Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT FROM YOUR AGENT!
You should expect to hear or receive a progress report at least twice per month. Even if there has been little or no activity on your home, you should hear about it from your agent.
Availability to Handle Inquiries…
From you and from prospects! I welcome calls to our office. If you have any concerns, I want to deal with them immediately. If I am not in the office, please call my cellular
Constant and Effective Advertising…
Your agent should have a plan to let you where, when, and how often your home will be showcased. Various advertising magazines are available, Point South, Ojo del Lago, Guadalajara Reporter and Lake Chapala Review.
Full-Time, Dedicated Effort…
You should expect no less than 100% effort from your agent. I am dedicated to serving the best of my sellers.
THE TOP TEN REASONS FOR BUYING A HOME IN THE LAKE CHAPALA AREA
- The beauty of the area with many tropical plants and trees also includes 100 miles of frontage on Lake Chapala and the majesty of the Sierra Madre Mountains.
- The warmth and hospitality of the residents is contagious. You will feel right at home !
- The exceptional climate, cooled a bit by the mile high altitude and warmed by the sun filled days gives you a moderate climate year round.
- The low crime rate in the area gives you a feeling of safety.
- An International airport is minutes away therefore giving you easy access.
- The cost of living is low and people tend to entertain at home a lot, therefore spending less.
- There are so many active community service and social organizations that welcome the participation of new residents of Ajijic. Many have taken lessons in Art, Spanish, horseback riding, tennis, and dance. Others find the time now to get in a regular exercise regime and at least daily walks.
- There is so much to do that your family and friends will love to visit.
- Despite the small village atmosphere, Ajijic offers a wide range of services and amenities, including many fine restaurants.
- There is a genuine feel of Mexican village life set along the cobblestone streets. The laid back Nationals way of life seems to rub off and you will find that you are stress free which can add many years to your life !
AN UNBEATABLE QUALITY OF LIFE !!
Frequently Asked Questions
Buying a Home in Jalisco Mexico
What Do You Need to Buy Real Estate in Mexico?
- VISA – With readable stamp on back
- 10% of Purchase Offer Price for down payment (earnest money)
- A Notary (Attorneys who have been appointed to the position of Notary).
- SRE Notification (Secretary of External Relations).
- Do You Own the Land?
Yes. There are restrictions on ocean front properties and properties bordering other countries.
How Do I Receive Title to My Real Estate? You Have a Choice:
- Direct Deed (Similar to the USA)
- Beneficiaries: Must be Direct Line or Spouses
- No Annual Fees
- Trust – The Property is held in TRUST by a Bank of Your Choice
- Benefits: Anyone can be named a beneficiary
- Problems: Annual Fee to the Bank of Approximately $450 USD per year
- Who Pays the Closing Costs?
- The Buyer pays all closing costs
- What Does the Seller Pay?
- Capital Gains (if applicable)
Owning Property in Mexico
How do you purchase property in Mexico?
Since 1973, non-Mexican citizens have been able to purchase property in México, with only coastal and border properties owned through a trust deed established with a Mexican bank. Foreigners may directly own rural or urban land in the interior of México, with certain limitations on specific agricultural tracts.
Real estate transactions in México are generally cash transactions, with limited cases of owner financing available. The. high cost of money (interest rates) has made financing properties unattractive to many. Until recently, there has been an absence of mortgage company services in the area. There are now a few foreign companies or investors making medium term loans available. You may wish lo investigate this.
Trust Deed Ownership in México
How does the trust deed work?
The bank (known as the trustee) holds the trust deed for the person who is purchasing the property (known as the beneficiary). This property is not part of the banks assets and cannot be subject to a lien or attached for bank obligations. The beneficiary has all ownership rights to the property and may sell, lease, mortgage, pass to heirs, etc.. or do any other legal thing with the property .
Why trust deed ownership?
The trust agreement was established by the Mexican government for foreigners interested in owning property in México. It has the benefit of the bank overseeing the deed. A further benefit has been that co-owners can be listed on a trust deed using solidaridad activa. Upon the demise of one, the property automatically goes to the other and probate is avoided. The importance of the designation can not be understated as this allows either party to sell the property and does not require the agreement and signature of all parties. Another advantage is that a beneficiary can be named, which also avoids probate. This beneficiary may be unrelated to the owner.
How long does the Trust Deed last?
As of 1994, trusts may be granted and extended in 50 year periods. If you purchase property currently held in a trust deed, a new 50 year period can be established or the existing trust deed may be assigned. Trusts are renewable at any time by simple application. Multiple properties may be held in one single trust.
It was never the intent that the properties pass back to the government at the end of the trust period, which has been a common fear of purchasers. This does not happen.
There is an annual fee charged by the trustee bank for management of the trust. The amount charged varies. Ask your real estate professional for current bank fees.
How are these trust deeds established?
The fideicomiso or trust is established by a Notary. In México, the designation of an attorney, known as a Notary represents a high level of legal standing, and their services are required for the transfer of real estate. Because of the large number of foreign owned properties in México, and especially in areas such as Ajijic, establishing a trust has become a routine procedure. It is not a complicated process, and standard forms are utilized. As part of the escrow process, your real estate professional will assist you in your dealings with your notary.
