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Buying in Mexico

Restricted Zone

In the interior of Mexico, you can buy property “fee simple” in your own name, just as you would in the United States or Canada. But Mexican law has special exceptions governing property within 31 miles of the coast and within 62 miles of the border, an area known as the Restricted Zone, if you are not a Mexican national. In this area property is either purchased through a Fideicomiso or through a Mexican Corporation.

Fideicomiso

After 1970, the Mexican government passed laws to permit foreigners, as private individuals, to buy property in the Restricted Zone through a bank trust or fideicomiso.

The trust, initially established for a 50 year term and renewable for an additional 50, gives you, the beneficiary, full rights of ownership. You will have complete and full rights to the property; you can use, change, rent or sell the property. In the event of death, the property passes to the beneficiary you have named, no probate is necessary. The fideicomiso cannot be used for property that is larger than 2000 meters. The current cost of establishing a trust is about $3,500 – 5,000 USD, and the annual fee charged after the second year is currently about $600 - 1000 USD. This covers the government fideicomiso permit fee, bank set-up fee and one year's fee. Charges may vary from bank to bank, and the annual maintenance fee depends on the value of the property.

Mexican Corporations and Visas

If you intend to use the property for business, it is easy to form a FOMC Foreign Owned Mexican Corporation. The property may be purchased by the corporation and 100% owned. Costs of forming a corporation vary from $1,800 to $3,500 USD. You can own a property larger than 2000 meters with a FOMC. The Mexican government currently requires monthly tax filings, so plan to pay a Mexican accountant about $50 to $100 USD a month. It is also important that the principal officers of the corporation apply for and obtain a working visa from the Department of Immigration. We recommend legal assistance.

Financing and Cash

Historically in Mexico, properties have been paid for in cash.  Please understand that it is extremely difficult to obtain financing for Mexican’s and foreigners alike. Also there are many sellers that will refuse to accept a offer that involves Bank financing, as the procedure is long and lengthy and the outcome is not certain, and because of tax reasons. Upon occasion a Seller may offer some short term financing with a large down payment of at least 50%. 

Repairs and Property Inspections

We will always do our best to represent the properties accurately, but we rely on the information that has been provided to us by the seller. Therefore Yucatan Beach Property SA de CV is not responsible for any discrepancies on the part of the seller, if you wish to have a professional’s opinion please hire a engineer, architect, contractor, accountant, or lawyer to confirm information.

There are no inspections companies in Mexico, or required disclosures on the part of the Seller. However, most of the foundations sit upon solid limestone and since there are no earthquakes in this area, if there is a problem with the foundation it would be visible and apparent. The roofing is usually solid concrete and leaks would be very noticeable. Many older properties are in need of renovations; this may include the rewiring of electric system, and re-plumbing to bring them up to the standard that you are accustomed to. Some properties that are advertised as “Fully Remodeled” or “Move in Ready” may not truly be. In Mexico, properties are sold "As is”, meaning that Sellers will not make repairs.

Closing

Once a price is a agreed upon by both Buyer and Seller, and there is a signed contract for purchase  signed by the parties involved, the Buyer has seven (7) days to submit the escrow deposit.  This is 10% of the sale price and is held by the Closing Attorney in a separate Escrow Account used for this purpose only. This money secure and binds the contract. Upon receiving the escrow amount an extensive title search is conducted confirming that there are no existing liens or other title problems. This process generally takes thirty (30) to forty (40) days. A few days prior to closing, you will receive an itemized expense list and the full closing costs that are due prior to the final signing. 

If you will not be in Mexico for the closing, we can represent you, or anyone of your choosing, with a limited Power of Attorney, for a specific transaction.  

In Mexico most of the closing costs is paid by the Buyer, including the cost to form your trust or corporation. These costs are based value of the property which may be lower than the actual sales price. There is a 2% - 4% transfer tax plus attorney’s fees which will generally amount to 5% of the appraised value of the property.

Real estate commissions are generally paid by the Seller, unless you have retained and chosen us as your Buyer’s Broker. Commissions are 6% of the sales price.

The time to form a corporation is generally several weeks. Forming a fideicomiso may take 30 days or more, as a permit must be obtained. If the property is already in an existing bank trust, this will speed up the process and will cost a little less around $2,500 to substitute your name on Bank documents plus the closing costs. However in the case of historic properties, it may take much longer to close, as the documents are very old and title may have not been transferred or it may have been a very long time in between and there may be inconsistencies which have to be remedied prior to bank obtaining a permit. If there is an inheritance is involved, courts move very slowly in Mexico, and it could not be predicted how long it may take to close.

People from all walks of life have discovered the historic importance and elegant charm of Merida and the natural beauty of the Gulf Coast in the Yucatan. We would be honored to help you discover the many reasons why you will fall in love with Mexico.

 









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