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Buying Mexican real estate: 5 questions

  • Will you need a trust? Foreigners can't buy Mexican real estate in their own names in Mexico's "restricted zone" near coastlines and borders, but can purchase as the beneficiary of a Mexican trust and still retain property rights.
  • Did you get references? Mexico has no formal real-estate licensing requirements: Get references if using an agent.
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  • Do you know who's involved? There are at least four players: the real estate company/seller, buyer, bank and the public notary. A fifth, an attorney, is highly recommended. (A licensed Mexican attorney should be able to quickly produce a "cedula professional," including photo and signature.)
  • Do you know who pays for what? Buyer pays notary fees, transfer tax and other closing costs. Seller typically pays agent commission and any capital-gains tax.
  • Is your title clear? The Mexican notary's title search may not be thorough. An attorney or title company can determine if there's a complete and clear chain of title, and if the subdivision or condominium complex where the buyer will live has been officially approved by the municipality.
  • Main story: Buying real estate in Mexico gets easier

    -- Posted: Feb. 4, 2005
         

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