FAQs

FAQs


Yes! Absolutely! Foreigners may obtain direct ownership with a direct deed of a property in the interior of Mexico. You can even purchase property on the coast, but it requires a bank trust with different documentation and fees. Check our ’Real Estate in Mexico video series´ for more information.

Your lifestyle will dictate the answer to the question of whether you are looking for a house, condo or apartment. Whether you are single, a retired couple, a young working family with school-aged children, here only part-time, or looking for investment property, there is something here to fit your needs. Check our ’Real Estate in Mexico video series´ for more information.

Because everything isn’t as standardized as it is north of the border, architects here are creative in their designs. You’ll be drawn to features such as stone and tile mosaics, high ceilings, arched doorways for a softer, wider entrance, handcrafted moldings and built-in niches to showcase your Mexican treasures. They seamlessly combine traditional with contemporary features and décor in very affordable homes. These are not “cookie cutter” homes in ‘builder’s beige’ like so many of the tract-home neighborhoods you may be familiar with. Check our ’Real Estate in Mexico video series´ for more information.

There are many new developments being built to supply the demand. Some are built on speculation and others custom built for buyers. You can pick a lot and a plan and have your new home ready in from 4 months to a year. Some buyers want to build themselves while others are willing to pay for an experienced contractor to manage the build. There are many excellent contractors with hard working crews that do magnificent work. Contact us to discuss what options are best for you.

When you choose us as your buyer-agent, we give you our full commitment to provide you with unsurpassed service toward achieving your real estate goals. We make your goals, our goals. First, we sit down with you and find out what you would like to see. We discuss areas that you prefer, features you need and a price range that you can afford. Second, we take you to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) where you can see everything listed here as recently as today. We can search areas, price ranges or specific required features. Then we take you to see the houses you have chosen. We try to be as knowledgeable as possible on all the listings. We have years of experience and are happy to share the things we have learned with you. Services for Buyers.

The benefits of working with a Realtor is the relationship you and your Realtor establish and between the parties involved in the transaction – other brokerages, Notarios, developers and home inspectors. Your Realtor is knowledgeable about the obligations and responsibilities of both parties. Check our ’Real Estate in Mexico video series´ for more information.

We’re glad you asked! We have a list of some commonly referred terms to help you.

It would be our personal pleasure to make sure your referral is well looked after. Our objective is to make their transition seamless and an enjoyable experience from start to end. We pay a 25% referral fee and you can be assured that your clients will receive first class treatment. We have an amazing team of professional agents and bilingual support staff to serve you.

While you are at the bank getting Mexican pesos, go and talk to your friendly Bank manager. Mention that you may be considering purchasing a home in Mexico and need to know what the Bank’s rules and procedures are for initiating wire transfers. Real estate transactions here require a minimum of a 10% initial payment. Money laundering rules between the USA, Canada & Mexico require full disclosure. Cash and cheques are not accepted. Only a wire transfer will work. Your Bank will not initiate a wire just by you picking up the phone while in Mexico and requesting that funds be sent. Complete a form, or whatever instructions your Bank requires before you leave. Then when you are ready to make an offer, you will be able to contact your Bank and easily complete a wire request. Check our ’Real Estate in Mexico video series´ for more information.

We calculate approximately 3.5% – 4% of the selling price to cover Notario closing costs. They are an obligatory part of the legal process that allows a buyer to safely obtain property in Mexico. The largest of these fees are the land transfer tax, Notary fees and the appraisal. Keep in mind that this does not include pro-rated calculations for property tax, utilities, bank fees and, if applicable, homeowners fees and an inspection report.

The village of Ajijic is the center of most of the activities of the Expat community. To the east is the village of San Antonio Tlayacapan. Heading west you will find a smaller village, San Juan CosalaJocotepec is situated on the west end of the lake. For those who prefer solitude, San Luis Soyatlan is located on the south side. On the north shore of the Lake Chapala is the vibrant city of Chapala, the municipal seat of the various villages. Click each link to discover the different and diverse neighborhoods of each village. Please stop by the office for a full page, full color map.

