Recent research revealed that many buyers looking to invest in property today are looking to buy a second or third home.

They're also paying more as there're bidding against other buyers on the same property. With that in mind, Mexico offers an exciting opportunity for investors to diversify their investments.

Authentic Latin American culture, beautiful scenery, great weather as well as affordable real estate are some of the attributes that define Mexico. Whether you dream of a lazy beachfront retreat, a colonial home, or a dramatic Pacific coast lookout, Mexico real estate has it all.

In this article, we will discuss the best real estate opportunities in Mexico for foreign investors. If you’re still not sure if investing in Mexico is the right move, contact us today and we’ll offer you more encouragement.

Can Foreigners Buy Real Estate in Mexico?

The original Mexican constitution barred foreigners from owning property at the coast or borders as a precaution against invading armies. While this is no longer an issue today, a unique approach was formulated to allow foreigners to buy the restricted areas without having to change the constitution.

Foreigners intending to buy property within 50 kilometers from the coast or 100 kilometers from the international border can buy property in Mexico by setting up a fideicomiso. Also known as a bank trust, a fideicomiso is a contract between a financial institution and a beneficiary.

Though you can buy property, you can't hold title. Instead a financial institution preferably a bank will hold the title for you at a fee, as you develop the property as you wish. According to Article 27 of the Mexican constitution, this process is one of the steps involved when buying property. A good realtor should guide you in every step.

Why You Need a Realtor

A realtor can help you understand the real estate market and help you identify options based on your criteria. On their own, buyers can find it challenging to search for properties, especially if they're not physically present or well-versed with the area.

Before you engage one, it's advisable to ask an agent to show you their valid and current SEDETUS-issued license. SEDETUS is the state government agency that is in charge of all real estate activities in Mexico.

You won't need a realtor if you choose to work with the developers of exclusive pre-construction and pre-sales properties. Such developers tend to have all the relevant info so you won’t have to engage a third party. But you can choose to have a realtor tag along if you want a second opinion.

Why Buy Property in Mexico?

Considering the United States is the closest neighbor to the south, today is the best time in the long history of the two nations to diversify your portfolio and invest in Mexico. Not just U.S. citizens, investment opportunities are open to any foreigner looking to take advantage of low prices, potential profits, great weather, and rich culture.

Mexico is also recognized as one of International Living's top retirement destinations. The annual Global Retirement Index ranks Mexico in the top ten preferred global destinations for retirement.

With that in mind, we'll help you find your feet in Mexico real estate, by taking a quick look at Cancun and Tulum. Located on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, both towns have become increasingly popular for anyone looking for an investment, vacation, or retirement property in Mexico.

Cancun Real Estate

An upscale cosmopolitan city, Cancun is one of the most important cities in Central America. A gem of the Mexican Caribbean, Cancun offers the ideal place to spend a vacation, buy a second home, as well as diversify your portfolio. Cancun is divided into two real estate sections: the hotel zone and downtown (El Centro).

Though modern in appearance with high rises and all the amenities you would expect in a home, the older neighborhoods in downtown offer a more authentic view of real Mexico.

In contrast, the hotel zone sparkles with luxury high-rise condos and 5-star hotels along with several shopping malls, restaurants, and nightclubs. Land for sale in Cancun is also available for those who wish to build a custom home or start a business.

Here is a brief description of the available Cancun properties:

  • Varieties of stand-alone homes in gated communities offer a beachfront lifestyle, onsite golfing, and resort-style amenities.
  • Condominium complexes that come in different styles and floorplans are available in the heart of downtown, near the water as well as the surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Boutique suites that offer space-saving floorplans with all the modern necessities are available for those who prefer a simple but comfortable lifestyle.

Condominium Complex: Shark Tower

Located in Puerto Cancun, Shark Tower is one of the most high-end condominium development in Mexico. The motivation behind the Shark Tower design is largely based on the shark´s biology and ecosystem. The tower even hosts a world-class research laboratory dedicated to the research of sharks.

