Mortgage financing is now available in Mexico, although it is just being introduced and still working through growing pains. Purchase-only financing is available (no remodelation loans) for single family residences and condos with a 20-year mortgage (25 & 30 year amortization loans are on the way) with a four-year fixed loan rate. Rates vary but at least they are well below 10%, finally.
The loans are currently available only for US citizens (sorry, Canadians!). The major holdback with regards to how quickly the loans can be put together is on the seller’s side with regards to the cancellation of the trust. Unfortunately not all the banks are handling the process as quickly as they could be. Borrowers can be approved within 48 hours in most cases.
There are a number of different brokers entering the marketplace and it should be noted that some are better than others. Be sure to check around by questioning a few companies and asking your realtor’s opinion on them. Having a broker that knows how the system works locally can make the difference as to whether the loan will actually happen or not.
Have you seen that perfect property on the bay, but you’re not quite prepared to cash in your US or Canadian investments to make it yours? Are you set to make the move to Puerto Vallarta, but just a bit shy of ready cash for a condo? Now you can stock up on suntan lotion, because mortgage financing has come to Mexico. “The secret of great living and investment opportunities in Mexican resort areas is out!” points out Eduardo Perez of Conficasa International, and he believes that “the availability of loans will only fuel that growth, with Vallarta leading the way.”
Traditionally, real estate purchases in Mexico have been limited to full cash payment at the time of closing, but recent changes in Mexican regulations regarding foreclosure on foreign-financed property have made lenders more comfortable, and cross-border loans are now available through several brokerage firms with representatives in Vallarta. Lenders range from internationally known financial institutions to private entrepreneurs and funds. Terence Reilly of Mexlend explains that because real estate here has been moving upwards so steadily lenders want to participate in this stable, but vibrant, market.
A key word in real estate lending in Mexico is “variety.” While some brokers handle only completed residences, others are exploring refinancing, construction loans, pre-construction bridge financing and advances for unimproved lots. Loans are available in both US dollars and pesos, primarily to US and Canadian residents. And terms can range from five years up to 30, with 20-year loans being the most common. Although interest arrangements vary from fixed to floating rates based on an index such as “prime,” rates are generally higher than in the USA. Other variables are title insurance requirements and loan fees.
Qualifications for borrowers take into account that many people buying in Mexico will no longer be employed when living here, so lenders will look at available assets and credit history, as well as income. The process, which usually takes about 60 days from application to closing, is similar to procedures in the USA, and initial applications may be available online.
“The market is hot these days even without financing, and these advances in financing will heat it up even more,” points out Doug Jones of Mortgages in Mexico, while Charles Alexander of Alexander, Barrett notes that these developing programs will help the community by allowing a diverse group of people to participate in life on this beautiful bay.