Buying a house in Mexico – How and why
Buying a house in Mexico requires an extensive amount of research, planning, and preparation. Buying property in Mexico means you need to hire professionals who can help you with the property transfer in Mexico.
Although the prices in some areas in Mexico have risen in recent years, you can find and buy property for sale in Mexico for a good price. Mexico properties are mostly cheaper than properties in the US and Europe.
So, if you are moving from New York to buy a house in Mexico, you should consider hiring professionals to help you. An international move is quite a difficult thing to do. Start with preparations as soon as possible, because there is so much to do.
Hiring international New York movers for your Mexico relocation would probably be the best thing to do. An experienced moving company will help you with your move (handling crossing the border, which is probably the toughest part of the relocation, because of the paperwork), making it smooth and easy. Just the way a relocation to Mexico should be.
How difficult is the property purchase process in Mexico?
There is a system in Mexico for property purchases by foreigners. In the past, foreigners could purchase real estate anywhere in Mexico except the restricted zone. But, today, Foreign Investment Law in Mexico allows foreigners to purchase real estate within the restricted zone.
When you decide to buy a house in Mexico, you can consider hiring a Mexico real estate agent that lists properties for sale. When real estate agents find you a property to buy, you can negotiate the sales price. Then, you need to obtain a permit to buy the property from the foreign secretary’s office.
If you are buying a house in Mexico, as a foreigner you can buy it through a bank trust. The closing coordinator will help you with checking the ownership and insurance and verifying if the property is free of liens. The trust that is created is good for 50 years. With this document, you are ensured that you (the buyer) are the beneficiary of that trust. It is not an asset of the bank, and the government cannot deprive you of your property ownership.
There is another way to purchase property in Mexico. You can do it through a Mexican corporation. They are allowed to buy Mexican property anywhere in the country, but they have to pay higher utility fees. It is a rule for all commercial properties. But, if you want to buy a house in Mexico, you should know that you can buy a residential real estate, but only if you want to rent it. You cannot buy a residential real estate through a Mexican corporation in order to live there.
The Most important steps during a house buying in Mexico
- The most important tip when buying a house in Mexico, in addition to finding a licensed real estate agent, is to hire a lawyer to help you with each step of the purchasing process. In case you intend to hire a real estate agent, the agent should have its own team of attorneys, notaries, closing coordinators etc. So choosing a real estate professional wisely, you are making sure to have all these issues solved in advance.
Other important steps are (the closing coordinator takes care of all the following steps, but we want to give you an insight of what is to be done):
- An initial written agreement to sell/buy. Like we mentioned, this agreement has the details about the house price and the deadlines for purchasing process.
- As a foreign buyer, you need to get a permission from the foreign secretary’s office to buy real estate in Mexico.
- A closing coordinator checks the seller’s property deeds.
- The official documentation should be given to the notary. This is also a must for a seller. Both of you need to provide your IDs, birth certificates, etc. As we said, the closing coordinator will take care of this and let you know what to prepare.
- The seller also needs to provide the original property deed, recent tax receipts, and proof that he/she paid all of the utility bills.
- The seller pays capital gains tax on the property purchase. A closing coordinator will work a strategy with the Notario, to lower the taxes as much as possible.
- The final payment for your Mexico house is conducted when the property deed is signed over to you at the notary’s office.
- You can buy a house in Mexico by cash, seller financing, developer financing or through a mortgage broker. The escrow company will give instructions how to wire the money into the escrow account. The closing coordinator will instruct the escrow company to disburse funds at closing.
- You need to pay the notary’s fees as well as any closing costs during the buying process.
Costs of buying a house in Mexico
Besides the price of the house, there are other expenses. Some of them are covered by the buyer, the others are the seller’s expense.
The Mexico real estate buyer pays:
- Notary costs
- Acquisition tax
- Registration fees
- Escrow fees (safety for money and used for disbursements)
* A closing coordinator will provide a total estimate of closing costs before the sale goes under contract. The buyer and the seller will approve their costs before moving forward.