The Shark Tower is an exclusive community that features 134 condos on 20 floors. Unit prices start at USD 807,900 with layouts ranging from 1,236 square feet. The luxurious floor plans offer studio apartments, and 2- to 3 bedrooms.

Residents have access to all of Puerto Cancun´s amenities including a beach club, 250 meters of beach, and a 4,500 square meters shopping mall with boutiques and restaurants. Outdoor aficionados are in for a treat as well. Besides access to a private marina, residents can practice their swing at an exclusive 18-hole golf course designed by Tom Weiskopf.

Other amenities include:

  • Infinity Pool
  • Lounge Pool
  • Elevated Pool
  • Spa
  • Underground Parking
  • Fitness Center
  • Cinema

Hotel Choices: Hotel Xcaret Resort

Hotel choices are many, and Cancun features a variety of hotels ranging from budget to boutique to premium luxury. If you choose to settle on accommodation, you’ll be hard-pressed to find it at Xcaret Mexico.

Set between the Riviera Maya jungle and the shimmering waters of the Caribbean Sea, the Hotel in Xcaret Mexico is the ideal destination to celebrate nature, history, and entertainment. Thanks to its eco-integrating design, Hotel Xcaret Mexico adapts the architecture to the landscape—caves, coves, rivers, and jungle are present throughout the resort.

Because of its sustainable design, Hotel Xcaret Mexico is the first Hotel in the continent of America to be awarded an EarthCheck certification for “Planning and Design”. Enjoy luxury amenities including white sand beaches, spa and wellness, infinity pools, rainforest trails, and a business center among others.

Living in Cancun & Community Highlights

Boredom is not in the vocabulary of most residents living in Cancun. The city is blessed with a long stretch of beautiful white sand beach perfect for wading or swimming in the mild Caribbean surf.

Whether you want to experience the many water activities, spend the day relaxing with a good book, or work on that golden tan, Cancun offers the number one spot for expatriate living.

Residents have easy and quick access to large shopping malls with international brands as well as major grocery stores which stock your favorite American-branded products.

You can even swing by one of the local Mercados or bazaars to explore more traditional shopping. For something more relaxed and quiet, head out to watch a movie in one of Cancun's major movie theaters.

In addition, the location of Cancun International Airport only 20 minutes away from the Hotel Zone allows for the easy exploration of the Yucatan Peninsula. Commuting to Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Merida is also an absolute breeze thanks to the luxury bus, shuttle, and taxi services that serve the area.

Tulum: An Ecological Paradise

Tulum is another popular destination for investment in Mexico. While a decade ago the area only seemed to attract backpackers and travelers on a shoe-string budget, Tulum is today revered for its master-planned communities.

Home to a huge amount of biodiversity, the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve in Tulum was even declared a World Heritage Site in 1987. A 76% growth in tourism saw Tulum’s popularity peak between 2016 and 2017. Besides tourism, another factor that makes buying property in Tulum a great investment is the area’s location.

Real Estate in Tulum

When it comes to housing, Tulum offers plenty of options. Thanks to globalization and digital platforms such as Airbnb, vacation rentals in Tulum real estate have had an important growth. That said, condominiums with concierge service have made the area attractive to both domestic and foreign tourists.

Condominium complexes offer plenty of choices including one, two, three, and four-bedroom condos. Extras include a penthouse with a private roof-top terrace and pool. Besides condos, buyers looking into the area will find an eclectic mix of housing that includes single-family homes and empty lots for sale.

You can even consider the Sian Kan area in Tulum if you prefer a beachfront lifestyle. Because Tulum has limited options for a stand-alone family home, the best option is to buy an empty lot and build a custom home.

But if you prefer to buy a new home in pre-construction, townhomes in small communities offer the best option. Two-story homes with two and three bedrooms are the most common to find.

