The Real Estate Closing Process in Mexico
As your retirement nears, and the USA continues to decline in standards of living and quality of life, that Mexico vacation and retirement home may seem more attractive than ever. Here’s what you need to know to purchase one. Mexico Real Estate does not need to be confusing.
Mexico Homes are still affordable and well worth the investment and time spent finding and purchasing one. Living in Mexico certainly has advantages for many, many foreigners who come and stay – from every corner of the world. If you’ve found your home and you’re ready to buy, or you just want a primer on what it takes, this article is designed to assist you.
It is very important to have a Mexico lawyer as you start the negotiating process, whether your buying in Mexico’s restricted zone or not. The restricted zone includes everything 60 km from the coastline and 100 km from International Borders. Your lawyer is an expert at detecting any problems early on, and they are absolutely necessary to formalize the agreement contract that is drawn up during the private negotiations part of the sale. The private negotiation determines all of the following steps:
Price and Currency
Down Payment Amount and Transfer Method
For properties in the restricted zone, a fideicomiso or purchase trust needs to be established. The Notario Publico will quote you a price for this and for the costs of formalizing the contract. Real Estate Agents and Lawyers who do property transfers tend to work regularly with the same Notario. This quote will include costs for:
Fees for the Trustees and Permits
Taxes & any Government Fees
The costs to the Notario will normally be paid in advance and prior to delivery of any documentation. Then you’ll need to deliver the following documents:
Passport and Visa
The present title for the home
Tax Records of the Property being purchased
Beneficiary Passports or Identification for homes being purchased through a trust.
The Notario may ask for some other records, but purchasing home tends to be a bit easier than selling one. Assembling and delivering all of this documentation does require a lawyer whose job it is to guarantee that the documentation submitted is complete and accurate.
The Notario, who is also a lawyer, uses the complete, compiled documentation to apply for a permit from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, a process that takes about 3 weeks to a month to receive. When it arrives, all parties meet to review and revise the transaction, the Notario will sign the deed and payment needs to be made. The property is transferred and all other payments need to be settled.
You should request a notarized copy of the deed, though the Notario will keep the official title on file. This copy can serve as a property title during the 1 to 3 months it takes to deliver you an actual title and it will allow you to greatly ease the process of selling the property later.
Lastly the Notario communicates the transaction to the local registry to report the closing. You then receive a Testimonio from the Notario, which proves that the transaction was legal, taxes are paid, and the whole thing was registered with the Public Registry.
It may sound like a lot, but there is nothing to compare with a Mexican home for retirement or vacation.