Spanish Translations for Purchasing Real Estate in Mexico

Earlier we’ve blogged about legal translation in the context of validity of real estate transactions conducted in a foreign language.  And while multilingual lease agreement translations go hand in hand with successful transnational commercial real estate transactions and are of paramount importance to the corporate legal counsel, professional Spanish-English and English-Spanish translation of miscellaneous legal documents is equally important for Americans who want to buy real estate in Mexico.

In order for a foreigner to acquire rights over Mexican real estate in the Restricted Zones along the border and the coast (namely, within 100 kilometers of any Mexican border, and within 50 kilometers of any Mexican coastline), it must be done through a trust (Fideicomiso). With the trust, real estate is administered by a licensed bank on behalf of the U.S. citizen or company, giving the American the right to act as owner for all practical purposes – including the right to the full use, enjoyment and profit from the real estate. Another important step in acquiring property in Mexico is to get permission, through application and registration, with Mexico’s Department of Foreign Affairs.

When both creating the trust with the bank and registering with the government, it is essential for one to have a Spanish-English translation, and well as an English-Spanish translation of all the documents agreed to. Any errors in the document could lead to ownership problems in the future. More so, when negotiating a purchase with a seller, it is wise to have a Spanish language interpreter available to understand what is being said and – more importantly – what questions need to be answered. For example, finding out the status of title is essential, a query that requires substantial research. This too, of course, will require a foreign language translation.

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