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Can foreigners own property in Mexico? Yes.

Properties with ocean views can be owned by foreigners through a bank trust. You will see the word ‘fideicomiso’ and that is ownership through a bank trust

Important historical landmark dates will explain why colloquially people are unsure of ownership by foreigners in Mexico.

1500s Spain landed in Mexico and occupied.

1822 Mexico declared its independence from Spain. Most of the land was still owned by wealthy foreigners, the Catholic Church, and the Mexican elite.

1910 The Mexican Revolution started as an uprising against the elitist dictatorship that favored wealthy landowners.

1917 Establishment of the constitutional republic was a result of the Mexican Revolution. The new constitution restricted foreign ownership and ownership by the Catholic Church. The Constitution restricts foreigners from owning land within the restricted zone. Foreign citizens must obtain fideicomiso, a bank trust, to buy in those zones. The United States was said to be involved in the establishing of the restricted zones so foreign military bases could not be established on the borders. Restricted zones are 30 miles from coastline and 60 miles from borders. Ixtapa is in a restricted zone.

1990s The modern day came around with air travel and tourism. Congressional acts of the 90s solidified allowance of foreigners to buy in restricted zones.

Fideicomiso is similar to an estate trust in US or Canada. Someone sets it up for you that knows what they are doing. The bank is your administrator. The trust is the title holder. You are the beneficiary. You appoint yourself or an LLC to be the beneficiary. You designate your heirs as secondary beneficiaries.

Trust renews every 50 years, and is renewable forever.

You are going to be working with experts who will guide you and protect you.

Is your investment secure? Yes. Many of the largest title companies in the US are prevalent in Mexico. Your down payment is in an escrow account. Your bank trust purchase is backed by major title companies in North America.

What if the bank fails? The bank is just a paper holder for fideicomiso. They do not have your house as an asset. The federal government would transfer the admin rights of the trust to another bank. Also, The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is set up to encourage trade.

Cash is the ideal way to purchase. Owner financing is not desired. Private lenders usually require 50% down and a high interest rate with a short time to pay off the balance.

Many buyers acquire the cash for a purchase of a villa in Mexico with a home equity loan, credit line, or US Citizens can use their IRA. Canadians can talk to Royal Bank of Canada for ways of using your own assets.

If you buy Naiví, my company has partnered with the sales agents in Ixtapa. They are professional real estate agents who will help you with the purchase, with rental management, familiarize you with the property, and make sure you are informed making your decision.

Your home agent can work for you and will earn an incentive. If you are an agent, there is commission. The local agent and I will also help you working together to facilitate the transaction.

Allot 45-90 days to close. This includes the time you might require to have your credit line ready or get the money from your IRA. Consider if you’re going to be at the closing. That is part of the timeline.

Notary is next. In Mexico, a licensed Mexico attorney is a notario. It translates to notary, which in the US is just a professional witness for documents. In Mexico the lawyer/notario/notary is a neutral third party who handles the money, the tax payments, the fees, the title search, and makes sure all the legal documents are filed. The money is translated from dollars to pesos and the closing fees are calculated. The title company will also have closing services that you can purchase to move the process along in a coordinated manner. The title company will engage with the notary. The local real estate agent will help you reach out to title for that.

Rarely to never does the following happen, but is another layer of protection. Escrow opens after the deposit is made and the formal contract is signed. Next is due diligence. There will be a hold put on the property with the tax office. This ensures if someone was trying to sell their house twice to two offers, it would be stopped. A notario places the tax hold on the property. Any other notario going to the tax office as part ot their work would see that

Title search is done by the notario. You will get a certificate of no liens. It is suggested that you buy an additional title insurance policy to protect against other types of risks to clear title. A home costing $500,000 USD would be approximately $2500 in additional closing for title insurance.

Do I have to be present at closing? Yes. The seller will get their funds. You will have to send a POA (specific person for a specific task as power of attorney) or you have to be there. We will have good planning from the beginning to time signing for the closing. The exact date depends on waiting for the bank. Once the bank is done with their part, the notario just needs a day and everyone can sign and move.

Transaction is closed. Notary gives you a copy of the provisional title, so you can get utilities and prove ownership while a few more professional administrative tasks are completed.

Congratulations! Ariba! Wow! You own in Mexico!

While you are celebrating and enjoying the ocean, the notary office is registering the transaction at the Registar of Deeds. After about 90 days the buyer is given the official deed, with a file number.

That is how you buy and own property in Mexico.

Let me ask again. Can a foreigner own property in Mexico? Yes.

You own – what are the costs now? The following are common costs to consider:

HOA: $205/month
Bank Trust: $450 - $600/year
Property Tax: $768/year
Property Insurance: Varies, but similar to US and Canada

See my web site for more pictures and detail about buying Naiví and about Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.

I am a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) and a licensed Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona Properties. Any inquiries you have please contact me.

- Alison

Alison Evans
Cell | 602-312-4346
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WhatsApp | +1 (602) 312-4346
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Safety Feature on The iPhone - Emergency SOS

There is a safety feature you might want to activate on the iPhone called Emergency SOS.

When you're property hunting, there are dangers beyond the thought of lurking squatters in vacant houses.  There are so many tripping hazards! Sunken living rooms, little entry way steps that blend right into the rest of the flooring, cables, rowing machines, sprinkler heads, loose pavers, and the list goes on.  Stumbles happen less than you'd think with all that though.  Beware of guard dogs too. 

Things happen.  The feature is really good as a reminder to be aware so we don't need to use it.

The instructions are below in the link.  I've been sending this to my friends and everyone has had an easy time following the screen shots. 9-1-1 will be dialed and sent your location.  Your emergency contacts will be texted a message and your location too.  

Link: Setting up Emergency SOS on iPhone Step by Step with Pictures

I'm a licensed Realtor in Arizona and my home base is Scottsdale. I've called the Scottsdale Police a couple of times.  I called Police non-emergency to report a courtesy patrol vehicle parked in handicap.  They came in minutes to issue a citation.  The other time a man was passed out in a hallway.  I thought with the opioid epidemic he wasn't just over served at the Phoenix Open, he might be overdosing.  As I was describing the man to the dispatcher...about 30, well dressed, uhhh Rolex, snoring...the police arrived.  Now that I think about how the location service works it makes sense.  As your on the phone with 9-1-1, the local police are on their way.

When you follow the setup instructions, Setting up Emergency SOS on iPhone Step by Step with Pictures, you might wonder where is that picture from on my phone wallpaper.  
It is Naivi, a residential development that seamlessly integrates into the ocean resort city of Ixtapa, Mexico.  Take a look and have a little day dream about living there.  You could.
I am actively looking for new clients.  Please let's have a conversation about your short or long term property plans.  Safety first.

- Alison

Alison Evans
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona Properties
(C)  602-312-4346

Why Work with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices


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