family they could have charged twice, even three times as much as they do. Words cannot describe the gratitude I feel for their assistance in giving my family a fresh start to a new life. I wouldn’t call Gordon and Elisha’s business just a relocation service; I would call it an above and beyond relocation and concierge service tailored to not only meet, but exceed your expectations.
Michael, Chantal, Gracie, Hayleigh & Cayden Makara
Relocated from Lockwood, Saskatchewan, Canada
A little over a year ago, I began looking seriously at spending a couple of months escaping winters’ cold. I researched the most least expensive places in the world, how to prepare for such a journey and all the other things required to take on a task like this for the first time; alone.
Once I had decided on Nicaragua I had to figure out where in this beautiful country to lay my head. This was another time consuming endeavour as I am on a limited income but wanted to make the most of this possibly once in a lifetime opportunity. This is when I discovered In Nica Now.
I scoured every inch of the website from budget to lifestyle pieces and everything in-between and then reached out. This began a flurry of correspondence that not only answered my questions in detail (and some I hadn’t even thought of) but I had not invested a penny in their service. It seemed they genuinely wanted my experience to be the most it could be whether I made use of the paid aspect or not.
Then came the moment when I took the plunge and put my faith in Elisha and Gordon. I had a list of prerequisites that I needed to be met – you see I have a disability which makes travelling alone in this way very daunting. They not only put my mind at ease despite many a late night flurry of emails doubting my decision, but were always available on short notice to help talk me through my decision and prepare me for the unknowns all travellers face.
This amazing couple found me a home that went beyond my expectations and well within my proposed budget. As I write this I am sitting poolside (just steps from my door) feeling the cool morning breeze and still amazed as I am surrounded by mountains and minutes from the ocean. They don’t stop there though.
From the time I landed everything I needed was at my fingertips. They arranged transportation from Managua to San Juan and were there to greet me at the door of my home away from home to ensure everything was up to my expectations. I had a full fridge so I could decompress without worry of heading directly out into an unfamiliar environment. Then they arranged a day and time to my suiting where they could take me around town and show me the wonders this land has to offer; more importantly where everything I would require was located.
On this day of exploration, they set you up with a phone, ensure that your accommodations are what they promised and introduce you to many of the people you would encounter in your day to day life. They answer the multitude of questions, with great patience, that you have – even if you are repeating yourself and set you at ease with what to expect going forward. In a sentence, the best tour guides you may ever encounter!
They don’t stop there. I wished to give back in any way I could while here. They found the perfect opportunities for me to volunteer that fit my limitations and goals. Over two weeks into my stay they are still only a message or call away to aid or answer any questions that arise… and check in every once in a while to ensure you are enjoying your time to the fullest. And when something did arise, they solved it, no questions asked! This well after their “paid service” was completed in full.
They simply want everyone to love life here the way they do. I can write chapter and verse about Elisha and Gord but realize we all are in a rush nowadays so will try to keep this short. They made San Juan del Sur feel like home and a place where I already had friends in such an unfamiliar environment for me.
When my friends amazed that I, in my condition, was able to pull this off and ask how – I simple say go to In Nica Now. I struggle with daily existence in Canada, especially during the winter, but here life is much more simple and anytime I feel something may be too difficult for me simplicity and a solution is a phone call away.
I have not come close to describing everything that this wonderful couple have done for me… and I cannot thank them enough, although this is my start. They are not the type of service whose price seems great until the extras are added in. What the say they offer is what they offer (and much more!) for the amount quoted. When I tell them they should charge more they say why, their goal is to help others discover what they have. There are not many people in this world left like them!
Elisha and Gordon thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this experience one of the best of my life. I paid for a relocation service and received so much more than I could ever explain in a few short paragraphs. They care and that’s not just in words, but in their actions.
I would not only recommend, but urge anyone considering taking a step as I have to make use of what they offer. Not only will you be “wowed” by what you receive in return, your expectations blown away. I guarantee, like me, one morning you will be sitting outside in with a smile on your face filled with joy and gratitude that you found this couple from Canada. And like me and many others before, will find yourself writing a statement from the mountaintops thanking them for the life you now live.
Relocated from Chatam, Ontario, Canada
Last year I had the good fortune to travel from Columbia through Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. In my travels, I stumbled upon San Juan del Sur while in Nicaragua and found it to be the perfect mix of small beach town and expat community. So it wasn’t difficult for me to recommend it to my girlfriend a year later, when she decided she wanted to relocate, with our two children, to a Latin American country.
The problem was, though I had lived there for a couple of months, I had no idea how to find a place to live and get started with the relocation. I had met Gordon and Elisha during my time in town and was aware of their relocation service, “In Nica Now”. Consequently, I suggested to my girlfriend to contact them to assist in our move.
As it turned out, it was the smartest thing we could have done. Gordon and Elisha were amazing! Not only do they have tremendous knowledge of the available rentals, but they provided invaluable information to get us acclimated to the “Nica” way of life. From how to deal with getting water, disposing of trash and where to shop, to who has the best happy hour for sunset drinks on the beach, they not only told us but actually took the time to take us around and show us.
The second night after arriving, we were in our new rental house and the next day they took us to the markets to equip our new home. Gordon and Elisha were even a little surprised at how smoothly our transition went. Now our days are occupied with homeschooling our children, walking on the beach and trying to learn to slow down to our new relaxed lifestyle.
If a friend or family member were to consider relocating here, I would wholeheartedly recommend “In Nica Now” to facilitate the move. I shudder to imagine how I would have struggled to get to where we are now without them.
Relocated from Temecula, California, USA
When we arrived in San Juan we spent three days scouring the internet and local newspapers, wandering around town searching for ‘for rent’ signs, speaking to locals and viewing a tonne of rental properties. We didn’t find any that we were 100% happy with.
We then employed In Nica Now to find a property for us. Elisha and Gordon asked detailed questions about our wants and needs before drawing up a shortlist of potential properties.
The first apartment they showed us was exactly what we were looking for and far surpassed any of the properties we had been able to find ourselves. Elisha and Gordon’s insider knowledge was invaluable in quickly locating and securing a rental property we loved.
In Nica Now’s Home Finder service was definitely money well spent.
Sean & Pete Smith
Relocated from Liverpool, United Kingdom
At the time, they were renting on the same property and since a third day of surfing was beyond either my wife or I, we decided to go look at houses/properties for sale.
Gordon showed us around, looking at a number of places, none of which were listed through realtors. We ended up finding some land that we fell in love with and subsequently purchased. My wife finally decided she’d had enough and was ready to retire, so it was time to move to Nicaragua, get our residency and build.
Packing for the move, getting all of our paperwork together and getting two dogs ready for travel is enough stress without also having to worry about where we were going to live when we got there.
We contacted Elisha and Gordon, gave them our want/need list, budget and timing. A little over a month before our planned move, we received an email with plenty of photos of a place that met all of our needs, most of our wants and was within budget, especially considering location and amenities.
Gordon and Elisha helped with getting the lease finalized, making sure that someone would be available to show us around the house when we arrived in SJDS.
Elisha came out when the property manager himself couldn’t be available and his assistant only spoke Spanish – at this point my wife and I are just learning Spanish, which is another reason to consider using Gordon and Elisha.
The day after moving in, Gordon took us out shopping, pointing out the various shops, helping with the load, and getting my cellphone set up on the local network (you want to know which network most of the people you’ll be talking to, as they penalize you for talking to someone on the other network).
The fee Gordon and Elisha charge for their services is a very small price to pay for the peace of mind and help it brings. Definitely worth every penny and then some.
Relocated from Delta, British Columbia, Canada