Buying a House in Mexico – The Ultimate Guide
We put together this guide for investors considering buying a house in Mexico.
Whether you are looking for a vacation home in Mexico or thinking about moving to the country to live full time, this guide is designed to cover all aspects of acquiring a house from finding homes for sale in Mexico through to the details of the purchase process.
Is Buying a House in Mexico a Good Idea?
How Much Does it Cost to Buy a House in Mexico?
Can Foreigners Own Houses in Mexico?
Where are the Best Places to Buy a House in Mexico?
How Do you Buy a House in Mexico?
Getting a Mortgage in Mexico
Investment Opportunities – Explore House for Sale in Mexico
Investing in a house in Mexico offers buyers the opportunity to own property in a highly sought-after destination with a strong real estate market that has seen consistent growth in recent years.
For buyers looking for a house for part-time use for vacations, Mexico is a great choice. Whether you prefer the eastern Caribbean Sea coast or the western Pacific Ocean coast, the country offers countless spectacular beaches. Besides the beach, Mexico is also blessed with dramatic mountains, lush jungle and tranquil lakes. The landscape is simply stunning. Mexico also offers a very wide range of attractions and amenities for all the family, from water sports to ancient historical sites to explore, lively bars and all kinds of restaurants serving everything from Mexican cuisine to international dishes, as well as golf courses, marinas and spas.
For buyers considering moving to or retiring in Mexico and looking for a house for full-time use, Mexico can offer the promise of a high quality lifestyle at a fraction of the cost of North America or Europe. The climate is tropical and inviting, people are friendly and welcoming and prices compare very favorably.
For investors looking to purchase a house with a view to generating income, Mexico also offers huge potential. The country is one of the world’s leading tourism destinations and villas and homes in areas popular with tourists are in high demand. Investing in a house for the short-term rental market can therefore be very lucrative.
With interest in real estate in Mexico set to continue to grow, home owners are also highly likely to benefit from rising property values over the medium term.
For more details, please read our guide to investing in Mexico.
The cost of houses in Mexico varies according to various factors such as location, size and perceived value.
New construction homes in a secure gated community in Playa del Carmen, for example, can start from as little as US $80,000 to $100,000.
Prices for luxury villas in prime beachfront locations can rise to US $5,000,000 to $10,000,000 at the top end of the market.
Beachfront homes for sale in Mexico typically start at US $500,000 to US $750,000 in locations such as the Riviera Maya on the spectacular Caribbean coast.
There is a common misconception that foreigners cannot own property in Mexico, but this is not the case. Foreign nationals can buy houses in Mexico and, in fact, the Government of Mexico welcomes foreign investment.
There are some restrictions in place in certain areas which led to this confusion.
According to the Mexican constitution of 1917 proclaimed, all land in Mexico is defined as “ejido” (communal) or owned by Mexican nationals only.
In 1973, a constitutional amendment known as the Foreign Investment Law permitted foreigners to buy real estate anywhere in the country except for certain restricted areas including within 100 km (64 miles) of the Mexico’s international borders and within 50 km (32 miles) of the coastline at high tide.
In 1993, Mexico amended the constitution again to allow foreigner investors to acquire property within the restricted zone via a bank trust called a “fideicomiso” which is set up by a local bank with the foreign buyer as sole beneficiary or via the establishment of a Mexican corporation.
A fideicomiso is granted for a period of 50 years and can thereafter be renewed. Under this system, the beneficiary (i.e. the foreign property investor) retains all ownership rights and responsibilities and may sell, lease and mortgage the property, and leave it to his or her heirs.
That depends very much on your personal preferences and objectives.
Mexico’s Caribbean coast is particularly popular with buyers from the East Coast of the USA and Canada.
For those looking to be right in the heart of the action, Cancun and Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya are lively destinations filled with amenities and attractions.
For those who prefer somewhere a little more tranquil, Tulum and Akumal are rapidly emerging as less crowded, trendy alternatives.
Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos are particular popular with buyers from the West Coast of the USA.
Buyers in search of traditional charm, take a look at Puerto Vallarta’s Romantic Zone.
For more details, please read our guide to the best places to buy property in Mexico.
Buying property in Mexico is a relatively straight-forward process. Below we have outlined the typical process.
Before beginning your search we would recommend that you first look into options for financing and a fideicomiso (if required).
Once you have found a property you wish to purchase, the next step would be to make an offer which should be submitted in the form of an offer to purchase contract.
We would advise you to engage a reputable local attorney to review the contract on your behalf.
At this time, a buyer would typically expect to receive payment of a 5% to 10% deposit. You should also finalize the details of the fideicomiso and mortgage (if required).
Once you have paid the deposit, a promissory agreement (contrato de promesa) should be drawn up which outlined the timelines for both buyer and seller to execute the buying contract.
Your attorney should then apply for a trust permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Your attorney will work with a notary to draft and finalize the trust documents and the purchase/sales agreement (compraventa).
Closing takes place once both buyer and seller have signed the contract, the deed has been transferred and all taxes have been paid.
For more detail on the purchase process, please see our guide to buying property in Mexico.
In most cases, transactions involving foreign buyers are cash purchases.
However, in some cases, it may be possible to obtain financing either from a local bank or, in the case of a development, direct from the developer.
Banks may lend you 50% to 70% of the property’s value.
As you would expect at home, upon receipt of your application the financial institution will conduct typical checks to assess your suitability for a mortgage.
Should your application be approved, you should expect interest rates to be a little higher than in the USA, Canada or Europe (in the region of 6% to 10%).
Ready to begin your search for houses for sale in Mexico?
To find investment opportunities from across the country from Playa del Carmen to Puerto Vallarta, explore homes for sale in Mexico on our website.
Please note that our website only showcases a sample of the houses and villas available.
Contact 7th Heaven Properties, the Luxury Caribbean Property Specialist, to explore the full range of investment opportunities in Mexico.