If you are thinking about purchasing property in Mexico but you are a bit wary, you are not alone. While there really is nothing to fear when it comes to purchasing real estate in Mexico it can be a bit daunting, and you are right to be here seeking some Mexico property advice before making your investment. This article is aimed at people like you who want to find out more about Mexico property purchasing.
Mexico Property Advice
Get help from someone you trust
It is recommended (but not essential) that you hire an attorney who is familiar with property laws in Mexico and who can speak both Spanish and English. Working with a reputable professional real estate agent whom you trust is another alternative. You will however, need the services of an accredited notary public.
Select the property you want, then verbally agree on a price
The first step is to find the appropriate property for your requirements and desires then agree a price verbally.
Get a sales agreement (Convenio de Compra/Venta)
The next step is to get a “Convenio de Compra/Venta” also known as a sales agreement, which is where your attorney or notary will come in handy. This agreement should cover all the property costs, any exclusions or inclusions and a deposit (generally 5-10%, and if you cancel your purchase, then the deposit is non-refundable).
Non Mexicans need to set up a property trust known as a fideicomiso if the property that you are wanting to purchase is within the 50km border zone, which includes the coastlines. If the property is not within the border zone, then usually no trust will need to be set up. This can be done at most reputable banks and is recommended over having some private third party “lend” their name.
Permission to purchase land
The Foreign Secretary Office must grant permission for you to purchase land in Mexico, and this permission is called the “Calvo Clause”, which states you are not seeking any foreign jurisdiction for the property you are wishing to purchase.
Consulte a Notary Public
If the property that you are purchasing is being sold by a real estate developer, then seek advice from a Notary Public, so the Notary Public can check for all permits. If you are buying directly from the seller, you will need the help of notary to ensure that all tax bills, utilities bills and any service fees on the land have been paid.
Ask to see a copy of the deed
Ask the seller of the property for a copy of the property deed. The Notary Public will make sure the deeds are legal and you should ask the Notary Public to make sure the land is not ejido land, which means that its sale is restricted.
Make sure that your immigration status is legal when you purchase. That means you will need to have a valid 6 month tourist permit or official visa, so the Mexican government knows you are legally allowed to be in the country.
Make sure you have copies of any marriage or birth certificates, your passport, migratory documents, etc and be prepared to have them translated by an official translator (known in Mexico as a “perito”) and apostilled.
Capital Gains Tax
The seller is responsible to pay all Capital Gains Tax unless you, the buyer, have agreed to pay or divide these taxes.
The final payment will be made at the notary public’s office at the signing. You may wish to have your attorney with you when paying with cash or financing from a bank.
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