martes, 10 de febrero de 2015

Lake Atitlan in numbers

For the ones who wonders about the department of Solola where Lake Atitlan is located here are some numbers to help you understand the territory. Before making a decision where to live or retire you might consider some of this information...

The main town is Solola, from the department of Solola, people from Solola are called Sololateco.
Population estimated 477,706 and a density per km2 of 450 inhabitant / km2.
The altitude of Solola is 2,113 ABSL , temperatures Min 1.1oC Max 30.2o C this is at the altitude of Solola, down at the lake level the minimum are higher in the 14o C.
Around the department 4 languages are spoken : Spanish, K'iche', Kakchiquel and Tz'utujil.
Medium age 18 years old.. very young...
An important fact is the number of inhabitant per villages
Solola 130,621
San Jose Chacaya 5,092
Santa Maria Visitacion 2,704
Santa Lucia Utatlan 25,402
Nahuala 68,616
Santa Catalina Ixthahuacan  51,555
Santa Clara La Laguna  10,398
Concecpcion  7,124
San Andres Semetabaj  13,715
Panajachel  18,552
Santa Catarina Palopo 6,311
San Antonio Palopo 13,700
San Lucas Toliman  31,721
Santa Cruz La Laguna  7,983
San Pablo La Laguna  7,757
San Marcos La Laguna  4,784
San Juan La Laguna  11,536
San Pedro La Laguna  11,716
Santiago Atitlan  48,419

Total 477,706

There are 1,316 legally registered company in Solola
They occupy the folloing number of people
From 1 to 5   987 companies or 75% of the total
From 6 to 9   113 companies or 8,58% of the total
From 10 to 19  90 companies or 6.83%
From 20 to 49   65 companies or  4.93%
from 50 to 99    26 companies or 1.97%
more of 99   12   companies or 0.91 of the total

Sector of activity

Construction 2.67%
Transformation industries 3.85%
Transport and storage  4.15 %
Agriculture, farming fishing  9.04%
Water, waste  1.19%
Trade, vehicle maintenance 79.11%

Educacion of this very young poblation in 2013
93.1% of the student finish the first level of educacion (primario)
43.2%  the basic level (basico)
and 7,325 students graduate in 2012

Lake Atitlan is the main attractive of Solola.
There are 226 hotels, 2,619 rooms and 7,393 beds

(source Bank of Guatemala and INE)

domingo, 25 de enero de 2015

Two Houses for sale Panajachel with big garden

Excellent property, located above the market, at the end of a private entrance this big lot offers two houses. You could live on the property collect money from the rent of the guest house (currently rented) and still have place to receive visit and do your favorite hobby... more information on PANAH 15 here.
More pictures at the following CLICK

domingo, 11 de enero de 2015

House for sale San Marcos La Laguna Atitlan Guatemala

For the one looking for a nice little place in San Marcos La Laguna. Away from the river and the lake, on the path to the yoga farm.. a cute little cottage with land close to it to expand.. Only $ 45,000

SANMAH 10 Cute house for sale San Marcos La Laguna Atitlan

Similar listing at

And remember Guatemala , Lake Atitlan is the ideal place to retire

lunes, 3 de noviembre de 2014

Buying Real Estate as a foreigner in Guatemala

Buying  as a foreigner in Guatemala…

Guatemala is a new destinación for retirees or investors and you will find out that a lot of places offer great deal. From Guatemala City, the modern one, to the beautiful Colonial Antigua Guatemala, without forgetting Rio Dulce the tropical área, as well as Lake Atitlan the living country of the high lands.

All these áreas  offers real estate properties that are great for vacation rentals or to just retire in style.

What many people do not realise when they make the decision to buy real estate in Guatemala  is that the process and rules may be different than what they are used to. The general say  : “It is never a good idea to make a significant investment in real estate unless you understand all of the things that are involved and that have to be done” is good as well for Guatemala. Particularly if you are not used to invest outside your own country and if on top of everything don’t speak spanish.. Before buying in any country it is highly recommended to get to know the country and what it means to be owner…  And it is fundamental to know what  to expect and what the process is for buying real estate in Guatemala when you are a foreigner.

Communal Land

In Guatemala some land are own collectively by the indigenous population particularly in the Highland. Called ejidos municipales , they are extensive size of territory that has been given to the mayan population over times for several different reasons. The problema with them is that very often they are not properly registered in the  National Registry of Land. So you might be buying a piece of land  which might be challenged in the future.

In Guatemala barely 20% of the territory is  surveyed by the government. It is in process but it is a slow process..

The National Reserve of the State called or “las áreas de reservas del Estado”

Under this category foreigners can’t purchase the property as the land belong to the Guatemalan State. But you can lease it. The lease are for 30 years and can’t be renewed  un definitively. Actually in the contract the government extend you it says that you are required six months prior the termination of the contract to manifest by writing that you want to renew it.
You lease the land and you own the improvements you are making on it.. You have all the rights of ownership and can sell your house and the rights of the contracto or pass it to your heirs in a will.

Rights of posesión or squatters rights

This is the most common form of owner ship in Guatemala. They are rights acquired over times and they can be sold and acquired. Now these kind of properties are very difficult to be guaranteed.. and if you buy a house on a land with rights of posesión your security is higher as you can show continuous un disturb ownership. Acquiring rights of posesión doesn’t prevent you to comply with other laws like the one with discuss above.. As if your land is in 3.5 kms from the ocean shore line, 200 ms of a lake, 100 ms of a navigable river you have to get a leasing contract with the government.

