Step by step of buying a house in Mexico as an American

Octubre 23 de 2023

Step by step of buying a house in Mexico as an American


Step 1: Find the right property and agree a price with the seller

If you want to own property in Mexico, the first thing you’ll need to do is find the perfect place. Work with a credible realtor to find the property or land you want to buy, and open negotiations on the price you’re willing to pay. Once you come to a mutually acceptable deal, you’ll be ready to start the formalities.

Step 2: Document the deal with a sales contract

Your real estate agent or solicitor can help you to pull together a sales contract which documents the terms and conditions of the sale, as well as the final price you’ve agreed. The exact form of this contract may vary somewhat depending on local customs in the area you’re targeting, so getting professional support and advice is essential.

Sales contracts — and all the other paperwork involved in buying a property in Mexico — will be in Spanish. It’s common for realtors to provide an English reference copy for you to check, but it’s also important to know that the Spanish copy will be the legally binding version. Read it through or have a Spanish speaking friend take a look to be sure of the content.

Step 3: Pay your deposit

Once you’re happy with the sales contract, you’ll need to make a downpayment — this is usually around 5% - 10% of the sale price.

Step 4: Create your fideicomiso if required

If you’re buying property or land within the restricted zones, you’ll need to either create a fideicomiso or have the previous fideicomiso transferred to your name. Fideicomiso instructions last for 50 years, so if you transfer an existing arrangement to your name, you’ll need to check how long it’s valid for, and renew in good time.

Step 5: Get permission to complete the purchase

Your notary will step in at this point to complete the next few steps. You’ll need to seek permission to complete the purchase and sign an agreement that you’ll be bound by Mexican law in any real estate dealings.

Step 6: Complete valuation and due diligence checks

Your property will be valued for tax purposes, and any further surveys or checks should be carried out at this stage. Usually your notary will be able to arrange all of these requirements on your behalf.

Step 7: Sign the escritura, pay all final taxes and costs

The escritura will ultimately become your title to the property once you’ve finalised your purchase and paid all the outstanding costs. You’ll need to visit your notary to sign the escritura, and pay all the outstanding costs. The property registration process will start as soon as you’ve made the final payment.

Step 8: Ownership will be registered within 6 months of closing

Congratulations! You now own your property in Mexico. Your legal rights to the property or land will be registered within 6 months from closing the deal.

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