CDMX Origins Part 5: Cross Border Investment

Following the debacle with MexLend I decided to go forward with Cross Border Investment. Like MexLend they’re not the lender itself but rather a broker: they have a number of private lenders on file to whom they shop your information and they respond with offers.

The process to get started with CBI was straightforward and easy. The staff, including the owner Josh, are communicative, and professional. It wasn’t long before we had agreed to terms between myself, the lender, and the property owner, and the gears began turning.

The one weird thing I was uncomfortable with was their requirement for a birth certificate. Not the “proof of birth, close-enough” type, the real deal. I tried to get around this but failed: they would not budge on this requirement.

To minimize my squeamishness, I uploaded this form to a Dropbox account which I shared with CBI before immediately deleting it as soon as they had downloaded it. Don’t send really sensitive documents over email.

This process began in November 2020. As I write this it is August 2021 and the deal still has not closed. It is estimated to close before October.

Doing Deals

The seller and I agreed to a sale of $4,325,000 MXP / $209,646.15 USD

The lender and I agreed to the following terms:

  • Loan-to-value: 63%
  • Interest rate: 3.6%
  • Loan term: 180 months
  • Monthly payments: $31,207.83 MXP / $1,592.24 USD

Combined with all the various fees and closing costs, this amounted to a “cash to close” amount of $2,055,824.99 MXP / $103,787.32 USD. Based on the worksheet they provide, this amount would be fully delivered after about 48 days into the process, in my case by mid-January. This would result in an estimated closing date of April 19.

Again, it’s currently mid-August as I type this and the best I can hope for is we can close before October.

I won’t get into the weeds about the exact dynamics of the delays, but here’s sort of how it played out:

  • Hello Joe, please submit Form A
  • Weeks pass
  • Please submit Form B
  • Weeks pass
  • Please submit Form C
  • Weeks pass
  • Unfortunately someone made a typo on your last name on Form A, so please re-sign and submit it
  • Weeks pass
  • The certification of Form B is complete and has been sent to the notary
  • Weeks pass
  • We can’t find the notary, he’s not answering his phone. But we’re on it
  • Weeks pass
  • We found the notary but now Form B’s certification is expired and needs to be re-done. Please sign and re-submit, thanks
  • Weeks pass
  • Boy this notary is really hard to find!
  • We found the notary but he won’t work during a full moon

And so on. The explanations offered by CBI blame, by varying degrees, the appraiser, the notary, the seller, and the Mexican bureaucracy. The seller blames CBI and the Mexican bureaucracy. Regardless of who’s to blame, I’m the one who loses. During this whole time, of course, I am making regular mortgage payments on the condo which I do not yet own.

As I write this, there may be hope of closing before September. To do this I needed to threaten to terminate the contract immediately. This got CBI’s attention and now things may be moving more quickly, but there are no guarantees.

A Bright Spot

My greatest ally during this whole process has been the realtor, MD. For this entire year she has been friendly, helpful, and responsive, and has worked very hard to pressure people to move things along. Sending emails, phoning superiors, going to government offices and pounding the table, etc. She has gone above and beyond for my benefit and I would absolutely work with her again if I ever made the dumb decision to purchase property in Mexico again. She is a tremendous asset to Century 21.

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