The Insider's Guide to Buying Property in Mexico

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 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.

El Castillo, Tulum, Mexico Couple on a beautiful beach on the Riviera Maya, Mexico

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, making the country one of the world’s top tourism destinations.

Surging tourism, striking natural beauty, proximity to the US and attractive property prices have helped make Mexico a popular overseas investment destination for second homes, retirement as well as lucrative vacation rentals. A steady and growing stream of visitors provides property owners with a lucrative rental market to tap in to.

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.

Due to its proximity to the USA, Mexico is popular with buyers from North America, much like the nearby Central American countries to the south: Belize, Roatan, Costa Rica and Panama.

“Surging tourism, striking natural beauty, proximity to the US and attractive property prices have helped make Mexico a popular overseas investment destination for second homes, retirement as well as income-generating vacation rentals”

Why Invest?

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Powerful economy and a well established real estate market with offerings for all budgets and a strong pipeline of new investment opportunities.

2 / 7

High rental income-generating potential as a tourism powerhouse ranked in the world’s top 10 most visited countries in the world and the most popular international destination for U.S. tourists.

3 / 7

Breathtaking landscape with pristine beaches, crystal clear warm waters and lush jungle.

4 / 7

Straightforward pathways to temporary or permanent residency.

5 / 7

Highly accessible destination via multiple direct flights from locations across the USA, Canada and Europe.

6 / 7

Vibrant destination with wide variety of attractions, including excellent restaurants and bars, marinas, championship golf courses, the world’s largest underwater museum and fascinating Mayan architectural sites to explore.

7 / 7

Warm and welcoming people rooted in a rich and colorful culture blending Spanish and indigenous influences.

Buying Process, Fees & Taxes

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 process

Buying property in Mexico is a relatively simple process, which typically involves the following steps:

  1. Begin your property search.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. A promissory agreement will then be drawn up which binds both buyer and seller.
  5. 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.
  6. Present your identification documents to a Notary which should then be filed at the public registry.
  7. The notary, your attorney and the bank will then ensure the “fidecomiso” documents are drafted and finalized.
  8. 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.
  9. Pay all required taxes.
Fees & taxes

Transfer Tax & Notary Fees

Closing costs typically amount to 4% to 8% of the property value, comprising conveyance taxes, registration rights and costs of the deed of sale and Trust Deed, plus Notary fees.

Property Tax

Annual property taxes are charged at 0.25% of the property’s value.

Residency & Citizenship

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 you become a resident of Mexico?

Temporary Resident Visas

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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

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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 you 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.

Mortgages in Mexico

Looking for financing to fund the purchase of property in Mexico?

Contrary to popular misconception, it is possible for foreign nationals looking to invest in Mexico real estate to apply for a mortgage.

Our partner – a very well respected international financial organization – offers mortgages for qualifying non-residents buying, building or improving a second home in Mexico .

For more information, see our page on: Caribbean mortgages.

How to get a mortgage in the Caribbean

How to Get There

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).

  • Miami to Cancun 1h 45m
  • Houston to Puerto Vallarta 2h 25m
  • Toronto to Cancun 4h 00m
  • Atlanta to San Jose del Cabo 4h 05m
  • London to Cancun 9h 50m
  • Madrid to Mexico City 11h 15m

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Local weather

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Local time

2:42AM Sunday 28th Nov 2021 (CST)
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Sat | 26°

Fast facts

  • Population 128
  • Capital Mexico City
  • Language Spanish
  • Currency Mexican Peso
  • Time zone GMT-6 | ET