Top 5 Mexico Real Estate Questions

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When you close on a Mexican Real Estate transaction you do not receive your executed Trust Deed that same day if you attended the closing in person or by proxy.  Within the weeks following the close date the Notary will be sending the executed Trust Deed to register the deed and property in the buyer(s) names at the Public Registry and Property Tax office.  The requisite capital gains tax and acquisition taxes (2% of the purchase price) will be paid for seller and buyer.  The entire process of what happens after the sale closes can take up to 90 days approximately.

Can the Mexican Government Take My Property?

Foreigners often worry about their property being expropriated. Under NAFTA Mexico may not directly or indirectly take property except for a public purpose. Same as eminent domain in the USA. Where it is necessary swift and fair market value must be paid with accrued interest. So the rumor that Mexico can take foreigners land away is “a rumor”.

How Long Can I Reside in Mexico Each Year?

When you arrive in Mexico there no longer is a tourist visa for our entry.  You can apply in your home country for a temporary resident visa valid for 12 months and renews up to 4 years.  Permanent residents and or working residents of Mexico have permanent resident status or valid Immigration working documents.

Can I Own Property in Mexico?

Yes! Foreigners may obtain direct ownership of property in the interior of Mexico.  In the restricted zone foreigners own their property, acquired through a trust bank. 

Are There Property Taxes and Closing Costs in Mexico?

Yes. Property taxes are paid annually and are not based on the Real Estate value of the property.  You will find them far less than in the USA or Canada.  If paid at the beginning of the year through the months of January to March they are discounted.  Note that property taxes that go unpaid will be penalized and penalty will compound which can be costly.   Closing costs in Mexico on a Real Estate transaction are paid for by the buyer.  Some are flat fees and some are based on a percentage of the purchase price of the property.  These fees also have a cap of low and a cap of a high and not to exceed.  You will find the closing fees higher in comparison to closing costs in Canada or the USA.  Sellers have Capital Gains taxes, proration of utilities, home owners dues and property taxes and possibly a trust cancellation fee, and any unpaid fees related to the sale must be paid in order to close. Ask your Realtor for an estimate. 

What is the Difference Between a Temporary and Permanent Visa?

A temporary visa is for a person who lives part-time in Mexico. To be granted this status you must prove you have sufficient resources to be financially independent.  Or meet certain requirements to be able to work or own a business.  If you own property in Mexico the amount of resources required is reduced.  The permanent resident visa is for those intending to make their home and reside in Mexico permanently.  The qualifications are a bit more stringent than the temporary visa.  You enjoy most rights and privileges of a Mexican citizen except the right to vote.  You do not give up your native citizenship but may work freely in Mexico and remain without annual immigration renewals. 

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