Baja Real Estate / What sales agents and developers don't tell you!
I saw a show on CBS Sunday Morning about the Baja Dream. I went to a Coldwell Banker Baja office thinking since it was an American based company I could be safe. I ignored what I saw about getting legal council. I put $5,000. down to hold the property, being told that I would get the check back when I sent the down payment to them. A few months after sending the down payment I discovered Coldwell Banker cashed the check. When I called them they said the developer told them to use it for commissions. I had a receipt, but the deposit was not mentioned in the contract. Then the developer never delivered the house. They said they could not build it and they would give me a lot instead. The contract said they would deliver the house in November 2005, tentatively. The word tentatively gives them all the time in the world. A good attorney reviewing the contract would never have let them put that word in. There were many things about the contract my attorney said should not have been there, but I did not have him before I signed. Now I have him trying to get my money back. So, don't think you are smart enough to do this on your own, and don't trust the real estate agents or developers, they have a vested interest in the sale.
I want to alert others that it is very important to listen to the advise of agencies in the United States about how to buy real estate in Mexico. I did not, and now I have a lawsuit.
Here is a link to a pdf file published by the State of Arizona real estate department. It explains the differences in buying real estate in Mexico and the U.S. especially Arizona:
You will understand why it is important to use an attorney, not just a real estate agent.
I say this, because I went to Coldwell Banker in Baja, and decided not to use the attorney. I wanted to save money. I thought I could research on my own on the Internet. Short version of the story, I now have an attorney, and a lawsuit to recover my deposit and damages. Though I was told my $5,000.00 deposit would be returned when I put down my down payment, Coldwell Banker cashed the check. They said that the developer told them to use it for commissions. I had a receipt for the deposit, but nothing in the contract about it. They also did not have my down payment put in an escrow account. I thought Coldwell Banker could be trusted because it was an American company. Again, learn from my mistakes, and follow the guidelines.
This is from the United States State Dept. website, http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_970.html#real_estate
REAL ESTATE AND TIME-SHARES: U.S. citizens should be aware of the risks inherent in purchasing real estate in Mexico, and should exercise extreme caution before entering into any form of commitment to invest in property there. Investors should hire competent Mexican legal counsel when contemplating any real estate investment. Mexican laws and practices regarding real estate differ substantially from those in the United States. Foreigners who purchase property in Mexico may find that property disputes with Mexican citizens may not be treated evenhandedly by Mexican criminal justice authorities and in the courts. Time-share companies cannot be sued in U.S. courts unless they have an office or other business presence in the U.S. Consumers should contact a Mexican attorney, the Mexican consumer protection agency PROFECO, or other consumer information agency for information on companies that operate outside of the U.S.
More Baja Real Estate Complaints & Reviews
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- Baja Real Estate - No requirements for agents in Mexico 
- Baja Real Estate - Disclosure of problems not required!