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 Moderated by: bartmanaz Page:    1  2  Next Page Last Page  
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Buying a House in Mexico  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2019 06:21 pm
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yojimbo
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Haven't found clear instructions about buying a house in Mexico.  There is an opportunity to purchase a place- not in San Carlos- I have been speaking with the owner about buying.  He is a gringo, lived there 25 years and tells me in Mexico the bank owns the deed/trust to the house in the "owners" name, or at least that is the best understanding/recollection I have of his explanation.  He tells me there are no liens on the property.  It is my understanding the process of property purchase/change of ownership would be handled by an attorney and would likely cost "a few thousand dollars USD" [2-3 grand? more?].  The deal might be the one I'm looking for in terms of price, location, timing for retirement.  Any insights or advise- things I need to make myself aware of for this transaction.  Would be especially helpful to find an informative centralized source of information/guidebook for the process of real estate purchase in Mexico.  Thanks in advance.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2019 06:43 pm
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Bullshipper
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Often times, the paper work is not up to snuff. I would ask for a copy of everything he has, take it to a notary and have him go through it to make sure the deal can be done before making any kind of contract or deposit.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2019 06:48 pm
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Bullshipper
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ASfter that, I would do a very through inspection as builders follow no codes, or are they inspected. Electrical, plumbing, roof work, termites salitre, municipal water supply and storage, air conditioner and appliance testing and a clear understanding of dues is worth the time to discover. Take nothing for granted. Buyer beware is your watch word.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2019 07:25 pm
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Jimmy
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In the Mexican constitution the restricted zone is defined as all land located within 100 kilometers of any national border and within 50 kilometers of any ocean. It also states that no foreigner is allowed to purchase direct title to land within the restricted zone.


The restricted zone is where the bank owns the property and you own a lease...Other than the restricted zone you can own property outright.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2019 08:19 pm
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RichD
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The bank trust is called a fideicomiso and you will have to get one. Sometimes you can assume an existing trust but they expire so it depends on how much time is left. Realistically, you need a notario to handle the transaction. A notario publico in Mexico is a big deal, not like in the US where every bank clerk is a notary. A notario is a lawyer that specializes in real estate. You may be tempted to take short cuts to avoid some of this expense. Most people that have lost everything in Mexico tried to take short cuts.


A related article.

http://www.escapeartist.com/mexico/real-estate/what-is-a-mexican-fideicomiso/

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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2019 10:03 pm
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JCB
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Another consideration is your visa status.  Are you a permanent resident?  If you are a tourist, things can get dicey.  You can buy property on a tourist card but according to a realtor that had such a situation, if you are a tourist and there is a problem, you are not allowed to hire a lawyer to represent you before the law.  That means if you buy a property and someone decides to cause a problem, you are pretty much out of luck and will likely lose your investment

Last edited on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 10:06 pm by JCB

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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2019 10:51 pm
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nice guy
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Even Mexicans are afraid of real estate deals in Mexico. There are so many nuances that can go wrong. You don't need a book, you need a guardian angel. Example - people I know bought a house in SC from Mexicans and put it in trust. Everything worked great - except the previous owners had a US$700 Telmex bill that wasn't cleared in the transaction - and could not get a telephone in the house until they paid the bill, which they didn't. A friend died recently - had not paid his bank trust or property taxes since 1995. Yes 1995. Imagine trying to sort out that mess and buy the house.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2019 01:00 am
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IronMan
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#1 Rule: DO NOT INVEST MORE THAN YOU CAN COMFORTABLY AFFORD TO LOSE AND WALK AWAY FROM UNINJURED!

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2019 01:27 am
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Jimmy
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#8  AMEN Craig---Actually, That is Rule #1, #2, and #3....

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2019 01:45 am
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contez
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# 8 is the ONLY true RULE if you buy in MEXICO....all the "rest" is GOOD LUCK !!!
VAE VICTIS and BUYER BEWARE.
U & K

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2019 03:27 am
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yojimbo
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All- 


Your responses have been enormously helpful and informative.  A few may be hyperbolic but instructive.  Yes this is in a restricted zone.  The owner is a bit of a-what's the best word? in English it might be Cad, in Spanish Mexican it would be "Cabron" and yes I understand all that implies.  As the transaction implies a significant portion of my finite resources and retirement funds I will clearly proceed with caution, due diligence,realistic expectations and a better informed strategy regarding approach.  I have a naturally cautious bent against being taken advantage of and a pretty well honed self preservation.  I will learn the nuances of Mexican real estate before money changes hands.   If anyone has a truly trustworthy Notario who would be available to discuss this- it would be appreciated.


Up here I am a licensed contractor doing public works contract and not unfamiliar with legalese and covering my assets.  Most deals too good to  be true are just that, but some I still own and were glad I ran into them.


Personal reference for legal advise is gladly accepted in a PM.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2019 11:23 am
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bartmanaz
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A good source for info is the Arizona Dept of Real Estate web page about buying real estate in Mexico.  Visit the page at:


https://www.azre.gov/AzMex/AzMex.aspx


Bart

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2019 12:31 pm
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JCB
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You noted that the investment would be a significant portion of your total funds.  That being the case, I suggest you forget the whole idea.  The odds are just not in your favor no matter how much you learn about the process.  The law down here is pretty much whatever someone wants it to be on a given day.  This is not the US.



