Buying a new property is always exciting for anyone! And buying your dream vacation home at Rocky Point (Puerto Peñasco) in Mexico is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Because you’ll be acquiring a property in a foreign country, understand that there are restriction zones as a foreigner buyer, you need to keep a 100-kilometers strip along the land borders, or 50 kilometers along the beaches.
We understand that buying a house in a different country is challenging and sometimes scary. So, we wanted to share with you an 8-step checklist to make your buying experience a memorable one. Either way, rest assured knowing that you got the RE/MAX experts by your side.
Important! Please note, this is an oversimplified process. Always talk to your real estate agent before starting.
Make sure to check every task after finishing it!
☐ Make an Offer.
☐ Place Earnest Money in Escrow (on hold.)
☐ Ask about Title Insurance.
☐ Follow the Notary’s activities.
☐ Get the deed in Your Hand and Close on the Property.
☐ Make sure that the Notario Registers Your Ownership
☐ Get Your Will Ready.
☐ Consider the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Guidelines.
Making an Offer
Detail the main terms of the sale. Include price, payment plans, details on an earnest money deposit. Deadline for the seller to accept the offer is usually included. These are all standard practices when buying a property in Mexico.
Placing Earnest Money in Escrow
Escrow is a legal arrangement in which a third party temporarily holds large sums money or property until a particular condition has been met. Once your offer is accepted in writing, you’ll need to put a certain amount (usually 10% to 20%) of the purchase price aside as earnest money.
Asking about Title Insurance
We suggest you get title insurance for your property if you can. Though a notary will investigate a property’s title to be sure that the taxes are paid.
Once you have found the right property for you, it’s time to start your process and negotiation with the current owners.
Following the Notary’s Activities.
The notary must investigate the title, get an appraisal, and put the closing papers in order. These are some important documents you must have:
- Purchase sales agreement (contrato de compraventa).
- The lien certificate (certificado de libertad de gravámen), which will show the name of the owner of record as well as the details of the property.
- The lay of the land (commercial or residential).
- A non-lien certificate (certificado de no adeudo), will show that either no taxes are due.
Additional paperwork to consider:
Make sure you have copies of water bills, electricity, telephone, homeowner’s association, cable, and other utility bills from the seller. You must be sure that there are no debts on the property whatsoever.
Getting the Deed in Your Hand and Close on the Property
Once you get the deed (escritura) in your hand from the owner and the notary. You may proceed to close the deal.
Making sure the Notary Registers Your Ownership.
The notary registers your deed with the land registry office. Look for a seal on each page and for a certificate of registration, which should be included with the documents.
Getting your Will Ready.
You can save the torment, time, and expense by having your attorney draw up a Mexican will in Spanish that disposes of your Mexican possessions and property in case of death.
Considering the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Guidelines
You’ll need to alert the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that you intend to make a purchase.
The Ministry has 15 days to get the registration done. If the ministry’s deadline passes and you still have heard nothing, then the trust permit or the registration are automatically considered authorized. More information here.
If you need more help, please don’t hesitate to contact us by clicking here. We’ll be happy to guide you through your buying experience.