Buyer Information

About Our Agency

If you are looking to purchase property in Puerto Morelos, you’ve come to the right place!! Mayan Riviera Properties is uniquely qualified to provide Buyers with the best service, knowledge, and experience — allowing you to make informed decisions about your investment and enjoy the best representation during the purchase process.

Here’s Why…

Mayan Riviera Properties Agents Are:

  • Puerto Morelos Property Specialists
  • Federally Certified Broker. Certified by CONOCER to sell property in Mexico and to sell property in Mexico’s tourist zones.
  • Members of AMPI, the Realtor’s Association in Mexico
  • International Members of NAR, the National Association of Realtors in the United States
  • Experienced. Representing Buyers and Sellers in Puerto Morelos since 2005.
  • Professional, Ethical, & Helpful

REPRESENTING PUERTO MORELOS BUYERS & SELLERS

The Puerto Morelos Area is our specialty! And, as professional realtors, we can show you each and every property listed on the market! We are intimately familiar with properties here and can show you a wide range of options in any budget. It also means that if you don’t find what you are looking for from the available listings, we’ll work our hardest to find it for you!

The Puerto Morelos Area Includes: Puerto Morelos, Petempich, Playa del Secreto, Playa del Secreto, Colonia/Zona Urbana, & Central Vallarta.

At Mayan Riviera Properties, we offer services not only in Property Sales, but also in Property Management and Vacation Rentals. This means that our agents are AWESOME! Why?

  1. Through property management, our Realtors understand what it takes to maintain a home. This makes our Realtors excellent advisers on what it will take to maintain a home once you become homeowners.
  2. Through our Vacation Rental Offerings, our agents understand what renters are looking for in a property.

 

MEET OUR SALES TEAM

Sales Agent, Laura Zapata

Laura Zapata, Sales Agent I fulfilled my dream of moving to Mexico in 1996. Growing up in Texas, I was always attracted to Mexico which was only a short drive away. The music, the food, the language, all were things I desired to know more about. Shortly after settling into Playa del Carmen, I began selling real estate. I have sold property up and down the coast from the Riviera Maya to the Costa Maya and Bacalar. Apart from the business of real estate, I’ve been active in the Mexican Association of Real Estate (AMPI) for many years serving in various positions locally. My terms as President for the real estate board included the Riviera Maya board and the more recently formed Playa del Carmen board. Additionally, I served as Regional Coordinator and as an advisory board member at a national level for the real estate association.

Broker, Amber Pierce

Amber Pierce, Broker I have been living life to the fullest in Puerto Morelos since 2004! Originally from Michigan, I enjoy Mexico along with 2 Kids, Caden & Easton. Not one to stand still for long, I established “Mayan Riviera Properties” in 2005 which specializes in Puerto Morelos Real Estate, Vacation Rentals, and Property Management. Additionally, I am federally certified by Conocer to sell real estate in Mexico and am a Member of the Mexican Association of Realtors (AMPI). I am happy to answer any questions you have!

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Learn About Buying in Mexico

Our webinars will walk you through everything you need to know as you start considering your Mexico investment!

FINDING YOUR PARADISE: Investing, Living, Working, & Retiring in Mexico

We all have basic questions we have to answer for ourselves before we can consider renting long term or buying a place in Mexico: What is the weather like? What is the town like? How are the medical services? Do I need a visa? Can I drive a car? How can I work? And others! In this webinar, we answer all of those FAQs that we all had before we decided to make the great leap.

 

BUYING IN MEXICO: Everything You Need to Know

This gets deep-in-the-weeds, walking you through the entire Sales Process.

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FAQs About Purchasing Property

HOW DO FOREIGNERS OWN PROPERTY IN MEXICO?

Foreigners are permitted to own land outside of the restricted zone with a fee simple deed. Residential Land within the restricted zone, must be purchased through a real estate trust (“fideicomiso”). This trust functions very similarly to real estate trusts in the USA. With the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a federally approved Mexican bank serves as the trustee on behalf of a legal beneficiary (the foreign investor). The trustee (bank) will act on behalf of the beneficiary in all transactions involving the property held in the trust. The beneficiary (foreign investor) controls all decisions regarding the property including its use, enjoyment, leasing, improving, selling, inheriting, willing – in the same manner as a fee simple deed. This trust has a term of fifty years and is guaranteed renewable for perpetuity.

