Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Buying Real Estate in Mexico - The \"New\" Mexican Real Estate Market

It seems that the Mexican real estate market is beginning to "come of age". The inherent beauty of the country and unique charm of the people have begun to attract an interesting blend of buyers from all over the world. There are numerous properties available with everything from new home developments to historic villas and adorable bed and breakfasts to suit any taste and budget. Along with the recent surge of interest in Mexican real estate have come some improvements in real estate practices. There is still no required licensing for real estate agents, but there is a voluntary membership available for real estate professionals and great strides have been made to ensure "truth in advertising" among realtors.

The downside of the increased interest is that the prices have increased (good news if you are selling, of course). The increased prices combined with the current real estate downturn in the US is making the once popular practice of taking a second mortgage on your current home in the US to make an all cash deal for Mexican real estate a thing of the past. Historically, very few homes in Mexico have been financed (currently less than 25% of homes there are financed), but the need for mortgages is on the rise.

Lenders need a reliable source of data to be able to secure loans for this growing market. In the US the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) provides information on available properties and buying trends to buyers, sellers and lenders alike. There are several "MLS" web sites that have cropped up on the Mexican real estate scene, but most of them are nothing more than marketing sites for real estate agents. MLS international seems to be the only true MLS site specializing in the Mexican market where buyers, sellers or lenders can obtain the information they need to make an informed decision.

Another advantage of a multiple listing service such as MLS International is the ability to search for homes and properties all throughout Mexico without having to drive from state to state and real estate office to real estate office as was quite common in the past. A person can have their list of properties they are interested in and plan to visit them all in one trip to Mexico, saving countless hours driving aimlessly around the country.

Whether you are a real estate investor or just looking for a beautiful place to retire, things certainly look good in Mexico right now. It is actually quite unusual for Mexico's real estate market to be doing so well while its American neighbor's market is in such a slump, but this may just be a sign of the new Mexican economy that appears to be on the rise. Whether this growth will continue remains to be seen, but from here the future looks as bright as the Aztec sun for the Mexican real estate market and the many new industries that are opening up as a result of it.


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