When searching the greater Puerto Peñasco area for larger parcels of land, you may encounter land that is part of an ejido. These parcels could be agricultural, industrial, or even beachfront and are not uncommon especially with rural areas in Mexico. Many of the ejido land parcels have already been ‘privatized’ for sale, however, some have not. Use solid due diligence when acquiring ejido land. The main difference will be the amount of time and money needed to close on the property, with private parcels being able to close much more efficiently than those that haven’t completed this stage yet.
If you choose to purchase ejido land, have an open mind and be patient. As with anything, sometimes you have to wait a while to get a good deal. Those parcels that are not privatized yet, probably still need signatures from ejido members to finalize, or they need to agree to the terms. When there are few members the process can be fairly painless, however, some ejidos have dozens or hundreds of members, and trying to get them all together to sign can be like hearding cats. Expect to hear the word mañana a lot. Some of the local ejidos around Rocky Point are: Las Lagrimas, San Rafael, Lopez Aceves, and Miramar.
BELOW IS A BASIC SUMMARY ON EJIDO LAND FOR PUERTO PENASCO, SONORA, MEXICO:
Ejido (Agricultural) Lands in Mexico have a long history in how they came into being. Essentially, they are similar to "commons land". After the 1910 revolution, communities and peasants were handed strips of land, in the main, to grow crops on, and they are called "ejidos". The ejidos are usually owned by a community of local people and the land is passed down from generation to generation within the communities which own the parcels.
You CAN buy ejido land. Keep in mind the sale requires the agreement of the whole community that 'owns' it. The process takes time and particular expertise in the field, and there are firms which specialize in this area of property law and have a good track record of transferring land from "commons" into private ownership. For example, many big resorts in Mexico once on ejido lands are now in private ownership. Although smaller parcels of land too, may be successfully and legally transferred into private hands provided the correct legal procedures and conditions are fulfilled.
Some big property developers may negotiate to buy a big plot of ejido land with a view to "fractionalizing" it (usually introducing water, sewerage, and electric to the land as well), to develop property and/or to sell off the individual plots to small property investors. Under these circumstances, the land is often re-classified and made available for private ownership. The process is usually undertaken by specialized professionals who understand Mexican property law intimately and the procedures can go on from a year to several years. (sometimes this is what ‘mañana’ means).
There was a time when ejido lands were best avoided by private investors, but times have changed. Law firms exist who can assist small, private investors to secure ejido land for private purchase. If you choose to purchase ejido land, you will need to factor the additional legal and consulting fees, as well as adjust your time-scale expectations, as the negotiations and procedures to secure ejido land are longer and more complex than passing the title of land already in private ownership.
Prestige Properties recommends that you seek appropriate legal counsel when considering the purchase of land that is (or might be) ejido land— whether or not a physical building exists presently on the land.
Part of a Notario Publico's duty is to check the history and for proper title of the land, and if it was ejido land, the Notario should ensure that the correct procedures have been followed so that private title ownership is assured. If the Notario tells you that the land is (or was) ejido land, then you may also wish to seek specialized professional legal counsel to establish the legal position of the property, independently of the Notario.
Note: It is advisable to purchase Title Insurance if the property you are purchasing is ejido or ex-ejido land. Although regardless of the type of property, Title Insurance is a shrewd investment.
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