Purchasing real estate in Mexico may appear to be a daunting venture. To help you get the basics, I’ve created this FAQ guide.
Should I Be Working with a Real Estate Agent?
Yes, you should, whether you are buying, selling, or renting. The process is not as simple or straightforward as it is in the USA and Canada. There are potential obstacles and problems that a real estate agent will help you navigate.
Real Estate Agents have access to marketing tools such as the MLS Vallarta Multi-List. If you are considering selling, insist on a Multi-List Vallarta Affiliated Realtor, to ensure your property gets maximum exposure, both online and in print.
Are Realtors Licensed?
No. Currently, there is no licensing for realtors in Mexico. However, in Puerto Vallarta, AMPI, the Mexican real estate association, has stepped in to fulfill a similar role as best they can.
Is There a Vallarta Real Estate Association?
What Is MLS in Vallarta?
One of the first and the longest running Multi-Listing Services in all of Mexico, MLS is comprised of two systems, Multi-List Vallarta (for the resale market) and Multi-Dev Vallarta (for developers), merged together. It can be found on many realtor company websites.
Can I Own Land in Mexico?
Yes, although the Mexican Constitution prohibits a foreigner from ownership of land 100 kilometers along the border or 50 kilometers along the coast, you can obtain all the rights of ownership via a bank trust. For all intents and purposes, it’s just like getting title.
What Is a Bank Trust?
Because of the restriction in the Mexican Constitution, a foreign buyer must request a Mexican bank to act as a trustee on his behalf. The trust can be established for a maximum term of 50 years and can be automatically renewed for another 50-year period. The title is transferable to any other party. The bank becomes the legal owner of the property for the exclusive use of the buyer or beneficiary, who has all the benefits of a direct owner.
How Much are Closing Costs?
Whenever a real estate transaction occurs in Mexico, a number of additional costs are involved should be taken into account. These vary in amount and complexity, depending on the type of transaction and whether a trust is involved, and are determined by the notary office of your choice, along with the real estate agency handling the transaction. The following examples, are broad guidelines that should give you an idea of how much to expect.
How Much are Property Taxes and Other Typical Housing Expenses?
Property taxes are very low compared to the USA and Canada. However, condos charge additional fees, such as homeowners association charges. Utilities are reasonably priced, and household staff, such as maid, butler, and chef, are extremely affordable.
Is Financing Available?
Yes, this process is getting easier every day, and interest rates are lower than in the past. Many banks have bilingual staff. Often, realtors have a mortgage broker on staff who can pre-qualify purchasers.