buying property in Mexico

Hello All,

I currently live in the Bay area in California I am 26 years old and love to travel and would love to relocate I just know I dont want to stay in the US any longer. It is not for me. I no longer want to be a part of the life here. I just want a simple, relaxed, peaceful life. I guess I would love to just start over and leave this old life behind. In order for me to relocate I would need to buy property or somewhere I can call home. I was hoping someone could provide me with some insight how hard is it to buy property in Mexico (preferably Tulum) while still working in the US? How does this work? My idea of this is buying a home and relocating in about 2-4 years while paying the monthly mortgage?

Hello Animabeya,

Buying property is not difficult in Mexico and the process is very similar to the US. My wife and I bought a house in San Miguel de Allende three years ago and the transaction was more simple than any we've made in the US. Now let me make it clear, one huge difference in our purchase was that we bought the house for cash, there was no loan so therefore no appraisal or loan approval. Only in the last few years have banks begun to make loans on property. My understanding is that both Mexican and American banks will make loans to Americans wishing to purchase of property in Mexico.

You do not need to live in Mexico to own property, nor to you have to have even a Temporary Residence Visa. You can visit your property on a Tourist Visa. The caveat is that if you do not have either Temporary or Permanent Resident status you may have a hefty tax bill when you go to sell the property. So when you decide to head south in the 2-4 years you mention you should begin the process to obtain residency.

Find a reputable real estate agent or broker and get the most up to date information on the process and laws. Have them find something in your budget and decide if you will purchase outright with cash or delve into the financing option.

Finally, as for Tulum...Though I can't tell you the specifics I am aware that proximity to the shore will make big difference in whether or not you can actually purchase property but instead lease it. Things may have changed in the last few years and I hear there are situations going on now along that coast where Mexican nationals are claiming that they have the right to property owned or inhabited by those who feel they themselves do. In some of those situations property is being forcibly seized by those claiming rights to that.

Again, start with a reputable realtor. You may also check with Expat.com forum member Sonia Diaz, she  might have solid information.

We are in the process of building and buying (via trust) a condo at Rosarito Beach.  I haven't found any US or US affiliated MX banks that will lend to US citizens.  I recently found a mortgage broker who will.  I haven't used them as it's still to far out.  Terms are a little high, but workable if you need to finance a purchase.  www.crossborderinvestment.com

Hello again animabeya,

I have additional information on buying/owning property in Mexico. This was gained from reading the 2019 Mexican Immigration Guide provided on experience.com.

"Temporary residents cannot own land directly if it is located within 50 kilometers of the beach or 100 kilometers from the Mexican land border, but they can own property near beaches and land borders through a trust, or through a Mexican corporation and have legal right to the property in all but name."

This condition also applies to Permanent residents.

I hope this helps.

Stuart

Here's two www sites that address a lot about buying/owning in Mexico, most of the info is directed toward Baja, which is where we are buying so I haven't looked much outside of there. 

www.baja123.com   www.discoverbaja.com

Thank you so much for all this information! you are awesome :)

Wow oftly young to be giving up on US. Hopefully things will get better there. Anyway my wife and I moved from Maui Hi due to the increasing prices and massive tourism invasion. It got discovered. We live in Costalegre a pristine coastline south of PV. We lived here for one year first just to see how it was. Rented a home for less than $100 month! Two years later we built something and are lovin life! *** Aloha y Adios amigo. https://abnb.me/4naIAo1icV

Moderated by Diksha 11 months ago
Reason : The promotion of your own services is not allowed on the forum.
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

I just saw this thread and I would like to make a contribution based on actual experience.  My wife and I just made the first payment towards owning a property is a gated community in Xpu-ha.  Our search for property started by browsing through candidate properties in Point2 Homes Quintana Roo.  .  Select the town or city and start looking at the listings.

Before I continue, I recommend buying this ebook from Amazon called the Complete Guide to Buying a Second Home or Real Estate in Mexico. 

