Guatemalan bandit investor is not a hindrance.
Among its Latin American neighbors, Guatemala is considered the country of greatest contrasts – cultural and geographical. True, there is still no need to talk about a particular racial diversity. More than half of Guatemalans are purebred Indians. And although among the local profiles in major cities, you can increasingly meet the faces of representatives of the white race, the visitor should have good reasons to start the roots here. For example, to ensure flight to their capitals.
The main Guatemalan “scarecrow” for respectable tourists from well-fed Europe and America has for many years been rampant crime. In the capital, a defenseless visitor can overtake a pickpocket or an armed robber. Those wishing to wander alone along the protected tourist trails also become less and less: robbers and rapists lie in wait for the owners of dollars even at the foot of the natural sights of Guatemala – extinct volcanoes. Partisans of the “gerilleros”, adherents of the Marxist-Leninist ideology, have not yet reached the tourists, but the news of their raids on the local farmers’ coffers is also nervously tickled.
However, those who bring to this country not only a modest amount for pocket expenses, have every reason to increase their savings here. In particular, to purchase a city house or an apartment. The low rate of taxation of real estate, along with the cheap labor (average salary in cities does not exceed $ 70) are the most serious arguments for transferring capital to Guatemala.
The Guatemalan landscape is extremely diverse – from tropical forests to sterile stony spaces. Volcanoes, although a record-breaking lot – 33 pieces, but almost all of them, fortunately, are in a state of hibernation. Keep away from the cost of anything except one – Tacana, which is near the Mexican border. Most of the country’s population has historically concentrated closer to its Pacific coast. This is the Guatemalan granary. There are plantations of strategic crops for Guatemala – bananas, coffee and sugar cane. But foreigners, as a rule, are drawn to the hill, to the capital, which has one name with the country.
According to local legislation, foreign buyers are not allowed to acquire objects and land in frontier areas, territories surrounding lakes and suitable for navigation of the river in their name. “To knock out” the government’s personal permission (this way is formally provided) in practice, no one has ever succeeded. In Guatemala City, there are no such “special” areas, and a foreign investor will not feel any defeat in rights.
Unlike the rest of the country, where traditions are still alive, Guatemala City is a modern and cosmopolitan city. The architectural remains of the pre-Hispanic era coexist here with chic hotels and office centers. Settled in this city, foreigners have long “piled” near their diplomatic missions. For example, in an area commonly known as “Canada” (its official topographical name is “zone number 14”).
A spacious house in this picturesque area under the walls of a diplomatic mission can now be bought at a price of $ 500,000 to $ 4,000,000 or lifted accordingly for $$ 2,500-6,000 per month. Save some of the amount you can find an object without a garden: the presence of well-groomed greenery traditionally affects the appetite of sellers. The apartment-new building or own compartment in the town house in the 14th zone is estimated at an average of $$ 900-1.500 per square meter.
The most inhabited by foreigners part of the Guatemalan capital are the quarters around the US Embassy. True, it is almost impossible to buy a spacious residential building of old construction: most of such buildings were gradually turned into offices and retail areas. Buy or rent a small house for now – for $ 150,000 or $ 1.200 per month, respectively.
Regions behind numbers 9 and 10 have lost their former popularity among citizens of distant countries – the trading activity in these places has become too big. The reputation of one of the most beautiful and green corners of the capital is the 15th zone, known among Guatemalans as well as Vista Hermosa. Houses in this area are surrounded by high reliable fences and are estimated by the owners from $ 100,000 to $ 250,000. Owners of luxury villas and apartments start bidding from $ 500,000, or even $ 1,000,000. Accordingly, the monthly rental fee is $$ 850-4.000.
Quarters marked on the map in figures 2, 5, 7, 11, 12, 13 and 16, are inhabited mainly by representatives of the local middle class – qualified specialists, in whose veins the Indian blood flows. If this neighborhood does not bother you, then the cost of buying a home can be reduced to $$ 25,000-125,000.
In general, such pronounced reservations “expatriates”, as 15-20 years ago, in Guatemala City is no longer there. Foreigners spread throughout the capital, including the outskirts. Of the latter, Antigua enjoys the greatest popularity among visitors, a suburb located just 20 minutes from the center, as well as the nearest residential areas along the road leading to El Salvador. If you move away from the noise of the city a little further (two and a half hours by car), you can get to Panajachel – this place is especially liked by Americans moving to Guatemala.
All human settlements in Guatemala are planned according to one principle. From the north to the south there are calles (or “straights”), and from the west to the east – avenidas (analogue of “avenue”). The coordinates of the property are indicated in the following order: first the name of the street, then the number of the nearest intersection and, finally, the actual house number.
Revenues transferred to Guatemala from all activities abroad are not taxed, and their source to the local Themis is not of interest. Deductions to the state are made only with the money that is earned on the territory of the country. Naturally, the profit that your Guatemalan house brings is subject to taxation. From the seller or the lessor, a capital gains tax (impuesto al valor agregado) is levied, the amount of which is equal to the local income tax – 10 percent.
The real estate tax (impuesto unico sobre inmuebles), even for owners of millions of villas does not exceed 0.9%. Although it is usually calculated from the amount that appeared at the last re-registration of the object, at the insistence of the tax authorities, the house or apartment can be revalued. But the percentage of deductions from gifts and inheritance, the market value of the object affects more. The rate ranges from 1% for gifts worth up to 50,000 quetzales (about $ 8.180) to 25% if the gift draws for 500,000 quetzals (that is, over $ 81,000) or more.
Guatemalan authorities are not allowed to enter their country. For example, the Chinese and the Hindus have nothing to think about, not about the entrance, but even about transit through the space of this country. Citizens of some other states, disadvantaged, from the point of view of Guatemalan immigration services, need to get special “good” from immigration authorities before applying for a visa. The black list of such “inferior” countries is huge. Fortunately, unlike the former fraternal union republics, Russia does not appear in this series, and the Russian man will not have to wait for an additional 3-4 weeks.
With foreigners residing in Guatemala without permanent resident status, the state requires to deduct to the treasury of 200 quetzales (about $ 33) annually. In order not to pay this money, you can make an attempt to obtain a residence permit. It can be done only when the usual tourist or business visa expires with all possible extensions (and the maximum is 3 times).
In addition to providing copies of all kinds of documents, it is necessary for the applicant for residency to find a financially well-founded guarantor from the local (what kind of person – legal or physical – does not matter), and also present two certificates from law enforcement agencies proving that you have never been “involved.” One must be assured by the local police, and the other by the ministries of the interior, justice and the Guatemalan embassy in the motherland of the applicant. Particular attention to this side of the applicant’s biography is justified: as already mentioned, the prisons and police stations here are already overcrowded.
News from Guatemala.
14:19 | 12/21/2015.
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