Direct Deed Ownership
The deed is the history of the property and will indicate who is the legal owner. The Direct Property Deed (Escritura Pública en Dominio Directo) is outright ownership of the property. The buyer is listed on the deed as the direct owner. There is no yearly or administration fee, as there is with a bank trust. However, with a Direct Property Deed there is a process of application for each foreigner who is registered on the deed. The process of giving a notice for a direct deed to Relaciones Exteriores takes a minimum of 8 days and is taken care of by the buyer´s notary of choice.
As of September 1995, a beneficiary can be designated in a Direct Property Deed. Probate is no longer automatic with a Direct Property Deed and a will is not essential to pass on the property when an owner of record dies. A beneficiary in a Direct Property Deed must be a spouse, parent or offspring. For all property owners a Mexican will is strongly recommended. A notary can help you structure your will.
Fee structure for IMSS Health Insurance
Legislation enacted December 21, 2001 means a couple aged over 60 will pay more for annual Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) family medical insurance, but a single person in this age range will pay about 30 percent less.
Annual IMSS insurance fees are now being charged per individual instead of per family. Under the new rules, coverage for a single person aged over 60 costs $3,472 pesos, and a spouse the same amount again. Children aged from 0-19 are assessed at $1,320 pesos each. individuals aged 20-39, $ 1.543.70 pesos, and aged 40-59, $ 2,307.10pesos.
Annual renewals are charged at the same rates. All foreign residents of Mexico and their dependants, regardless of their immigration status, may apply for IMSS health care in the “Seguro de Salud para la Familia” program even with the new charges, the cost is by far the least expensive health-care option in Mexico. The coverage is quite broad and include consultations, tests, hospitalization, surgery and medicines.
New applicants will be asked to fill out a medical questionnaire (in Spanish ) stating any preexisting conditions. The IMSS will not insure heads of family and dependants with preexisting medical conditions it describes as “chronic ailments “.
They include AIDS, renal insufficiency, diabetes, mellitus, cirrhosis of the liver, heart disease, and some other medical conditions.
The full list of conditions is specified in the Reglamento del Seguro de Salud Para la Familia ( article 11 ), which can be purchased at most bookstores.
For other conditions there are waiting periods form six months to two years after inscription before attention may be received (see article 12 ). Dental treatment is limited to extractions and cleaning; esthetic surgery is not included, nor are eyeglasses and hearing aids.
Those living in Chapala, Ajijic, Tlaquepaque, Tonala and the Reforma and Libertad sectors of Guadalajara must apply at the IMSS office at Calzada Independencia Norte 580, corner of Juan Alvarez in Guadalajara.
All offices are open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Only one trip to Guadalajara is needed to apply for coverage and pay the annual fee, according to IMSS officials. Coverage begins the first working day of the month following the one in which the application is approved.
Driver’s License Requirements
1. FM-3 or FM-2
3. Letter of recommendation from a business person (with logo, signature and cedula (seal) and copy of writer’s photo identification)
4. Proof of residence with a date not more than 90 days old (receipt for electricity, water, telephone, predial, etc.) in your name or in the name of a relative with the same last name. If receipt is in your married name, present your marriage certificate.
5. Application for license from Hacienda office in the Chapala Post Office building.
6. Blood test (available at any lab)
7. Eye exam (available from an optometrist)
8. It is suggested to have someone has to drive you ( To Ocotlan) and that person must speak Spanish.
Without the required documents, you will probably not get a license.
Allow between 30 minutes and 2 1/2 hours to get your license.
Original and one copy of all documents to the Transito office in El Salto or Ocotlan.
Automobile – $435 every 5 years
Chauffeur – $494 every 5 years
Other Important Information
The practice seems to be 10% for adequate service, 15% for really good. Tips are typically given to shuttle drivers, restaurant waiters and to hotel cleaning staff. Some say that taxi drivers are not usually tipped, but we do. Times are tough for the average Mexican. The amount of our tip to these people is not much in our terms, but means a lot to them.
Getting a bus or a taxi?
The front desk at your hotel will call a taxi for you.
Otherwise, you just wave one down, out on the street. It’s not like New York, where you see a taxi every 10 seconds, but you shouldn’t have much of a wait. The taxi fees are regulated by the state, and are metered. For long trips, you may want to ask beforehand, just to be safe, how much the trip will be.
The taxis park in the city center area in both Ajijic and Chapala.
Buses run between Chapala and Ajijic all the time. The bigger buses you see stay on the highway. The smaller “school bus” sized buses travel into the little village enroute. Often, they are crowded, but also very entertaining. Sometimes, one of the passengers could be singing a song, or strumming on a guitar. Nobody would be upset, or surprised, if you sang along! There are bus stops along the bus route, but nothing is well marked. Just flagging the bus down is all you have to do. Mention your destination when you get on the bus. The driver will advise how many pesos to pay and stop the bus when it reaches your destination.
The charge is very little, so be sure to get on the bus with a bunch of small pesos in your pocket.
The buses are safe, and reliable. The only thing you have to be careful about is that they do stop their service quite early at night (we have been stranded as early as 10:00 p.m. on one occasion). I would plan on service being stopped around 9:00 p.m.