Real Estate

Beware of Land Without Water

Land without water has very little value, so it's vital to check that your purchase is well served

Illustration of Land and Water Resource

In developed countries, potable water piped into a home is often taken for granted.  When you buy a house in Phoenix, for example, you’d expect drinking water to be supplied to the property without any second thoughts about the matter.

When you’re buying property in Mexico, whether it’s a built home, and especially when investing in land upon which you intend to build your home, it’s vital to know exactly what the water supply arrangements are, because it may not be as straightforward as you might expect.

Land (or property) without a reliable water source has very little value, so it’s especially important to check this matter on your deeds and covenants before you agree to the purchase, or know what arrangements exist locally (for example, rain collection in season, a local well, and water delivery trucks) to provide the house with a reliable water supply.

In Mexico’s well established towns and cities, water is most usually piped directly to the property from the town or city’s water mains, routed through a water meter by which you pay according to your consumption.  Mains water is relatively inexpensive and, although it is usually fine for washing, bathing, and cooking, it might not be directly potable.

If the property you’re planning to buy is not served by a mains water supply, then you must establish — in certain terms — what water supply arrangements are in place, or can be put into place to supply the property.

Properties in Mexico usually get their water from:

  • a mains water system, which is usually metered; or
  • a local community water system (or water well); or
  • a private local water well which might also be part of the property itself; or
  • a combination of rainwater collection (in season) and water-truck deliveries.

You can learn about water supply options here.

If the property is not served by a water mains system, don’t take anyone’s word or hear-say about other sources.  If the water source is a local well, this should be clearly stipulated on the deeds or related covenant and legal access to the well should be checked and verified by the Notary Public dealing with your property transaction.

If the property is not already served by a mains water supply that exists locally, you might be able to get your property connected to it.  This procedure can be time-consuming and expensive.  You should consult with the local municipality as well as a good local architect about the possibility and costs involved.

Modern realty developments in Mexico are usually served by all utilities, including water.  If the water is sourced from a local well, a good developer will have made sound legal arrangements for the development to be properly served by that water source.  Once again, ask your Notary Public to check this detail if you’re purchasing a property from a realty developer.

For more information about matters related to home purchase in Mexico, connect to our extensive guides to Mexican Real Estate.

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