A couple of decades ago, Mexico real estate was most certainly an attractive venture, but a very different market than it is now. Since then a number of things have changed – mostly for the better. The following are the 5 most important improvements which we have seen in real estate for expat buyers.
Professionalization – This is perhaps the most important change. Not that long ago, handshake deals and cash payments seemed to draw in unsuspecting buyers from the U.S. and Canada who, for some reason, thought it was OK to buy real estate this way in Mexico, even though they would have never imagined doing these sorts of things back home. Of course, there were problems. While these situations can still arise to those who don’t work with professionals, there’s no longer any excuse. Recently a series of steps have been taken to professionalize the industry; buyers can, and should, work with agents who are members of the Mexican Association for Real Estate Professionals (AMPI). AMPI promotes professionalism and integrity in the business and offers training, certificates and even a university degree in real estate (in conjunction with Mexico’s Ministry of Education) for agents.
Mortgages & Financing – In the past, Americans and Canadian buyers had to seek financing back home, and make their purchase in cash in Mexico. Now banks offer mortgages and more developers are offering direct financing. While both have pros and cons, the point is that viable options are growing.
More Variety – The property types and locations appealing to most expats in Mexico were somewhat limited in the past. While the “real Mexican” communities of little white homes, cobble-stone roads and small local shops in places where very few speak English are still readily to be found, expats can now choose from condos on the beach, cottages overlooking a lake, upscale urban areas in new financial districts, old warehouses turned into nice condos, modern neigbhorhoods that seem like U.S.-style suburbs and even small cities with a European flavor.
Increased Activities & Services – An increase in tourism has brought an increase in activities. While the places to see were always there – pyramids, wildlife reserves, old colonial cities, etc. - there are now guided tours in English. On top of that, there are modern activities and services, ranging from movie theaters, to golf courses, to state-of-the-art hospitals.
Better Access – Increased tourism and a rapidly growing economy have also brought new highways (in 2010, Mexico was the world leader in new expressway infrastructure) and a growing number of international airports. Flying to Mexico is fast, convenient and usually very cheap. Arriving to Mexico no longer means trekking down a narrow, winding mountain road. (Although, once again, these can be found for those who enjoy them!)
Most buyers will agree; buying in Mexico now is much more pleasant than it used to be!
TOPMexicoRealEstate.com; Mexico's Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely
About the Author:
Thomas Lloyd, founder and president of TOPMexicoRealestate.com, has numerous diplomas and certifications in Mexico Real Estate topics and is one of only a few professionals to hold Mexico's new degree in real estate, accompanied by a Professional Identification Number, "cedula profesional." He has over 15 years of direct experience in Mexico's business culture.