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Handy tips for foreigners buying Mexican real estate

It’s a great time for foreigners to purchase real estate in Mexico. Restrictions have been loosened up and there are more housing options to explore, whether you’re planning to buy in Baja California or in the capital.

For all the essentials of buying Mexico real estate, check out this buyer’s guide. Continue reading below to find supplementary tips that will help you enjoy a pleasant home buying experience in Mexico.

On residency requirements

In general, residency requirements for foreigners to buy real estate in Mexico are simple and uncomplicated. It’s one of the reasons by Mexican real estate is a highly coveted market among foreign buyers. That said, here are a couple of things to remember:

  • Although you don’t need to immigrate or get residency to buy real estate in Mexico, you do need to buy through a fideicomiso or a bank trust if the property you want is located in a restricted zone.
  • Immigration will come into play when you decide to get a mortgage loan to finance your investment. Most banks and lending institutions will ask for your FM2 or FM3 visa.

    The FM2 visa is the type of visa you should choose if you plan to live in Mexico permanently or obtain citizenship. The FM3 visa, on the other hand, is if you wish to stay in Mexico on a long-term basis without permanently making the move.

You can read more about Mexican immigration here.

On finding a real estate agent

Hiring a real estate agent who specializes in Mexico real estate is a must, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the market and the nuances of buying a home overseas.

  • Don’t hire the first real estate agent you come across. It’s better to have a short list of candidates who already have a demonstrated history of working in Mexico real estate.

    Go through your list by conducting interviews until you find the real estate agent who matches your preferences and, more importantly, has expertise in the market you’re interested in. For instance, if you want to buy real estate in Los Cabos, find a Los Cabos realtor.

  • Client testimonials matter. If possible, search online for reviews and see what previous clients have to say about your short-listed candidates. Not only is this a good way to gain insight about their work, it’s also a great way to see if their work and communication styles are aligned with yours. You don’t want to work with a real estate agent you don’t get along with.
  • Ask for referrals. Anyone can have professional-looking real estate websites made these days. Recommendations from people you know and trust are still the best way to find a real estate agent in Mexico.
  • Pick a bilingual real estate agent, preferably with excellent command of the Spanish language. At the same time, it wouldn’t hurt to learn key terms and phrases in Spanish so you can understand aspects of the home sale.

On getting a mortgage loan

Getting a loan to finance your real estate purchase in Mexico is one way to proceed with your plans.

  • Remember that you have two options. You can either get a loan in Mexican pesos or obtain a cross-border mortgage in U.S. dollars.
  • Familiarize yourself with the market movements and the local economic climate as these affect interest rates as well as the currency. One type of mortgage loan might seem to be affordable now but might end up costing more eventually.
  • If you’re getting a mortgage, make sure not to make any time-restricted commitments or contracts. While banks and lending institutions are making vast improvements in lead times, it can still take a while for your mortgage to be approved. The release of funds also take a bit of time.

On finding the right property

Buying a real estate property abroad is no mean feat. To make sure your investment is worth it, here are a couple of tips to live by.

  • Determine how the property will be used early on in the home search. This will help you identify the must-have features and, in the process, narrow down your options.
  • Don’t skip the initial and final walkthroughs. Both will give you a before-and-after look of the property. The final walkthrough in particular is important as it is part of the delivery of the property, capping off the transaction.
  • It’s best if you get a title insurance. This will ensure you’re buying a real estate property with a clean and clear title. Some companies go so far as to check titles all the way to the Mexican Revolution for that added guarantee.

Catherine Buchanan can help you buy your dream home in Los Cabos

Get in touch with Catherine today to learn more about buying Mexico real estate.