As most of you know, we got hacked. Over 1000 bogus accounts were created and thousands of SPAM posts created. While not "cured" we are close. That means the SPAM has been deleted and most bogus accounts have either been banned or deleted. I say most because there are still some out there that will be dealt with when a bogus post is made.

Security measures have been added but some bogus accounts were still being created. For now, the ability to create new accounts has been turned off. If you want an account, send an email message to staff@gt4us.com and include the following information:

  • email address
  • preferred login name
  • temporary password (you will need to change it when you log in)

We will set up your account and email you the information. Once you log in, besides changing your password, we encourage you to fill in your profile information.

Sorry for the inconvenience but that seems to be the way the world works right now.

Buying a House

This is specifically about buying a house in Guatemala City. In other areas things will be similar.

The most complicated may be finding the property you want. With the lack of a multiple listing service (discussed in my blog) it is not fun but can be done. Then you just need to do the legal stuff. Yes, you will need a lawyer.

First, the records are in three places and need to match:

  • National registry
  • Municipality
  • Catastro (I think this is part of the minestry of finance)

The lawyer's job is to check the above, verify there are no liens, documents are not forged, ...
You can just point the seller at him and he can do all the work. If it is all OK we just set up a date for the Compra/Venta. The seller will need to bring photocopies of all the documents to him.

You may be used to having an escrow agent dealing with the paperwork. (They are an impartial third party who gets all the paperwork and money together, processes everything and then gives documents and money to the right people.) That doesn't exist. The buyer's lawyer does all this. You will need the money -- probably a cashier's check -- for the seller plus money for the transfer taxes (usually 3%), recording fees and, eventually, the fees your lawyer charges.

You may be told "let's put a low sales prices on the paperwork and save taxes. I have been told that the government is cracking down hard on this practice. It's your decision, of course, but from what I have been told it is a bad idea.