The process of buying and selling real estate in Mexico is different from that in the United States or Canada. Here’s a look at some Frequently Asked Questions and Dos and Don’ts around buying or selling Costa Maya real estate. Click the + sign to read the detailed explanation for each item.
Xcalak Realty has operated for over 15 years in the Costa Maya and we have seen a number of competitors come and go, in some cases taking their clients’ deposits with them. It is vital to do your homework before choosing a realtor.
Our page of Legal Information details the differences in the process of purchasing real estate in Mexico.
Waterfront property in the Costa Maya is subject to environmental laws that govern what type of improvements can be made. An environmental impact study has to be made by a licensed biologist before a building permit can be applied for. This study will determine how much vegetation can be removed and what size and where a building can be constructed on a lot. This determination will include a number of factors such as the size of the lot, types of existing vegetation, amount of protected vegetation, distance between the Federal Zone/dune area and the road right of way to name some. The Federal governing agency (Semarnat) can and will levy substantial fines for clearing vegetation without a permit. The purchaser of an illegally cleared lot will become legally responsible once the title has been transferred to them and will not be able to obtain building permits until the fines are paid. Never purchase a lot that has been burned as a way to clear vegetation. If you are interested in purchasing a lot for a building project, we recommend that you obtain a preliminary feasibility study provided by a licensed biologist before you purchase the property in order to determine what can be built and if there are apparent violations of the environmental regulations that have occurred on the property.
When it comes time to sell the property there are substantial tax benefits in having a residential property deeded in a bank trust as opposed to a corporation. If you form a corporation in Mexico the income taxes on the corporation have to be filed monthly through an accountant whether there is activity or not. New corporations in Mexico can no longer have a dormant status even if there is no activity. It is usually not advisable to purchase an existing Mexican corporation as a way of acquiring property. When you purchase a corporation, you become responsible for any unresolved liabilities that the corporation may have accrued before you purchased it.
You should never use the lawyer of the owner of the property to process the purchase. Xcalak Realty will work with any reputable lawyer that you would like to use or we can give you a list of lawyers to choose from that our clients have been satisfied with. The lawyers that we would recommend have no financial relationship with us and will strictly represent your interests.
If for some reason there is a problem transferring the property title it can take years of litigation to have your deposit returned to you.
Xcalak Realty does not recommend that the buyer use a notorio that is affiliated with a realtor or property owner.