Are you planning on buying a house or apartment in Mexico due to retirement reasons, for living permanently in Mexico, or for a good investment? If yes, you are exactly right here. In the following, we will explain to you the process of buying property in Mexico if you are a foreigner without having the Mexican residency. Moreover, we will provide you with answers to the most frequent questions asked with regard to this topic. If you are looking for renting a property as a foreigner in Mexico, we recommend you to read one of our previous Blogs on how to rent property in Mexico.
The process of buying property in Mexico
Subsequently, we will show you the process of buying property in Mexico as a foreigner in Mexico, while answering the most important questions with regard to this process.
Is it possible to buy property as a foreigner in Mexico?
The Constitution of Mexico is stating in article 27, section I. that “Only Mexicans by birth or naturalization and Mexican companies have the right to acquire ownership of lands, waters, and their appurtenances.” (Constitution of Mexico) and further that “Under no circumstances may foreigners acquire direct ownership of lands or waters within a zone of one hundred kilometers along the frontiers and of fifty kilometers along the shores of the country.” (Constitution of Mexico) Nevertheless, it is possible for foreigners to acquire properties in Mexico with a permission issued by the Ministry of Foreign Relations (SRE in Mexico) , which grant you as a foreigner the same rights as a Mexican national in terms of owning a property.
How do I apply for this permission?
In order to apply for the permission of buying a property as a foreigner in Mexico, you will have to present yourself in person at the Legal Affairs Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mexico. It will take 5 business days to resolve your application and it is free of any costs.
In order to apply for the permission, you will need to present the following documentation:
- Completed application, indicating the applicant´s full name, nationality, the migratory status of the applicant, full address, the applicant´s signature, and the description and location of the property the applicant is planning to buy
- Indicate the acquisition form
- A document stating the property´s surface area, measurements, boundaries and adjoining lands, also with the signature of the applicant
- A proof of applicant´s migratory status
What if I want to buy a property within a zone of one hundred kilometers along the frontiers and of fifty kilometers along the shores?
The before mentioned permission will only be valid for the acquisition of properties outside of the restricted zone (100 km along the frontiers and 50 km along the shores of Mexico). For buying a property as a foreigner in the restricted zone, intermediary services by a bank are required.
That means, a property in the restricted zone can be bought through a bank trust (fideicomiso) with a national credit institute. Hereby, a national bank acts as a trustee and the titleholder on behalf of the foreign buyer. Such a trust is warranted by the Mexican government. The buyer will retain complete control over the trust and can make own decisions over the property (how he wants to use the property, rent it, sell it, expand, build, or improve it).
The bank trust is valid for a period of 50 years and can be extended for 50 more years at any given time. Buying a property through a bank trust in Mexico has a cost of approximately 2,000 USD, with recurring costs of 500 USD annually. It is important to mention that such a trust with a national credit institution (fideicomiso) has to be implemented only then, when a foreign person intent to buy a property inside of the restricted zone.
If you are not sure whether the property you are going to buy as a foreigner in Mexico is located inside or outside the restricted zone, the SRE (Ministry of Foreign Relations) will send a request to an institution called INEGI (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía) in order to determine the exact location of your property. This process can take up to 20 business days.
Are there any migratory requirements?
There are no migratory requirements for buying properties in Mexico as a foreigner, that means, a foreigner can buy a property with a simple visitors visa. Nevertheless, it is necessary to have at least the temporary resident status when applying for a credit to buy a property. Moreover, it is recommended to have this status (temporary resident) when it comes to selling a property, due to the fact that a foreigner on a visitors visa cannot take advantage of exempting capital gains.
Can the government seize my property?
The government cannot seize your property, unless your property is directly associated with criminal activities. This new law has been approved earlier this year, with the objective to fight criminal activities and corruption.
We hope that our Blog about buying property in Mexico is helpful for you. We are happy to help you in finding your new property in Mexico, supporting you with all the necessary paperwork. If you have any additional questions with regard to this topic, feel free to contact us anytime.
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