"Most Frequently asked Questions"
The questions below will scroll you to the appropriate response on this page. For your additional convenience, you will find a link to scroll you back to the question you researched at the end of each response.
1. We have an International System: The Century 21 System is comprised of approximately 8,000 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices in 68 countries and territories worldwide.
2. We have a large Real Estate Network: All the CENTURY 21 Mexico Affiliates form the biggest Real Estate Network to serve our clients in all the important cities of Mexico -- now with over 106 offices in 54 cities and more than 1,200 sales associates, and well trained to give the best service.
Put this successful Team to work for you!
3. Prestige: The CENTURY 21 System is well known as the best real estate sales organization in the world, and has had the best results since our formation of the system initiation in 1971.
Due to the name and image of CENTURY 21, our Sales associates increase their business opportunities.
4. Our Logo: The CENTURY 21 Logo is well known as used in all the For Sale Signs in all of our publications, as the most trusted name in real estate. We have thousands of signs placed in Mexico and the world.
5. Results: No one sells more real estate than the CENTURY 21® System, giving positive results to the clients of CENTURY 21 ® offices around the world. CENTURY 21 controls the majority of the market listings and sales over any other real estate organization.
6. Right Price: CENTURY 21 Offices prepare a professional study of your property to determine the best price and better conditions according to the marketing offer and demands, based in an updated comparative analysis to establish the best price.
7. Resources: CENTURY 21® Offices have access to a database of information regarding home sale prices in each zone, and the CENTURY 21 "VIP" Referrals system that gives us more buyers and sellers business that need to move from one zone to another.
8. Training: CENTURY 21 Sales Associates have access to on-going training from knowledgeable trainers from the CENTURY 21 Regional Office, who give sound professional advice. We have the best real estate training program for those who want a career in Real Estate. Our training programs for new sales people are quick and comprehensive, and we have free in-office training in each office. We also have advanced training programs for sales associates and courses for property administration.
9. Support: Clients of CENTURY 21 offices receive professional service and support for better and faster client assistance and support to achieve better and faster results in the buying or selling of their properties.
10. Interchange: The CENTURY 21® offices in a local market interchange the necessary information of all the properties listed by them to increase the probability of success in the best time possible.
11. Professionals: CENTURY 21 Office Managers are required to be active members of the Mexican Association of Realtors (AMPI) and support the effort to improve the professional standards of ethics and behaviors, as members. We actively participate in the AMPI Multiple Listing system for the benefit of their clients.
12. Commercialization: The CENTURY 21 System has "Tools" to help market your property and to assist you on a National or International level as needed. Each office broker gives at least one computer dedicated to use by sales people so they can ensure the best service to buyers and sellers.
13. National Advertising Fund: The CENTURY 21 National Advertising Fund promotes advertising of the properties listed by CENTURY 21 Affiliates, achieving better promotional exposure. This effort is complemented by other means of local advertising. The National and local advertising is designed for the public to have a high level of knowledge of the CENTURY 21® system.
14. Update: CENTURY 21 Affiliates conduct marketing studies to remain updated on the real estate industry in Mexico.
15. Investigation: CENTURY 21 Professionals are trained to analyze your personal situation and inform you in a timely manner if there are problems or matters to solve in marketing your property successfully.
16. Verifications: Being conscious of their responsibilities to protect you from potential problems, CENTURY 21® offices are knowledgeable about land use restrictions and applicable laws and regulations in their areas.
17. Security: The professionalism and experience of the CENTURY 21® System gives you peace of mind in all of your real estate activities. Marketing studies show that 98% of the services rendered by CENTURY 21 Mexico are from good to excellent.
18. Service: Clients of CENTURY 21 offices deserve and receive the best real estate services in Mexico and receive written commitment by their CENTURY 21 Office to deliver them.
19. Follow-up: Services to clients of CENTURY 21 continue until the last transaction detail is resolved.
20. We solve problems: CENTURY 21 Offices take care of all of the details. CENTURY 21 professionals are dedicated to handling every aspect of the sales process.
21. Consider it done!
Any Foreigner or any Mexican national can establish 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.* The Buyer requests a Mexican bank of his/her choice to act as a trustee on his/her behalf. The Bank obtains a permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to acquire the chosen property in trust. The Fideicomiso may be established for a maximum of 50 years and can be automatically renewed for another 50 years.
The Bank becomes the legal owner of the property for the exclusive use of the buyer/beneficiary who has all of the benefits of a direct owner, including the ability to lease or transfer his/her rights to the property to a third party or a pre-appointed heir. During this period, the foreigner is considered as a Mexican National in any legal matter relating to the property. The Bank Trustee is responsible to the Beneficiary to ensure the fulfillment of the Trust, assuming full technical, legal and administrative supervision in order to protect the interests of the Beneficiary.
