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How to buy property in mexico


Yes !! You can own property in Mexico.

And we are here to help you make the process easy and understandable. We will be with you step-by-step and introduce you to all the people and resources.

Not all Realtors have the experience or qualifications to sell real estate in Mexico. Each member of our team has more than 18 years real estate experience, we have represented hundreds of property owners in selling, buying, investing ventures. Our experience combined with our recommended legal advisors can help you find the perfect investment in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya.

The Mexican bank trust is an instrument commonly used for non-Mexican nationals, such as U.S. citizens and Canadians, to purchase coastal properties in Mexico. This bank trust in Mexico is known as a "fideicomiso" Most people use the term "bank trust" simply because it is easier to pronounce than fideicomiso.

• No outstanding indebtedness of the Property Bank Trusts may be granted and extended in 50 year periods. If you purchase property, the existing trust deed may be assigned or a new 50 year trust created. Trusts are renewable at any time by simple application. The costs to establish a Fideicomiso vary from bank to bank. However, the range is approximately $1,000 to $1,500 U.S. dollars for the trust set up and about $300 to $500 U.S. dollars for each year's maintenance of the trust. These fees are paid directly to the bank that has your trust.

Bank trusts are established by a Mexican Notario (Notary), following the receipt of a permit by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This procedure is routine due to the large number of foreign property owners. The forms are standardized and the entire process is usually completed by the notary as part of the closing procedures.

What does the Bank Do? - It is an important link between the foreigner and the government. The bank accepts full technical, legal and administrative responsibilities and protects the beneficiary's interests. While the bank is the technical owner of the property, they have a statutory responsibility to follow the beneficiary's (YOUR) instructions concerning the property. Therefore, the control of the property is in your hands - not the bank's. To sum it up, the Mexican land trust is as safe as the deed to your home in the US or Canada. 

What can the Foreing Beneficiary expect from the Trust Agreement ?

The beneficiary can occupy the property for the life of the trust. Trust is good for 50 years and it can be renewed.

  • Title to the property can be transferred to the foreign beneficiary in the event that he acquires legal capacity to hold such property, or to any legally qualified person he/she may designate.
  • The trust can also be heired to your family by naming them as substitute beneficiaries in the event of your death. The property can also be sold to a person legally authorized to own land or to a foreigner via a trust.
  • The property may be rented. Beneficiaries are allowed to modify their property. Construction, in accordance to local zoning regulations, is permitted at the owner's expense.

Closing Procedures

Once your offer of purchase and sale has been accepted, the closing process begins. To validate the Offer of Purchase and Sale, a deposit (normally 10% of the purchase price) is required. The money is held preferably in an escrow account. These funds are held during the time needed to close. The balance is payable upon the signing of the trust deed at the office of the Notary. Most real estate agents have one or two notaries with whom they usually deal with.

In order to obtain the trust deed, the notary will:

  • Ensure the property is free and clear by checking the Land Registry Office. This is guaranteed by obtaining a non-lien certificate and tax statement from the treasury. Additional checks are made for outstanding utility bills and municipal taxes. Obtain a permit from the Minister of Foreign Affairs to establish the trust deed.
  • Prepare all documents for both buyer and seller. The entire closing process takes between 30 and 60 days.

The Closing Costs - Are paid by the Buyer and depend on the value of the property purchased. They include a transfer tax (ISAI) of 3% which goes to the Estate goverment, an average of 2% for legal Notary fees, a registration fee of .05% of the assessed value of the property, fees for the tax certificate, title search fees and property appraisal, as well as miscellaneous office expenses. Basically 5 to 7 percent. The Seller pays all capital gains taxes and realtors fees. Capital gains taxes are 35% of the difference between assessed values at the time of purchase and sale, with adjustments made for inflation and capital improvements.

Realtors Fees (factura) can be deducted from capital gain taxes as well as any property improvements only if you were issued a legal invoice (factura on your name)

Capital Gains Taxes - As noted above, the seller pays all capital gains taxes. As a buyer you are eligible for a one time exemption from capital gains tax if you establish legal residency prior to selling. 

The Mexican Notary - In Mexico, Notaries must be attorneys for at least 5 years and are appointed by the Federal government, and their services are required for the legal transfer of real estate. They are an unbiased, official representative of the government and have a fiduciary responsibility to both parties they collect the real estate taxes, review and aprove all real estate transactions.

Property Taxes - Are very low here and its known as "predial" is a rate of .08% of the assessed value, paid yearly or bimester. The assessed value is determined at the time of the sale. Historically, property taxes have always been low because they have never been perceived as a source of revenue for the government.

How does the Corporation Work? - Ownership of property through a Mexican corporation is an interesting and potentially lucrative alternative. First of all, as long as there are two or more parties to the corporation, a Mexican corporation can be wholly owned by foreigners; a Mexican citizen no longer need be part of a Mexican corporation to be valid. Secondly, a Mexican corporation can own property outright, eliminating the need for a Fideicomiso trust and their respective fees. This means that you, as sole owners of the corporation, own the property essentially in "fee simple," similar to the U.S. Establishing a Mexican corporation for the purpose of purchasing real estate is relatively simple and can be accomplished within 1-2 weeks and generally costs from $1,500 to $2,500 USD, depending on the complexity and number of partners involved.

On closing: By establishing the property in a corporation, you can then legally rent out the property, thereby generating attractive income if you are in a prime vacation destination such as the Riviera Maya. Mexican corporations are set-up similarly to those in the U.S., with by-laws, articles of incorporation and the issuance of stock. You should discuss the pros and cons of forming a Mexican corporation with an attorney in Mexico who is familiar with the process.



The agreed purchase price.  

Upon receiving the information and documents, the bank will present an application for a Trust permit at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Once obtained, the Trust Contract is executed and legalized before a Public Notary.

A Public Notary is an attorney at law that has been entrusted with public faith by the Mexican government to attest specific legal transactions and is the only one authorized by the Mexican Government to formalize title transfer procedures in his book of records called “Protocolos”. The resulting documents are then registered at the Public Registry of Property and Commerce of the State, giving legal evidence of the title under the buyer’s name.

If you sell the property to another foreigner, you may assign your beneficial interest to the new purchaser. The assignment of rights must be formalized before a Mexican Public Notary prior to the federal and local taxes and fees payments that arise from the transfer of beneficial rights.

In all cases the Buyer/Beneficiary must pay all fees, taxes and expenses from the purchase and formalization of the Trust Deed before the Mexican Public Notary, including in these the costs of the permit that must be obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and registering the Trust Deed at the National Registry of Foreign Investments.

In the event of the Beneficiary’s death during the Trust’s span, the beneficiary has the right to appoint a substitute Beneficiary or Beneficiaries; these would acquire all rights and obligations stemming from the Trust Contract.

Through such designation the foreigner’s heirs will never need to follow any probate proceedings before any Mexican Courts that could cost time and legal fees. They would only need to present the death certificate and identifications to the bank, which in turn would give instructions to a Public Notary in order to register the heirs as the new owners (Beneficiaries) of the Trust Contract.


This is another way to invest in Mexico: Establish a Mexican corporation.

This resource is exclusive for industrial or commercial purposes and it is not for residential purposes.

This procedure is not complicated and allows you to sponsor yourself to work in the country as well. In the last several years, this avenue has become popular because with the help of an attorney or accountant you can found a Mexican corporation that will be the owner of the Real Estate, without the need of a Bank Trust.