ideal-LIVING.com ideal-LIVING • FALL 2017
accustomed to hearing and dealing with Americans
and Canadians. ;at said, whenever possible, it is
still better to speak Spanish in Mexico because it
opens up a world of cultural advantages.
In Mexico, you can buy almost any staple
you would purchase back home, from your
favorite soda or clothing line to your preferred
automobile. However, buying imported goods isn’t
always necessary because the country makes many
of its own appliances, televisions, and automobiles at
considerably lower costs than imported goods.
Best of all, becoming a resident of Mexico is a
quick and easy process. ;at’s because retirement
income, such as a pension or social security, quali;es
for residency. In addition, visa paperwork does not
require any notary seal, apositille, or translation, as
it does in many other countries. If part-year living
is what you have in mind, then Mexico’s six-month
tourist visa is a good option.
If all of this sounds appealing, the next step is to determine
how to safely and intelligently step into the unfamiliar world of
a real estate purchase in Mexico.
Since 1995, foreigners have been able to buy and sell
property in much of Mexico through a Direct Property Deed
that gives them outright ownership just as in the U.S. ;ere
is, however, a di;erent set of rules for property on Mexico’s
coastline and borders. In this case, foreigners can buy property
within 60 miles of the border and within 30 miles of the coast,
but must do so through what’s called a Fideicomiso. Basically,
this is a trust set up through a local Mexican bank that holds
the deed for a buyer but retains all the rights of ownership. It
sounds cumbersome, but it works. ;e property is not part of
the bank’s assets and the owner can build, renovate, rent, sell,
years and can be renewed a;er that.
Most of the transactions for buying and selling are done in
cash. Financing is available from U.S. institutions or Mexican
banks, though usually at higher interest rates. As with any
investment, the use of local legal and real estate professionals
Getting professional help becomes even more critical when
an American buyer wishes to use their IRA funds. ;e rules
are quite complex, but in simple terms, a person may use a
self-directed IRA to purchase property in Mexico. However, it
is important to be aware that you and your IRA are separate
entities. ;e IRA owns the property, not you.
;ere is help out there from people who know the country
and the tricky, o;en frustrating, steps to success.
One great resource is Investment Properties
Mexico, ( Investmentpropertiesmexico.com).
They are buyer’s agents who are making this
seemingly-daunting task simpler. ;eir expertise
is in offering Mexican real estate, financing,
consulting, and brokerage services using their
extensive knowledge of regional and local markets.
One couple from Texas who used Investment
Properties Mexico for buying a home said,
“;ey; were very upfront about everything and
answered questions in a timely manner, over the
phone and over the Internet. It was a very pleasant
and comforting experience.”
So, like with any other overseas investment,
do your research, employ local help, visit ;rst,
plan carefully, then sit back and enjoy the fruits
of your e;orts in sunny, diverse, and culturally