Many of us have the dream of buying real estate in Mexico. It's a wonderful and tempting idea! Whether the dream involves retirement on the beach in Playa del Carmen, a condo in vibrant Merida, or anything in between, there's nothing quite like the fantasy of trying out something new. Imagine packing your winter coats and boots into long-term storage?
As you would for any investment, the due diligence prior to the purchase is an important step. One of the questions that may arise is: Are there any risks of buying real estate in Mexico?/How safe is it to buy real estate in Mexico? We have some good news.
It is very safe to buy property in Mexico!
Foreigners can buy and sell property with ease, following simple guidelines established for foreign investors by the government. Mexican real estate has a great deal of upside potential and is a simple investment.
In fact, buying one of the available houses for sale in Mexico could be one of the best decisions you ever make!
Can Foreigners Buy Property in Mexico?
Yes, they can. Anyone that is not a Mexican citizen is permitted to purchase property, following the guidelines contained in the 1993 Foreign Investment Law of the United Mexican States.
As far as property is concerned, foreigners can purchase, live in, rent, sell, and even will their property to their heirs, using a fideicomiso or creating a company.
A fideicomiso is a bank trust created by the Mexican government, and a trust in Mexico works the same way a trust does in Canada and the United States. Under this arrangement, the title to the property is held in your name by an authorized Mexican financial institution. As the beneficiary of that trust - just as it is in Canada and the United States - your property cannot be sold or modified without your express written permission. We like to explain it this way: like a safe deposit box, the bank owns the actual physical box but you own its content. Same thing for a fideicomiso, the bank provides you the vessel to hold the title but the title of the property is yours and is not considered a bank asset.
So why does Mexico use a trust system for foreign buyers? Mostly as a way for the Mexican government to enable foreign property investment without having to rewrite their entire Constitution, which previously forbade foreigners from buying property in the “Restricted Zone,” which is defined as any area within 50 km off the coast or 100 km from the national border.
Today, these trusts operate on 50-year terms, are renewable and transferrable, and hold a number of advantages that you can read about in our other blog called: "How to Buy Mexico Real Estate." The main takeaway is that foreigners can buy property anywhere they want by using a fideicomiso, even in the Restricted Zone.
You cannot lose ownership of your property in Mexico! It’s nothing but a myth.
The enduring myth that ownership of your property in Mexico can be lost is still spread due to the fact that in the past, foreign buyers were not allowed to purchase land or property that fell within the restricted zone. This idea has originated from a time before Mexican real estate laws were liberalized in the early 1990s.
In the past, foreign buyers were not allowed to purchase land that fell within the Restricted Zone. However, those laws were changed almost 30 years ago, and it is now completely legal and safe for foreigners to buy Mexico real estate.
However those laws were changed almost 30 years ago.This is nothing else than an enduring myth. Since 1993, it is legal for foreigners and encouraged by the authorities to own real estate in the Mexican restricted zone by using a trust or establishing a Mexican company.
Rest assured that by following the process for foreign ownership and using the services of a reputable real estate group that knows the Mexico real estate market well, it is not possible for the government or anyone else as a matter of fact, to take away your property.
Always Use a Reputable Real Estate Professional
In Mexico, property rules and regulations are a little bit different than they are in Canada or the United States. For that reason, it's always a good idea to work with an experienced real estate company that is familiar with Mexican law so that you are protected with the most accurate and up-to-date information.
For example, did you know that the only binding contracts in Mexico are those written in Spanish? That means that any sale contract, no matter how official it looks, is not valid or legally enforceable if it is written in English. Also important to note: if a contract is written in both languages, they must be an exact translation of each other. If discrepancies exist, only the clauses in the Spanish version are valid.
Another interesting difference of Mexican property rules has to do with the sale of planned developments. Mexican real estate developers are not required to capitalize their developments prior to offering them for sale, which is slightly different than it would be in Canada or the United States. For this reason, foreign buyers are always better served by using an experienced property team that knows the ins and outs of the law, is familiar with any potential construction-related challenges buyers can face.
This is another reason why you should work with a group you can trust like Zisla. When considering buying any Yucatan real estate, knowledge is power, and Zisla is a team with a lot of it! Their experience helping their clients buying property in Mexico is second to none, and they only work with developers they trust, and that has a history of success.
Get in Touch With Zisla Today
For the best advice - and for access to the Mexico real estate experts with the most experience - call or email the professionals at Zisla today. They can help demystify the process and help you learn everything you need to know about buying property in Mexico.
The goal at Zisla is to help you feel safe and secure in your investment, and to help connect you with the dream home in Mexico you've always wanted! Call at 1-877-515-ISLA (4752), or email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.