If you want to live down here, there are lots of rental properties available.  Renting also has the advantage that you can leave whenever you get tired of the area which many do.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2019 01:53 pm
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MARIGOT
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I have rented here for 9 years, and from the hundreds of stories I have heard from friends and acquaintances about abuses of the law which ruined their property values or bogus law suits that took their property, I would NEVER buy land or property here.
Plenty of visual/physical examples of owners whose view was completely blocked by people illegally building 2 and 3 story structures around them.
Not for me.
Read the thread about the golf course and the possibly that part of the course (which has been marked off in lots) will be sold, building houses in front of long time residents on the course.  Too many ways for abuse to occur.
No matter how much you educate yourself on the real estate transaction law and research the property you are tempted to buy, NOTHING can prepare for and avert the kind of future actions by others that can rob you of your investment.
After you meet a few people and have heard a few horror stories, you’ll understand.


Best of luck to you no matter what your decision...

Last edited on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 01:54 pm by MARIGOT

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2019 02:06 pm
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SStewart
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Bought our home in San Carlos in 1984. My advice is: it all starts with an honest, experienced, knowledgeable, real estate agent. We are fortunate here in SC to have agents that meet that criteria. Secondly, that agent will direct you to a Notary, that fits that same description. Do your homework, speak with established trust holders, and learn from long time residents. Do not attempt shortcuts, follow the laws and the rules.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2019 03:24 pm
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Chet
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The transaction with the bank is similar to a "grantors trust" and not a lease.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2019 05:18 pm
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danelo
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MARIGOT wrote: I have rented here for 9 years, and from the hundreds of stories I have heard from friends and acquaintances about abuses of the law which ruined their property values or bogus law suits that took their property, I would NEVER buy land or property here.
Plenty of visual/physical examples of owners whose view was completely blocked by people illegally building 2 and 3 story structures around them.
Not for me.
Read the thread about the golf course and the possibly that part of the course (which has been marked off in lots) will be sold, building houses in front of long time residents on the course.  Too many ways for abuse to occur.
No matter how much you educate yourself on the real estate transaction law and research the property you are tempted to buy, NOTHING can prepare for and avert the kind of future actions by others that can rob you of your investment.
After you meet a few people and have heard a few horror stories, you’ll understand.


Best of luck to you no matter what your decision...
So true about physical views. I know someone that had something like that happen to them. To add insult to injury, the offending neighbor now enters injured neighbors property to cut the top of a tree down because it is blocking his view from his illegally built patio.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2019 05:36 pm
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nice guy
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I've lived in SC for 13 years, 1st 2 yrs in the marina, then we built a house here. Even though we heard then, and still hear the horror stories, I am a diligent buyer and we have lived in a beautiful house for 11 years, without any issues. We have chosen to deal with reliable people with long-time reputations here, and except for an attempted skinning by a plumber, who got nothing for his shenanigans, we have nothing but good stories. I feel for the people who have been scammed by RE crooks and thieving contractors, but "trust but verify" works.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2019 06:32 pm
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RichD
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The great majority of people in San Carlos buy and sell without major problems. If you don't feel you can trust the seller, consider walking away. He might be one of those that took shortcuts and now wants it to be someone else's problem. Some of the biggest swindles involved unfinished condo projects that trusting people paid for in full. An existing home with an existing trust is usually safe.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2019 07:37 pm
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Bullshipper
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JCB wrote: Another consideration is your visa status.  Are you a permanent resident?  If you are a tourist, things can get dicey.  You can buy property on a tourist card but according to a realtor that had such a situation, if you are a tourist and there is a problem, you are not allowed to hire a lawyer to represent you before the law.  That means if you buy a property and someone decides to cause a problem, you are pretty much out of luck and will likely lose your investment




This realtor gave you completely false information. Anyone can hire a lawyer in Mexico and seek relief under Mexican law in Mexico.


The op is looking for a list of things to do when considering buying property.
The first is to deal with a relator, preferably your own instead of going to the sellers lawyer that is listing the property, so that you are actually represented by someone that is not trying to push a deal through representing both in order to make the full comision. It is my understanding that real estate agents are not required to be licenced, nor do they pay a bond, but someone can correct me if I am wrong. My point is that the transaction laws and liabilities are not as strict or standardized in Mexico as they are in the states even though the commission % are.


Then you should also choose the notary that will represent you as he will make sure that the previous trust can and will be cancelled or transferred. This is a sticking point as the banks are trying to get themselves out of this business due to low fees and will drag their feet from 3-6 months or more. Many times the actual trust will not be in the current sellers name, causing you even more delays or expense.


He will also check to see that there are no liens, past taxes, or lawsuits pending with neighbors. Property lines are often a problem that take years to resolve in the courts.


He will also write the contract and deed, notarize and register it with the governments registar, pay all fees and taxes including commissions, collect keys to the property, and hand you all paperwork when you pay him. As there is no title insurance in Mexico, having this notarized by your bonded lawyer is the proper way to do this.


This is a short run down, as he performs other duties, and that's why I suggested that you get one in Guaymas that is reputable, and is also known to push on the banks on a daily basis.


I am not trying to offend any realtors on the board, but the Notary is the key element and they are not expensive, so do not short circuit a process that protects you while saving you time and headache. 

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