Welcome to Part 2 of our purchase experience in Puerto Aventuras, MX! I left off last time at the contract review stage so will start from the next step, contract execution.
Sign/send contract: After a few rounds of back-and-forth to get the contract wording updated, this step was pretty straight forward. Print and sign 4 copies of the contract, initial every page (including attachments) and sign where provided. The ink was barely dry before we scurried off to DHL to get them shipped down to Mexico. As an aside we chose DHL over other international providers because we had been told by multiple sources they are the fastest and most reliable. A day and a half later the contract was delivered.
Additional deposit(s): This is the step where we wired a huge chunk of change (for us at least) to GMB. One aspect that was a little unnerving was that we were required to complete this step before we would receive a copy of the fully signed contract. This was one of two areas that are the opposite of how things work here in the states (the other will be discussed in next section). The lingering question was in both our minds, “What if we wire the money and never hear from them again?”. Happy to say this did not happen.
Although the order of business is contrary to how we do things in the states, it is how they do things down there. The logic is they won’t commit to entering into a contractual agreement without something significantly more than the initial deposit we had already made. We have since learned that while a broker vanishing off the face of the earth is possible and would be devastating, our partially executed contract combined with receipts of every transaction and copies of every correspondence could be used in Mexican court if it ever came to that. Speaking of, I cannot over-emphasize the importance of keeping copies of every receipt and every correspondence in a file. Do this religiously!
Final payment/take possession: At the time of this writing these final two steps are still 21.5 months away, but who’s counting? I’m sure we’ll have more to say on the final stages but will provide a brief summary of our current understanding.
Another procedure that seems a little odd is down in Mexico you actually take possession of the property before you get the title. In short and as we understand it, when the place is finished we will inspect and then make the final payment. In return GMB will grant us permission to take possession of the unit (i.e. move in) and then we will apply for a title/deed. Here in the states you would receive a “clear title” before taking possession of property. Another area that seems to open the door to problems but have been told by multiple reliable sources, “That is just how it works down here. If you want to buy here you’ll need to accept their practices are different but it’ll work out in the end.” Things just work differently in Mexico. Even if you can’t necessarily embrace it, being willing to accept it and going with the flow will reduce your anxiety – it has for us so far.
Title/deed: The final step in purchasing our place down in Mexico is to apply for title. We are still a long ways off from this step but there are many considerations for exactly how you want to title. Based on our research (thus far) for the location we have chosen, it boils down to titling via corporation or bank trust. There are pro’s and con’s to each and it also depends on how you intend to use the property (vacation rental vs residence, etc.). At this time we have leanings toward bank trust based on feedback from ex-pats and our intended use. Here are a couple resources that cover this topic but definitely research and plan for this based on your personal situation and goals.
At this time we plan to book a 3-4 month trip down as soon as the unit is ready. We’ll stay in a local resort while we go shopping for essential furniture and then transition into the unit. Can’t wait for that first night in our new place!
Thanks for reading!