notariety

We’re signing a contract tomorrow. It’s called a contrato de promesa de compra/venta. Usually people spell it with no slash and fewer des, but I like it better my way.

We’ll be doing this at a notaría. I was interested to learn that the functions of a notario (usage note: notaría is the notional place where a notario or notaria conducts much of his or her business) in Mexico exceed those of a notary in the United States. [EDIT 2013/10/21: Notarios do not do escrow. In a previous version of this post I said that they do but they do not. I apologize for having contributed to the plethora of bogus information about Mexico, if only for a few months. Again, I repeat: they do not do escrow. What they do do is verify that all the paperwork is properly in order. Additionally and supposedly, they are obliged to assume responsibility if, later, something goes wrong due to screwuppery that they should have detected and stopped. Therefore—so goes the theory—they have a strong incentive to not screw up themselves.]

The contract itself is fairly short, so I read it. It clearly is the result of a template created by taking other contracts and stripping them of specifics (in particular, names and numbers). Then its formatting was fouled up, the spelling of certain words was incorrected, and several internal inconsistencies were added. I might have to sign this document, but I’d never put my name on it, if you know what I mean. Supposedly these details will be ironed out at the notaría; I’m skeptical.

A month later we’ll own our own home.