A Guide to Buying Property in Mexico for Foreign Buyers
Stretching from the Caribbean beaches of the Riviera Maya to the dramatic Baja Peninsula and the long Pacific coast, Mexico has long been a popular location for oversea property buyers.
If you are currently considering investing in real estate in Mexico but you are wondering “where are the best places to buy property in Mexico?” or “how do I go about owning property in Mexico as a foreign buyer” then this guide is for you.
Our guide takes you through the process of buying property in Mexico from beginning to end, including an introduction to the real estate market, the buying process and the taxes you will need to be aware of.
Overview – The Mexico Real Estate Market
With a population of over 112 million, Mexico has the second largest economy in Latin America which is predicted to be the fifth largest in the world by 2050. The landscape is as varied as the country is vast. In fact, it is one of the 18 megadiverse countries of the world and home to 10–12% of the world’s biodiversity.
The ruins of ancient empires, combined with the white sands and coral reefs of Mexico’s Caribbean and Pacific coasts attract over 41 million visitors each year, which have made Mexico one of the world’s top tourism destinations.
The huge tourism sector has also made Mexico a popular choice for overseas property investment, either for second homes or investment into the lucrative rental market. A steady and growing stream of visitors provides property owners with a large rental market to tap in to. A proposal to enable direct ownership of beachfront property is stimulating interest in Mexico’s real estate market.
Popular areas for real estate investment include Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Akumal and Tulum on the Riviera Maya on the Caribbean coast of the country, as well as Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta on the Pacific coast.
There are plenty of re-sale properties for sale on both coasts as well as new build condos and villas within gated communities.
Buying Property in Mexico
Can foreigners buy property in Mexico?
Yes, foreigners can buy property in Mexico and the Government of Mexico welcomes investment from overseas buyers. However, there are some restrictions. According to Mexican law, foreign ownership of land within 31 miles (50 km) of Mexico’s coastline or within 62 miles (100 km) of Mexico’s international borders is prohibited. Commonly used workarounds include purchasing property through 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.
Buying property in Mexico is a relatively simple process, which typically involves the following steps:
- Begin your property search.
- Find your perfect property and make a written offer in the form of an “Offer to Purchase” contract which typically includes the proposed price, payment terms, details of the earnest money deposit and a deadline for the seller to accept, reject or make a counter offer.
- If your offer is accepted by the seller, you will be expected to make payment of an earnest money deposit which is typically 5% to 10% of the agreed asking price. Earnest money deposits are often paid into an escrow account.
- A promissory agreement will then be drawn up which binds both buyer and seller.
- Your attorney should request all required documentation from the seller and verify the legal status of the property, including review of title and confirming that the seller has the right to transfer the title.
- Present your identification documents to a Notary which should then be filed at the public registry.
- The notary, your attorney and the bank will then ensure the “fidecomiso” documents are drafted and finalized.
- Once all paperwork is ready, you will sign the final deed, settle final payments and the property title will be officially transferred to the bank trust.
- Pay all required taxes.
Transfer Tax & Notary Fees
Closing costs typically amount to 4% – 8% of the property value, comprising conveyance taxes, registration rights and costs of the deed of sale and Trust Deed, plus Notary fees.
Annual property taxes are charged at 0.25% of the property’s value.
Search Mexico Real Estate Listings
As specialists in luxury Caribbean property, we can introduce you to a wide selection of the finest residential property in Mexico.
Homes for Sale & Condos for Sale
Land for Sale
You can also browse undeveloped land. Purchasing a lot of land provides you with a blank canvas and the opportunity to build your dream home in Mexico.
Whether you are looking for beachfront land or a centrally located lot, we’re here to help you find the perfect lot of land for sale in Mexico.
For larger parcels of land for commercial development, please see our commercial real estate listings.
Hotels for Sale
Searching for hotels for sale in Mexico? Browse hotels, B&Bs and guests houses right here.
Finding the Perfect Property for Sale in Mexico
Discover the most sought after real estate investment opportunities and benefit from unrivaled insight into the market.
To find your perfect property in Mexico, search our Mexico real estate listings.
Best Places to Buy Property in Mexico – The Yucatan Peninsula
Discover Akumal – Read our guide to buying property in Akumal.
