Yes you can own real estate in Mexico…it is just done a little differently and there is no such thing as a “99 year lease”!
The Mexican Constitution restricts foreign ownership within the Restricted Zone which is all land within 62 miles of any border and 31 miles of any coastline. This means that, in the past, foreign investors could not own property in Baja California. The Mexican Government, wanting to encourage foreign investment, created a safe way for foreigners to own property in the Restricted Zone.
Thus, the Fideicomiso (fee-day-co-mee-so) was created. Basically, title is delivered to a Mexican Bank, authorized to act as a trustee and naming you, the buyer, as the designated beneficiary.
The Trust system of ownership is sanctioned by the Mexican government, provided for under the Mexican Constitution, and secured by the Central Bank of Mexico; thereby offering powerful protection.
• The bank administers the property according to your instructions. You are able to rent, sell, build, and modify your property. You make ALL decisions regarding your property. The bank does not own the fideicomiso…you do!
• The property is set up in a 50-year renewable trust and can be renewed indefinitely. If the property you purchase is already in a trust, you have the option of assuming the existing trust or creating a new one. Consult your real estate agent regarding which option is best for you. You cannot be turned down for renewal.
• The sole concern of the bank is to manage the property, adhering to your instructions. Remember, you own the trust.
• You may transfer your beneficial interests to any person and keep the profits from sale of the property, subject to applicable tax laws and expenses. Property held under a trust may be passed on to future generations.
• Fideicomisos are a safe way for you to own property in Mexico.
REMEMBER: The law is very specific about the Real Estate Fideicomiso. It is the ONLY legal way to own land in the restricted area if you are not a Mexican citizen. It provides the same legal rights and protection of ownership as a Mexican has under the law. It bestows upon the Beneficiary of the Trust (YOU) absolute power and irrevocable control over the property.