Can a foreigner buy a house in Mexico?
f you are a foreigner and you want to invest in real estate in Mexico; you need to know how to buy a house in mexico being a foreigner, first of all, you must keep in mind that foreigners can only acquire properties located outside the border areas. You will have to request a permit for the acquisition of real estate from the Secretary of Foreign Relations (SRE) of the Mexican Government. Most commonly you will be granted one. And the process usually does not take long. It must be granted by the Mexican government. To apply for it you must go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SER) in the General Directorate of Legal Affairs in Mexico. In case it is not possible for you to apply in person, you can also apply through a legal representative authorized by a power of attorney.
In Mexico, restricted zones are territories located less than 100 km from a land border or less than 50 km from a beach. Foreigners cannot acquire these types of territories.
They may acquire real estate in such restricted territories if they do so through a trust or fiduciary institution. In these cases, such institution would be the owner of the land or real estate and you could apply for rights over them for a term of 50 years with the opportunity to renew such term.
INVEST IN SAFE CITIES IN MEXICO
An important fact when investing in a property being a foreigner is to have a safe investment and the best quality of life possible, the city of Merida is one of the safest cities in Mexico and Latin America, is located in the state of Yucatan, southeast of Mexico. Merida has about 2,400,000 inhabitants (2021) in its metropolitan area, it is also the most populated city in the peninsula and one of the fastest growing cities in all of Mexico. A great advantage is that the cost of investing in a house in Merida, Yucatan is lower compared to other cities, in addition, thanks to the growth and future investment, we know that the return on investment is increasing, therefore many locals and foreigners are investing in homes in Merida for its security and quality of life and these results even more its value thanks to the great demand for these properties.
The application must be filled out on computer and submitted in original and two copies along with its attachments. The applicant's information must include:
Migratory document number
Information of a person authorized to receive the certificate.
Additionally, it must be duly signed by the applicant and accredit its condition of stay.
As for the data of the property, it must include:
Description and location of the property.
The permission of purchase.
To specify the form of purchase.
Indications referring to measures, surface, boundaries, adjoining.
Signature of the applicant or representative.
The request must be made through a legal representative authorized and accompanied by a special power of attorney for the execution of the agreement. A general power of attorney that meets the requirements may also be used.
The legal existence of the interested party must be accredited by presenting documentation from the country of origin. This must be adequate and have been translated by an expert translator.
Real Estate Trust
The trust is a service through which you, an individual or legal entity, transfer the property or ownership of goods or rights to be used for a lawful and specific purpose in favor of a beneficiary. This contract is entered into between the settlor or trustor -who delegates certain assets of his property- and the trustee so that the latter may manage such assets in favor of a third person who is called the trustee or beneficiary.
The main purpose of a real estate trust is to facilitate the purchase and administration of a property, as well as to resolve potential conflicts, create an extrajudicial environment or be part of a newly constituted business.
The fiduciary delegates of the credit institutions must file the applications with the SRE to obtain the permits for the constitution of trusts.
Among the main options to contract a trust are the following:
Fiduciary delegates in Mexico
Be a foreign individual.
The property must be for residential use (housing), i.e., house or apartment already built.
Permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Registration in the National Registry of Foreign Investment.
Patrimonial autonomy and secrecy.
Trust, security and impartiality.
Assets are not subject to seizure.
Duration of 50 years, extendable.
Contract executed before a notary public.
BIM (Mexican Real Estate Bank)
BIM provides access to three types of real estate trusts, which are as follows:
A+B Trust: The parties involved are associated for real estate developments.
A+B+Resources: The difference with the A+B trust is that the resources obtained from the commercialization of the real estate development are managed by the trustee, which is distributed among the parties as agreed.
Fractional ownership: This refers to the division of the property among several persons and percentages with a pre-established time of use.
Do foreigners pay taxes?
As mentioned in our article "Taxes to be paid in the purchase and sale of land", the seller must pay the corresponding taxes, in this case the ISR (Income Tax) and declare the sale of the property.
In the case of the buyer there are no changes regarding the payment of the relevant taxes due to the fact that the buyer is a foreigner, that is to say, the ISAI (Impuesto Sobre Adquisición de Inmuebles) and the IVA (Impuesto al Valor Agregado) must be paid.
In addition to the payment of taxes, the buyer must consider notary fees, deed expenses, fees, rights, among others.
What are the additional expenses to the sale and purchase?
In addition to the expenses generated by the purchase and sale itself, the operation as well as the permits represent additional expenses to take into account:
Payment of fees for the permit granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Commission for the opening of the trust (one-time payment).
Commission for the term of the trust (annual payment).
What happens to the trust in the event of the sale of the property?
The cancellation clause allows the owner to cancel the trust at any time he/she decides, covering the cost pre-established in the contract.
