Trans Caribbean Times
Newsletter Yearly Archives 2006
Vol. 6 Issue 8 | Top 10 Myths on Owning Ocean front Property in Mexico

There are many misconceptions regarding the purchase of ocean front property in Mexico. As a brokerage company, we are well informed about your rights to own property in Mexico, and would like to share the following with you:

Myth # 1- I am a foreigner; therefore, I cannot own ocean front property in Mexico.

Fact- Beginning in 1994, the Mexican Government has allowed foreigners to own ocean front property in Mexico, via their own Mexican Corporation. The Corporation, being a legal entity, holds title to the property, and you own the Corporation. You need at least two people as stockholders, you and a colleague; attorney; accountant; family member; etc. Your Mexican Corporation can own ocean front property, even if, its owners are foreigners to Mexico.

Myth #2- I need to have a Mexican National as a shareholder, to own property in Mexico.

Fact- This is no longer true. Non-Mexicans can now own 100% of a Mexican Corporation, and this Mexican Corporation can own 100% of the purchased ocean front property.

Myth #3- I need to have a Bank Trust, and pay high annual fees to purchase property in Mexico.

Fact- Before the Mexican Corporation system was passed into law, the only way to own property on a Mexican beach was to form a Mexican Trust. The Bank is the Trustee and you are the Beneficiary. You would then need to pay the bank $300-$700 a year to administer the trust. In addition, in the trust system you need to hire a lawyer to do the paper work. The lawyer will charge about $2,000. U.S. for the paperwork, and then the bank will charge you another $2,000 U.S. for the creation of the Trust. If you wanted to sell your land, you need specific permission from the bank to do so. Once again, you would need to hire a lawyer, pay him/her again, pay the Bank, etc… If you wanted to purchase another piece of land, you would need to form another Trust, and go through the same process. It is time consuming and costly. You no longer have to go through all of that. Today you can form a Mexican Corporation, this method is simple and affordable.

Myth #4- The Mexican Government can take my land after I purchase.

This publication has been designed at the request of many of our past customers as well as from those not yet involved with the Costa Maya but whom would also like to be kept informed on what is going on. For those that are already owners of some part of the Costa Maya – congratulations. Infrastructure continues at a steady rate and with it comes increased property values. For those still not involved, don’t wait. The time to buy is before the government-funded infrastructure is completed. Not after. This newsletter will provide bi-monthly updates on the Costa Maya, alternating in the areas of food, lot prices, infrastructure progress, weather and wild life. We will be answering popular questions as well as questions by request in the next few issues.

Fact- Not true. The Mexican Government can only take your land, if you fail to pay your real estate taxes for an extended period time. Just like in the United States, there is due process. Foreign investment is a major part of the Mexican economy, and is so, because land ownership in Mexico is very stable.

Myth #5- The properties in Mexico do not have a clear and transferable Title and I cannot build on the land I purchase.

Fact- Having a clear and transferable title is very important, not only in Mexico, but all over the world. All of the properties Trans Caribbean Trust Company represents have a clear and transferable title and are buildable. We guarantee this in our transactions. If we are not representing certain properties on the Costa Maya, it is because the seller could not provide us with a clear and transferable title.

Myth #6- The seller of the property will get my deposit before the closing of the property has taken place, and if this happens I lose my entire deposit.

Fact- There are many sellers who conduct business in this manner. This is not the case with Trans Caribbean Trust Company. We hold the buyer’s deposit in our escrow account. The transfer of the deposit is given to the seller once the property has gone through closing, and a clear title is transferred to the buyer. We do request a 10% deposit to take a property off the market. This is to show the seller your good faith in purchasing his/her property. Our policy states, that if for any reason you do not wish to complete the purchase of your property, we will refund to you the entire amount of your deposit.

Myth #7- Closing costs are very expensive in Mexico.

Fact- Closing costs can be very expensive in Mexico, but it depends entirely on who handles the closing. Trans Caribbean Trust Company has worked to make closings as efficient as possible. We have negotiated with the sellers, to have them pay for the entire closing expense including the formation of your Mexican Corporation. The price you are quoted on a property, is the price you pay. You will have no surprises.

Myth #8- I am only leasing the land, I don’t actually own it, and after 99 years I have to give the land back to the Mexican Government.

Fact- This is not true if you form a Mexican Corporation. The Mexican Corporation is the system we recommend to our clients.

