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Why can’t Americans own real estate in Mexico?

Did you know that people often believe Americans can’t buy property in Mexico? But that’s not quite right! Let me explain.

In most places in Mexico, anyone, including Americans and people from other countries, can buy property. But, there’s a catch. There’s an area called the “restricted zone,” where it’s not so straightforward.

Imagine a strip of land, like a big, wide belt. It stretches all the way around Mexico, covering the land that touches the beach and the borders. Now, in this special strip, foreigners can’t own property directly.

Why, you might ask? Well, once upon a time, some countries thought about buying up all the beach lands for themselves. Mexico didn’t like this idea, so they made a rule to stop it. And it makes sense when you think about it. Mexico has a lot of beautiful beaches, and they wanted to keep them open for everyone to enjoy.

But don’t worry, if you’ve always dreamed of owning a beach house in Mexico, there’s still a way! You can set up something called a trust with a Mexican lawyer. The trust can lease you the land for 99 years, which is almost like owning it. When you’re no longer around, your kids or grandkids can keep the lease going for another 99 years.

Just remember, while you can have land near the beach, you can’t block anyone from getting to the beach itself. The sandy part of the beach is public property. That’s why you won’t see any big fences going all the way to the water at beach resorts in Mexico.

What if you’re not set on having beachfront property? You might like to know that Mexico is a beautiful country full of mountains and interesting people and places. You can buy property anywhere else in Mexico, just like you would back home. All you need to do is get a Mexican tax ID, go through a background check, and you’re good to go.

Buying property in Mexico can be pretty simple, especially if you’re not getting a loan from a bank. It’s like buying a car, but both the buyer and seller need to meet with a person called a Notario. This person is not quite like a notary in the U.S. They act as a neutral observer while you sign the official title, or “acta de propiedad”. Once that’s done, you’re a proud property owner in Mexico!

So, while there are a few special rules, Americans can definitely own property in Mexico. And remember, while things like inspections and escrow are good to have, they’re not required by law. You can buy land directly from the owner, as long as they actually own it!


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