Relocating – Secret of Rental Fees in Antigua Guatemala

Like everything in Guatemala, negotiating and bargaining is part of the game. This is soooooooo different than Costa Rica. No one bargains here at all. I mean, even when you buy a piece of property where negotiating and lowering the price is the norm, no one does it. So when my realtor showed us a so-gorgeous townhouse in Central Antigua, but at a so-not-in-our-price-range figure, we almost got offended. Immediately she calmed me down and said that they will go down. I was thinking they are going to go THAT far down!

This house is so perfect, that my 5 year old felt indignant and betrayed when we were taken to other places after seeing the Number 5 house (this is the number of the unit and has become my son’s little obsession- yes, it’s really that great!) Located a few minute walk from Central Park on a super residential quiet street with its own electric gate and cobblestoned driveway. The house has a garage for your car and a seperate entrance for the maid’s quarter. From the outside the house looks tiny, but when you enter it’s got a living room and a dining room separated by an open fireplace. Before the relatively large kitchen is a breakfast nook. Further on is a laundry room and staircase to the rooftop which is a big terrace with views of the volcano.Upstairs are three huge bedrooms with a lot of closets (very uncommon in these countries). The master bedroom has another fireplace. And, there’s even a family room!

After we left drooling and thinking of all sorts of ways to come up with the price, cause never in a million years did we believe that they would lower the price to our price range.

In the meantime, we were viewing other places also at higher prices, with the reassurance that they all go lower.

Finally we get the call.

Antigua is an extremely transient town, so when someone wants a long term contract people will lower their prices beyond anything you would ever imagine. Not only did they lower their price to our range, we can keep some of their furniture. After the call I was waiting for the punchline. Miracolously, another agent who also showed us a pretty place way beyond our means, called at that instant telling me that the other landlord was willing to go down to our price range, pay maintance and do whatever else we wanted (more or less).

So don’t be fooled by the prices and I definitely recommend look at rentals at least 30% higher than what you can afford!

How-To Relocate Series

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About Marina Kuperman Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 10+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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