There is a common misconception among foreigners investing in Mexico that once the trust expires, the beneficiary loses all rights and benefits of the sale of the property held in trust. This is not the case. On the contrary, the beneficiary has a contractual right under the trust agreement with the Mexican bank to all benefits that may result from the use or sale of that property, even though he does not hold title to the property. Under Mexican Law, the bank, as trustee, has a fiduciary obligation to respect the rights of the beneficiary, and the trust property cannot be commingled with property of the bank.
A real estate trust is not a lease. The beneficiary can instruct the bank to sell or lease the property at any time. The beneficiary can develop and use the property to his liking and benefit, within the provisions of the law. Generally, the law allows most uses of property to foreigners that are allowed to Mexicans.
*Laws passed in 1973 and 1993 have made it possible for Foreigners to purchase property within 64 miles of the Mexico’s borders and 32 miles from its coastline.
From an investor's perspective, because of the high demand in selected areas, especially on the coasts, Mexican real estate can be very attractive to hold as an appreciating asset, to generate rental income, or both.
Financing for residential property is available through several U.S. financial institutions, such asBaja Capital Mortgage, GE Capital, HSBC, Banorte, and Laredo National Bank, a subsidiary of BBVA Bancomer. On average, the requirements are a little steeper than in the U.S., including a larger down payment and higher rates, but as more and more players are entering the mortgage market, the resulting competition is expected to make the financing easier and less costly, meaning buying real estate for sale in Mexico is easier and safer than ever before.
Beginning in 2007, purchase and equity loans have become available offering up to 80%LTV financing. We will assist you in ensuring the best programs are made available to you because we want you to succeed in obtaining your piece of paradise.
There are developers that offer finance but the interest rate can be quite high. But there are a number of US lenders, offering US buyers interest rates of between 7% and 8.5 % on ARM's. The interest rate will depend on the property, the down payment, and the credit and financial history of the buyer. The down payment will be a minimum of 20% and in some cases up to 30%. We will aid in finding the right lender for you.
Once your Offer to Purchase has been accepted, a deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) is required. The money is placed in an escrow account. These funds are held during the time needed to close the sale. The balance is payable upon the signing of the Trust Deed at the Notary’s office, though these arrangements may vary, and may include a larger interim deposit. In order to obtain a trust deed, our escrow office will:
a) Ensure the property is free and clear by checking the Land Registry Office. This is guaranteed by obtaining a certificate of no liens and a tax statement from the treasury. Additional checks are made for outstanding utility bills and municipal taxes, and/or Home Owners fees ( if applicable).
b) Pursue the process for issuance of a permit from the Minister of Foreign Affairs to establish the trust deed.
c) Prepare or monitor preparation of all documents for both buyer and seller.
Like anywhere else, Mexican property is worth what someone will pay for it but you can ask for an appraisal and ask what similar properties have sold for. We can research sales of similar properties and also of other properties currently on the market, and provide you an informal comparative market analysis. A new system is currently being implemented that will, by early 2010, allow preparation of CMA's in the form common in the US.
With the advent of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Mexican Government recognized that it was critical to make foreign investment in Mexico safer and easier than ever. Because the Mexican Constitution prohibits foreigners from purchasing or owning real estate within 60 miles of an international border or within 30 miles of the Mexican Coast, a method by which foreigners could hold title had been created in 1973, and it was refined in 1993 in connection with NAFTA. This legal framework, modeled after the one in Monaco, allows ownership through a Mexican Property Trust, called a "Fideicomiso". This is a trust agreement, much like an estate trust or living trust, giving you all the rights of ownership.
The Department of Foreign Affairs in Mexico City issues a permit to a Mexican Bank of your choice, allowing the bank to act as purchaser for the property. The bank acts as the "Trustee" for the Trust and you are the "Beneficiary" of the Trust. This is not an asset of the bank; they simply act as the Trustee to hold the Trust.
Much like living trusts or estate trusts in the U.S., the Mexican Bank, or Trustee, takes instructions only from the Beneficiary of the Trust (You). The Beneficiary has the right to use, occupy and possess the property, including the right to build on it or otherwise improve it. The Beneficiary may also sell the property by instructing the Trustee to transfer the rights to another qualified owner, or bequeath the property to an inheritor. The initial term of the trust is 50 years, and it can be renewed for an additional periods of 50 years indefinitely, providing for long-term control of the asset.
This is not to be confused with a "land lease." Also, if the property you purchase is already held in a Trust, you generally have the option of assuming that Trust, or having the property vested in a new Trust.