Yucatán Today often receives questions from foreigners interested in buying Mexican real estate. We asked MexLaw to answer the most common questions.
Can a foreigner buy real estate in México?
Yes, a person of any nationality can legally buy real estate in México.
Is it safe to buy real estate in México?
Yes, but you should hire a law firm that will provide a Title Guaranty and ensure you receive a free and clear title.
Can I buy beachfront property in México?
Yes. However, property within 50 km of México’s coast, or within 100 km of México’s borders is considered a restricted zone and foreigners must buy through a fideicomiso. The property is held in a bank trust with you as the beneficiary.
Are there fees involved with a fideicomiso?
Yes, the fideicomiso is subject to a set-up fee and a nominal annual trust fee.
Is the fideicomiso a lease?
No, although it is held in 50-year increments, the trust is renewable by you at any time. Your property will not be considered a bank asset.
How can I buy in a restricted zone without a fideicomiso?
Foreigners may set up a Mexican corporation, and buy through the corporation, or become a Mexican citizen.
Do I need a fideicomiso if the property is not in the restricted zone?
No, property outside the restricted zone can be purchased without a fideicomiso.
Can foreigners buy ejido land?
No, ejido land is not private property and does not have a title. If an ejido plot is sold without the consent of the community, the buyer risks a legal battle, and in the end, the worst-case scenario means the land will be returned to the original owner.
Why should I hire a lawyer if the Notario Público registers the transaction?
The State appoints a Notario Publico; however, they cannot advise and consult the parties during the transaction as they could be in a situation of conflict of interest. They cannot function as your lawyer. Their job in this situation is to be neutral, as the notary is working for the buyer, the seller, and the government. The lawyer will ensure there are no human errors or omissions and that your property title is registered correctly, review the chain of ownership, ensure the seller has the right to sell, and verify that taxes and utilities have been paid in full.
How do I protect my deposit?
México does not have any legislation governing escrow agents or escrow accounts, as elsewhere in North America. Choose a law firm authorized to provide escrow services. The funds should be held in segregated, insured accounts in Canada or the U.S., with specific instructions as to what funds are to be dispersed and when.
Do I need to purchase title insurance?
No! If you choose a reliable, competent law firm to represent you during your real estate purchase, they will carry out all the due diligence, ensuring your title deed is clear before proceeding with closing. Choose a law firm that provides a Title Guaranty on your investment.
Can the Mexican Government take my property?
No, provided you use the proper legal channels to buy the property and protect your investment.
With MexLaw you can rest assured that your interests as the buyer are protected at all times. MexLaw is a reputable international law firm with offices located in Merida, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta, and Quebec. www.mexlaw.ca, [email protected]
MexLaw is an advertiser in Yucatán Today.