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Buying Property in Mexico

Buying real estate in Mexico can be a straightforward process if you understand the legal requirements and take the necessary precautions. Here are some key points to consider:

1.          Restricted Zones: Mexico has restricted zones where foreign ownership of real estate is limited, particularly within 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) of the coastline and 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) of the border. In these areas, foreigners can acquire property through a bank trust called a "fideicomiso" or by establishing a Mexican corporation.

2.          Fideicomiso (Bank Trust): This is the most common way for foreigners to acquire property in restricted zones. The fideicomiso is a trust agreement established with a Mexican bank, where the bank holds legal title to the property on behalf of the buyer. The buyer has all rights of ownership, including the ability to sell, rent, or bequeath the property.

3.          Mexican Corporation: Foreigners can also acquire property through a Mexican corporation, which can own real estate in the restricted zones. However, setting up and maintaining a corporation involves additional costs and administrative requirements.

4.          Title Search and Due Diligence: Before purchasing property, it's essential to conduct a thorough title search and due diligence to ensure that the seller has clear title to the property and there are no outstanding liens or legal issues.

5.          Notary Public: Real estate transactions in Mexico must be conducted before a Mexican notary public ("notario público"). The notary plays a crucial role in the transaction, including drafting the purchase agreement, verifying the property's legal status, and overseeing the transfer of ownership.

6.          Closing Costs and Taxes: Buyers should be aware of closing costs, which typically include notary fees, transfer taxes, and registration fees. These costs can vary depending on the property's location and value. Additionally, property taxes in Mexico are relatively low compared to many other countries.

7.          Legal Assistance: It's advisable to seek the assistance of a qualified real estate attorney who is familiar with Mexican property law and can guide you through the purchasing process, review contracts, and ensure compliance with legal requirements.

By understanding the legal framework and working with experienced professionals, buying real estate in Mexico can be a secure and rewarding investment.