FAQs

Can foreigners own property in Mexico? Find answers to this one and other frequently asked questions.



Can foreigners own property in Mexico? Can US citizens own land in Mexico?
What is a fideicomiso?
Why do I need a fideicomiso?
How long does a fideicomiso last?
What are the fees of forming a fideicomiso?
Will the new law revoke the restricted zone for foreigners?
Can Mexican government take away the land?
What should I be careful of when purchasing land in Mexico?
When should I buy land in Mexico through establishing a corporation?
What is the process of buying land in Mexico through a corporation?
What are the fees of forming a corporation in Mexico?
Who will represent me and assist me through the process of buying land in Mexico?
What if my bank goes bankrupt?
Can I get financing for my land purchase in Mexico?
What my property taxes will be like?
Who will design/ build my property?
Who will manage my property?
Why invest in real estate in the Riviera Maya?
Why do land owners list exclusively with Riviera Maya Property Consultants?



Can foreigners own property in Mexico? Can US citizens own land in Mexico?
Of course! The Riviera Maya region has seen a very large doze of foreign land investments, which continue to grow every day. As a foreigner buying land in Mexico within 50km (32 miles) from the coastline and 100km (64 miles) from the international border, you will use the means of a bank trust (fideicomiso) or you may buy property by establishing a Mexican corporation. We will guide you every step of the way and advise you on which is the best option in your purchase of Mexico real estate.
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What is a fideicomiso?
When purchasing land in Mexico as a foreigner, the most popular option you will be offered (especially for residential properties) will be a fideicomiso. A fideicomiso is a real estate trust where the bank (trustee) holds the trust deed for the purchaser (beneficiary). You can choose your bank: Scotia Bank, HSBC, Banamex (Citigroup), Santander, etc. The bank acts as the Trustee, and you are the Beneficiary of the trust. You maintain complete control over the trust, and may sell, lease, mortgage, and pass the property on to your heirs. The trust is the beneficiary's property. Fideicomiso is equivalent to a Living Trust in the US.
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Why do I need a fideicomiso?
Fideicomiso allows foreigners to buy prime Mexico real estate inside the "restricted zone" - within 50km (32 miles) from the coastline and 100km (64 miles) from the international border - and ensure a safe and secure transaction with a major bank. Residential properties outside of the restricted zones can be purchased by foreigners without fideicomiso.
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How long does a fideicomiso last?
A trust is granted for a 50-year period, renewable at any time (for another 50-year period) by submitting an application to the bank. If the 50-year period expires without renewal, the owner has another 10 years in which he may submit an application to renew the trust.
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What are the fees of forming a fideicomiso?
Applying for the Fideicomiso: $2,000 USD.
Taxes, notary and lawyer fees: 8% on the cost of purchasing the land or home.
Maintenance of the Fideicomiso: $450 USD a year.
Tax on the property fee: about $100 USD per year (for a property worth $100,000 USD); VAT of 16% on fees.
No Value Added Tax (Sales Tax) is payable on residential property.
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Will the new law revoke the restricted zone for foreigners?
FEES OF FORMING A MEXICAN COMPANY: The bank trust requirement (Article 27) is currently being reviewed by the Mexican government, and in April of 2013 Congress’ lower house voted to loosen the restrictions on foreigners buying lands within restricted zones. The measure passed 356-119 and now only needs approval from the Senate and a majority of the country's 32 state legislatures to become law.
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Can Mexican government take away the land?
Mexico may NOT expropriate property from the owners under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). The only way for Mexican government to get ownership of land is by buying it from the owners in and only in the rare case it’s needed for public purposes (such as building roads). The same process exists in the US (Eminent Domain), in the UK (Compulsory Purchase) and in Canada (Expropriation).
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What should I be careful of when purchasing land in Mexico?
When buying real estate in Mexico, you have to make sure that the land has a title, and is not simply an Ejido land. Ejido land can only be legally owned by a Mexican national and is the only type of land in Mexico that doesn’t bear a title. All the land properties that we work with have proven property titles that will be demonstrated to every buyer.
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When should I buy land in Mexico through establishing a corporation?
Buying land through establishing a corporation is most often selected when the purpose is to own a commercial property and/or to conduct the investment as a business. This applies when the purpose is to rent the property, to own more than one property and to buy and sell it.
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What is the process of buying land in Mexico through a corporation?
To purchase a commercial property in Mexico, you will have to establish a Mexican corporation (it may be foreign-owned), and as such you will be able to purchase property in a restricted zone without a fideicomiso. The two most common types of a Mexican corporation are a limited liability corporation (LLC) and a limited liability partnership (LLP). A foreign corporation in Mexico requires two or more individual foreign investors, who control 100% of the corporation, combined. Once your Mexican corporation is formed, it has the legal capacity to buy property in Mexico, including the restricted zone. Choosing which type to set up is important for tax purposes in both the US and Mexico, and our lawyers and accountants will be able to advise you on the best option.
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What are the fees of forming a corporation in Mexico?

