The Bucket List

Can foreigners own properties in Mexico?

Yes, anyone of any nationality can legally buy and own real estate in Mexico. Many people receive erroneous information or think that it is no due to the existence of the so-called “restricted areas” (formerly called “prohibited areas”).

There are several methods to acquire a property in Mexico. First, outside this restricted zone foreigners can legally acquire any type of real estate by simply paying a fee.

Second, for non-residential properties, foreigners can acquire real estate through Mexican corporations (and, under certain conditions, these corporations can be 100% foreign-owned).

The two primary conditions are the acceptance of foreigners to be governed by Mexican law, and that the property is registered as non-residential before the Ministry of Foreign Relations. This applies to real estate inside and outside the restricted zone.

Third, within the restricted zone, for residential real estate, the acquisition must proceed through a bank trust.

How is the buying process in the Riviera Maya?

Generally speaking, the real estate transaction process is “closed” once the seller accepts a written purchase offer and both the seller and the buyer sign a buy-sell agreement.

The Bucket List presenting an offer becomes very safe since the deposit that is never greater than 5% of the offered price, is protected by the real estate agency.

Generally, a payment of 10 to 30% is then required as a deposit when the purchase-sale promise contract is signed. Typically, developments and pre-sales require a deposit of 30% or more, but for re-sales, the deposit is less. Normally, the rest is paid by signing the deeds before the notary.

If you are dealing directly with the seller, it is highly recommended that you seek the guidance of an attorney or real estate agent before signing any contracts or exchanging money (especially because contracts are legally binding in Quintana Roo, Mexico.

How much is The Bucket List (Real Estate) Service Fee?

When purchasing a property through THE BUCKET LIST, you do not pay any additional fee for our scouting services (research), monitor your property in the sale process until delivery in the legal, financial, and post/sale areas.

The cost of our service is paid in full by the seller, not the buyer of the property (you). When purchasing with us, if necessary you will get Legal Services from a full bilingual attorney that will help you to review the purchase, rent, or administration contracts.

I want to see the properties, would you do a tour?

That’s the idea! You can coordinate directly with us a face-to-face or virtual appointment, tell us what day and time you want to go on a tour with us.

If the tour is in person, we start the day with breakfast to deepen what you are looking for, then we will depart to the different developments and properties of your interest. (Don’t forget to bring comfortable clothes and shoes)

I'm instered in a property that is not in your website. Can you verify?

Of course! Today there are a large number of properties available in the Riviera Maya, it is NOT possible to list them all.

The properties that appear in our listing have already been analyzed and verified, as well as many other developments that are not, so we likely have information on the development that you have seen on the web or have been recommended to you.

If this is not the case, we will analyze it for you without obligation or fee.

Contact us and one of our advisors will support you in the process.

How much is the closing fee and taxes?

Closing costs are determined by the sale price. The value becomes the basis for all applicable taxes and fees. In general, the buyer is responsible for the transfer tax and the cost of establishing the Trust (if it is not already in existence), notary fees, registration fees, assessment tax fees, and the fiduciary fees of the permit.

The total average cost of closing the buyer is approximately 5% of the purchase price.

In Quintana Roo, Mexico the commission for brokerage services in real estate transactions is charged to the seller, so we highly recommend you always deal with a local expert.

What is a Fideicomiso (bankers trust)?

The trust agreement is formalized by issuing a permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The foreign buyer is designated as a beneficiary in the trust and the rights of the beneficiaries are registered in the public registry by a Notary Public. The beneficiary has all the rights without restriction like any property owner: he can use, have possession, rent it, live in the property, make modifications, he will also have the ability to instruct the bank to mortgage the property, sell it, transfer the benefits to another person and any other act within the law, derived from owning property.

If the foreigner sells the property to another foreigner, he can assign his interests to the new buyer. This assignment of rights must be formalized before a Mexican Notary Public, prior to the payment of federal and local taxes derived from the transfer of the beneficiary’s rights.

The foreign owner will have the obligation to pay the land rights, for example, the annual payment of the property tax, the maintenance fees of the condominium, the water, the electricity, the annual trust fee.

As the beneficiary of the fideicomiso, you absolutely and irrevocably maintain control of the property, use, maintenance, control over all property decisions.

A trust is normally established for 50 years and can be renewed for an additional 50 years. In fact, trust can be renewed at any time by request.

Another erroneous belief and concern is that after 50 years the properties in the trust go to the authorities, which is not true

Can my family and friends inherit my real estate in Mexico?

The beneficiary has the right to appoint substitute beneficiaries who will receive all the rights and obligations that derive from the trust contract, in case the beneficiary dies during the term of the Trust.

With this designation of substitute beneficiaries, your heirs do not need to follow any legalization procedures before the Mexican courts, which could take time and attorney fees. He would only have to give notice to the bank about the deceased, show the death certificate, and their official identifications. Then, the bank will instruct the notary public to record the documents with the consequent action of registering the new owners (beneficiaries) of the property in the trust.

How safe are banks in Mexico? Can i Trust a Fideicomiso?

Yes, you can. The Mexican bank has a responsibility as a fiduciary to act for the good of the beneficiary. The bank will simply retain the deeds to the property on your behalf (or its beneficiaries).

You, as the beneficiary have the property rights to it.

You can sell, lease, rent, build, or do anything else that a legal property owner in Mexico can do (obviously, you must obey construction and zoning regulations).

Many large and respectable US and international banks such as GE Capital, ScotiaBank, and Santander Serfin, among others, have been and continue to be the major players in trusts in Mexico.

What does a notary do? Do we need one?

Public Notary plays an important role in the sale of real estate, much more important than in most countries.

The State Governor designates the Public Notary is responsible for the execution of several key aspects of the transaction, such as the authentication of legal documents, the search for property titles and deeds (for assessments or other legal and financial matters), tax collection, reviews of building permits (if applicable), capital gains tax calculation.

The notary is responsible for ratifying real estate transactions; therefore, if the property transaction is carried out without a notary and is not entered in the public record, then it is invalid, placing the buyer in a position where he or she may lose the property without legal recourse.



Don’t hesitate in contacting us with any doubt you may have about buying or selling your property, we are here to give you the most comprehensive information along with the best service.

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