Real Estate in Guatemala

As seems to be the story the world over, the real estate sector has suffered due to the financial crisis. "It is slow," said Garcia. "The banks don't take risks anymore and clients who don't need bank credit are too few." The most popular places for foreign buyers are Atitlán Lake, Tikal - the biggest of the Mayan ruins, and the colonial city of Antigua. Buyers should expect to pay USD 1,000 to 1,500 per square meter in new developments but prices vary greatly depending on the location of interest.

Foreigners can pretty much buy and sell property at will in Guatemala but they cannot purchase land at international borders, rivers, or oceans, according to Global Property Guide. "The only requirement is they pay taxes and observe the laws of the country," said Garcia. International buyers are advised to check property titles closely. "It's recommended that [buyers] verify if the person selling the property is the real owner." Using a licensed and reputable estate agent should eliminate many problems that can arise during international property transactions.Why Guatemala? – 5 words: Affordability, Beauty, Climate, Economy, Privacy. And because Guatemala has not yet caught on with those seeking inexpensive retirement havens. However, the word is starting to get out, and prices are taking an upward trend. The crowds will come! Retirement havens start out inexpensive, but then the prices rise and keep rising. Property may sooner or later become too expensive, but the "early birds will catch the worm!" Welcome to Guatemala!

Living in Guatemala

Affordability: The exchange rate is very favorable (currently 8 Quetzales to 1 USD); food is inexpensive and plentiful; and land and building materials are inexpensive. Cost to build a NICE house on your property can run from $10 to $50 per square foot depending on how you build it (options, etc.).

Beauty: Guatemala is a place of great and varied beauty. It is a land of mountains, valleys, forests, jungles, beaches, lakes, rivers and volcanos. Lake Atitlán, for example, is known as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The Mayan word “Atitlán” means "the place where the rainbow gets its colors". It is a place where all of the elements seem to come together in harmony. El Petén is home to the former Mayan city of Tikal and the "second" Amazon.

Climate: The Guatamala climate in many areas of the country is spring-like all year round. For example, Guatemala City, Antigua, and all of the towns around Lake Atitlan (Panajachel, etc.) have temperatures that range only between 55 F and 80 F (12.7 C and 26.6 C) .

Economy: Guatemala has a large food production and manufacturing infrastructure. They export a lot of coffee, sugar and organic produce. Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola, and Dole all have large facilities, here. Starbuck's buys a large portion of their coffee from Guatemala.

Privacy: The Guatemalan government is very uninterested in your personal affairs. They do expect you to pay your sales taxes, though, if you own a business, just like everyone else. It is also quite easy to set up an anonymous corporation where ownership is determined by "bearer shares".
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