If You're Thinking About Buying Property in Mexico
Americans and other foreigners may obtain direct ownership of property in the interior of Mexico. However, under Mexican law, foreigners cannot own property outright within the restricted zone. The restricted zone is 32 miles from high tide and 64 miles from any border outright. If you want to purchase property in a restricted zone, a real estate trust must be set up to hold title for the foreigner. Since foreigners are not able to enter into contracts to buy real estate, they must have a bank act on their behalf, much as a trust is used to hold property for minors because they also can not contract. A real estate trust (fideicomiso) is executed between a Mexican bank and the seller of property in the restricted zone. The bank acts on behalf of the foreign buyer, buying and taking title to the property. The foreign buyer retains all rights of ownership. Potential buyers should always get advice and have all real estate transactions overview by a licensed Mexican attorney.
First steps include that foreigners are required to obtain a permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Next, to open your trust account, you’ll need your accepted offer for purchase, a photo ID and 10 percent of the purchase price of your new home. Anticipate that closing will take 30-45 days, and do not give money to anyone other than a bank escrow representative when you sign a bank contract.
Mexonline.com provides detailed information about purchasing property in Mexico.