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Accommodation in Guatemala

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Guatemala being a country of stark contrasts, the choice of a place to live deserves careful thinking. The accommodation in Guatemala is plentiful, and the country’s housing market has hidden gems. As many other commodities in Guatemala, housing is very affordable by Western standards.

Where to settle in Guatemala

The country is divided into hundreds of municipios (municipalities). While the likes of Guatemala City enjoy all modern amenities and facilities, rural settlements in large swathes of the country do without running water, proper sanitary facilities, and many homes are still roofed with thatch.

Guatemala City and its modern skyscrapers house most of the health and administrative services, as well as large entertainment complexes. However “Guate” is sometimes blamed for being dirty, and safety problems can arise, especially at night.

One hour away from Guatemala City, the city of Antigua and its surroundings are particularly popular with expats - the charming city, seemingly locked in time with its cobblestone streets painted bright colours and lined with colonial buildings, has dozens of restaurants serving a range of different cuisines, as well as bars, cafes, clubs, art galleries, boutiques, and more. As a result, some may consider it to be too touristy. The area surrounding lake Atitlan is also an expat favourite

Quetzaltenango, the heart of the Mayan communities, also offers excellent living conditions as well as the authentic feel of a genuine Guatemalan lifestyle.

Otherwise, many smaller city which economy is based on tourism is likely to welcome expats, which are seen as apt to help grow the local industry.

 Attention:

The national grid can be overwhelmed by demand and, even at the heart of major cities, frequent water and power cuts occur.

Renting a home in Guatemala

Whether you elect to live within a town or in its outskirts (for more calm and authenticity), you will want to make sure you are within walking distance of a bus stop.

In major cities, expect a rent of USD 300 to 500 a month for a four bedroom home, bills included but Internet excluded. Antigua might be a bit more expensive and the rent for the above-mentioned housing unit could be up to USD 800 a month.

Buying a home in Guatemala

The Guatemalan law entitles foreigners to purchase property in Guatemala under the very same legal conditions as Guatemalans.

The size, level of comfort and location of the housing unit and of the lot will obviously affect the price, but note that four-bedroom houses with all modern conveniences can be purchased in the USD 250,000 range.

To find your dream home in Guatemala, browse the Internet, and especially classified websites and housing search portals, as well as real estate agents websites. You will find a few popular home search websites in the useful links below.

 Good to know:

In Guatemala, mortgage loans are hardly an option for foreigners, more often than not required to pay cash.

 Useful links:

Around Antigua
Antigua Fine Homes
Remax

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See also

Find in this article an introduction to Guatemalas employment market and tips to find a job in Guatemala.
Find out what to expect from Guatemala's internet and telephone services. Though there is limited infrastructure, mobile phones are very popular.
An overview of Guatemala's banking system, along with tips about opening a Guatemalan bank account as a non-resident.
Learn about the main historical, geographical, economic and cultural features of Guatemala.
Find information about drivers licenses, driving regulations, road networks, and road-related customs in Guatemala.

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