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

martes, 5 de agosto de 2014

Buy Land under 50,000 $ in Lake Atitlan Guatemala

Guatemala being the next place to be, some wonder if it is still possible to buy land for an affordable price in Guatemala and particularly in Lake Atitlan. If the most look after retirement destination in Guatemala, Antigua Guatemala, is out of reach for most of the potential retirees, Lake Atitlan still offers great land opportunities.. In Antigua, in the urban area it is almost impossible to find a vacant lot and if you find one the price are in the 6 figures..outside the urban limit and in the surrounding villages you do find affordable lots but often without any utilities.. Check this project Cafetales de Santa Ana.
Now Lake Atitlan which is one of the top lake destination in the world  offers still great lot to buy..

For example we have a great piece of land outside San Pedro La Laguna, on the road, with electricity, water from a well offered at $22,000.00. Ideal to build your own little corner of paradise..
Now for your surprise there is sometimes incredible offers like this one in A cottage for $ 25,000.

You could add a floor and have a view of the lake and enjoy the proximity of the goodies that San Marcos La Laguna as to offer..Now a bit closer to Panajachel in Santa Cruz La Laguna you can find a lot with all the services for $ 45,000, with a contract from the government. Close to hotel Isla Verde , above it , with great views and a terrace to build on it.. And finally if you want a more urban location like Panajachel, you can find some lots around 100 - 120 m2 for around $ 25,000... So yes it is still possible to get a real good real estate buy in Lake Atitlan Area. Still the high land destination for retirement in Guatemala, for the lovers of natural beauty and living Mayan Villages.

viernes, 13 de junio de 2014

Escape from the City!

Never Lake Atitlan has been so attractive.. find out this hidden gem located only 2 1/2  hours from Guatemala city.. And check what real estate property are available at the best real estate listing for Guatemala...HERE

viernes, 30 de mayo de 2014

Two Houses for sale Waterfront San Juan La Laguna. Property close to the village but not in the village. All fenced, full grown trees, guardian house, storage,with pier right on the water. Ideal for retirement or to develop a retreat center. Excellent real estate property and house for sale in Guatemala, Lake Atitlan. It is located close to San Juan La Laguna the village most advanced in terms of communitary organisation. Full of primitive painters, local weaving cooperative.. all at a great price $ 120,000.00