I have no economic interest with this book or its author.  I am just sharing my experience.  This book guides a potential Mexican real estate buyer through the purchase process and everything you need to know legally and by the book (i.e., according to rules and regulations).  This book helped me understand the buying process and made we aware of the steps that one need to take to buy Mexican property and which properties to avoid (i.e., avoid getting tempted to buy Ejido land!). 

If you are considering purchasing property in Tulum, most of these properties fall within the 50km range from the coast or land border are considered within the Restricted Zone.  They will require the purchaser to secure a Fideicomiso or Trust held by a Mexican Bank.   The trust allows foreigners to acquire land within the Restricted Zone and enjoy its benefits of a property owner.

The next step in your search is to contact a reputable real estate agent.  We are using a very nice lady from Century 21's office in PDC and she has been our champion throughout our search.   She's a local and speaks/writes excellent english. 

Schedule a trip to Tulum and line up all the properties you've found online and those recommended by your real estate agent so you can go see and visit them.

Buying property is quite easy.  The difficult part is dealing with the Seller and their whims.  Buying a pre-sale property in a development whether condo or gated community is very straight-forward and easy.  Buying property from a private seller means back and forth negotiations of price and conditions of sale.  Take note that most private property sellers (Mexicans) will want to minimize, if not avoid, their exposure to capital gains tax when they sell off their property.  So be prepared to consider their selling conditions.  You may find them perfectly acceptable or not.   Your real estate agent and lawyer (if you decide to hire one) will help you navigate the purchase process and let you know if they are beginning to feel uncomfortable with the Seller's terms and conditions of sale.

As far as I know, it is impossible for foreigners to apply for a mortgage from a Mexican financial institution.  They won't let foreigners exchange US$ for Mexican Pesos in banks where the exchange rates are much better than in the Casa de Cambio.  I am assuming that you will be applying for a mortgage or some kind of loan through a US financial institution and pay the monthly dues.

I hope the information above will be helpful to you.

Do you yourself a favor and don't buy at first. Rent in an area you think you'll enjoy for a year or so. Then after you assimilate you'll see the pro's and con's to make an informed decision of where/when to buy.

Several  posters on these boards over time have suggested strongly that once you decide on Mexico as a place to live you rent for  a while in the community or area you have tentatively chosen before buying to be certain that that area and that property will suit your long term needs.  That is the decision of each reader but here is the other side of that coin.  We retired to Mexico at ages 59 and 54 respectively  first deciding on the village of Ajijic, Jalisco on Lake  Chapala in west central Mexico.  That was 20 years ago.  15 years ago we also bought a second home in a far different region  in the extreme  south of Mexico  in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas.  These areas  have significantly different characteristics. Jalisco State is a relatively affluent state and Lake Chapala  has a population that includes a large number or foreign retirees.  Chiapas, on the other hand,  is Mexicos poorest state and very few foreign folks move or retire there except a number of Central Americans. In both Ajijic and San Cristobal we purchased homes    immediately  upon choosing the communities in which we felt we would  enjoy residing as retirees.  Because we made and accomplished the purchase decisions  expeditiously  and without hesitation  rather than rent for a time while becoming accustomed to the two respective communities, we acquired the properties we  really  wanted in the communities we  liked and here, some 20 years after embarking on this adventure, we have no regrets that we jumped at the chance to own properties we immediately desired to own upon identifying them as opportunities.  Had we hesitated and rented for  a time initially, no doubt we would probably have lost the opportunities in both cases to reside in homes we found attractive and pleasant.  If you are a prospective homeowner planning to move to Mexico for whatever reason, it is your decision but you need to know that  there is much to be said for the notion of buying a property you really like  expeditiously rather than muddling about wondering if that purchase is in your long term interests.  Both purchases of ours have worked out well over the years for us and had we hesitated. we probably would have lost both opportunities to reside in homes that we found suited us well.  To each his or her own but always remember that procrastination  has its downside. I am now 78, not interested in moving again in all probability  and, as Elmer Fudd knows,  it is important to grab that wabbit before he jumps in his hole.

