"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mexican Real Estate Transactions

We are back in Oaxaca after a three day trip to the coast. Oaxaca is a nice, medium sized city in a broad valley between two mountain ranges, the Sierra Madre Oriente and the Sierra Madre Orientale (That's West and East, to you gringos). We crossed one of these ranges - 100 miles of unbroken hairpin turns, spectacular views, and incredibly vertical villages - to Las Bahias de Huatulco, a region rather than a single town, with a few scattered towns and a series of a dozen or so gorgeous coral studded bays to swim in.


It wasn't just a pleasure trip - we had business. several years ago, Homero bought a property on a hill above one of the little villages and although we had paid for it, we had to finalize the sale and transfer title through a complicated process involving a ton of small town Mexican beaurocracy. Believe it or not, every sale of real estate requires that the buyers, the sellers, and all neighbors who have contiguous properties be present - at the SAME TIME - for an official measuring, which must be done by a government official. All parties must be provided with refreshments and a meal by the buyers. As you can imagine, causing this event to take place requires the powers of a diplomat and/or magician.

That's not the end of it, though. Homero did manage to get the property officially measured, even in the driving rain, but the creation of an official document to be signed by all interested parties had to await the next day, and required more refreshments. Altogether, the process took two full days, and we counted ourselves extremely lucky to have been able to complete it. Now we are the proud owners of a very pretty 1 and 1/3 acre on top of a hill with a 180 degree view of the ocean.

Or Homero is - as an American, I cannot legally own property in Mexico. Nor was I present for any of the official wrangling. That would have thrown some sort of monkey wrench into the works. Fine by me - instead of climbing mountains in the rain, I took the kids to the beach and went snorkeling in the rain. It was lovely.

9 comments:

polly's path said...

so cool! Now on to building your Mexican beach house!!!

Michele B said...

Wow, Aimee - congrats! Funny that you couldn't even be PRESENT. What were the "refreshments" provided, and was Homero in charge of those, or did his family help out? VERY interesting culture!

AnyEdge said...

No Pics?

Olive said...

That sounds amazing, having to climb mountains loaded with the "refreshments"
Did anyone take any pictures?

Aimee said...

I do have some pics, although alas, not of the view because it was raining that day. Uploading vacation pics soon. Refreshments were a case of beer, a case of soft drinks, and a meal of iguana in mole and ... if I understood correctly.... badger. I am really not at all sorry to have missed out on the badger and iguana tacos. I much prefer the shrimp ceviche I was enjoying at the beach.

Aimee said...

Oh Michele, and Homero's sister and brother in law helped out ENORMOUSLY. We couldn't have done it without them, because it's their friend who is the magistrate's cousin who convinced everyone to be there even in the hurricane.

Penelope said...

Oh my god, it took me like 12 whole minutes to realize you meant molé, not iguana in some freaky giant Mexican mole!
You know, Mexican Turduckin, iguana inside a mole inside a badger

Aimee said...

penelope - ewwwwww only you could come up with something even grosser than iguana and badger tacos. Some hideous swollen swamp-beast, furry outside and scaly inside. YUCK

agence immobiliere auch said...

Before signing anything for the transaction, make sure that you only deal with legal nd licensed agent . You can always ask for their license number or check with your local office if they are registered to operate in your area.