Yes! We love showing people around our little piece of paradise. We have much to offer and so much information to share. Join us on a Courtesy Orientation Tour. Are you ready to start looking at houses? Well then, we design a Custom Home Tour where you see what you want to see. You can print a brochure from either of these links or stop by the office for a hard copy.

Oh sí! Please stop by the office for a free copy of a Lakeside map.

Lake Chapala Real Estate does not offer rental services, but we will provide you with a list of rental agencies and property managers. Please stop by the office for a hard copy or contact us and we can email you the list.

Hiring staff can be considered a luxury back in the US or Canada, but here in Mexico, it is an opportunity to provide employment. As of this writing, the standard pay rate is $50 pesos per hour and most work only a few days a week. You do the math! You can enjoy the luxury of these services and feel good knowing you are helping someone put their kids in school and keep a roof over their heads.

Moving furniture and belongings can be expensive, especially across international borders. You should bring your sentimental items and those pieces that are irreplaceable, but most products and brand names can be found here. As such, the majority of homes here are sold furnished. The new home owners then take the unwanted items to a bazaar for donation or consignment. It’s also fun to hunt through these stores and find a treasure!

Comisión Federal de Electricidad is the electrical utility service. They bill every two months and you can pay online or at various locations such as OXXO, Soriana, or banks. When you buy a new home, one of the many services we provide is to ensure that the previous owner has paid up-to-date and that the account will be transferred into your name. We also create an on-line account for billing payment, if you choose. Once you receive an invoice with your name and address, it can be used to prove residency so that you can apply for a cell phone, driver’s license, bank account and other services. Be sure to keep all the original invoices as you will need the most recent 4 invoices to sell your house.

This is the telephone/internet utility service. It is a monthly bill that can be paid online or at various locations such as OXXO, Soriana, or banks. When you buy a new home, one of the many services we provide is to ensure that the previous owner has paid up-to-date and that the account will be transferred into your name. We also create an on-line account for billing payment, if you choose. Once you receive an invoice with your name and address, it can be used to prove residency so that you can apply for a cell phone, driver’s license, bank account and other services. Be sure to keep all the original invoices as you will need the most recent 6 invoices to sell your house.

Sistema Municipal de Agua Potable y Alcantarillado is the water utility service. Your water and sewage service fees are due at the beginning of the year, but you have until the end of February to take advantage of discounts granted for prompt full payment. These fees are colleced at the SIMAPA management office corresponding to your property’s village. If you have a listing with us, don’t forget to send us a copy of the new year’s paid invoice so that we may properly calculate your closing prorations.

Yes, this aguinaldo is government mandated for regularly employed part-time and full-time workers in Mexico. It equals two weeks pay and is due no later than December 20. Please contact us if you need help calculating this cost.

Your property taxes are due at the beginning of the year, but you have until the end of February to take advantage of discounts granted for prompt full payment. The municipal office for the Lakeside area is in Chapala. You will need to take a copy of last year’s predial. If you have a listing with us, don’t forget to send us a copy of the new year’s paid invoice so that we may properly calculate your closing prorations.

Clave Única del Registro de Población. This is similar to the Social Security number for US and the Canadian S.I.N. It is a government issued ID card and is also listed on your driver’s license and bank account. You need a CURP before you can get an RFC.

Registro Federal de Contribuyentes or personal tax number. You require one of these in order to claim exemption on the Capital Gains earned when you sell your home. When you buy a new home, one of the many services we provide is to apply for your number online, then register it on your CFE account – a required process.

We don’t want to just list your home, we want to sell it. But there is a lot more to selling a home than placing a For Sale sign on the lawn. Check our 16 point marketing plan for Services for Sellers.

In Mexico, the commission is paid by the seller. We usually charge a commission of 7% on houses with a value up to $300,000 USD. The commission is negotiable on houses above that value. Sellers are also responsible for Capital Gains tax, if applicable. We do everything we can to help reduce this cost. We recommend that furniture and vehicles be sold separately so that they are not included in the commission or tax total.

