“The California Association of Realtors’ 2014 International Home Buyers Survey found buyers from Mexico make up the third largest group of international buyers in California at 9.1 percent, after China (36 percent) and Canada (11 percent). According to the National Association of Realtors, Mexico has consistently been a top investor in U.S. real estate over the past 10 years. On the outbound investment side, Mexico is the No. 1 destination for Americans and baby-boomers that retire abroad, with over 1 million Americans residing there,” writes Rose Meily at the San Jose Mercury News.
Since so many Mexicans are buying property in the state and so many Americans are buying property in Mexico, it seems fitting to know more about our client’s needs.
Sal Covarrubias, sales manager for First American Title Company, said, “Issues regarding Mexicans buying property in the U.S. are similar to that of other foreign buyers. Timing is important, and whether the foreign buyer will be personally present at closing. Also, agents need to verify their client’s legal name. It may not matter much when the client buys the house, but it will matter when it is time to sell the property,” said Covarrubias, adding title insurance in Mexico is not standardized like the U.S. American title insurance is needed for new construction, for example, while only Mexican title insurance can be used for a resale.”
Real estate transactions can take months to conclude in Mexico, there are always more paper to sign and get signed, so when Mexicans buy U.S. property they are shocked when the process is quick and closing can be as soon as three or seven days. Also, there is no disclosure when buying property in Mexico, so Realtors need to take time to explain the transaction process to their Mexican buyers.
“Mexicans are very social and want to get to know you personally first before deciding to do business with you. They value social graces, mannerisms and respect,” said Neil, “and they are not keen on email or text. They want a one-on-one conversation with you, eye-to-eye, and many meetings.” Always give respect. Look them in the eye, smile, and greet them with Buenos Dias, before noon; Buenas Tardes, before 7:00 or dark; and Buenas Noches in the evening. Next, before getting down to business, ask about their family.
Like any country, there are places that are dangerous, but MacLeod attests, “Mexico is still very safe, especially the tourist areas and places like San Miguel de Allende.”
Sandoval said while mordita payoffs were prevalent in the past, business there is now done in a more professional way.
Lastly, don’t believe you have to sign a 99-year lease and can’t own property in Mexico. “I’m not sure where that myth came from,” chuckled Amber Neil, a Realtor with No Borders Realty in San Jose. Americans or gringos can own property, it’s just done in cash. There are very few mortgages available.
Information is presented by the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors at silvar.org. Contact email@example.com.
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