Buying Real Estate In Mexico – How To Buy a House
Buying Real Estate In Mexico
Owning a property in Mexico for investment or retirement?
It is a misconception that foreigners cannot own Real Estate assets in Mexico, which they can. There’s no need for a special status or resident visa to own real estate as a foreigner. Still, there is a restricted zone which a foreign corporation or person may obtain all obligations and rights of ownership of residential property. For that case, there is a title held in a bank trust known as “fideicomiso”.
The Restricted Zone
The Mexican constitution banned foreigners from owning property within 62 miles of any Mexican land border and 31 miles of any coastline. This prohibited areas are known as the “restricted zone”. In result, most vacation properties fall into these restricted zones due to natural beauty. But since there is a strong worldwide demand from foreigners wanting to invest in these zones, the Mexican government created a way around to work in this aspect, so foreigners can own properties in these zones. They created a system called “fideicomiso”, a real estate trust with a Mexican bank or corporation by which foreigners can own residential properties within the restricted zones.
Any foreigner can constitute a “Fideicomiso” through a Mexican bank or corporation to purchase real estate anywhere in Mexico. The foreigner beneficiary will have all the rights and obligations of ownership with full control over the property. This means you can live, rent, sell, improve and will the property. One thing to have in mind is that fideicomisos are not assets of the bank. That’s why even in unrestricted zones Mexican nationals and foreigners, for that matter, prefer to hold their property under a “fideicomiso”.
The Beauty of Riviera Maya
Riviera Maya is one of the most demanded zones for tourism. Rent and vacation in this zone creates great rental income on investment and vacation properties, specially in Cancun, Tulum and Playa del Carmen. The Riviera Maya boasts great food, climate, beautiful people and a wonderful culture of Mayan History. You will find outdoor restaurants, euro-style shops, cafes and incredible entertainment. Mixed the Bohemian eclectic lifestyle, exotic cultural escapes and beautiful white sand beaches. You can find amazing developments with amenities at much lower prices of what you’d day por a similar property in the U.S. or Canada with bigger returns in investments.
Buying Real Estate In Mexico Safely
To find a property for lease or purchase, it is advisable to contact a reputable real estate company. If not, you can get caught in a scam by people taking your money and not having a legitimate title. A real estate company checks all of this and ensures you will get a clear legal title with a safety transaction with a “Notario Publico”.
A “Notario Publico” is a government appointed lawyer who certifies and processes all types of real estate transactions. They will review all the closing documents to ensure a proper transfer. All powers of attorney, wills, official witnessing, formation of corporations are handled and duly registered through the office of the “Notario Publico”. The “Notario Publico” is the responsible to give to the assigned government offices the collection of all taxes involved.
What documents are needed by law for a real estate transfer?
Non-lien certificate known as “Libertad de Gravamen”. This is obtained from the Public Property Registry.
Statement from the Treasury of Municipality. This statement is regarding property assessments, bills and other pertinent taxes.
It is a common practice that the buyer pays the acquisition tax and transfer costs. As well all other closing costs including the Notario Publico fees and expenses. The seller only pays his capital gains tax and the broker’s / real estate agency commission.
Since December, 23, 2020, the state of Quintana Roo applies a 2% real estate transfer tax. This transfer tax plus the rest of the closing costs vary from 3 – 4% of the purchase price.
If you plan to build or change the nature of the property you bought, you will need a permit. The only permit needed to proceed with building is a construction permit that is given by the municipality. But you might need other permits to gain this construction permit depending on the type of project. For example, building a house next to the beach will require environmental permits form the state and the federal government. If the land you own has a high quantity of wood, you will need a permit to remove the vegetation. That’s why some buyers opt to buy a prepared cleared lot. If someone chooses a uncleaned lot with vegetation, they will need to consider the cost of clearing and the cost of the permit to clear it and the time it takes to gain this permit.
The permits themselves may need endorsements, for example a stamp approval from “Hacienda” which is the Mexico’s equivalent to the IRA. A experienced real estate professional will know best which permits are necessary and the process needed to obtain them. Consider taking the time to research before beginning any step of construction in your property in Mexico.
In the early process you will need to acquire the permits, documents and paperwork for each step of the buying or building process. Dealing with government offices in Mexico can be frustrating by the cause of a large amount of bureaucratic red tape and lack of commitment. Before beginning your building project, it’s recommended that you hire a reputable architecture firm. They will be in charge of all permits, paperwork and the bureaucratic process. This will mostly ensure that every step of your project will run smoothly.
– Permiso para constituir fideicomiso en zona restringida. Retrieved January 31, 2021, from https://sre.gob.mx/permiso-para-constituir-un-fideicomiso-en-zona-restringida
– Ley de impuesto sobre adquisición de bienes inmuebles de los municipios del Estado de Quintana Roo. https://normas.cndh.org.mx/Documentos/Quintana%20Roo/Ley_IABIME_QRoo.pdf
Look videos of Riviera Maya’s Real Estate Projects here.