The Mexico real estate seller pays:
- Real estate agent fees plus IVA taxes
- Capital gains tax
Beside your licensed real estate agent and attorney/closing coordinator, the most important person in your house buying in Mexico is the public notary. A licensed public notary is the main part of all real estate transactions in Mexico.
The closing coordinator/attorney will ensure that all documents and permits are in order. They also check if the property has liens on the land, or doesn’t have building permits, tax registers, and any land taxes and utilities not paid.
Also, if the property is owned by multiple owners, all the owners who gave permission to sell are checked. So, it is really important that you provide all the purchasing documents to the closing coordinator for certification. Never rely on words and documents which are not valid.
A closing coordinator/attorney handles getting permission from the foreign secretary’s office for buying real estate in Mexico.
Places to buy a house in Mexico
If you decide to move and buy a house in Mexico, there are many places in Mexico where you can find your new home and peace. There are also places where you can get good deal when buying Mexico real estate. Mexico has lots of great real estate opportunities. Buying a house in Mexico is possible in the big cities but also in the beach resort areas in Cabo, Baja, Puerto Vallarta, Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point), the Mayan Riviera, Mazatlan, Cancun etc.
You can buy a house in Mexico for a second property, for vacation purposes, or you can own a house for your permanent residence or enjoy as an income producing property.
So, in Mexico you can find houses for all cases in few great places to live:
- Playa del Carmen real estate – Caribbean beachfront living from Playa to Tulum
- San Miguel de Allende – Mountains, beautiful weather, cultural capital of Mexico
- Merida – old colonial city with inexpensive Mexican colonial real estate
- Cabo San Lucas – Pacific beach living
- Puerto Penasco – In the FREE ZONE, where the desert meets the sea, 200 miles from Phoenix or Tucson, Arizona
The reasons to buy a house in Mexico
When you make a decision to buy a house in Mexico you should know that the rules can be different than those you are used to.
It is never a good idea to buy real estate unless you understand all of the things and rules for buying a house in Mexico. So, before you start searching, learn what to expect and most importantly – hire a real estate agent in Mexico.
There are many reasons to buy a property in Mexico. But, all of them come down to a personal choice.
Buying a house in Mexico always depends on individual circumstances: If you want a house for living or you want a property investment with rental income or place to stay on holiday when you visit, whatever you choose, best wishes in your search.
“Mexican Beach Bum” (Robin Miller) Realtor® is the Designated Broker for Mexico Real Estate and Document Services in the beautiful resort city of Puerto Peñasco-Rocky Point, Mexico, where the desert meets the ocean. Just 210 miles from Phoenix or Tucson and where income producing properties start at $75,000 and beach view homes and condos start at $150,000.
Being in the Mexico Real Estate Industry for over 11 years, I have been assisting clients with their Mexico vacation home buying and selling decisions in Puerto Peñasco-Rocky Point, and Puerto Vallarta.
**License #442 (licensing required by the State of Sonora)
**Accredited Professional Broker in Puerto Peñasco-Rocky Point
**AMPI member (Mexico’s Real Estate Association)
**Executive AMPI Board member of the local chapter 51
**NAR member (U.S. National Association of Realtors®)
**Member of the local MLS, Multiple Listing Service
**Have a full legal team, in house, to assist buyers with obtaining titles, and sellers with capital gains strategies.
With my credentials and the support of my in house legal team, I am qualified to represent, and PROTECT BUYERS as they search for and purchase the perfect vacation home or income producing investment property.
It is important that a foreign buyer connects with a properly qualified licensed agent for their real estate search and purchase transaction. Licensed agents, AMPI and NAR members are held to high ethical standards; attend continuing education classes, and keeping up to date on current issues so they can help guide their clients through the buying and selling process in Mexico.
Ask me for my FREE guide to safely purchase Mexico real estate.
US Line in Mexico: (602) 539-3124
Mexico Cell: 011-521-638-109-0443
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