FAQ

RENTAL PROPERTIES

1. Is there a fee that I need to pay Nova Antigua to help me find a home?

 No. Our service is cost-free to the tenant and the homeowner pays our commission.

2. What is a short and a long term rental period?

A short term rental period is a minimum of 1 night and a maximum of 1 month.  This type of rent can be extended on a monthly basis.  A long term rental period is 6 months or more.

3. Do I need to sign a rental contract and who pays the legal fees?

Yes, it is necessary to sign a contract for any type of rental regardless of the period of time. The contract stipulates all conditions including: Term, monthly rent, payment of utilities, rights and obligations of both parties.  The legal fees are paid by the tenant.

4. What do I have to pay when renting a home?

Besides the rental contract legal fees, you must pay in advance the first month´s rent and a security deposit equal to the first month´s rent.

5. What is the fee of a rental contract?

The fee for a rental contract depends on the term and the monthly rent amount. You can get an exact quote from our rental department.

6. Who pays for the services or utilities?

Services or utilities like electricity, water, cable T.V., Internet and other services are normally included in the short term rentals.  On long term rentals, all utilities are paid by the tenant separately.

7. Should services / utilities be in my name?

You do not need to have the services in your name. Generally the services remain in the name of the owner and the rental contract stipulates who pays for them.

8. Besides payment, what other requirements are needed?

You must fill out a rental application with your personal information and provide references that will be verified in the credit bureau. In some cases, a guarantor or co-signer, will be required.

9. What if I don´t have a co-signer? 

In case you are a foreigner, you haven´t lived in the country for 1 year and you don´t have anybody in the country that will guarantee the rent, you must pay 2 security deposits.

10. In case of default, what is my penalty?

Depending on the rental term, you will be charged a percentage of each month remaining in the contract.

11. Who keeps my security deposit(s) and when do I get it back?

 The security deposit is kept by the owner. The deposit is returned at the end of the contract when all monthly rentals are paid, there are no outstanding services balances (depending on the rental term) and there is no damage to the property.  Any pending amounts will be deducted from the security deposit.

12.  Do I need a special permit in order to open a business in Antigua?

There are specific zones in Antigua Guatemala where establishments are allowed depending on the type of business, therefore a municipal permit is required in order to operate. 

13.  Who looks after the municipal permits?

All permits are processed by the tenant and our Rental Department will provide a list of documents required to obtain them.

 

PURCHASE PROPERTIES

1. Is there a fee that I need to pay Nova Antigua to help me find a property?

No. Our service is cost-free to the buyer and the property owner pays our commission.

2. Can I purchase a property as a foreigner?

Absolutely.  All foreigners have the same rights and obligations as a Guatemalan.

3. As a foreginer, can I get bank financing in Guatemala?

Bank financing in Guatemala is feasible to foreigners although the requirements are extensive and the bank might even ask for a Guatemalan co-signer that will guarantee the loan. The normal financing conditions that you might expect are: Down payment of between 20% and 30% of the total amount, maximum term of 25 years, annual interest rate that can vary between 7% and 8%.

4. Who guarantees the ownership of a property and who is in charge of verifying the title?

The Central Property Registry is the only entity that can guarantee the authenticity of real estate and you must hire a lawyer to take care of the verification process and to register the property in your name. Our Sales Department has online access to the Property Registry to verify the history and assist you throughout the entire process for your peace of mind.

5. Are there any limitations when buying real estate in Guatemala?

All properties must be duly registered in the Property Registry. Some properties might have other rights of ownership but they do not have the same legal certainty. Additionally, some properties that are adjacent to a body of water such as lakes and oceanfront properties are generally owned by the Guatemalan government, who leases the properties through renewable 30-year contracts, through O.C.R.E.T. (Office of Control of Territorial Reserves of the State)

6. Once I find a property, what is the next step?

Once you find the ideal property, you must submit a purchase proposal for the owner's consideration. This proposal or offer must be presented in writing and must stipulate the purchase conditions.  Our Sales Department can provide our offer form that will include: Value of the offer, form of payment and any special conditions. The owner will also respond in writing to the offer. Once an agreement is reached, the purchase must be formalized by means of a legal contract with a lawyer.

7. What taxes and other expenses must I pay when buying a property?

When you buy real estate you will have to pay your lawyer's legal fees and any registration costs that are generated. Additionally, you must pay I.V.A. or V.A.T. (Value Added Tax), which is paid once at the time of purchase. The percentage of this tax varies between 3% and 12% of the purchase value and depends on whether it is a first purchase or a re-sale. For more detailed information, you can contact our Sales Department or read our article "The purchase process".

8. What other taxes must I pay?

In real estate there is only one type of tax called I.U.S.I. or S.T.R.E. (Single Tax on Real Estate) and the percentage of tax is 0.9% of the registration value in the municipality of the place where you acquire your property.

9. Can I rent with the option to purchase?

Renting with the option to purchase is feasible. This option allows you to set the purchase price today, apply all rent money towards the purchase price and buy in the future. To carry out this option, you must sign a contract at the beginning of the agreements and pay an amount that will remain as part of payment or penalty in case of not buying at the end of the agreed period.

10. Can I get a property inspection before buying?

Definitely. As a matter of fact, we recommend that a specialist should verify the state of the property even before submitting the offer. This way, you can determine the cost of any possible repairs before acquiring it. The inspection cost is paid by the buyer.