First lesson is buyer beware for issues such as: expats are all considered wealthy and the cost of labor and materials can be the Mexican price or the expat price; plumbing often lacks traps meaning an odor emanates from drains. Water
supply lines 1/2" whereas 3/4" is better; no vents on plumbing systems means showers etc drain slowly;
electrical wiring is not what is the code in Canada and the US, eg receptacles are cheap and pull apart,
color of wire does not mean black is hot, white is neutral and green is ground; wiring is #12 and breakers
20 amp but appliances and receptacles are only 15 amp capacity. The proper receptacle for a home with
20 amp breakers is the one shown with a "T". You never see these in Mexico. You see 15 amp receptacles.
Wiring should be #14, breakers 15 amps and lots of circuits with ground fault receptacles in wet areas.
Normally all electrical connections consist of twisted wires and electrical tape where as proper connectors called
marettes is what should be used.
Spend a little extra and purchase vinyl or aluminum windows and doors with proper screens. Your house will have less dust, require less heat or air conditiong and be more comfortable.
Sillar block is cut out from volcanic rock and a better building material for walls than the small red bricks; in the end also faster to build, cheaper, better quality. Go for 10' ceilings as extra cost vs 8' is minimal.
In many parts of Mexico nights are very cool and this can last for 3 months. Often homes are adjoining other homes meaning few windows to let in the heat from the sun. If your heat source is a fireplace or open flame propane heaters they lack efficiency and create a safety issue with carbon monoxide. Consider an efficient, propane wall furnace such as those made by Rinnai and Empire.
If a major project or building whole home, rent or buy a cement mixer as you will obtain a more even and stronger mix vs workers mixing on the ground and you save workers' backs. Buy a back brace and safety glasses for workers as cost is minimal and encourage their use.
Please obtain a building permit!!!
When looking at existing homes do not be impressed by granite or marble but look beyond as those materials are relatively inexpensive. If you wish to tile an existing concrete floor very likely it requires leveling and therefor a jack hammer to "etch" existing concrete, creating a major mess.
Labor while much cheaper than one pays outside of Mexico is not as cheap as it appears as they lack "productivity" tools and do everything by hand including mixing concrete. And, due to amazing weather a smaller house will suffice. A nice house can be built for $50 to $60 a sq foot plus land.
These issues are common even in more expensive homes. There are no apprenticeships, no formal training and no codes.
To qualify for a mortgage, Mexican banks usually only consider your Mexican credit score and amount you deposit into a Mexican financial institution. However, some other mortgages sources will consider your US or Canadian credit score. If a bank will not consider your foreign credit score my suggestion should you think you may want a mortgage, car loan, extra money for a medical bills etc. is to open a Mexican bank account. I cover how to open a bank account under the heading ETC. Once you have done so, obtain a charge card. Initially, the limit on your card will be low and 5000 pesos limit is not uncommon. You can have your bank automatically pay each months charges in full avoiding high interest which are typically 30 to 65% with the upper range being more common. Each month buy something on credit or buy an item with 12 payments with zero interest. When allowed, which is usually annually, increase your card's limit.
A mortgage takes many weeks to approve. There will be pages and pages of forms, all in Spanish. Typically, plan to start an application 3 months in advance. Here is a mortgage source some recommend.
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Your landlord must give you a fiscal receipt or invoice in exchange for the rental payment. A fiscal receipt must show the landlord's full name, fiscal domicile, RFC, the rental property address, your RFC (if you have one, otherwise the generic RFC for "Sales to the General Foreign Public" XEXX010101000 must be used), the rent amount, the period covered by that payment and, if a furnished dwelling, the IVA tax must be disclosed, and the receipt must be duly authorized by the SAT; otherwise it is not a valid fiscal receipt and may mean that the landlord is committing tax fraud, money laundering and other crimes. A tourist can not legally be a landlord.
Many landlords would tell you that, if they give you a receipt meeting all fiscal requirements, they will charge you IVA tax above and beyond the rent; of course. They are mistaken. For furnished rentals, IVA tax MUST be included in the agreed upon rent, by law. Any landlord attempting to add a second IVA tax to the rent may be subject to fiscal and criminal penalties, if reported or otherwise discovered, above and beyond the criminal penalties applicable for the fraud committed against the tenant.When a tenant pays rent to a foreigner not residing in Mexico:
HOW DO FOREIGN RESIDENTS PAY TAXES?
Foreign residents (not residing in Mexico) who are landlords etc. subject to tax payment in Mexico generally fulfilll this obligation when the person (tenant, etc) who pays them withholds the tax and pays it to the Tax Administration Service (Servicio de Administración Tributaria).
Residents in Mexico, or foreign residents with a permanent establishment in Mexico, and who pay foreign residents, are compelled to withhold the tax. When the rent is paid to a trust company / property manager, the fiduciary institution must issue the receipts, withhold and pay the corresponding tax. The tax is 25% that tenant must withhold by law.
The person who withholds the tax must pay monthly, at the latest on the 17th day of the following month to that in which withholding was carried out. If a fiduciary they must pay by 15th of the following month. Payment shall be made through the Internet or at a banking window, according to the person's obligation.
As of December 1, 2015, an RFC is now required for all real estate sellers and in addition that number must be on their utility bill. That means obtaining the number from SAT and then having it registered with CFE and / or TelMex so it appears on their bill to have the proper evidence for Capital Gains Tax exclusion.
Anyone who is thinking of listing a property for sale should as soon as possible obtain an RFC and have it on TelMex and CFE bills.
CFE is normally billed every 2 months. TelMex is billed monthly.
Once obtained and reported to utility company an RFC may appear on next bill or one after depending on timing. In other words it does not happen quickly.
Therefor, timing is important.
I can obtain an RFC in an hour for anyone, anywhere in Mexico who is a Temporary or Permanent Resident. I can also have your RFC added to your utility bill for those in San Miguel.