For buyers considering investing in a Puerto Vallarta property for the first time, it is important to note that buying Mexico property involves some extra security measures, since the business culture and laws are different. But this should not deter buyers from considering the option. Following three basic principles will allow buyers to avoid the most common mistakes and unnecessary risks.
The first: Use Common Sense. A piece of advice one broker gives to new buyers is "Don't leave your brain at the border." Many buyers arrive in Mexico, are careless in both their property and agent search, see things going wrong, and assume that it's OK, because things are different in Mexico. As absurd as it may sound, it's very easy to slip into this mind set, especially if a buyer hasn't taken the time to inform themselves and find a reliable team to work with (the next two points). The bottom line for this point is, "Don't do risking things in Mexico that you wouldn't do back home." Especially since it's different country, where processes and business ethics can take a very different angle.
The second: Inform Yourself. Besides different business styles, there are real differences in the law, and in how foreigners can obtain ownership, run a business, etc. All of this is 100% possible, and safe, but buyers need to know what the limitations and advantages are, as well as know what process and costs are involved. One possibility is a Mexico real estate guide for new buyers, available for free download on some websites. (Investigation to ensure that the site is reliable is also advisable.)
The third: Find a Reliable Team. A well-prepared guide will emphasize this as one of the key points. If a buyer is working with a reliable agent, they will put up a red flag if anything shows up that needs attention, or if a purchase looks suspicious. They will also help the buyer find the property most suitable for themselves, and not just try to push a certain sale on them. A well-advised buyer will used information from a guide or other online resources to help them decide if an agent will represent their needs. A well-chosen agent will also be able to point clients to other professionals, such as lawyers and a notary public.
While any real estate purchase involves some risk, whether in Mexico, back home, or any other part of the world, following these steps will avoid unnecessary risks, and greatly reduce the chances of hidden risks.
Each buyer should ask themselves, "Am I an well-advised and informed buyer, or am I going in blindfolded?" If the second is true, they should step back a moment, and take the time to inform themselves, even if it sets back the time line on their purchasing process, and ESPECIALLY if they feel they're being pressured into a deal.
TOPMexicoRealEstate.com; Mexico's Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely