As you may know, Foreigners cannot directly own property in Mexico except when they enter an agreement with the federal government to abide by the rules of the country with regards to the land they acquire, thus they may form a Mexican owned company or set up a real estate trust.
You may also know that Border and Coastal areas and the whole peninsula of Baja California are constitutionally restricted and known as zona Prohibida(forbidden zone) and that foreigners can set up a fideicomiso (real estate trusts) or may form a foreign-owned company to acquire a property.
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Buying a home is surely one of the most expensive investments a person makes and buying property in Mexico, for a foreigner, it’s not a simple process. There are a number of laws that have an impact on a real estate transaction, and just hiring a real estate agent isn’t going to cover all bases to deal with the sale, thus it is advisable to consider hiring a real estate lawyer to guide you through the legal process.
Since I have been asked this many times, I hereby submit for your benefit, a detailed description of the process required by law to privatize Ejido Land, pursuant to the Mexican Agrarian Law.
The process consists of four stages, which are the following:.- The whole Ejido community must be current with their respective plot rights. To do this they must have performed, previously, a meeting to establish individual metes and bounds (article 56 of the Agrarian Law).
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What is the Best Option for you to Buy Property within the Restricted Zones of Mexico?
Keep in mind that every fideicomiso needs a federal permit to create the trust, when the information is submitted and it mentions that the property is equal or larger than 2,000 square meters, the permit includes, among other conditions, the obligation for Bank and notary to insert a clause within the trust contract, obligating the trust beneficiary owners to invest at least US $250 K within 24 months after the creating of the trustor forfeit the property to the Mexican government, thus, the option is to create a foreign-owned Mexican corporation which once in operation may acquire property (which becomes a company asset) thus, avoiding the trust and the condition to make such a sizable investment, (keep in mind that this amount increases based on a chart that you can find here in Baja Legal Advice in the article discussing this).
Beware, most notarios differ in their perspective of things and conditions required by law, more so when it comes to address the fact that they be held responsible for unpaid taxes, thus the younger notariosare bound to ask more conditions than usually required by law, so be prepared, they can demand additional conditions at the worst possible time, screw up a real estate deal and not feel any remorse for leaving things for last.
Be aware that some notarios have begun to refuse CFE receipts as proof of residence/expense and are having you go back to CFE to obtain a factura with a CFDI, now CFE is refusing to grant facturas alleging that the receipt obtained by the consumer is an invoice, notarios insist that no, they must issue a specific factura instead.
When the Mexican government grants a permit for a bank to create a fideicomiso on behalf of a foreign national, it instructs both the bank and the Notario to includes a number of obligations that are included within the clauses of the fideicomiso, while granting a 50 year term for the trust beneficiary owners (renewable) to use and enjoy the property held under trust.
The Federal Maritime Zone, per law, is described as a 20-meter wide strip of land that is transitable and next to the beach (playa mar)”. Let’s break this down to make sure we are clear on what we are talking about:
1.- The Federal Maritime Zone is 20 meters wide. There are several types of Federal Zone. This article is only making reference to the Federal MARITIME Zone.
2.- It must be “transitable” land, that I, it must be possible to cross. More on this below.
3.- It is measured from what the law considers a “beach”.