Foreigners owning property in Mexico, specifically the Baja California Peninsula
What is a Foreigner?
Anyone other than a citizen of Mexico.
How is Mexico comprised?
Mexico is a federal republic with 32 states, of which 2 are located on the Baja California Peninsula. The peninsula’s two states are Baja California of the North and Baja California Sur of the South.
Can a foreigner own property on the Baja California Peninsula?
This changed back in the 1970’s when a Presidential Resolution to the Mexican Constitution allowed foreign ownership of property in the “restricted zones” (an area of 100 km across the Mexican border and 50 km across the Mexican beaches). This covers the entire Baja California Peninsula as it falls within the “restricted zones.” Property ownership in the “restricted zone” can be done by way of a Mexican Bank Trust Agreement called a Fideicomiso, or if you own a corporation in Mexico.
The Mexican Fideicomiso is similar to the way you may hold title in trust in the United States or Canada. However, unlike a trust in the United States or Canada there are some different requirements of a Fideicomiso which are as follows;
- A Bank must serve as the Trustee
- The bank will charge an annual servicing fee ranging in cost of $350.00 US dollars up to $650.00 US dollars to serve as the Trustee of a Fideicomiso
- The bank will charge late fees and interest if the servicing fee is not paid on time each year
- The trust period is currently a 50 year term, with the option to renew for additional 50 year periods
- The banks have a statutory responsibility to follow the instruction of the beneficiary, which is the owner of the property. That would be you! This responsibility is not taken lightly, as banks are highly regulated in Mexico.
At the time of closing on your purchase you should pay careful attention to the names that will appear on the Mexican trust (Fideicomiso) and title documents, just as you would during a closing procedure in the United States or Canada. You will be asked to name a substitute beneficiaries of your Trust (Fideicomiso) as well as it protects the property from probate, just as a Trust in the United States or Canada would.