Baja Real Estate / No laws which regulate the sale or management of real estate in Mexico!
This is important information. Don't listen to agents and sales people who want to make a buck off of you. Baja real estate guide for homes, land and condominiums for sale in Rosarito Beach, Los Barriles, East Cape, Cabo San Lucas, Tijuana, Ensenada, Mexicali, Tijuana, La Paz and Loreto.
Buyer Beware: Be advised that there are no laws which regulate the sale or management of real estate in Mexico and abuses do exist. It is always prudent to ask for local references and obtain competitive bids for all services when possible.
The Mexican Constitution prohibits direct ownership by foreigners of real estate within 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) of any border, and within 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) of any coastline. In order to permit foreign investment in these areas, the Mexican government has created a trust mechanism (contrato de fideicomiso) in which a bank has title to the property, but a trust beneficiary enjoys the benefits of ownership. The Bank Trust Agreement (contrato de fideicomiso) allows for renewable long term leases that may be sold or enjoyed by your heirs.
A foreigner may be the sole and exclusive stockholder of a Mexican corporation which may hold fee simple title to non-residential property in the prohibited zone. There is a broad definition for "non-residential" property.
Buyer Beware: Mexico real estate prices that seem too good to be true are usually too good to be true! Many of these "bargains" are located on what is commonly referred to as "Ejido" or communal tracts of land. It is highly recommended that you consult with a Mexico attorney regarding Ejido land rights. Any agreement between the "Ejido" and a foreigner may be revoked or canceled without cause, notice or recourse!!
Caution: Mexican law recognizes squatters' rights, and homeowners can spend thousands of dollars in legal fees and years of frustration in trying to remove squatters who occupy or rent their property. Always inspect the property and be certain that your property is not occupied by a Mexican citizen in any manner whatsoever. Anyone who occupies the property on behalf of the owner should be totally removed/gone from the property prior to closing. Warning: A Mexico citizen may simply refuse to pay rent and continue to occupy your rental property for a long, long time - maybe years.
American property owners in Mexico should exercise caution when hiring employees to serve in their homes or on vessels moored in Mexico. Several American property owners have faced lengthy lawsuits for failure to comply with Mexican labor laws regarding severance pay and social security benefits.
Caution: Exercise extreme caution when considering time-share investments and be aware of very aggressive tactics used by some time-share sales representatives. Buyers should be fully informed and take sufficient time to consider their decisions before signing time-share contracts, ideally after consulting an independent attorney. Mexican law allows time-share purchasers five days to cancel the contract for unconditional and full reimbursement. U.S. citizens should never sign a contract that includes clauses penalizing the buyer who cancels within five days.
A formal complaint against any merchant should be filed with PROFECO, Mexico's federal consumer protection agency. PROFECO has the power to mediate disputes, investigate consumer complaints, order hearings, levy fines and sanctions for not appearing at hearings, and do price-check inspections of merchants. All complaints by Americans are handled by PROFECO's English-speaking office in Mexico City at [protected]. You might also complain about the lack of an English translation for the PROFECO web site.
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