So you are thinking of buying a property in Mexico? Perhaps starting a business, or maybe just thinking of moving here to retire? Whether you realize it or not, you need professional advise, and probably not what you are getting from your Realtor, or even worse, your new best Mexican friend, who seems to have all the answers. Those guys are a dime a dozen and the info they pass on is usually worth less than that. If you are serious about the move, you need to be serious about getting the right info you need, and my suggestion is to talk to the appropriate Mexican professional. Sometimes that is an attorney, sometimes an accountant or engineer, but trust me, you need to take your questions to a real source of knowledge. Almost always, the attorney is the best place to start for general info.
Always arrange a consult with a local professional for an hour or so to ask all your questions at once, and get the real answers you’ll need to decide if your plans are sound and legal. To do that, you’ll probably need services in English, so that you can ask and understand clearly, the answers to your questions. For these legal consults, I send all to my friend María Isabel Peréz Romero, in Chetumal. Maribel speaks almost perfect English and has a wide range of legal experience you can tap into. That, and she is a very nice lady as well.
Maribel was a partner in a private local law firm after her graduation from law school, and after a few years of private practice, as well as being the evening local news anchor, she went to work in the State Attorney General’s office, where she has worked for many years. Her work has been in many areas during that time, from teaching tax law to Federal Unions, to Executive Secretary for the UN Secretariat at the UN Convention on Corruption, to name a few. She is a very sound source of most legal issues and has the connections to get you the answers she might not have.
She does legal consult work by the hour in both Chetumal and Mahahual. Some of the services you might need, she can help with herself, like real estate contracts, managing the escrow closing of those contracts with the Notario and corporate and fedicomiso set-ups. She can also listen to your specific situation and help you decide which of those methods of owning your property is best for you. Services she would recommend that she does not do, she can help you find the local professional you do need. She can also help with disputes, federal beach concessions and many general legal questions.
Besides consults, the most common need foreigners have here is with Real Estate sales, and she can definitely help with that. The fees she charges to help write your contract and manage the close of escrow, are generally less than half a standard real estate commission, and allows you to avoid local Realtors, something I have talked a lot about on this blog in the past. If you want to know more about that topic, read my blog on local Realtors here. Buy your property through an attorney, and you hire the attorney. If the seller wants to pay a commission, that is between the seller and the Realtor, and not relevant to your contract, which is outside any commission arrangement they might have. I can’t stress too hard, never let a local Realtor contract or oversee your transaction. Get an attorney!!
The price for a 1 hour consult in Chetumal is $75 US and in Mahahual, it is $100 US. A very small amount that will save you both time and money as you proceed with your plan. If you retain her for further service, the consult is part of that service. She is available in Chetumal most days, but prefers to do Mahahual consults on Saturdays. Special arrangements can be sometimes made in advance.
Before you get that far, or very far at all for that matter, stop and do an hour consult with an attorney and Maribell is perfect for that. If you would like to set up a consult, send me an email and I can gladly help set that up for you. Might be the best $100 you spend in Mexico!