For vacation travelers seeking either short term or long term vacation property rentals or considering purchasing a home in Antigua Guatemala I have serious advise you must consider. First we have lived in Antigua, Livingston and Lake Atitlan Guatemala. All as part of our winters away from the cold of Toronto Canada.
While we have many friends in Guatemala finding a winter home to rent for 7 months is not that easy. Although hundreds of Vacation rental properties in Antigua can be found on line through Century 21 and RE/MAX. If you wait till past October the choices for rental Properties is limited. The experienced travelers know get in early for the prime real estate properties in Antigua Guatemala.
On-line a number of web based vacation rental property companies exists. The main sites are www.vrbo.com, www.flipkey.com, www.vacationrentals.com and www.homeaway.com. A word of caution about these sites is as follows: These sites make their money by page views and are limited to liability for what the individuals state about their homes or rental properties on-line. Recently we had a friend that rented a home from Home Away. The home was not as described in many ways. Home Away did take an active role to investigate the problems and did remove the listed site from their sites. Most people do have a great experience using these sites.
The best answer is find a smaller local real estate agent to help you find that dream vacation rental. In our case we have had the joy and benefit of working with a woman in Antigua Guatemala named Ana, she owns a Real Estate business in Antigua Guatemala called, http://www.nlpunto.com/. The advantage with Ana is she was trained and worked in Guatemala City and then moved back to Antigua. Ana knows many people and most of her properties are not listed on her web site or others.
Lake Atitlan Guatemala is a highly promoted as for Travel and Tourism in Guatemala. My wife and I lived in Santa Cruz which is on the Lake. While a stunning incredible place of beauty a few limiting factors exist for the area. First the primary means of travel around the lake is by boat. Thus to get to other areas around the Lake Atitlan the boat is the easiest means. Not so great for us as we were in Lake Atitlan during tropical Storm Agatha. Thus if you are considering a vacation property rental in Lake Atitlan I would suggest Panajachel as the ideal starting point for first time vacations. Pana as it is called is the landing and leaving point for all to enter Lake Atitlan. Panajachel is an hour and a half from Antigua and two plus hours from Guatemala City. All said this is an incredible area to spend your vacation time.
Livingston Guatemala is by far one of my most loved area to find a vacation rental property. Livingston has the best of both worlds it is part on the Caribbean coast and part on the famous Rio Dulce river area. In order to get to Livingston from Guatemala city you take a bus with travel time of about 6 hours to Puerto Barrios. Livingston is on an island as they call it. The primary means is obviously a boat from Puerto Barrios to Livingston. From one side of this lovely Garifuna town to the other one can walk in about 15 minutes. Livingston is a very slow pace with warm weather most of the year. Sadly Livingston if you search for it on-line gets some bad reviews about the beaches and such. Not true. This is a village a hamlet and ideal vacation rental area.
If you are consider investing in Real Estate in Antigua Guatemala a few points to consider. The value of Antigua Guatemala real estate has consistently continue to increase at an investment grade rate of return. I would not consider building a home our home, two years to build because of permits and due process. I would buy and existing home which while you are not vacationing can be used as a vacation rental property. In many cases this will more then cover your mortgage payments.
The cost of living in Antigua as an example is a fraction of what one spend in Canada for example. At home in Canada every day I spend $200 in walking around money. In Antigua $200 a week will cover your walking around money.