Yes, You Can Buy Property in México
Making the move to Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, México, is easily one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. I love the Los Cabos lifestyle so much that I’ve launched this website dedicated to sharing the ins and outs of Los Cabos living—from the casual luxury that defines my favorite real estate development to the Edmiston yachts on which I tour the Cabo San Lucas Bay, to the golf courses where I’ve enjoyed many Saturday mornings.
This is a special place. And, as a veteran of real estate in the United States and México, I can tell you it’s home to some of the most spectacular properties I’ve ever seen. Spacious houses boast ocean views, every amenity imaginable, and the perfect blend of privacy and community. There’s an elegance that abounds, even as homebuyers discover a world of design aesthetics sure to match their personal tastes.
I know homebuying can be an intimidating endeavor, whether it’s your first purchase or your tenth, a property down the street or in a brand-new country. I’m here to say, though, that there’s no reason to fret. The Los Cabos real estate market is sophisticated, and veterans like me exist to ensure the homebuying process is simple and straightforward.
In my time in Los Cabos, I’ve fielded a variety of real estate-related questions, and I’m here to share some of the most sought-after advice.
Can I buy property as a foreigner?
Yes, you can buy property as a foreigner.
México offers a special land trust known as a fideicomiso, which has a term of 50 years and can be renewed in perpetuity so long as you name a beneficiary, which can include another trust or living will. Properties can even be willed from one generation to another. A Mexican bank serves as a trustee, while buyers are considered beneficiaries. Secure Title Insurance is available through the Steward Title Company. (Previously, people from outside of México were prohibited from buying property within 30 miles of the Mexican coastline or 60 miles from the U.S. border. That is no longer the case thanks to the fideicomiso.)
Do I have rights as a homebuyer?
Yes, you do have rights as a homebuyer.
In fact, you have the same rights as property owner in the United States or Canada. Those rights include the ability to buy, sell, rent, renovate, and more.
Can I rest assured this will be a straightforward process?
Yes, you can rest assured this will be a straightforward process.
The period of time required to establish a trust takes, on average, 60–90 days. In some cases, the title has been transferred in as little as two weeks. During my 10 years in Los Cabos, I’ve built relationships with federal and state notarios públicos (specialized attorneys who in México serve a role similar to U.S. court clerks) for all of my closings. (In the United States, the average timeline is about 50–60 days.)
Is my money secure?
Yes, your money is secure.
I work with a third-party escrow service that holds the funds in your account until you have a clear title in your position. You can also insure your title just the way you’d insure a car; in fact, I strongly recommend it.
Do I still have to pay taxes?
Yes, you still have to pay taxes.
Los Cabos is paradise, but even in paradise, we still have to pay taxes. In fact, there are two taxes: The acquisition tax that runs about 2.1 percent of the total registered purchase price. The second tax is the property tax, which is decidedly low in México.
Do I need a visa?
Yes, you do need a visa.
Just as visitors to the United States are required to obtain a visa, so too are visitors to México. For those staying up to 180 days, tourist visas are easily available and often included in the price of a plane ticket. Temporary and permanent resident visas are also available, and the process is straightforward and traditionally handled at a Mexican consulate in your home country.