Deeded properties

These are the most secure you can acquire as the government by his registration and control guarantee it.. You find them mostly in cities and in farming áreas. Before buying a certificate from the Registry is required to show if the property doesn’t suffer any mortgage or lean. They are more valuable and are taxed differently than the squatters rights.

The Buying Process

There are several source to find real estate in Guatemala as any other countries.
It is strongly recommended to work with a legally authorised real estate agent as they know better the market and should speak english in order to help you understand what will happen. Prices are almost negociable before making an offer check what is in the market in the área to give you a sense of what you are betting on. Once the price is agreed on ,unless you have cash on hand immediately available , a down payment of 10% is paid by the buyer.

No permit are required to own a property in Guatemala.
Once the buyer has the funds ready the buyer and the seller meet at the buyer notary. He will have checked the legality of the papers proving the ownership of the land. There is no escrow in Guatemala so it is strongly recommended for the buyer to open a bank account to transfer the money to his account. It makes the closing much easier.
If you are buying a  property with a deed it takes less than 6 months to have it registered in your name.


Besides the agreed upon price of the property, there are other costs that have to be paid. All the cost associated with a real estate property are supported by the buyer.
Typically the buyer pays:

Notary costs
VAT tax
Registration fees, other fees

The seller pays the Real estate agent fees unless agreed otherwise.

We strongly recommend that foreigners work with certified Realtors and as well members of the Guatemalan Chambers of Realtors , a guarantee of professionalism.

viernes, 31 de octubre de 2014

For the ones who are looking central and don't mind to live in a neighbourhood. This lot is 120 m2 with only pedestrian access.. maybe a moto taxi can get in.. You can't bit the location. 
And there are enough place to build a house on different level.
Have a look at PANAL 07

New listing from Atitlan Solutions, your real estate partner in Lake Atitlan

Guatemalan the place to discover...

Of all the Central American Countries , Guatemala is the least known despite hosting some world heritage sites.. like the Mayan Ruines of Tikal, the colonial town of Antigua Guatemala and the Archeaological Park and Ruins of Quirigua (host of the tallest Mayan Stela of Mesoamerica), a Nobel Litterature Price Miguel Angel Asturias  and a Nobel Peace Price Rigoberta Menchu… To often people hear about  Guatemala being  violent,  with too many social inequalities and ilegal immigrants…

But of all the Central Americans country, Guatemala offers the most diversity in landscape and climate, a living  and vibrant Mayan population , and an excellent range of opportunity for relocation, real estate investment and quality retirement life style.

Looking at Guatemala geographic location you  notice it is  first country South of Mexico, at two hours flight from Miami, six hours from New York and five hours from Los Angeles. Which gives you a great climate and it is not for nothing it has been called the “country of eternal spring”. Bath by two oceans it gives you a range of location to choose from sea level, tropical low land  to high lands. A volcanic landscape with thirty  volcanos (three actives) scult dramatic sceneries.

Guatemala offers in short distances different life style…
First of all Guatemala City with its international airport La Aurora, host modern amenities as big cities  with excellent restaurants, hotels, malls and first world medical facilities.
Travel back in times and enjoy the colonial architecture of Antigua Guatemala considered in the colonial time as one of the three most beautiful city of the new world with Mexico and Lima. 
You enjoy sailing and tropical rivers?  Check out  Lago Izabal (the biggest lake in Guatemala) and Rio dulce (where Tarzan and the Green goddess in 1938 was shoot).
You like open ocean fishing  well drive  one hour from Guatemala city an you will be tackling  billfish and sail fish for world record number of daily catch and release.
Now if you are more attracted by living Mayan culture head to the Highlands and particularly to Lake Atitlan where you will be living between Kakchikels, Tzutuhiles and Quiches Mayan communities on the shore of one of the most beautiful lake in the world according Adoux Huxley..
Push a Little bit higher and enjoy the cool temperatura of the second town of Guatemala, Quetzaltenango.

A such compact diversified locations  offer great opportunity for people looking to retire keeping their quality of life at a fraction of the cost than the United States … Food is inexpensive abundant all year round, profesional services like maid, gardener are very affordable. If electricity is more expensive than what you could  have imagined the fact that you don’t need heating or cooling system (except beach level) cut back on your electrical bill . Making it a new destination for people wanting to retiring in Latin America..
Real estate is very affordable, for example price per m2 in Guatemala city is 7seven times cheaper than Miami… you can find houses and land a fraction of the cost of your own country. You can buy a two bedrooms house on the edge of Lake Atitlan for $ 160,000, making it  a great location for investors. 

Guatemala  is still a country to be discovered and there are opportunities to snap for the clairvoyant entrepreneur and real estate investors.

lunes, 25 de agosto de 2014

Discover the Mayan Atlantide

Unique under water mayan city.. and it is located in the heart of Lake Atitlan.
and when you come to discover the lake don't hesitate to rent a house with atitlan Solutions Vacation rentals..  and if you are looking for a place to retire or invest check our list of properties at Atitlan Solutions Real Estate