Discover Cancun – Read our guide to buying property in Cancun.
Discover Isla Mujeres – Read our guide to buying property in Isla Mujeres.
Playa del Carmen
Discover Playa del Carmen – Read our guide to buying property in Playa del Carmen.
Discover Puerto Cancún – Read our guide to buying property in Puerto Cancun.
Discover Quintana Roo – Read our guide to buying property in Quintana Roo.
Discover Riviera Maya – Read our guide to buying property in Riviera Maya.
Discover Tulum – Read our guide to buying property in Tulum.
Best Places to Buy Property in Mexico – The Pacific Coast
Discover Ajijic- Read our guide to buying property in Ajijic.
Discover Colima – Read our guide to buying property in Colima.
Discover Guadalajara – Read our guide to buying property in Guadalajara.
Discover Jalisco – Read our guide to buying property in Jalisco.
Discover Lake Chapala- Read our guide to buying property in Lake Chapala.
Discover Manzanillo – Read our guide to buying property in Manzanillo.
Discover Nayarit – Read our guide to buying property in Nayarit.
Discover Nuevo Vallarta – Read our guide to buying property in Nuevo Vallarta.
Discover Puerto Vallarta – Read our guide to buying property in Puerto Vallarta.
Discover Punta Mita – Read our guide to buying property in Punta Mita.
Discover San Pancho – Read our guide to buying property in San Pancho.
Discover Sayulita – Read our guide to buying property in Sayulita.
Best Places to Buy Property in Mexico – The Baja Peninsula
Cabo San Lucas
Discover Cabo San Lucas – Read our guide to buying property in Cabo San Lucas.
Discover Los Cabos – Read our guide to buying property in Los Cabos.
Discover Punta Mita – Read our guide to buying property in Punta Mita.
How long can a foreign citizen stay in Mexico?
Foreign nationals are permitted to remain in Mexico on holiday with a tourist visa for up to 180 days.
How do I become a resident of Mexico?
Temporary Resident Visas: If you plan to stay longer (and live part-time in Mexico), it is possible to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa and “Rentista” status. Temporary Resident Visas are valid for a period of 12 months and can be renewed for up to 4 years. To qualify for a Temporary Resident Visa, applicants must be able to prove that they are financially independent with a minimum monthly income of US $1,000 plus approximately US $500 for each dependent. For owners of property in Mexico, the minimum income requirement is reduced.
Permanent Resident Visas: If you plan to permanently reside in Mexico, it is possible to apply for a Permanent Resident Visa and “Inmigrado” status. Permanent Resident Visas are available to applicants who have resided in Mexico for 4 years with a Temporary Resident Visa (including restricted time out of Mexico). Permanent residents enjoy most of the rights and privileges of citizens such as working and remaining in Mexico without the need to renew the visa, excluding the right to vote.
How do I become a citizen of Mexico?
Individuals who are fluent in Spanish and have resided lawfully in Mexico for 5 years (or 2 years in the case of those born in Spain or Latin America) can apply for citizenship by naturalization.
Sending Money to Mexico
You could save money when investing in Mexico real estate by using a foreign exchange expert to get the best rate for your property purchase. We have partnered with Halo Financial, a specialist in foreign exchange, to help you get the best exchange rates when making one-off or regular international payments for a property purchase in Mexico. To see how you could save money, read more: Foreign Exchange.
How to Get to Mexico
There are direct flights to Mexico from 30 US cities, Canada and Europe.
There are international airports located in various parts of Mexico, including Mexico City, Cancun, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Cozumel.
From the USA fly direct to Mexico from 30 cities, including Atlanta (Delta), Miami or Houston (American Airlines). From Canada fly from Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver.
From Europe, fly direct from London (British Airways), Paris (Air France), Madrid (Iberia), Amsterdam (KLM) or Frankfurt (Lufthansa).
Atlanta to San Jose del Cabo: 4 hours 05 mins
Houston to Puerto Vallarta: 2 hours 25 mins
London to Cancun: 9 hours 50 mins
Madrid to Mexico City: 11 hours 15 mins
Miami to Cancun: 1 hour 45 mins
Toronto to Cancun: 4 hours 00 mins