Friday, May 6, 2011

7 tips to owning a home in the Mexican Riviera

As you narrow down your choices for your next purchase of property here in the Beautiful Riviera, we've put together our lucky number 7 list. This will help insure that everything about your purchase will be as beautiful as the Riviera. And you can have some fun while you learn to make an informed decision too!

First, tourists can buy property without necessarily living in Mexico. Though it most likely follows that if you plan on doing some long term stays, you may want to take a look a various ways to begin some immigration planning as you immerse yourself in the new surroundings and learn about the culture. In the Riviera, land is purchased through a trust from Mexico, as it is within 50Km of the coast line. The constitution of Mexico currently has this regulation in place for interested foreign owners to aquire land rights within 50 Km of the coast.

Second, here in Mexico, the real estate transactions are done through a “notario publico”. Notarios are not the same as a notary public in the U.S. Notario’s are an important position and are appointed by the governor of each state. Notarios are lawyers. Every legal document in Mexico must be made by a notario. And as buyer, it is good to be mindful of just how busy their offices are. You can better put together your buying strategy and work this to your advantage as you zero in on your targeted home.

Third, the buyer always is the one to choose the notario (lawyer) for the transaction. So that means you are at liberty to go shop for the best rates for service. No other lawyer is necessary, unless you find it necessary. Neither the seller nor the realtor has the right to select the notario and usually a seller does not even have representation. Since you are the one spending the money, you call the shots.

Fourth, though not mandatory, Title insurance is a VERY good idea. It’s mandatory in the united states to make sure you don’t buy a house with a bunch of liens against it, so it is practically a must do here. There are a number of ways to procure Title insurance policy. The bottom line is that it fully guarantees you of a clean title throughout the process, and helps you sell it too. Bottom line, it is more that worth its weight in gold.

Fifth, the seller presents his escritora (deed) to the notario, as well as an up-to-date tax receipt. The notario will advise the seller as to the amount of his capital gains tax. Sixth, an agreement to sell and buy is drawn up (a contracta privado) which notes the cost of the property, the amount of the deposit given by the buyer to the seller and the conditions of the sale (ie: the date that the property will be finalized and paid for.) It is the law that should the buyer not speak Spanish, he is to have a translator present for the transactions. Translators are very easy to find

Seventh, the notario will apply for “permission to buy property in Mexico.” This is currently the equivalent of about $1000 US. It is a standard form and the “permiso” will be granted within 7 to 10 days. Meanwhile, during the time between the signing of the private contract and the final signing of the deed, the notario will confirm that there are no liens against the house. A date will be set for the transfer of the deed. After the deal is made and paid for, the notario will register the deed in the Public Registry and the official escritora (deed) will be available for delivery within a week or two.

So there you have it! A brief 7 tips that can help you prioritize your time and thoughts as you consider owning property here in the beautiful Riviera Maya…

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