Among the main reasons to cancel are the sale of the property or that the holder has acquired Mexican nationality.
DOCUMENTATION IN WRITING:
Arrive half an hour in advance for any unforeseen circumstances.
Participants in the transaction must identify themselves with a valid official credential with photograph.
Bring with you all the documents mentioned above.
Deliver to the notary all the documents requested.
Make the payment to the seller of any outstanding balance of the agreed price, make it by cashier's check or bank transfer, you can make this payment from your bank's app.
Can I buy a house in Mexico from abroad?
In the globalized world, purchases made from one country to acquire goods in another are becoming more and more common. Even if you or your relatives are living in another country, you can take out a mortgage loan to buy a house in Mexico.
What are the requirements to buy property from abroad?
If you are abroad and want to purchase property in Mexico, there are some requirements to consider.
Legal representative in Mexico: For the signing of the deeds if you cannot travel to Mexico, a legal representative will be able to represent you in Mexico, whether you wish to purchase property as a legal entity or physically.
SAFE CITIES IN MEXICO
The city of Merida is located in the state of Yucatan in southeastern Mexico, the city is located in northwestern Yucatan and is the capital of the state. Merida has about 2,400,000 inhabitants (2021) in its metropolitan area, it is also the most populated city in the peninsula and one of the fastest growing cities in all of Mexico. A great advantage is that the cost of investing in a house in Merida, Yucatan is lower compared to other cities, also, thanks to the growth and future investment, we know that the return on investment is increasing, therefore many locals and foreigners are investing in houses in Merida for its security and quality of life and these results even more its value thanks to the great demand for these properties.
Types of properties in Mexico:
In Mexico, pre-sale houses and apartments have the advantage that the buyer acquires a property before or during the construction process and pays for it an initial price (down payment) of around 20 or 30% while he prepares to live in it at the moment the developer hands over the keys. Once the property is delivered it is necessary to liquidate the property to be able to inhabit it, most of the real estate developments handle this type of payment methods, they can vary even having monthly payments or rent payments by the developer. Before making the arrangements, ask your consultant about the forms and types of payment. This makes the price an opportunity, but do not forget that it has a couple of Achilles heels: guaranteed delivery times and not being able to be inhabited immediately.
Buying a new house or apartment as its name says has the quality that no one has touched it more than its builders. This brings benefits from the perspective that generally do not present damages, but the drawback is that many of these do not come fully equipped with all its components: kitchen, closets, floors, among others. That is why we suggest that you consider every aspect in your decision.
This type of housing is self-explanatory. It has the advantage that it is easier to negotiate the price taking into account the condition of the property. In Mexico everything is negotiated, Damages such as cracks, paint, locks or the last waterproofing are a good reference to counteract the conditions of the sale, since they are additional expenses that you will have to make to live in an optimal space.
IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS
Select the house or property in Mexico that suits your daily needs, has sufficient size and number of rooms and, if possible, is close to your place of work.
MAKE AN EVALUATION ON THE PHYSICAL BILL
If you decided to buy a used house, ask an architect to help you verify that the house is fit for habitation. In the end you could pay a higher cost for not taking this point into account.
If you are going to invest in a property in Mexico, make sure it has the communication routes or services you require, such as: education, health, commerce, security, transportation, recreation and supply. Avoid high-risk areas! That is, the property should not be located in cities with high risk of natural disasters, under power lines, fuel tanks, subway pipelines, near ravines or flood risk areas. Invest in safe areas and cities to protect your assets. Invest in the safest city in Mexico.
FIND OUT DEBTS
As a general rule, the seller must have all utility payments up to date, such as: property taxes, electricity, water and gas. You don't want to absorb one more debt!
VERIFY THE DEEDS
That a property has deeds is the only way in which you will have the legal certainty of the property, even the banks to contract loans, verify the deeds before a notary public, or a lawyer that will help you to verify the legal procedures.
Define how much of what you have saved you can use, since banks or housing support institutions only lend on average up to 80% of the value of the property, so you must have that 20% previously to give the down payment, and an additional 5% to cover the initial expenses (appraisal, insurance, deeds, notary, credit opening, among others such as moving, etc.).
MORTGAGE LOAN FOR FOREIGNERS
There are different financing options to buy a house in Mexico, being a foreigner. Mortgage loans are one option, they can also grant you different benefits, such as: insurance, fixed rates and monthly payments.
Submit the immigration form FM2 or FM3.
You must have been living in Mexico for at least a specific number of months, which varies depending on the bank.
Be economically active.
Be over 18 years of age.
Have a minimum of 1 year of work experience.
These proofs are the most common in any banking institution, and the interesting thing is that the applicant can benefit from: fixed interest rates, insurance, fixed monthly payments, and even the opportunity of co-financing.