Americans and Canadians have voted Mexico the world’s best place to live or retire overseas in the way that really counts: They’ve packed up and moved there. This country is home to more expats and retirees than any other, with various surveys indicating at least 1 million and as many as 2 million Americans have moved to Mexico.
This shouldn’t surprise anyone. It’s easier for an American to get to Mexico than to any other country besides Canada. Why do Americans choose to go south of the Rio Grande rather than to the great white north? The weather. Americans looking to start a new life in a new country are often looking for three things: warm weather, beautiful beaches and a low cost of living. Mexico competes handily in all three categories.
Here’s why many Americans and Canadians choose to retire in Mexico:
A low cost of living. While the living is not as cheap as it was in the 1970s when Americans began migrating here in volume, it’s a global bargain and more of a budgeter’s delight right now than it’s been in a long time thanks to the U.S. dollar’s strength against the Mexican peso. In some parts of the country this translates into incredible real estate deals. But even where real estate trades in U.S. dollars (as it does in many Mexican markets, including Los Cabos), the strong dollar makes everything else – from a liter of gasoline and a week’s worth of groceries to a suite of bedroom furniture and a night out on the town – a bargain.
The country is familiar. The Mexican government is a stable democracy, with executive, legislative and judicial branches functioning in a similar way to those in the U.S. When shopping you will be able to find many similar goods to those you enjoyed in the U.S.or Canada If you’re itching for an adventure in a foreign land that’s not too foreign, Mexico could be the experience you seek.
Many Mexicans speak English. Mexico is used to North American expats and tourists, and many locals, especially in the service industry, are able to communicate effectively in English.This can make things like navigating the residency process at the immigration office and managing the real estate purchase process with your attorney much easier.
Long tourist stays. Automatic six-month tourist stays and easy and fast immigration make it possible to come and go and spend as much time in the country as you’d like. You can maintain a second home here and rent it out when you’re not using it yourself without having to bother with the expense of obtaining formal resident status.
Can you really own property in Mexico?
In fact, foreigners are not only allowed to legally purchase property in Mexico, the Mexican government has gone to great lengths to make it safe and simple. It is legal and 100% secure and we are here to guide you through each step.
You will own your slice of paradise in one of two ways: either through a Fideicomiso (FEE-day-coh-MEE-soh) which is a bank-held trust, or through a Mexican corporation.
A fideicomiso is a real estate trust held on your behalf by a Mexican bank of your choosing (Scotia Bank, Bancomer, HSBC, Banamex, Santander etc.).
The bank acts as the Trustee, and you and those you designate are the Beneficiaries of the trust. As the beneficiary of the trust, you maintain complete control over it, retaining the use of the property and making all investment decisions. This is not a lease, it is equivalent to a Living Trust in the US and Canada. A fideicomiso bestows upon the Beneficiary of the Trust (you) absolute and irrevocable control over the property: to enjoy, lease, improve, mortgage, sell, inherit and will.Simply stated, your property is placed in a trust that you own to be administered by a Mexican bank on your behalf.
Why is a Fideicomiso necessary?
The purpose of the fideicomiso is to allow foreigners to buy prime Mexico real estate inside the “restricted zone,”and ensure a safe and secure transaction. The “restricted zone” is any land within 31 miles (50 km) of the coastline and 62 miles (100 km) of the borders. The Mexican constitution, when created, was designed to protect their land and prevent the kind of massive land loss they had endured through their history. Rather than amend their constitution, Mexico created and added the fideicomiso to encourage foreign investment in the highly desirable areas, particularly along the coastline. Residential properties outside of the restricted zone can be acquired directly by foreigners without the need for a bank trust, although some buyers opt to use it.
Your trust is not an asset of the bank; they are merely the stewards of the trust. You and those you designate are the beneficiaries. The trust to your Mexico real estate property is held by the bank for the beneficiary (you) and is not considered an asset of the bank therefore not exposed to any legal action that the bank might find itself in. The trust is the beneficiary’s property.
The Trust is initially established for a period of 50 years and can be renewed at any time by a very simple form and a low nominal fee. The trust is set in 50-year increments guaranteed renewable for perpetuity.
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