FEES OF FORMING A MEXICAN COMPANY:

  • Forming of a company (including fees, notaries, lawyers): $1,500 – 2,000 USD
  • Taxes, notary and lawyer fees: 8% on the cost of acquiring land.
  • Management of the company by an accountant: $1,100 USD per year

FEES OF PURCHASING AN EXISTING MEXICAN COMPANY:

  • Purchase of a company: $ 4, 000 – 5,000 USD.
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Who will represent me and assist me through the process of buying land in Mexico?
You will be dealing with real estate company, attorney, bank (if using fideicomiso) and notary. We will help you throughout the process and we will represent your interests in the best possible way as your real estate company. We will also recommend a trusted and bi-lingual attorney and notary. A Mexican attorney will draw contracts and represent all your legal interests. A Mexican bank, acting as your trustee, will ensure that the closing is legal and will issue a trust. A Mexican Notary has greater responsibility than a U.S. Notary and represents the Mexican government by providing strict security of original documents and ratifying all real estate transactions. The attorney and notary will also verify that the property is free from any claims, judgements, liens or other legal issues.
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What if my bank goes bankrupt?
In this rare and unlikely case, Mexican federal laws protect you, and since your bank trust is not a bank asset, it will be transferred to another Trustee Bank.
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Can I get financing for my land purchase in Mexico?
At the moment there is no financing available for property buying in Quinatana Roo state.
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What my property taxes will be like?
Property taxes have historically been low in Mexico. The tax is calculated as a percentage (currently .25% of the assessed value), determined at the time of sale.
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Who will design/ build my property?
Riviera Maya Property Consultants offer highest quality architectural and construction services for each of our clients. We are not a real estate agency – we are a full service company that delivers your dream house or commercial property from A to Z: we start with exclusive land deals, then we offer assistance with the legal process, architectural projects, construction and property management. Our architects have 20 years of experience in constructing cutting-edge buildings in Europe and in Mexico, and we work only with the best local construction companies that optimize the investment and meet construction deadlines ahead of time.
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Who will manage my property?
You can choose to manage your property yourself or our company, Riviera Maya Property Consultants, can take care of all your property management needs - whether you want to rent it or to keep it exclusively for yourself. We find tenants for your property, check them in, and check them out. We provide you with a reservations calendar so that you know when your property is rented and what would be your rental income. We hold regular owners’ meetings and discuss all pressing issues and provide a monthly report.
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Why invest in real estate in the Riviera Maya?
Wondering what are the benefits of buying land in the Riviera Maya? There is no better time to invest in real estate in Mexico and in the Riviera Maya in particular: the market is exploding and the average annual growth of investment for properties in the region, especially in Tulum, is up to 15% a year. Please read here to get more details about why it’s a good idea to invest in the Riviera Maya.
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Why do land owners list exclusively with Riviera Maya Property Consultants?
Our business model is unique and we have been operating in the area long enough to establish relationships with land owners based on personal trust and references. Land owners enjoy working with us exclusively also because we keep generating business with upscale clientele and close most of our deals in a short period of time.
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