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House Hunting in … Mexico

Category: Finance,Real Estate

“Once we have a listing, it will sell in one or two months — very quick,” she said. “The little bit we have downtown really flies.” But a home priced at $250,000 or less in the city center is likely a fixer-upper, she said.

Houses in the countryside, like this property, tend to stay on the market longer, as buyers are scarce, agents said. One growth area has been buyers investing in property where they can grow agave for the production of tequila, a booming business in the area, Mr. Ehrenberg said.

About 20 percent of the buyers in the state of Oaxaca are foreigners, primarily from the United States and Canada, Mr. Williams said. The number is higher along the southern coast — about a 40-minute flight from the city — where the popular tourist destinations of Puerto Escondido and Huatulco draw foreign buyers.

The city of Oaxaca tends to appeal to a different type of international buyer than Mexico’s beach cities do, Ms. Perez Islas said. Most are looking for a second home or a place to retire, and they are attracted by the cultural and historic riches in the city and surrounding area.

“People pick Oaxaca because they want something unique,” she said. “They want to live in a different culture.”

There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Mexico, except along the coast and borders, said Jonathan A. Pikoff, a lawyer based in Cabo San Lucas. But are still complexities. Large portions of land in Oaxaca are controlled by the local communities, which can restrict ownership rights, he said. (This property has a private deed that conveys full ownership, Mr. Williams said.)

The notary — a key player in any transaction, agents said — certifies the sale and ensures that all the documents are prepared correctly.

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