Mexico is one of the most popular expat destinations in the world today because it has so much to offer — great weather, beautiful beaches, and the food — you can’t forget about the food! Mexican food is as varied as are the different regions of this beautiful country.
More than 1 million Americans call Mexico their home today, living there as full-time or part-time residents. The real estate market in Mexico has a lot to offer the prospective buyer. Whether you’re looking for a home that you can move into full-time, a vacation home that you visit throughout the year, a rental property, or even land on which to build your dream house, you’ll be able to find it in Mexico.
And, while it’s perfectly legal for foreigners to buy and own in this most popular of destinations, you’ll need to know how to buy a house in Mexico.
Find the perfect home in Mexico
The first priority is to consider where in Mexico to buy property. There are many beautiful places to live in Mexico, but you need to do your homework before making a decision and then you must visit that location to get a good feel for the place. You may even want to consider renting for a bit before making the decision to buy. Local knowledge is the key to making the right purchase which is why the majority of foreign buyers hire an established buyer’s agent to act as local tour guide.
There are two ways to go about purchasing residential property in Mexico:
- By direct deed for all property in the interior of the country
- Through a bank trust or “fideicomiso” for residential property in the restricted zones
Restricted zones include any land within 100 km of foreign borders or within 50 km of the sea. The fideicomiso is a trust agreement between the buyer and a Mexican trust bank authorized by the government to carry out the acquisition of property in restricted zones.
The typical house buying process includes the following steps:
- Make an offer
- Set aside 10% of earnest money in escrow
- Ask about title insurance
- The notary investigates the title, gets an appraisal, and puts the closing documents in order
- Close on your property
- The notary then registers your ownership
You’ll want to hire a licensed English-speaking Mexican attorney who will protect your interests throughout the process and will ensure that the letter of the law is followed in relation to the legal transfer of ownership.
Make your offer
Buying a house in Mexico is perfectly legal. But, make sure that you follow our tips and that you find the right professionals to provide guidance as you proceed to a successful property transfer.
Before investing your time, money, and energy into purchasing property in Mexico, discover why so many Americans are choosing to retire in Mexico by learning about the culture — a fusion of European, African, and Indigenous cultures. Spending some time reading about the culture of this country, rich in history, will give you a better idea of whether retiring in Mexico is for you.
And while you’re at it, check out some of our favorite secret vacation spots in Mexico!