1.    Can a foreigner purchase real estate in Mexico? Do they have to be a Mexican Resident ?

Yes, a foreigner can purchase property in Mexico. As of now, a foreigner does not have to be a Mexican resident to purchase property in Mexico.

2.    How can a foreigner purchase beachfront property?

For a foreign individual or foreign corporation acquiring a beachfront property, the title must be held in a fideicomiso (real estate trust).

3.    What is a fideicomiso (real estate trust), and how does it work?

A fideicomiso is a legal mechanism to facilitate foreign ownership of property located within the restricted zone – an area extending approximately 50 km inland from the coast and 100 km from the international border.

A fideicomiso allows for the acquisition of ownership rights through a trust agreement with an authorized Mexican bank. The bank, as the trustee, holds legal title to the property on behalf of the beneficiary (foreign buyer) who has exclusive rights to use, enjoy, lease, improve, sell, or transfer the property within the legal framework of the trust. It is not considered an asset of the bank; hence, it is protected from the bank’s creditors or potential bankruptcy.

The bank has the responsibility to manage and administer the property according to the instructions of the beneficiary.

The trust agreement typically has a maximum term of 50 years, with an option to renew.

The beneficiary can sell the property at any time, and the trust can be transferred to another foreign buyer.

Overall, a fideicomiso provides a secure and legal method for foreigners to have control and enjoy the benefits of real estate ownership in Mexico’s restricted zone.

4.    Is a Fideicomiso necessary if the property is outside of the Restricted Zone?

No. If the property is outside of the Restricted Zone, the foreigner can have direct title.

5.    Should I use a real estate agent and attorney when purchasing property in Mexico?

Yes, it is highly recommended to use both a reputable real estate agent (consider using an experienced A.M.P.I agent) and an attorney when purchasing property in Mexico. They will conduct extensive due diligence on the property, checking for any potential liens, debts, or outstanding taxes.

Having professionals by your side can provide you with valuable guidance and protection throughout the purchasing process.

An attorney who specializes in Mexican real estate law can help ensure that all legal aspects of the purchase are handled correctly. They will review contracts and verify the property’s legal status, protecting you from potential legal issues and fraudulent transactions.

A real estate agent experienced in the Mexican market can provide valuable insights and help you find properties that match your requirements. They have knowledge of local neighborhoods, market trends, property values, and can negotiate on your behalf to get the best deal possible.

Remember, laws and regulations may vary in different regions of Mexico, so it’s essential to engage professionals who have expertise in the specific area where you plan to purchase the property.

6.    What is an A.M.P.I agent?

An A.M.P.I agents adhere to a code of ethics and undergo training to provide professional and reliable real estate services to clients in Mexico.
n A.M.P.I agent in Mexico refers to a real estate professional who is a member of the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals (Asociación Mexicana de Profesionales Inmobiliarios, A.M.P.I). This organization is one of the largest and most prominent real estate associations in Mexico, representing and regulating the activities of real estate agents in the country.

A.M.P.I agents adhere to a code of ethics and undergo training to provide professional and reliable real estate services to clients in Mexico.

7.    How much are closing costs, and what does it include?

The buyer’s closing costs can vary depending on the specific location and the property being acquired. They usually range from 4% to 6% of the property’s purchase price.

These costs typically include:

  • Appraisal
  • Bank Trust Fees
  • Cautionary Notice Fee
  • Certificate of No Liens
  • Foreign Affairs Restricted Zone Permit (if applicable)
  • Preventative Notice
  • Application For Payment Of Property Transfer Tax
  • Property Transfer Tax
  • Public Registry Recording
  • Notary Fees + I.V.A (Value Added Tax)
  • Additional Pages
  • Copies

8.   Can I rent out my Mexican property?

Yes, it is possible to rent out property in Mexico. However, there are certain legal requirements and regulations that you need to be aware of before doing so.

It is recommended to consult with a local attorney or real estate professional who can guide you through the process and ensure you comply with all the necessary laws and regulations. If your property is part of a homeowner association, you need to check the rules and regulations regarding rentals to see if they are allowed and what restrictions are in place.

9.    Why use a Notary for a real estate transaction, and what’s their role?

Using a Notary in Mexico for a real estate transaction is a legal requirement and an integral part of the process.

The role of a Notary is to provide legal certainty and ensure the authenticity and validity of the transaction. They verify the legality of the transaction, review the title and ownership history of the property, and ensure that all necessary documents are in order.

10.    Are mortgages available in Mexico, or is it only a cash market?

Mortgages are available in Mexico. Several Mexican banks and financial institutions offer mortgage loans for property purchases to both residents and non-residents. It is important to note that mortgage terms, interest rates, and requirements may vary between lenders and borrowers.

11.    How long does the home-buying process take?

The timeframe for closing a real estate transaction in Mexico can vary, especially when there is a foreign buyer involved.

While it is difficult to provide an exact duration, the process can take anywhere from 45-60 days.

Several factors can influence the timeline, including the complexity of the transaction, the real estate trust bank (if applicable), the specific location within Mexico, the efficiency of the parties involved, and any potential legal or administrative requirements.

It is advisable to work with experienced professionals, such as real estate agents, attorneys, or notaries, who are familiar with the local regulations and can guide you through the process.

12.    Can the Mexican government take away my property?

As long as a real estate attorney is utilized to conduct a title search, verifying the seller’s legal ownership and absence of any claims against the property including taxes or liens, and the buyer registers as the owner at the Property Registration Office, no one can legally seize the property.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) prohibits Mexico from expropriating land unless it is for a public purpose, such as constructing a road. This same provision is present in numerous countries, including the US and Canada.