In Northern Baja there is an association that buyers of real estate should be familiar with. The name is ADETUR.
We are an association of real estate developers, Mexican and American, in Northern Baja, and our main charter is protecting the rights of real estate buyers because they are the lifeblood of our work. Without buyers our members would be unable to sustain our livings and practice their craft.
Just as in the United States, Mexico has a system of laws and regulations that govern the promotion, sales and transfer of real property rights. Although there are similarities to the United States, Mexican laws are different and it is possible for buyers to be confused by the process. Just as in the United States, there are some simple rules you should follow to protect yourself:
1.) Get title insurance from established American insurers like Stewart and First American.
2.) Buy from a knowledgeable, experienced and reputable developer.
3.) Do your due diligence - ask questions.
4.) Consult an attorney if you feel it is prudent - do not sign a contract you do not understand.
5.) Make sure that the property you are investing in suits your lifestyle and budget.
Most developers strive to build buildings and create communities that meet the needs and desires of their target market. Just as in the United States, if you are buying an entry-level condo, you are not going to receive the same fit and finish as you would in a multimillion-dollar home in Ranch Santa Fe. Make sure your home in Baja is matched to your expectations for quality, fit and finish, amenities and services. The good news is your dollar buys more luxury, more everything in Baja. Oceanfront is available for a fraction of what it costs in the United States and the standards used are often equal to what the sophisticated American buyer is used to.
Should you have a question about the buying process in Mexico or you encounter a problem, I encourage you to discuss your situation with us. If you write me an e-mail with a description of the question or the nature of the problem at firstname.lastname@example.org, I will make sure you are referred to the appropriate person to address your question or answer it myself.
Robles is president of ADETUR and the managing partner of Baja Resort Advisors in San Diego, California.