Myth #9- I have to build a structure on my ocean front property within five years.

Fact- There is no time limit for construction on property in Mexico. Typically, an area which requires construction within a certain time period, is trying to artificially boost the value of the property with these improvements. Mexican Caribbean ocean front property, does not need help to increase its value, it stands on its own merit. The value is on the location, not on what is built on it. Be wary of areas that tell you that you must build within a certain time period. It can mean that the value of the land is not very high and is not expected to increase, unless you place a structure on it.

Myth #10- Annual taxes are extraordinarily high on the Costa Maya.

Fact- Real estate taxes are remarkably low on the Costa Maya. At least we think so. The tax rate is about $50USD for an average ocean front lot. So, if you have a double lot, the taxes would be about This publication has been designed at the request of many of our past customers as well as from those not yet involved with the Costa Maya but whom would also like to be kept informed on what is going on. For those that are already owners of some part of the Costa Maya – congratulations. Infrastructure continues at a steady rate and with it comes increased property values. For those still not involved, don’t wait. The time to buy is before the government-funded infrastructure is completed. Not after. This newsletter will provide bi-monthly updates on the Costa Maya, alternating in the areas of food, lot prices, infrastructure progress, weather and wild life. We will be answering popular questions as well as questions by request in the next few issues. $100USD, or the cost of taking your family out to dinner. What do you think?

Now that we have cleared up all of those doubts about owning an ocean front property on the Mexican Caribbean, what are you waiting for? Become part of the Costa Maya today! In our last issue of the Costa Maya Times I promised we would have a Costa Maya Margarita recipe.

If you would like to receive a copy of this recipe, please e-mail me. Also, if you would like to set up an appointment to view properties with us, or if you have questions, please feel free to e-mail me at:

Yury DiPasquale, Sr. Correspondence Administrator

Trans Caribbean Trust Company, Mexico.

Look for the Costa Maya Enchilada recipes in our next Issue of the Costa Maya Times.

Hi there! 

I am a Coatimundi. My scientific name is Nasua narica, but you can just call me Coati. I am extremely cute, harmless, and I really love to hang out with my family. I live on the Costa Maya, among other tropical areas of Mexico. Keep an eye out, because you may see me strolling through your ocean front property with my family, in groups of 3 or more. See ya soon on the Costa Maya!


Vol. 5 Issue 2 | Cool Caribbean Cats


The Margay, also known as the Long Tailed Spotted Cat, is similar in appearance to the Ocelot. Size wise, the Margay only grows to between 30 and 50 inches, and weighs between 9 and 20 pounds. In relation to its small body, the Margay displays longer legs and tail than its other feline relatives. The Margay also has extremely large eyes, which aids in its nighttime vision.

Margay in a Tree
This elusive cat has escaped most efforts to study its complex life history, largely because it spends most of its time in the treetops. Like many other cats, these medium sized felines usually rest during the day when most of their prey are hiding, then hunt from evening to early morning.What is amazing about these animals is that unlike most other cats, Margays have become physically adapted to life in trees, with the ability to rotate their hind feet inward so that they can climb down trees as well as up (housecats, of course, often get stuck up in trees). The Margay hunts almost exclusively by night and its prey includes birds, small monkeys, tree frogs and insects which inhabit theforest canopy. However it has been known to supplement its diet with fruit from the trees. Little is known of this small cat, but the pressures of hunting for its fur and for the pet trade has led the Margay to be threatened in many areas of its habitat.
Tiny Margay


Oncillas are one of the smallest cat species in the Americas, averaging around 5 pounds as adults. Their coat is light brown to rich ochre or grey, with very dark brown or black spots and blotches. Their under-parts are lighter with solitary black spots. Limbs are spotted on the outside, and the long tail has spots at the root, developing into black rings. They are daintily built cats, with a narrow head and a white line above the eyes. The large ears are rounded and black on the outside with a conspicuous white central spot. The irises are golden or light brown. The fur is firm, lies close to the skin and does not turn forward in the nape region as it does on the other feline species.

Oncillas are good climbers, and very agile in the trees, but they do not walk slowly down tree trunks in a headfirst position as does the Margay. Large oncillas and small margays are about the same size and share the same habitats,but oncillas generally take smaller prey. This allows them to share their ranges with the Margay with little competition for food. The limited information available on their food habits suggests that they eat rodents, small primates, birds, insects, and reptiles. They are thought to be nocturnal and solitary, except for mating.