Condominium Complex: Amira District

In recent years, sustainable construction and architecture have gained momentum in Tulum. This is because more developers are integrating eco-designs that protect the environment. With that in mind, Amira District offers buyers the newest and most amazing eco-friendly development in Tulum.

Located only minutes from the town center of Tulum, in the master-planned gated community of Selva Zama, the complex is surrounded by a vast jungle. Nature lovers will appreciate the proximity to the ruins of Tulum, Coba, and dozens of amazing cenotes that dot the Mayan jungle. Once completed, this exclusive development will feature 520 units.

The new 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom condos and penthouses will offer a variety of layouts and options that suit different needs. Some of the units will offer luxurious features such as swim-up units, garden units, and exclusive penthouses with private rooftops.

Condo amenities include indoor pools on deck, a gym area, multipurpose pavilions, ground-level pools integrated with nature, preferential beach club access, and a restaurant, not to mention gated entry and 24-hour security.

In addition, the complex will utilize sustainable technologies such as solar panels and rainwater collection for clean energy. With delivery scheduled for 2023, these condos are ideal for a second home in paradise or as vacation rentals. Contact us today for presale pricing and options.

Tulum Pre-sale Properties

Because Tulum is more of a pre-construction market, buyers looking into the area can expect to pay a down payment of 30%. Depending on the scope of the project, you may pay the 70% balance at the delivery of your house while transferring the title, or clear it in negotiable monthly installments.

Some developers offer discounts of between 3% and 9% when putting down a down payment of 50% to 80% of the sales price. You'll then have a period of 4 to 18 months until the delivery date to cover the full price of your new property. Remember to factor in closing costs of approximately 7% of the sales price.

Living in Tulum

Nothing compares to living in Tulum when it comes to white-sandy beaches. Though Tulum's ocean is a bit more aggressive, the waters are just as calming as the California coast. Whereas hotels and resorts occupy Tulum’s beach strip, privileged communities such as Luum Zama and Aldea Zama are only moments away.

Thanks to the many cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula, and the gorgeous seaside archeological site, tourist activities in Tulum are also plentiful. Nestled in the world-famous Riviera May, Tulum residents are never far away from other popular destinations to visit such as Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Cancun, Akumal, and many others.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Fideicomiso?

A fideicomiso is a trust that allows a foreign investor to buy property in Mexico. Whether you choose to rent, sell or build on the property, a fideicomiso offers a safe and legal method that grants foreigners all the rights of a Mexican citizen.

Other important fideicomiso features include:

  • One or more individuals can hold a fideicomiso. This means that spouses can be co-owners and they can even list their heirs.
  • A fideicomiso can last up to 50 years and can be renewed by the owner or their heirs.
  • With setup costs ranging from USD 500 to USD 1,000 along with maintenance fees of approximately USD 500 and USD 700 per year, a fideicomiso adds more time and cost to the buying process.
  • A single fideicomiso allows international investors to buy multiple properties in Mexico.
  • The owner can easily transfer the trust when they're ready to sell.

What is the Purpose of a Notaria?

After selecting the property, you will need a notaria to scrutinize the paperwork and make it official. A notaria in Mexico is an experienced lawyer licensed by the Federal Government and the State. The duties of a notaria include:

  • Verifying all real estate transactions
  • Perform a title search on the property
  • Research the chain of ownership
  • Ensure the potential seller is authorized to transact in the property
  • Confirm no third parties lay claim to the property

Quite often the buyer will select the notaria though it’s a decision both buyer and seller can share. Since any legit contract in Mexico must be in Spanish, having a notary examine the sales contract gives the buyer peace of mind.

Can the Mexican Government Seize my Property?

Unless you acquired the property illegally or you're performing illegal activities on the property, the Mexican government has no legal right to dispossess you of your rightful property. However, under the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the government may directly or indirectly seize property except for a public purpose. A good example is land meant for building vital infrastructures such as roads, bridges, or railways.

Posted by Richard Soto on
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