Commerical properties may be purchased through a fideicomiso as well as via a Mexican Corporation. If you are interested in purchasing a commercial property, please contact us for further information.

There is much confusion among foreigners about owning property in Mexico, but:

  • Foreigners do NOT lease property.
  • Property is NOT owned by the bank or the government
  • Property is NOT purchased through a Mexican Corporation (unless it is for commercial purposes).

WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE REQUIRED FOR FOREIGNERS TO PURCHASE PROPERTY IN MEXICO?

For most purchases, you will need to present your Passport and Tourist Visa, which is issued to you upon arrival. (If you already have your Temporary or Permanent Residency Visa, you would present this in lieu of the Tourist Visa.) If you are married, divorced, widowed, you may also need to present the documentation to demonstrate your civil status.

IS OWNERSHIP IN MEXICO A LEGITIMATE, SECURE INVESTMENT?

YES! Property ownership through a real estate trust is a very legitimate and secure investment:

  • Real estate trusts have been established by the Mexican government specifically for the purpose of foreigners’ ownership in the restricted zone. There are numerous federal statutes and a constitutional amendment which designate this process as the method of ownership and guarantee a foreign investor’s ability to do so.
  • Trustees (banks) are federally approved to hold real estate trusts. These trusts are NOT considered assets of the bank. Should a bank should close, merge, etc., the trust must be transferred to another approved bank. (Coincidentally, most Mexican banks are owned completely or in majority by stable foreign banks.)
  • Property owned in a trust is eligible for Title Insurance from several title companies, including Stewart Title and First American Title Company. While Mayan Riviera Properties recommends the purchase of title insurance for your investment (see below), the very fact that these major companies are willing to insure properties held in trusts speaks to their legitimacy and security.

WHAT ARE MY FINANCING OPTIONS?

In general, properties that are purchased in Mexico are purchased in cash, with the financing having been arranged in the buyer’s home country. It is important to note that we are not aware of any foreign financial institutions that will allow you to use the Mexican property as collateral for the loan. You will have to leverage other domestic assests to do so.

There are several options that may be available, depending on your financial portfolio and the property you are interested in purchasing.

  • Developer or Owner Financing: Oftentimes, developers of new construction offer payment plans for the purchase of their properties. Likewise, some owners are open to paying for their property in the form of payments. Typically, this type of financing is shorter in term than a traditional mortgage and can typically vary from 1-5 year terms.
  • Private Lending Groups: There are private groups that offer financing in Mexico. Typically, they require a 50% down payment at closing and allow you to finance the other 50%.
  • Private Loan or Equity Loan: Currently, U.S. and Canadian banks will not allow purchasers to use their foreign property as collateral for a loan. However, some buyers have leveraged other assets owned nationally or used home equity to acquire credit from their local, national lenders.
  • U.S. Citizens: Self-Directed IRA funds can be used to purchase foreign real estate.
  • Co-Ownership: Mexico allows multiple parties to be legal property owners. So, how about going in on a vacation property with family or friends?

WHAT IS THE EXPECTED SALE PROCESS?

While each property and negotiation process will result in different terms and specifics, most transactions follow general pattern. Once you have decided on a property to purchase, the negotiation process begins:

  • Through an “Offer to Purchase” document, buyer and seller can negotiate price and terms of sale.
  • Once the price and basic terms have been agreed upon via the “Offer to Purchase”, then a good faith deposit is given to the seller by the buyer. This is a small amount that indicates the sincerity of the buyer and in exchange, the seller removes the property from the market for a short period of time. During this time, the buyer’s notary or attorney can review the documents related to the sale in a process called “due diligence”.
  • After the due diligence process has proven the property suitable for sale, the buyer and seller enter into a formal Buy/Sell contract. This contract will include all of the terms and conditions of the sale, as well as any additional deposit that will be given to seller prior to closing. (Often times, if buyer requires an extended period of time to close, seller will request a down payment.)
  • Once buyer and seller have entered the Buy/Sell contract, the buyer’s side can then apply for title insurance and contract with a bank to open a real estate trust. The bank will apply for a federal permit to open a trust on the buyer’s behalf. The seller’s side will gather all necessary closing documents that had not been gathered during the “due diligence” process.
  • Once both sides are ready, parties close before a notary and the real estate trust is formalized.
  • This process generally takes 60-90 days, providing that seller’s paperwork is in order, the buyers have cash ready for closing, and that government offices are operating under normal hours (government offices essentially close from mid-December through mid-January).

