Ok. San Miguel de Allende Real Estate. We hear this question often from clients. It is a great and important question. So, let’s start by clarifying, who is a foreigner in Mexico? These are folks who are not born in Mexico. Additionally, those who don’t have Mexican nationality through the legal naturalization process.
A Mexican citizen or tourists in Mexico enjoy rights that the political constitution and human rights afford. These rights are granted to anyone who is within the country. One of these rights is the power to acquire private property.
Bottom Line: Foreigners can buy property here. Paradoxically regardless of their citizen status but are required to provide some information.
Obtaining permission from the authority that oversees the relationship between a foreign country and Mexico. This is what the Secretary of Foreign Relations does in Mexico.
Requirements from Secretary of Foreign Relations on foreigners buying property begins with a request. Buyers agree they will not buy properties within the restricted zone & on coast. (Please see below for more on this topic). Also, proving your legal stay in the country with the FM2 or FM3 immigration form. This important document is called an SRE permit.
Q: Why if I want to buy a property in Mexico, I can’t do it anywhere in the country?
A: The reasons are to avoid confusing the borders of the Nation with those of the nearest country. The political constitution of Mexico prohibits acquiring property from foreigners along all borders. Additionally, this includes the ocean. Outside of this zone, any foreigner can buy property within the country. (See other articles on this topic.)
Property is bought at the border and coasts by foreigners. This is accomplished through a bank trust. Consequently, ownership to be held within the trust itself and not by the individual foreigner. In our example, the trust is held by the bank.
My family lives in Mexico and has for 30 years. We had a property in Acapulco. It was purchased through a trust. What’s interesting is when the property was sold, we simply sold the trust. There are many tax and privacy advantages to this but it is very different than buying property in the interior of Mexico.
The SRE permit must be processed in person with the Secretary of Foreign Relations in Mexico City. But don’t worry, we can and do help.
The paperwork is gathered and sent to the Secretary of Exterior Relations. Notarios will allow a closing to take place while the permit is being processed. If the purchase is being made, a permit must be solicited for by each visitor. We recommend the Article 6 Key Questions about Buying a Home in Mexico.
What about a house?
Lucía and I have the privilege of setting up the first RE/MAX Collection group in San Miguel. This is the luxury specialty within RE/MAX international which focuses on high-quality properties. Many folks assume we deal only with multi-million-dollar properties or with high-end clients. And that “Collection” means beyond the reach of “normal” clients, nothing could be farther from the truth.
Today, the designation of luxury pertains as much to experience and service as to the specifics of the property. Creative real estate professionals offer luxury service to their clients as a matter of course. We believe extending reach depends not on the price of the property. But rather, on the breadth and depth of their expertise and the services they provide. The financial value of a specific transaction becomes a secondary consideration. That is as it should be. Oh yea.
What difference does a brand make?
Brand is important in Mexico. A great brand offers a level of transparency and safety with the transaction. Smaller brands, local “mom and pop” companies. Why risk it, don’t take your chances! At RE/MAX, we have standards and practices, licensing requirements, transaction oversight, continuing education, weekly meetings. It’s a very different emphasis when you’re dealing with agents that are with an international brand. In the United States I’m not sure that it makes much difference but in Mexico it absolutely does. We hear stories of transactions that go sour. Generally, the proper procedures and safety precautions are not in place.
RE/MAX has some impressive statistics. We are an international company with offices located in 44 countries around the world. We have well over 100,000 agents and nearly 5,000 offices. Nobody, absolutely nobody sells more real estate than RE/MAX. The offices are independently owned. The office in San Miguel de Allende is called RE/MAX Colonial. Lucía and I join the office several years ago… we have never looked back!
It’s a great life, and we looking forward to welcoming you when you’re ready.
“We’re here to help (really) because helping you is what we do!”