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Buying in Mexico

Buying in the Restricted Zone of Mexico

Mexican law has special exceptions governing property within 31 miles of the coast and within 62 miles of the border, an area known as the Restricted Zone if you are not a Mexican national. In this area property is either purchased through a Fideicomiso or through a Mexican Corporation for any Non-Mexican National.



After 1970, the Mexican government passed laws to permit foreigners, as private individuals, to buy property in the Restricted Zone through a bank trust or fideicomiso.

The trust, initially established for a 50-year term and renewable for an additional 50, gives you, the beneficiary, full rights of ownership. You will have complete and full rights to the property; you can use, change, rent or sell the property. In the event of death, the property passes to the beneficiary you have already designated, no probate is necessary. The fideicomiso cannot be used for property that is larger than 2000 meters.

The current cost of establishing a trust is about $3,500 – 5,000 USD, and the annual fee charged after the second year is currently about $600 - 1000 USD. This covers the government fideicomiso permit fee, bank set-up fee and one year's fee. Charges may vary from bank to bank, and the annual maintenance fee depends on the value of the property.


Mexican Corporations: 

If you intend to use the property for business, it is easy to form a Mexican Corporation. The property may be purchased by the corporation and 100% owned. Costs of forming a corporation vary from $2,800 to $5,500 USD.  As a added benefit, you can own property larger than 2000 meters with a Mexican Corporation.  The Mexican government currently requires monthly tax filings, so plan to pay a Mexican accountant about $50 to $100 USD a month, accountants may charge this monthly or annually.  For more information, we can refer you to a knowledgeable attorney that specializes in this type of foreign ownership.


Cash and Financing:

Historically in Mexico, properties have been paid for in cash.  For that reason, financing is not as common as it is in the United States or Canada.  Also, some sellers may not agree to accept a offer that involves bank financing, as the procedure can be longer and the outcome may not be certain, and / or because of tax reasons.

However, there are some options that have become available in the last few years. For these types of loans, the approval criteria are strict, interest rates can be high, and the amount of downpayment is generally 35%, but options may be available for you.   If you are interested in learning more, please contact me at:


Repairs and Property Inspections:

There are some limited inspections available, performed by various professionals. These inspections are generally surface. However, most of the foundations sit upon solid limestone and since there are no earthquakes in this area, if there is a problem with the foundation it can be visible and apparent. The roofing is usually solid concrete and leaks are usually would be very noticeable. Many older properties are in need of renovations; this may include the rewiring of the electrical system, and re-plumbing to bring them up to the standard that you are accustomed to. Some properties that are advertised as “Fully Remodeled” or “Move in Ready” may not truly be. In Mexico, properties are sold "As is”, meaning that sellers will not generally make repairs.

We will always do our best to represent all properties accurately, but we do rely on the information that has been provided by the sellers.  Therefore, we are not responsible for any discrepancies on the part of the seller.



Once a price is agreed upon by both Buyer and Seller, and there is a signed contract for purchase signed by the parties involved, the Buyer has five business days / or seven calendar days to wire the property deposit along with the initial attorney deposit. This is property deposit is normally 10% of the sale price, upon occasion if there are special circumstances, it may be higher. The funds are held in a separate Escrow Account used for this purpose. This money of guarantee binds the contract. Upon receiving the escrow amount an extensive title search is conducted confirming that there are no existing liens or any title problems. The Closing generally takes sixty - ninety days. A few days prior to closing, you will receive an itemized expense list and the full closing costs that are due prior to the final signing.


If you will not be in Mexico for the closing, a limited Power of Attorney can be used. In this case, the Closing Attorney would sign on your behalf for this specific transaction. As it is a Limited Power of Attorney, its life and use are limited to a specific transaction.


In Mexico the closing costs are paid by the Buyer, including the cost to form your trust or corporation and the Transfer Tax, which depends on the municipality. There are also normal attorney and notary costs. We are happy to get a Good Faith Estimate when you have decided on a property.


The time to form a corporation is generally under thirty days. Forming a trust may take 45 - 60 days, as a permit must be obtained. If the property is already in an existing transferrable bank trust, this could speed up the process.



People from all walks of life have discovered the historic importance and elegant charm of Merida and the natural beauty of the Gulf Coast in the Yucatan. We would be honored to help you discover the many reasons why you will fall in love with Mexico.