Stewart Title Riviera Maya
Acquiring Property in Mexico
Insurance policies for property ownership are sold in Mexico to Mexican nationals and companies, as well as to foreign buyers of Mexican land. Stewart Title Riviera Maya (STRM) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Stewart Title Latin America (STLA). STLA is an independently owned agent of Stewart Title Guaranty Company (Stewart) of Houston, Texas and a service provider for Stewart Title Guaranty de Mexico S.A. de CV (STGMX).
All types of property can be insured
- residential, commercial and industrial -
regardless of geographic location.
In 1994, Mexico liberalized property ownership provisions within the restricted zone - 100 kilometers along natural borders and 50 kilometers along coastlines and Baja California. But buying property in Mexico is not like buying in the United States. Buyers must learn the law, procedures and risks.
STRM's six principles help buyers avoid risks.
- Determine if the seller has legal ownership of the property and if it can be transferred legally.
- Hire Mexican counsel or a title insurance company to search the ownership status back to the sovereign.
- Have your legal counsel review the buy/sell agreement, which usually determines the transaction's terms and conditions.
- Arrange for a title company to handle the escrow of funds.
- Obtain a property ownership insurance policy to protect against recording errors, liens, encroachments, taxes, fraud, misrepresentation and other ownership issues.
- If the property is a condominium, examine the documents creating the condominium regime (the refimen de condominio and the like), which defines the owners' rights, obligations and restrictions.
Several laws have clarified the provisions for owning real estate in Mexico.
Certain limits apply; natural and naturalized Mexican citizens and Mexican corporations may own land, and ownership carries surface rights only.
Non-Mexican investors may own property in the interior of Mexico, with some restrictions, after refistering with the Secretariat of Foreign Relations and meeting other requirements.
Foreign buyers of any real estate in the restricted zone acquire ownership in either a Mexican corporation for commercial properties of in a Mexican bank trust (fideicomiso) for residential acquisitions.
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