This is a severance pay. When you sell your house, you need to sever any staff you may have hired – maid, gardener and such – and calculate their severance pay based on hourly wage and the years they have worked for you. They are required to sign a letter stating that they have no claims against the seller. This is one of the many services we provide as part of the closing process. We just need the employee’s name, start date and the total pesos you pay them per week. We’ll take care of the rest.

We are fortunate to have access to Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Guadalajara International Airport (GDL) on the south end of the city of Guadalajara, a mere 30 minute drive away. We offer a Free Report with more information on ‘Flying to Guadalajara’.

There are several beautiful B&Bs in the village of Ajijic and surrounding areas. We offer a Free Report with a list of ‘Recommended B&Bs’.

Many of our clients wouldn’t consider coming to Mexico for an extended period of time without their furry family members. We offer a Free Report with more information on ‘Bringing Pets into Mexico’.

For the most part, yes. But we recommend you ask your home druggist for specific literature about your medicine prior to leaving home. We offer a Free Report on ‘Prescription Drugs’.

This kind of care is very expensive in Canada and the US, but remarkably economical here.  First, the year-round temperate climate encourages us all to spend more time outdoors and to exercise.  There are affordable cooks, maids and skilled care takers to provide assistance to you and the elderly members of your household.  When the time comes there are excellent nursing homes, assisted living facilities and medical facilities at a fraction of the cost. We offer a Free Report on ‘Medical Care’.

Several health insurance products for individuals and families are available at Lakeside. Since these plans are continually evolving, we offer a Free Report with links to some experienced resources and current information, entitled ‘Health Insurance’.

It isn’t as daunting as you may think. Driving in rush hour traffic in the US or Canada is generally more stressful than the average road in Mexico. With old fashioned common sense and following the rules of the road, you will find it relatively easy. We offer a Free Report on ‘Driving in Mexico’.

Just as we have clients that decide to care for their aging relatives here, we also have baby boomers with school age children requiring schooling. The Lakeside boasts several diverse, bilingual schools with excellent academic and high moral standards. We offer a Free Report with links to the schools here at Lakeside entitled ‘Schools’.

There is a fiesta, fair or major happening going on somewhere in Mexico every day of the year. But here is a monthly list of the major dates to mark on your calendar. Those in bold are official national holidays and you’ll find banks, schools, government offices and some businesses shut down on those dates. They may also close for other major local celebrations.Those ítems not bolded are important civic commemorations, religious celebrations and other local events.Those marked with an asterisk (*) change dates from year to year.

January 1 New Year’s Day
January 6 Three Kings Day
January 17 St. Anthony
First Monday in February Constitution Day
February 12* Mardi Gras
February 13* Ash Wednesday
February 14 Valentine’s Day
February 24 Flag Day
Third Monday in March Birth of Benito Juarez
March 22* Friday of Sorrows
March 24* Palm Sunday
March 29* Good Friday
March 31* Easter Sunday
April 7 Daylight Savings Time begins
April 30 Children’s Day
May 1 Labour Day
May 5 Cinco de Mayo
May 10 Mother’s Day
May 15 Teacher’s Day
June 16* Father’s Day
June 24 St. John the Baptist
June 29 St. Peter and St. Paul
July 25 St. James the Great
August 22 Fireman’s Day
September 13 Day of Heros
September 14 Horseman’s Day
September 15 Cry of Independence
September 16 Independence Day
September 28 Public Servant’s Day (Government offices closed)
October 12 Columbus Day
October 27 Daylight Saving Time ends
November 1 All Saints Day
November 2 All Souls Day
November 12 Mailman’s Day
Third Monday in November Revolution Day
December 12 Virgin de Guadalupe
December 16 – 24 Las Posadas (Christmas season festivities)
December 24 Christmas Eve
December 25 Christmas Day
December 28 Holy Innocents Day (April Fools)
December 31 New Year’s Eve

Click here to print PDF

Yes we do! Both here at Lakeside and in Guadalajara. We offer a Free Report with a list of ‘Golf & Country Clubs’.

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