Real Estate Law
Notary Public vs. Notario Publico

Notary Public vs. Notario Publico

Throughout my professional practice I have noted several times that foreign clients—especially those who come from a country with a “Common Law” legal system, such as the United States—believe that Mexican notaries are very expensive, in comparison with a U.S. notary’s fee. There is a very good reason for this. Although notaries in both countries...

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The Federal Zone – Maritime Terrain Federal Zone Concessions

What is it? What are my rights and obligations? How can I get it; and what are my benefits? “En el mar la vida es mas sabrosa” / “Life is better at the beach” 1. What is a Federal Zone? The Maritime Terrain Federal Zone, commonly known as the “Federal Zone,” is considered as: a....

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Private Contracts

Private Contracts

...between Buy and Seller. When acquiring property in Mexico, are they really necessary?


¡A las palabras se las lleva el viento! Words are gone with the wind – Mexican saying When I meet with a client who has the idea of acquiring property in Mexico with a private contract between buyer and seller, my recommendation is always the following: 1. First, Obtain a copy of the registered title...

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The Mexican Will

The Mexican Will

Is it Necessary? Protecting your assets through proper planning…


United States and Canadian citizens living in Mexico frequently ask: Do I need a Mexican Will? While there is no legal requirement to have a Testament, or Will, executed in Mexico, it often makes sense for people whose only Mexican asset is a home or condominium, to be proactive and draft a Mexican Will. The...

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Visas & FM documents

Visas & FM documents

Defining non-immigrant, immigrant and immigrated status


Kip and I are both international bastards—born in once place and choosing to live elsewhere. Fighting to get back to or get away from our homelands all our lives. – Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient. Some of my clients and friends, either newcomers or residents, have asked me if it is necessary to obtain a...

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The Apostille

The Apostille

Making a document legal for use in Mexico


In Mexico, the ONLY authority permitted to draft a deed transferring real property or an interest in real property (such as the fideicomiso) is the Mexican Notary Public. This person is different from a notary public in the United States where a simple exam, a bond, and a rubber stamp can make a notary public...

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Ejidal Property

Ejidal Property

Is it a bargain…or a problem?


EJIDAL (EEEE-heee-doll) properties were established in Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 as an outcome of the Revolution and represent probably 50 percent of all the land in Mexico. After the Revolution hundreds of millions of acres from the original Spanish land grants were expropriated by the government and classified as ejidal properties....

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Real Estate & Finance

Real Estate & Finance

On-Going Annual Obligations


Now that I have bought property in Mexico, what do I have to do to keep everything current? For a foreigner, buying property in Mexico is a new and different experience. Most foreigners spend time researching the procedure of buying property, setting up a trust or a corporation and becoming familiar with the different permits...

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Mexican Capital Gains Tax

Mexican Capital Gains Tax

...and how your deed declared property value affects it


Just as in the United States or Canada, the foreigner selling his trust rights in real estate must pay a tax on his profits to S.A.T., previously known as Hacienda, Mexico’s version of Uncle Sam. None of us like to pay taxes but we’ve become accustomed to paying them in our own countries and, believe...

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Real Estate & the Law in Mexico

Real Estate & the Law in Mexico

what is a presta nombre?


If you have ever thought of investing or have invested in Mexican real estate you have probably heard the word presta nombre used. But what is a presta nombre? Most people that I have talked to or worked with that have used a presta nombre describe it to me as “the man (or woman) whose...

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Uncle Sam & Your Mexican Home

“If you qualify, the benefit of a $25,000 deduction can provide significant tax relief.”   Like many a traveler, you’ve come to Zihuatanejo, lets say from from Portland, Oregon, looking for an escape from the cold and the office. A little romance in a tropical paradise would be nice too! What you did not expect...

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