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Bank Trust: Shop around for any bank that will handle your trust. They
don't all charge the same fee, and service varies. In general terms, the trust per-
mit costs about $1,000 U.S. plus an annual fee, determined by the assessed
value of the property. Since 1993, the permits issued are for 50 years, and the
trust allows one to designate substitute beneficiaries, so there is no will to pro-
bate when the owner dies.
On the practical side of the use of the bank trust, mine was arranged
through the real estate company that sold the house to me. We went to
Bancomer and I paid for the permit and part of the first year after I filled out
some forms. I was told when my annual fees must be paid. I received no noti-
fication from Bancomer that my annual payment was due, and I forgot the first
year. The second year, I went to the bank and it took the lady about 45 minutes
to find my paperwork. She told me that my payment was in arrears, charged
me for the two years owed and cautioned me that when and if I sell the house,
all past trust charges must be cleared--with appropriate interest. In other
words, "Pay me now or pay me later." My bank allows me to pay from my per-
sonal U.S. checking account.
One thing that is constant worldwide is that the seller thinks the property
is worth more than it really is and the buyer thinks the property is worth less
than it really is. Everyone I talk to wants to buy an inexpensive home in
Mazatlán. Some are surprised at the prices--both good and bad. Like any
place else in the world, the three most important considerations in real estate
are the same--location, location, and location. The location also depends on
your personal likes, tolerance, and of course, financial situation.
If you are strolling around neighborhoods and come upon a house that is
run down and appears to be abandoned, don't automatically think a great deal
is waiting for you as a "super sleuth." Sometimes it is next to impossible to
track down the owner--even if it has a "For Sale" (Se Vende) sign.
Real Estate Companies: It has been my experience that real estate agents in
Mazatlán are much like those in the U.S. Some are better than others. Real
estate agents in Mazatlán are not required to be licensed, however. Properties
are either listed with one agency or appear on a central listing. In my judg-
ment, a good agent is very important. Their fees are usually a percentage of the
sales price and are negotiable. I provide the following Real Estate companies
for your consideration:
Realtymex: Is owned and operated by my friend, Alberto Ochoa. It is a fam-
ily operation that not only sells properties, but also builds homes and other
buildings. It is located on Camarón Sábalo, across the street from Bancomer
Bank. His brother, Cesar Ochoa is an architect and supervises the building pro-
gram. The employees speak excellent English. I purchased our home through
M a z a t l a n I S P a r a d i s e