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Baja Real Estate Group | Rosarito Real Estate

The process in Mexico is different – in a great way

The Home ownership Process In Baja
The Home Ownership Process In Baja

Your offer was accepted! Owning a home in Baja was not only a dream of yours but a well-researched retirement strategy too. But even with all the information you have gathered about ownership in Mexico, you might have been unprepared for how different –and convenient, the process is here. From property taxes to the way the Bank Trust is set, everything works favorably for the homeowner and makes for an easy inheritance process too.

Heirs and beneficiaries

While filling out paperwork for a Bank Trust, one question probably struck you as odd: Beneficiary? Why do I need a beneficiary? It comes as a pleasant surprise to many Americans to know that in Mexico there is no Inheritance Tax (or “Death Tax”, as it´s known in the U.S.). Here, your beneficiaries are written into the Trust. In the event of your passing away, the Trust is transferred straight to these beneficiaries. Your U.S. Last Will and Testament does not have jurisdiction over properties located in Mexico.

In the case of a married couple with both on the title, there is a right of survivorship, where the property will go to the surviving spouse. If both of you pass away, the property goes to your second beneficiary. The process is very simple for the heirs. A Mexican Notary can help through the paperwork (Remember, these Mexican “Notarios” are government-appointed attorneys, and all legal transactions must be signed in front of them.) Be aware that the Notary is also responsible for transferring title from one person to another.

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The idea of a custom-built house in Rosarito can be very attractive. It means that you can dictate the layout and create a space that meets your specific needs.

Lots In Puerta Del Mar
Lots In Puerta Del Mar

Some of our clients have the erroneous idea that building a house in Baja may be more inexpensive than buying it. However, that is not necessarily true. One thing is certain: building in Mexico is far more affordable than building in the U.S. It may also be easier on your wallet since you can add rooms and upgrades as you go.

However, there is a lot to know before taking on a construction project in Mexico, so here are some tips that have helped our clients:

The importance of hiring a knowledgeable agent to find your piece of land can´t be stressed enough. The worst scenario for an aspiring homeowner in Baja is to find himself with a piece of ejido (land ceded to farmer groups by the government), pending liens, and/or the wrong land use.

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Baja HOA: What does it cover? …and will you make use of it? When looking at ownership in Baja, buyers must take into consideration what their monthly expenses are going to be.

HOA Fees
HOA Fees

Property taxes, bank trust fees, and insurance at set fees. But the fee that could make a difference is your monthly HOA. This could work to your advantage. Meaning, you can choose your community wisely, so you only pay for the amenities you want and will enjoy.

So the question is: Are the added amenities worth the cost?
Older developments in Baja usually offer more green areas, oceanfront boardwalks, and beach access. For many of our clients, these are well worth any added cost.

Other places, such as the Condos at the Rosarito Beach Hotel, provide extra discounts on amenities. They also have built-in property management, which is nice for investors looking for lifestyle and value. While gated communities and oceanfront spas and pools are the norm in Baja, buyers should always be aware of what they are paying for. Generally speaking, more pools, Jacuzzis, and tennis courts mean higher fees.

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As the Baja real estate market is on an upswing, so are prices, especially in the under $200,000 price range. While medium-priced homes in Rosarito are not seeing a big increase in price, they are selling. In the under $200k price range, inventory has slowly been increasing in price, and many buyers looking for properties are having to increase their housing budget to $250,000 and up.

Calafia Condos & Villas
Calafia Condos & Villas

An example of what´s happening in this price range is Calafia Resort and Condo where prices have gone up a little. The condos are still fair priced, and are not feeling the crunch of the market crash in the last few years.

The marked improvement in the market has brought on a sense of urgency. People who at one time would have taken a more relaxed attitude towards buying a home in Rosarito are now getting serious -some even looking at multiple purchases. In other words, the smart buyer is recognizing Mexican real estate as an investment and is nesting in the area. As a result, many homeowners are taking their homes off the market, looking for a long-term investment as well.

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  1. Pocket Listings Not The Way To Go In Mexico
    Pocket Listings Not The Way To Go In Mexico

    The upward trend in the real estate market in Rosarito-Ensenada and more stringent capital gains laws put a damper on “For Sale by Owner” and Unlisted Properties
  2. Changes in capital gains laws warrant the use of a knowledgeable real estate agent when conducting transactions in México
  3. Changes in capital gains laws in México make for a more robust real estate market in Rosarito-Ensenada
  4. “Unlisted Properties” and “For-Sale by Owner” are not the way to go when you go to Rosarito

As Mexico´s´ real estate market continues to recover, real estate laws have changed, making operations such as “For Sale by Owner” and “Unlisted Properties” not the best strategy for buying and selling properties in this country.

The real estate market in the Rosarito-Ensenada Coast is still moving steadily up and gaining momentum. HGTV recently aired two episodes portraying American buyers as they acquire their dream properties in Rosarito; there is talk about new developments coming and inventory under $200,000 is becoming scarcer every day.

There is a growing trend of Americans packing up and moving to Mexico, looking for a better lifestyle at a lower price. All in all, Rosarito is proving to be a good investment for retirement and second homes.

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