How To Buy
The Mexican Constitution regulates the ownership of the land established that "...in a zone of 100 kilometers along the border or 50 kilometers along the coast, a foreigner cannot acquire the direct ownership of the land". These areas are known as the "Restricted Zones". Nevertheless, the latest Mexican Foreign Investment Law, which became law on December 28, 1993, makes the allowances mentioned below.
Any foreigner or Mexican National can constitute a Fideicomiso (the equivalent to an American beneficial trust) through a Mexican bank in order to purchase real estate anywhere in Mexico, including the Restricted Zone, To do so, the buyer requests a Mexican bank of his/her choice to act as a trustee on his/her behalf.
The bank, as a matter of normal course, obtains the permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to acquire the chosen property in trust. The Fideicomiso can be established for a maximum term of 50 years and can be automatically renewed for another 50-year period. During these periods you have the right to transfer the title to any other party, including a member of your family.
The bank becomes the legal owner of the property for the exclusive use of the buyer/beneficiary who has all the benefits of a direct owner, including the possibility of leasing or transferring his/her rights to the property to a third party or to a preappointed heir. During this period, the foreigner is considered as a Mexican National.
The trustee is responsible to the buyer/ beneficiary to ensure precise fulfillment to the trust, according to Mexican Law, assuming full technical, legal and administrative supervision in order to protect the interests of the buyer/beneficiary. Fideicomisos are not held by the trustee as an asset of the bank.
For practical purposes, even in unrestricted zones many foreigners, and Mexican Nationals for that matter, prefer to hold their property under a Fideicomiso.
A Notaria or Public Notary is the highest legal authority in Mexico, it is necessary for you to involve the public notary of your choice as soon as you start with the buying process, he or she will make sure to do everything by the book and in the safest way for you.