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Real estate business in Mexico, Canada, Guam, and Central America operates
differently from the United States.
Some similarities include legal formalities (with professionals such as real estate agents generally employed to assist the buyer); taxes need to be paid (but typically less than those in U.S.); legal paperwork will ensure title; and a neutral party such as a title company will handle documentation and money to make the smooth exchange between the parties. Increasingly, U.S. title companies are doing work for U.S. buyers in Mexico and Central America.
Prices are often much lower than prices in countries such as the U.S., but in many locations, such as Mexico City, prices of houses and lots are as expensive as houses and lots in countries such as the U.S. U.S. banks have begun to give home loans for properties in Mexico, but, so far, not for other Latin American countries.
In Mexico, foreigners cannot buy land or homes within 50 km (31 mi) of the coast or 100 km (62 mi) from a border unless they hold title in a Mexican Corporation or a Fideicomiso (a Mexican trust).34 In Honduras, however, foreigners may buy beach front property directly in their name. There are different rules regarding certain types of property: ejidal land ¡ª communally held farm property ¡ª can be sold only after a lengthy entitlement process, but that does not prevent them from being offered for sale.
Real estate agents in Costa Rica currently do not need a license to operate, but the transfer of property requires a lawyer. CCCBR (Camara Costarricense de Corredores de Bienes Raices) is the only official body that represents the Real Estate industry to the government. The Costa Rica MLS is the official MLS of the Costa Rica Chamber of Real Estate Brokers Board. The Chamber institutes the rules, regulations and ethical guide for officially licensed brokers in Costa Rica.
In Thailand it is possible for a foreigner to own a condominium freehold provided ownership does not exceed 49% of the total building; it is not easily possible for a foreigner to own land but normal practice is that property can be purchased then Land acquired under a 30 year lease option; Until recently it was considered by most legal advisors that the ownership of land by a foreigner through a Thai Limited Company was acceptable, although the Law clearly states that foreigners cannot own land in Thailand. The Government has now made clear that such ownership may be illegal. The legitimacy of such ownership depends on the status of the Thai Shareholders who must be shown to be active and financially participating shareholders.
In the Philippines, real estate is an area for growth. Aside from the development of high rise buildings in the Greater Manila area, nearby provinces are now seeing much land development with its continuous expansion for horizontal development projects in the nearby provinces such as Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga and Batangas.
The major expansion in vertical real estate development outside Metro Manila south of the metropolis, Cebu and Iloilo in the Visayas, Cagayan de Oro and Davao in Mindanao, where medium‑to‑high rise buildings are beginning to appear.
Foreigners are generally not allowed to hold more than a 40% interest in any land, although there is an exemption for pensioners who deposit more than US$50,000 in a specified account.5 Philippine rules distinguish between a house and the land it sits on.The legal arrangement for the right to occupy a dwelling in some countries is known as the housing tenure. Types of housing tenure include owner occupancy, tenancy, housing cooperative, condominiums (individually parceled properties in a single building), public housing, squatting, and cohousing. The occupants of a residence constitute a household. Download