What foreigners cannot do is own land directly next to rivers, oceans or international borders. Foreign firms developing projects in designated tourism zones are eligible for income tax exemption on revenue from their investment in the country.
However, administrative procedures remain a burden to the investor. All firms must register with the Ministry of Economy, formally incorporate there, publish their intent and agree to Guatemalan jurisdiction.
Under Guatemalan law, foreigners can acquire, maintain, and dispose of real property with very few restrictions.
What foreigners cannot do is own land directly next to rivers, oceans or international borders. Foreign firms developing projects in designated tourism zones are eligible for income tax exemption on revenue from their investments, and duty-free importation of any needed goods or materials not made in Central America.
The foreign investment laws of Guatemala also allow foreign investors to repatriate profits and capital without restriction.3
There are basically two types of property offered, registered and unregistered. In the larger cities you will find mostly registered in the smaller areas unregistered.
All property can be registered and it is best if you buy property that is registered, though it is not always absolutely necessary.
Lake Atitlan Real Estate
Lake Atitlan Real Estate finding a Vacation Rental. Lake Atitlan Real Estate websites have many listings covering vacation rentals around Lake Atitlan. If you are seeking a Vacation Rental for a week or a month consider these factors.
High Season on Lake Atitlan starts in late November and runs till the end of Holy Week or Semanta Santa. During high season one can plan to pay 50% more than low season.
You will also find many expat home owners have their properties listed on VRBO, Home Away, TripAdvisor and FlipKey. Many of these homes sit empty for 9 months of the year and are only used when the owners use them for holidays or during high season.
When looking for a Vacation Rental location around Lake Atitlan you will want to consider the noise factor. Nothing is more disappointing than arriving at your Vacation Rental only to hear dogs, chickens, or noise from different festivities happening within the local villages.
You will want to ask before you rent a home for a night, week, or month about noise level in the area.
Vacation Rental prices range significantly. Negotiate with the owners directly, Lake Atitlan Real Estate Agents have the ability to help negotiate the price for you.
However, keep in mind these Real Estate Agents make a fee off of each property they rent. The higher the rent the higher the commission or fee.
Lake Atitlan Real Estate
Lake Atitlan Real Estate buying land. Much of the land around the lakeshore of Lake Atitlan is owned by families from Guatemala City. The farther you are out of the main villages or cities around Lake Atitlan the prices drop significantly.
Panajachel is the main city, considered the gateway to the lake, because of that you can expect higher prices within Pana. Santiago is the largest village on the lake and there is available land for sale in the area between Santiago and San Lucas Toliman, although this area is considered somewhat remote.
Land between San Pedro La Laguna and San Juan La Laguna, in my view, is an wonderful location to consider. It is close to two villages, quiet, and offers stunning views of Lake Atiltan and the surrounding mountains and volcanoes.
Lake Atitlan Real Estate
Lake Atitlan Real Estate buying a Winter Home. If you are considering buying a winter home on Lake Atitlan consider these points.
Are you planning to rent your Winter Home during the periods you will not be on Lake Atitlan? If so you will need a guardian to care for your property in your absence, a cost to consider as homes should not be left uncared for.
If you do decide to rent your property contact a local Lake Atitlan Attorney to handle all contracts and agreements including those with any Lake Atitlan Real Estate Agent.
Lake Atitlan Real Estate finding a Real Estate Agent. Finding a Lake Atitlan Real Estate Agent may be a challenge. Most have websites with listings and reviews from clients. Understand in Lake Atitlan and other parts of Guatemala no real estate license is required to act as a realtor.
Any one can hang out there shingle, have a website and become a real estate agent. Start with an attorney first. Antigua Guatemala attorneys that specialize in this. The reason is that Antigua has grown rapidly in the expat Real Estate market.
Lake Atitlan Real Estate | Worst Locations to Consider
I would not purchase land or a home between the following locations:
The road from Santiago to San Pedro.
The road from Santiago to Toliman.
I have found that the houses in Santa Cruz are over priced.
In my opinion the best locations around Lake Atitlan is the road from Panajachel along the lake to San Antonio Palopo. You are close to Pana and there is regular transportation available.
Lake Atitlan Real Estate | buying a Lake Atitlan Business. The Lake Atitlan Real Estate market has many business’s listed for sale all around Lake Atitlan.
While the lake, beauty, and tourism all make Lake Atitlan appear as the perfect place to own a business many prices are inflated. Accounting and financial records for some business owners are not the most important part of running their business. If the business is related to tourism understand this is a seasonal market and the cost to keep a business running during low season is the same as high season.