The argument, “Well, in the States . . . “ doesn’t get you very far. If anything, it just emphasizes how little you know about Mexico. This is especially true in the resort destinations of Mexico, because many people speak English. With the language barriers removed, a false sense of security is created and it’s often at that time when a foreigner starts to get into trouble when buying real estate. Don’t think you’re back home in the States with the same rules and laws that you’re used to.
Once you cross the border into Mexico, you’re in a different country, PERIOD! The roots of the Mexican legal system come from a combination of Spanish law, which was in place for 300 years and Pre-Columbian indigenous law from the Aztecs, which was the dominant political system when the Spaniards arrived. From the very beginning, Mexico’s legal system was created differently than the American system, which is derived from the English Common law system. That doesn’t mean that there system is better or worse than the American system, it just means that it’s different.
As long as you keep in mind that you’re in a foreign country, that speaks a different language, with a different legal system, different processes and different cultures, and different traditions you’ll be fine. A good rule of thumb is . . . if you wouldn’t do it in the States, don’t do it in Mexico. Another good rule of thumb would be to read ALL documents BEFORE you sign them. In the states we get inundated by the onslaught of legal-eaze in our paperwork and therefore get accustomed to only skimming through documents. In Mexico, slow down. There’s no rush. Take your time and READ your documents carefully. Obviously if they’re in Spanish, you’ll need them to be translated and preferably by a certified translator.
My last comment would be this. All of those differences are what, in my opinion, makes Mexico a great place to get to know. With Mexico having 31 states, you can imagine that the food, accents and customs vary from state to state just like in the United States. If you’re ready for an adventure of a lifetime, get out and get to know Mexico, because it’s probably not what you thought. And don’t forget, when you’re here . . . you’re not there!