Real Estate Logistics
Role of the Real Estate Agency:
- Providing guidance and assistance to sellers and buyers in marketing and purchasing property for the right price, under the best terms.
- Determining clients’ needs and financial abilities and proposing solutions that suit them.
- To provide an educated team of honest professionals with clear communication.
- To provide a smooth and hassle free Listing/Sale Service.
Role of the Notaria Publica
- The Notaria Publica is a government appointed lawyer. They are solely licensed to carry out the purchase and sale of Real Estate property in Mexico.
- They processes and certify all real estate transactions and write and review all real estate closing documents, thus ensuring the transfer of title.
- The Notaria Publica will request a certificate from the public registry to ensure the property is free and clear of any debt or lien, after a complete property search.
- They will communicate and coordinate with the banks involved to extinguish the existing trust, if applicable and also to initiate a new trust for the buyer.
- They require a statement from the Municipality regarding water bills, and other taxes that might be due and ensure they are paid and up to date.
- They coordinate with the chosen bank to obtain a permit from the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs to acquire the property in trust.
- They coordinate an appraisal of the property, required by law, for tax purposes.
Capitol Gains tax
The gain from the sale of the property is taxed at a rate of up to 35%. In order to determine the gain, the following costs and expenses are deducted from the amount for which the property is officially sold:
- The original land cost and the depreciated construction cost, based on the number of years the property was held and adjusted for inflation according to the official consumer price indexes.
- Additions, remodeling and improvements, made on the property.
- Commissions paid to real estate brokers by the seller.
- The closing costs, including all expenses, taxes and fees paid by the seller. The Notario will retain the calculated gain after deductions forwarding it to the Mexican tax authorities. The seller will then deduct this amount against his/her annual tax return, which becomes an adjustable tax credit in the U.S.
- If the property is held under a Persona Moral, (limited liability company, Mexican corporation, etc.) then the capitol gain is calculated by that entity’s chosen accountant.
- It is common practice that the buyer pays the transfer or acquisition tax as well as all other closing costs including the Notario fees and expenses.
- The seller, pays the capital gains tax and the broker’s commission (which is deducted from the capitol gains tax.)
- The Real Estate transfer tax in the state of Nayarit is 2%. (Paid by the buyer)
- The entire closing cost a buyer must be ready to pay is roughly 4-5% of the sale price.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding San Pancho and Purchasing Property In Mexico
We understand a bill had been put forward to change the law regarding foreigners owning land within 50 miles of the border. Has that law passed? What is the current situation regarding foreigners (e.g. Canadians) owning land/property in Mexico?
Canadians and other foreigners may obtain direct ownership of property in the interior of Mexico. However, under Mexican law, foreigners cannot own property outright within the restricted zone. Instead, a real estate trust must be set up to hold title for the foreigner. Since foreigners are not able to enter into contracts to buy real estate in the restricted zone, they must have a bank hold title on their behalf, similar to how a trust is used to hold property for minors because they also cannot enter into legal contracts. The following is a brief outline of the law regarding such trusts, known as “fideicomisos”, but potential buyers should always get advice and have all real estate transactions viewed by a licensed Mexican attorney.
Normally, there are three to four players involved in any real estate transaction in the restricted zone:
- A real estate company
- The buyer’s lawyer
- A bank
- A public notary
There is a common misconception among foreigners investing in Mexico that once the trust expires, the beneficiary loses all rights and benefits of the sale of the property held in trust. This is not the case. On the contrary, the beneficiary has a contractual right under the trust agreement with the Mexican bank to all benefits that may result from the use or sale of that property, even though he does not hold title to the property. Under Mexican Law, the bank, as trustee, has a fiduciary obligation to respect the rights of the beneficiary.
A real estate trust is not a lease. The beneficiary can instruct the bank to sell or lease the property at any time. The beneficiary can develop and use the property to his liking and benefit, within the provisions of the law. Generally, the law allows most activities engaged in by foreigners.
Has the cost of real estate in San Pancho and surrounding areas gone up over the past year? 2 years? If so, by what percentage? If not, how much has it gone down?
The exchange rate reached 20 pesos to every U.S. dollar last summer and has remained close to that number ever since, prompting a wave of new interest in Mexico real estate among international buyers, especially Americans. The reason is simple: Every U.S. dollar goes further than ever, buying around 43% more pesos than it did only two short years ago. Although prices in Mexico have risen a bit in response, there is still an enormous increase in the purchasing power of expats, and that includes buying real estate in some of the world’s most popular vacation destinations.
Mexico has always offered good-value real estate. Even million-dollar beachfront properties in Mexico would likely cost two to three times more in Southern California or in Victoria, British Columbia.
Although many properties listed in Mexico are already either priced in dollars or have been pegged to the U.S. dollar since the peso started to slide, real estate prices here are still highly competitive and making money in Mexico is easier than ever before, especially if you invest in a property that provides an almost guaranteed rental income. Also, maintenance costs in Mexico, such as utilities, property taxes and other expenses are much more affordable than you will find in the U.S., Canada and much of Europe.
What would you say are the pros and cons of buying and building versus buying an existing property?
Advantages of building
- A good investment
Like anything else, if you buy low and sell high, it’s a good investment. Land values remained steady, but it’s still possible to find bargains and build your own dream house. You’ll go through the challenges of the building process, but you’ll likely have a home, which will be worth more than you paid. The construction process is very different in Mexico; but there are good contractors and good architects to help you.
- You get exactly what you want
This is a no-brainer. Go on tours of homes and understand what you want. Depending on your skill and background in building homes, you can do-it-yourself or hire competent people to assist you. Make sure you are here while the work is being done. It is absolutely necessary to supervise the work on a daily basis. There are no short cuts here.
Disadvantages of building
Because Mexico is a different culture, things just don’t happen on your schedule. It always takes longer. Be prepared for delays in getting materials and labor. Patience and determination are very important if you decide to build.
- You don’t always get what you pay for
It is very important to use recommended and trusted contractors to avoid common pitfalls of building. There are a lot of ways to get gauged here and if you hire an unscrupulous contractor you could end up paying more than necessary for the same work.
What else do you think is important for us as Americans & Canadians to know about purchasing a property in Mexico?
I think it is really important to have defined goals for your purchase.
Are you buying to live in the home year round or part time? If you are buying to live here part time, which part of the year? The climate is very different here in the winter than in the summer.
Do you plan to rent your home? If so, is your goal to rent it in order to offset expenses or do you need to turn a profit?
Our rental season in San Pancho is very strong in the winter and it is still much weaker in the summer although summer rentals are strengthening every year.
If you plan to occupy your rental property part of the year it may be a good idea to leave the most desirable dates open in order to generate as much income as possible in order to offset your expenses.
We hope this information helps you make an educated decision and we very much look forward to assisting you with this exciting adventure if you decide to embark on it!