For Buyers

Buying Real Estate in Mexico as a Foreigner

Most-often asked questions

We carry out and take up of them not just by answers

How do I buy a property in Mexico?

Due to Article 27 of the Mexican constitution, foreigners are encouraged to acquire property 50 km near the coastlines and 100 km near the borderlines unless they constitute a trust with a bank Mexican entity. This is called the restricted economic zone.

To understand fideicomiso (fee-dey-com-EES-oh) or trust. It’s similar to a Land Trust in the United States.

I am always happy to explain to our buyer-clients that the power of the trust constitution in real estate transactions bears out a level of asset protection, and more importantly, allows buyers to do estate planning naming beneficiaries and contingent beneficiaries, not cost for having to probate a Mexican will or following normal probate protocols.

What is the process for buying a property in Mexico?

I mention here the important items you should know when buying real estate in Mexico which make Mexico different from what you might expect. 

To have a real estate agency to represent you through this entire process. We diligently work for you in this Paradise Riviera Maya doing the home search with an unbiased eye, helping you meet your buying objectives while staying within your budget. Being licensed and credited realtor in Mexico and USA, ABR, and internationally C.I.PS. know very well the real estate market in Riviera Maya, Cancun, and Yucatan. There are many properties on the market, it’s important to navigate and find the property that meets your wants and needs. As, an extension of this buying process collaborating with a closing attorney and the Notary, the following are the steps in the process briefly described.

First, the parties must sign an offer that states the conditions regarding which property will be sold and come to terms on a price.

Second, it is recommended to count with a closing attorney, so they can coordinate the draft of the agreement and the specific conditions regarding the transaction.

Third, it’s necessary to file for a Permit to The México Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) office to constitute trust, and this takes about 3-6 weeks.

SRE completion permit will be remitted to the notary to write the drafting of the public deed, and it must be approved by the trustee bank. 

Parties involved in this REAL ESTATE TRUST:

The Trustor (original owner of the property).

The Trustee (bank)

The Beneficiary (the new property owner ) will receive the benefits of the trust.

Once the public deed has been executed (when the parties have signed), the notary must register it into the public registry of property, and they take about 3 months to issue a document called “Boleta de Registro”. This is necessary due to Quintana Roo’s constitutive effects, which make mandatory for all public instruments issued by a notary public to be written down into the public registry in order to be valid.

Nevertheless, in the meantime, if you’d like to endeavor to find the right suppliers or initiate your utility service contracts, you can ask the notary for a certified deed copy, and you will be able to initiate any of those processes. Please, note every municipality along Riviera Maya and other states may be required to show the original deed title registered and complete.

Which Banks are recommended to constitute a trust?

You could work with a large list of banks, nevertheless, the recommended is to work with banks that specialize in trusts, the most recommended are Bank of BAJIO, Banco Inmobiliario Mexicano, MONEX, and others open to your choice.

What does the bank do?

For a foreign to acquire a property in Mexico, it is necessary to constitute a trust with a bank, in which case, the bank only holds the property’s title, they cannot act without the main beneficiary’s instruction.

Buyers could choose whichever bank to constitute the trust, but it’s better to work with banks that specialize in trust those aforementioned to best assist, as the timing, and prices may differ a bit.

To give an idea of SRE Permit and fees, the permit and the first annual fee consist of 2,000.00 dollars and the annual fees could go from 450.00 – 700.00 dollars, depending on the bank.

The México Ministry of Foreign Affairs office to issue the permit, to constitute a trust, takes from 3 – 6 weeks’ time frame.

The costs for constituting the trust must be verified at the moment of acquiring the property since they may be adjusted once each year.

 

How does the long trust last?

Mexican law provides that a trust lasts for 50 years. What will proceed afterward renewal of it? Yes! 

Another worth mentioning trust benefit is the assignment of rights to your name, this will save time and money and doesn’t reset the 50-year duration of this trust. Its renewal occurs from the original date that was created.

Can I constitute a trust with a foreign business corporation?

It depends on the bank’s policies, but it is possible. For example, banks accept figures such as LLC / LTDs, they need a series of documents that shall be notarized and apostilled in the same state they were issued and translated. These documents are:

  1. a) Documents of incorporation
  2. b) The corporate by-laws
  3. c) Certificate of good standing
  4. d) Operating agreement
  5. e) Tax ID from the company
  6. f) Granted power to the legal representative
  7. g) Proof of address from the company
  8. h) IDs from the legal representative (Passport, driver’s license, and proof of address)

 

Is there another option to buying real estate to avoid the fideicomiso?

There is an existing option for foreigners buying real estate to open a Mexican corporation. Only consider this option to have a clear understanding of what you will go through and the obligations to meet with SAT – the Tax Administration Service. Savvy decision to make when understanding that corporations come with more obligations and reporting requirements than fideicomisos. You need to submit monthly reports on income and expenses who be of help by hiring a certified accountant to complete it. 

Mexican corporations should be considered by foreigners who:

Planning to have Mexican property for income-producing

– Planning to buy more than one property now or later

Having no intention to obtain Mexican residency

– Amplifying your international real estate portfolio

There is a lot more involved in owning a Mexican corporation so it is important to discuss this option in detail with a Qualified Mexican attorney.

 

What are the operating costs of running a property in Mexico?

The property tax – predial is paid once a year and along Riviera Maya, each Municipality offers very December early bird discounts. 

Utility Services such as water with The Potable Water and Sewage Commission CAPA – La Comisión de Agua Potable y Alcantarillado de Quintana Roo. Monthly service payment.

The collection of garbage in the city dues – Pago de derechos por Recolección de Basura Monthly or yearly service payment.

Electricity, the Comisión Federal de Electricidad CFE – Comisión Federal de Electricidad. Bimonthly service payment.

Internet Service Providers are many to your convenience for broadband or satellite. Monthly service payment.

Hurricane insurance coverage is optional and available. Your company choice and payment plan. 

What happens to my trust if I pass?

Trust proceeding constitution it is mandatory to point to a substitute beneficiary, who is the person who will acquire the trust rights by means of a process that ́s called “substitute beneficiary recognition” and the bank will require paperwork from the passing apostilled or legalized and translated.

It works and benefits similarly to estate planning purposes.

Do I have to be present for the signing of the deed of title before of Notary?

You can designate someone by means of a power of attorney POA.

Can I invest in Mexico through a foreign investment figure?

It depends on the Mexican bank policies, but there are some figures, such as the 401k, that basically work like a “savings account” and are eventually converted into a “retirement fund”, specifically, the 401k allows you to invest from your retirement fund in Mexico, having the benefit of lower taxes. For a piece of better advice on your 401k plan, it is recommended to consult a real state attorney to review all the particularities on the subject.

Is it possible to know the exact costs of acquiring a property?

Costs depend on several factors, the notary fees, and taxes, for example, depending on the municipality property is located on. It is necessary to review each case.

What happens if I´m not able to sign the documents in Mexico?

The documents for closing can be sent through package services, the documents must be notarized and apostilled. The apostille process depends on where the client is located. It is necessary to review each case, or right now many sellers are accepting DocuSign.

What’s next?

What follows is entering the final stretch with the help of your closing & notary attorney. Learn about their role following the link below.