WHAT IS A NOTARY?

A notary is a neutral, government appointed representative that oversees and approves all real estate contracts and transactions (among other legal processes). Their oversight and seal of approval is required for the title to be transferred and registered. They are responsible for the accuracy of the transaction and collecting the proper amount of fees due the state and federal governments.

SHOULD I USE AN ATTORNEY FOR CLOSING?

Unless you are going to be purchasing title insurance, an attorney is optional for buyers during the closing process. However, a good attorney can really be an asset during the buying process. All legal documents that you will be signing and issued are in Spanish. Additionally, there are not standardized contracts in Mexico, so good review of documents is important. Your attorney serves as your advocate during the transaction and looks after your interest. They are a great asset when making a foreign investment, of considerable value, in a foreign language. We have worked with a variety of reliable professionals and are happy to give you a referral.

SHOULD I PURCHASE TITLE INSURANCE?

The purchase of title insurance is optional and is a one-time purchase that is very reasonable in price. Mayan Riviera Properties recommends the purchase of title insurance, as it has several advantages:

  • A More Complete Title Search Required: The title research that is required to obtain title insurance is much more in-depth than what is performed in an ordinary closing with a notary.
  • An Authorized Attorney is Required to Perform Title Search: If you were on the fence about using a notary or hiring an outside attorney for closing, your decision has been made for you. The title research must be performed by an attorney that is approved by the title insurance company, as this attorney will be writing the legal opinion for your policy. These attorneys’ competence and past performance have earned the confidence of the insurance companies and serve as a good referral in your selection of an attorney.
  • Peace of Mind: There is no statue of limitations regarding real estate issues in Mexico. Therefore, any associated party can claim issue with a prior transaction on the property and take this issue before the courts as a challenge to the property’s ownership. While this scenario is extremely rare – it is within the realm of possibility. Title Insurance will protect your investment and pay any legal costs associated with defending the authenticity of your title.

WHAT ARE THE COSTS INVOLVED WITH PURCHASING PROPERTY?

A good estimate for closing costs is 6-7% for properties under $400,000.00 USD. There are a variety of bank fees and notary fees, which can vary depending on the particulars of each sale. Here is an overview: http://www.puertomorelosblog.com/2010/04/what-are-closing-costs-for-purchasing.html

 

WILL I NEED TO BE PRESENT AT CLOSING?

All buyers who are listed on the deed will need to be physically present at the time of closing. If one or more are unable to attend closing, a representative with a Power of Attorney for each absentee buyer must be present for closing. 

 

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CLOSE A PURCHASE?

The time required to purchase a property can vary. A good rule of thumb is 60-90 days after the Offer to Purchase has been signed.

There is some due diligence that is performed by the notary prior to closing. However, the portion that takes the longest and ultimately dictates the length of time until closing is the arrival of the trust permit to the buyers’ bank. This permit is issued by the Mexican Foreign Ministry, and there is no set timeline for its release. So, the bank is not able to predict the date of its arrival until the document is received. This can happen as quickly as 1 week or take as long as 45 days. Due to the unpredictability of the permit’s arrival, it is not possible for parties to make arrangements for closing until the bank has actually received the permit.

After the bank has received the permit, both buyers and sellers are advised of the ability to close. Then, both parties can make travel arrangements or have their representatives available on an agreed closing date.  Generally, there is a clause in the previousely-signed Offer to Purchase which stipulates the amount of time parties have after the Notice of Closing is issued to be present for closing procedures.

WHAT ARE THE COSTS INVOLVED WITH OWNING PROPERTY?

  • Annual Property Tax (“Predial”) – most residential properties pay less than $500 USD
  • Annual Real Estate Trust Fee – paid to Trustee Bank (Approx. $550 USD)
  • Annual Federal Beach Tax – only assessed to beachfront properties and based on meters of beach frontage.
  • Utilities (Gas, Water, Electricity, Phone, etc.)
  • Condominium or Homeowner’s Association Fees, if applicable.

WHERE CAN I FIND CURRENT INFORMATION ABOUT BUYING?

We publish lots of articles on our blog, PuertoMorelosBlog.com, about buying real estate in Mexico, investing in Puerto Morelos, and living in the area.  Check out our the “Buyer Info” tab of our blog for lots of great articles, current info, and trends.

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Helpful Buyer Links

Furniture:

  • Gringo Furniture – Order all of your furniture online! Delivered to Your Door!!

Title Insurance:

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