Buenas tardes,

I have not purchased real estate in Mexico. Thus, my comments are based on a lot of reading the experiences of others and a 40 plus year USA career in real estate, primarily commercial real estate including teaching at the university level.

I am replying to this specific EXCELLENT advice about renting first for MANY months. While I am a Permanent Resident of Mexico, I use Airbnb to relocate every few months.  I find that I love each place I live in, but also find that some aspects are less than desirable.  For me, the Riviera Maya is just too hot and humid in the summer.  I'm in Playa del Carmen right now (and have been for over 2 months with another 2 months to go) and it's even quite hot (unless you run the A/C all the time) or live in the water. That said, I'm a diver and this coast has excellent diving, whereas the west coast is markedly inferior.

An additional consideration is that eventual time when you want/need to liquidate, which can be soon (unexpected illness or a untimely death in the family).  I have read that selling can be a MANY - YEAR process.  Since you're coming from the states where the number of days a property is marketed before a sale occurs (often called DOM or days on market) ranges up to 90 days (sometimes more, sometimes less), it is important to be aware of the comparative LACK of liquidity of Mexican real estate. One would not be wise to bring a USA mindset that you could sell (for a profit) within a few months.  My reading suggests that one should plan on YEARS and not really expect much of a profit.  Of course, some will reply with stories of having made a killing.  It does happen, but planning on it, would not be prudent IMO. 

Best wishes on your endeavor.  I'm still working myself, so if you have questions on working remotely, earning $US and spending $MEX, then post your questions and many will respond, I would expect.

Steve

I have read that selling can be a MANY - YEAR process.

I live in Querétaro (central Mexico), and the above is accurate for the market here. At the very least, selling could take multiple months. Homes sit on the market for a long time compared to what I've seen and experienced in Massachusetts.

Oddly enough, home prices will often go up year to year as they sit on the market. I learned of this while looking to buy a home over the past few months. Ultimately, decided against it because I could return to the US to live in a few years and don't want to be hamstrung with a home that won't sell.

Excellent observations Steve,

You are right, with the economy being unstable and potential weather issues flexibility is the key.

One of my neighbors had her house for sale for over two years before it sold. Someone else spent a lot of money to create a "rental property" then put a well above market price on the property. It has been sitting there for over a year now with no takers.

Buying major items in Mexico is very complex. Title issues are a big factor. It's not unusual to have numerous people on a title. Sometimes, friends, family, and acquaintances have signed on to pay for the property. Each one of those people have to be found and they have to sign off on the sale. The idea that everyone needs a house, and that it's an investment is an old concept which doesn't hold true any longer.

Make sure Tulum is really for you is the best advice I can give you! It is very different living vs only vacationing there. Highly suggest to research other areas as well and compare. You pay top dollar for a tiny property in a glorified jungle in my opinion in Tulum, as well not much to do there other than the beach which is far away. I have lived in the area and know it well.
AS well do not buy into promised ROI;s in that area! I see several environmental issues happening in Tulum area in the future, suggest to watch the Dark Side of Tulum. Sorry for all the negatives, just want you to be informed.
Foreigners can own with a trust, see below for more detailed info:
https://cabancondosmexico.com/en/blog/h … in-mexico/

hello, beachseeker ,

I have to say your word of caution on Tulum is justified. I live in a hot area of Mexico, hot and humid and when I visited Tulum for a week. I figured I would have no problem visiting a hot , humid city but I was wrong.

I found Tulum to be a fairly small pleasant city except for the unbelievable heat and humidity. If someone is seeking a jungle atmosphere that is definitely the place to go.  Bugs are also much more of an issue. I honestly don't have a totally clear memory of specifics from the trip because I was just so focused on leaving. The lady at the hotel warned me but I figured I was immune, I was not

homes here r more expensive than ones in cal. nobody is buying because prices outrageous. crackerbox 1200 sq ft $3 million/ they want thaT AMERICAN DOLLAR. just rent.

New topic