Mortgages in Mexico – A New and Growing Concept!

by Susan Dearing

While the real estate market struggles north of the Mexico border in the United States, more and more savvy baby boomers continue to look toward Mexico as a solid investment and an affordable and attractive place to retire.

The only hold-up to purchasing a property in Mexico for Americans and Canadians (and other foreigners) has been mortgage financing. Up until a couple years ago, if the purchaser didn’t have cash, he/she could forget ever owning a home in Mexico.

According to Tom Kelly, a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and radio talk show host, for every 10 U.S. residences, 9 have mortgages. In Mexico, for every 10 homes owned by a foreigner, 1 has a mortgage. 

However, all that is changing. In Tom Kelly’s book, "Cashing in on a Second Home in Mexico," he provides readers with a step-by-step plan on "How to Buy, Rent and Profit from Property South of the Border." Kelly, who has the award winning show, "Real Estate Today," talks in his book about why more and more mortgage companies are leaping into lending in Mexico.

One such company, ConfiCasa Mortgage International, is a leading provider of financing to Americans and Canadians purchasing real estate throughout the resort areas of Mexico. Conficasa has demonstrated a strong dedication to the marketplace with several offices opening across Mexico including Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and most recently, Manzanillo. For more information on ConfiCasa, please visit the website at www.conficasamortgageinternational.com.

In the newest and informative e-book "Move to Mexico; and Keep the American Dream Alive During These Hard Economic Times", published by David Simmonds, Matthew A. Miller, president and CEO of ConfiCasa Mortgage International, discusses cross-border Mexico financing in great detail including types of loan programs available, common misconceptions and the latest trends, including why mortgage financing for Americans and Canadians purchasing homes south of the border is gaining in popularity. Matthew notes that the days where borrowers came down to Mexico with suitcases of cash to purchase properties are over as borrowers will continue to look at ways to finance their purchases (much like in the U.S, Canada and Europe).

According to Matthew, several reasons continue to contribute to the increased popularity of Mexico mortgages, including (1) the current difficulty in obtaining cash by leveraging home equity lines on ones’ primary U.S. residences, which historically has been a major source of financing for Mexico’s foreign home buyers; (2) shrinking liquidity and investment assets among retirees who are looking to retire in Mexico; (3) smoother Mexico mortgage loan processes with better communication, greater transparency and faster closing timelines as result of the maturation of the industry; (4) more attractive rates and underwriting procedures as compared to the U.S. which continues to tighten its underwriting belt and increase rates on larger loans; and (5) developers and realtors further embracing mortgage financing as they look to make the second and retirement home market in Mexico more attractive to foreign buyers.

Overall, cross-border Mexico mortgage loan programs are denominated in U.S. dollars, have a minimum loan amount of $100,000 and no maximum loan amount, are secured by the real estate in Mexico, have down payments as low as 20%, as well as have affordable interest rates which vary with down payment, credit score and loan term and type. All types of loan programs are offered including 3, 5 and 7 year ARMs and 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 year fixed. Loan programs are offered for traditional property purchases, refinancing higher developer loans as well as cash-out refinances for properties that were previously purchased in cash.

Another company, MortgagesInMexico.com offers U.S. dollar and peso loans to U.S. citizens. Visit their informative web site, or contact Doug Jones at 918-398-9588 (USA) or 617-600-9675 (FAX). E-mail: doug@MortgagesInMexico.com their office location is in Puerto Vallarta.

Manzanillo is listed as one of the top 10 places to invest in Tom Kelly's book. It is an invaluable source to anyone who is considering buying property in Mexico. To order your copy, go to www.tomkelly.com, an informative web magazine called "The Real Estate Communicator." 

Kelly has been a professional journalist for 33 years. He served The Seattle Times for 20 years, many as Real Estate Editor. Tom's weekly real estate column, now being syndicated nationally, is featured in The Los Angeles Times, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Oakland Tribune, Houston Chronicle, Rocky Mountain News, Louisville Courier, Tacoma News Tribune, Des Moines Register, Reno Gazette-Journal and dozens of other newspapers. The column typically focuses on residential mortgage and tax options for Baby Boomers and Retirees, providing consumer tips and helpful hints as well as explaining concepts and terms in a friendly, understandable style.

Tom's award-winning radio show "Real Estate Today" recently began its 13th year and is now airing in on 770 KTTH-AM, in Seattle and part of the Entercom family of stations. The show is now aired in approximately 35 US markets and is syndicated by Business Talk Radio. The program, which provides on-air advice to callers, can be heard from 11 A.M.-Noon (Pacific) Sundays live and on the Internet, and is tape-delayed by American Forces Radio to more than 450 stations in 160 countries around the world. It can be heard live on the Internet at www.businesstalkradio.net.

Another great book--especially for women who are thinking of retiring in Mexico--chronicles the adventures of nineteen women who set out on very personal pilgrimages to find, reclaim or redefine the most authentic parts of themselves by living in Mexico. Their stories will inspire you as they hurdle the traditional boundaries of the midlife woman. 

Be sure and read "Midlife Mavericks--Women reinventing their lives in Mexico," by Karen Blue. "Midlife Mavericks" highlights a new trend--unmarried American and Canadian women building better lives for themselves in Mexico. 

To learn more about Karen Blue and read about some of her Mexico experiences, go to Mexconnect.com.

The writer of this article, Susan Dearing is an 18-year resident of Manzanillo, and has several businesses there, including a PADI Dive Center, a real estate company, a boutique, designs and owns web sites including www.gomanzanillo.com, and has written 2 popular guidebooks about Manzanillo and the state of Colima. Her books are a must read for anyone thinking about traveling or moving to Mexico, especially Manzanillo.