They say God is in the details, but I think we may have lost the skill for asking detailed questions when it comes to buying Mexico real estate. We often take the first answer we receive or only ask the first question that comes to mind.
If you are buying Mexico real estate anywhere for the first time, you should be a fountain of questions.
Here are some suggestions for questions to ask if you are thinking about buying real estate in Mexico:
1. What are my closing costs as a buyer or seller?
2. What conditions am I agreeing to for recourse by the other party, if I default?
3. Are properties in Mexico bought “as is”?
4. Can I make an offer with contingencies?
5. What should the contingencies be?
6. Can I require or negotiate a cost of repairs?
7. Who is qualified to do a home inspection?
8. Are inspections the same as in my home market?
9. How do I take title to a property?
10. How is safe title assured?
11. Who is qualified to transfer the property and where is it done?
12. Do I have to be present at closing?
13. How do I send money for my home purchase in Mexico?
14. What currency will be used for the purchase price?
15. Who holds the purchase funds until the title is transferred into my name?
16. When is the money sent?
17. How long does an average closing take?
18. How do I make sure that the seller has paid his/her expenses before I own the property?
19. Can title insurance be bought?
20. How is title insurance handled in Mexico?
21. Who can issue title insurance and how much does it cost?
22. How do I take possession of the property?
23. Are occupants in the property now? What are my legal rights?
24. What procedures will protect me against a problem with taking possession?
25. How will I maintain the property? Who will pay the expenses?
26. Will the climate affect the cost and amount of cleaning required for maintenance of my property?
27. What natural forces could affect my property, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, rain, high humidity, termites etc…?
28. Whom can I trust? Does a system for accountability exist?
29. What is a fair amount to pay for expenses and property management?
30. What taxes do I owe for the property?
31. What legal papers do I receive, and when do I receive them?
32. Do I owe tax if I earn a rental income? What taxes do I pay for employees, such as a house cleaner?
You should also understand cultural differences between where you are coming from and Mexico. Time, for example, most likely is treated differently here than where you are from. Also, be prepared to exercise patience and learn a new set of rules. You will have to use what I call “cultural common sense” in solving problems in Mexico.
Remember, when it comes to buying Mexico real estate, make sure you ask every possible question you can think of. Hopefully, this list will help you.
This article is based upon legal opinions, current practices and my personal experiences in the Puerto Vallarta-Bahia de Banderas areas. I recommend that each potential buyer or seller conduct his/her own due diligence and review.