Oncilla cat in a tree

Oncilla on the ground


This cat is unique in its appearance among the feline family in that it more closely resembles a weasel. Jaguarundi’s have slender, elongated bodies, short legs, a small flattened head, long “otter-like” tail, and a sleek, unmarked coat. Adults can weigh as little as 6 pounds or as much as 20. They stand 10-14 inches at the shoulder, and reach a length of 35-55 inches. Coats occur in 3 main color variations: black, brownish-grey,

or red. Any or all colors can occur in a single litter, but generally the darker colors are found in the rain forest, while the paler color is found in the drier environments.

When it was originally discovered, it was thought that the red form of Jaguarundi was a separate species of cat from the other colors. This species was called the Eyra. However, it was found that both forms of cat could appear in the same litter, suggesting that they are the same species. The Jaguarundis sticks close to the ground when hunting and sleeping. They also swim well, and have no fear of water. In fact, in most areas of the Caribbean they are known as the ‘Otter Cat’. They don’t usually climb, but when they do, they don’t climb very high. They seem to prefer eating birds (including domestic poultry), but will also eat many other small animals, such as rodents, frogs, insects, and fish.

Unlike their bigger feline cousins that tend to sleep with their arms sprawled out in front, and their tails stretched out behind, a Jaguarundi will sleep with their arms folded under themselves, and their tails wrapped around them into a cat-ball! All of these small felines are timid, and generally shy of humans. If you happen to come across one in the wild, don’t be scared, as they will probably be more afraid of you! Remember that as cute as they may seem, they are still wild animals and should be appreciated from afar! Exercise caution as not too startle or spook them, and you should be able to get a great photo or two!

Andrew Synyshyn

Vol. 5 Issue 1 | The Mexican Flamingo

With their bright feathers, strongly hooked bills, and long thin legs, Flamingos are among the most easily recognized water-birds. The Mexican Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber) is the largest and most brightly colored species; with their outer layer of scarlet pink feathers and black primary undercoat.

Pink is the Perfect Color!

Why are Flamingos pink? The cause of the Flamingo’s “pretty pink plumage” is related to what a Flamingo eats. The Flamingo’s diet consists largely of blue-green and red algae, small insects, crustaceans, molluscs, and small fish. These food sources, primarily the algae, are rich in alpha and beta cartenoid (think carrots) pigments, and it is these pigments that give the Flamingo’s feathers their color.

The Flamingo also has very distinctive eating habits. Long legs let Flamingos wade into deeper water than most other birds to look for food. To eat, Flamingos need to hold their bill upside down in the water! They feed by sucking water and mud in at the front of their bill, and then pumping it out again at the sides. Here, briny plates called lamellae act like tiny filters, trapping shrimp and other small water creatures for the Flamingo to eat. For big meals such as molluscs, and larger crustaceans, they have to wade into shallow water and dig through the mud. Sometimes they swim to get their food, and sometimes by “upending” (tail feathers in the air, head underwater) like ducks.

The More the Merrier

Flamingos are social birds that like to live in groups of varying sizes, from a few pair to sometimes thousands or tens of thousands. They appear to be monogamous, with mating pairs staying together over a lifetime. Not only are Flamingo’s gregarious and adapt well to living in close quarters with one another, but have also developed distinct displays which they exhibit in synchrony (for a description of these displays, check out the ‘Flingo Lingo’ box below!).

Pick Famingo close-up Flock of flamingo Feeding flamingo Close-up Flying flamingos

Up, Up, and Away!

In order to fly, flamingos need to run a few paces to gather speed. This speed is not related to the ground but rather to the air, so they usually take off facing into the wind. In flight, flamingos are quite distinctive, with their long necks stretched out in front and the equally long legs trailing behind. Their outstretched wings showcase the pretty black and red (or pink) coloration. When flying, flamingos flap their wings fairly rapidly and almost continuously. And, as with most other flamingo activities, they usually fly together in large flocks. The flamingos follow each other closely, using a variety of formations that help them take advantage of the wind patterns.

Flamingos make their home in lagoons and lakes where there is lots of shallow water. Keep an eye out for them as you travel around the shores of the Yucatan Peninsula. Remember that man is a Flamingo’s worst enemy, so take a picture and move on; let’s keep these beautiful birds a part of Mexico!