A Guide To Buying A Vacation Home In Mexico

Mexico is an ideal vacation destination, with a rich history and fascinating traditions which permeate its culture, towns, and delicious cuisine. Most of the country is easily accessible from every major city in the U.S. With almost 6,000 miles of coastline overlooking four large bodies of water, the choice of idyllic beaches is never-ending. Our southern neighbor has always been America’s top spot to relax and unwind and one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world, so investing in a vacation home in Mexico means plenty of year-round rental potential.

Beyond bragging rights, buying properties here can be very affordable and even profitable. It allows owners to grow roots in a culture instead of just being tourists. And in the case of Mexico, property owners can also get a “Temporary Resident Visa,” which may then be converted to a “Permanent Resident Visa” after four years. These visas allow owners to live, travel, and work in the country. 

How Do I Know I Should Buy a Vacation Home in Mexico?

According to the National Association of Realtors, the vacation home market is doing very nicely. From January to April of 2021, vacation home sales were up 57.2% over the previous year; however, once you’re closing on one, you may actually need a vacation. In other words, if you’re pondering purchasing a vacation home, it’s quite a process, and there’s a lot to think about first.

First, you need to weigh the pro and cons. Like all real estate, your vacation home will probably increase in value even more if you buy in one of Mexico’s highly sought-after areas. The costs of ownership may be offset by offering short-term or long-term leases; however, unless you can afford to pay cash, these financing costs will need to be considered long-term. Also, you will save on vacations and be able to stay longer when you visit, but you will be responsible for maintaining the property even when you’re not there. A Mexican vacation home provides your family and friends a nice place to recharge and relax, but weighing all the pros and cons before making the final decision is crucial. 

What to Watch Out For

Mexico is very familiar compared to other areas, and that can actually be a barrier. That familiar feeling can lull us into believing that we have the processes and protections we enjoy at home. 

Americans can buy land and property in Mexico generally without restrictions; however, foreigners who purchase land close to or on the coast must be granted a special bank trust. This trust will also give owners a level of asset protection and allows them to plan their estate without having to probate a Mexican will or follow standard probate protocols – which will save a lot of time and issues down the road. 

As a buyer in Mexico, a notary will be your representative in the process. They will perform a title search, prepare paperwork, process the transaction, record the new title with the municipality and collect taxes and fees. Be sure to hire one fluent in your language since they will also serve as your translator. 

Since Spanish is the official language in Mexico, all your documents will be in Spanish. If there’s a conflict between the Spanish and English versions of a legal copy, the Spanish version will govern, so make sure any changes are also reflected in the Spanish contract. 

Like with any market, new scams are being tried all the time; however, several principles will ensure your investment remains safe throughout the purchasing process. 

Since real estate agents in Mexico aren’t required to be licensed or trained, make sure to get a reliable referral. Along with this, it’s a great idea to know the market and be comfortable with your surroundings, meet the seller, get inspections and trust your gut. 

In the end, the experience of buying property in Mexico is usually very good. Just make sure you’re buying from a reputable real estate company, ask a lot of questions, and don’t be afraid to get help when needed. 

Best Properties to Buy in Mexico

The most coveted properties in Mexico are close to the beach and usually in or close to a beautiful town with plenty of culture and a community that will make you feel right at home. 

Peurto Vallarta is a world tour destination for its beautiful views and picturesque historical centers. Riviera Nayarit on the Pacific coast offers 192 miles of coastline and 23 coastal towns. Playa del Carmen on the eastern shore is an excellent place for families with proximity to restaurants, malls, town centers, and kid-friendly beaches. Tulum, an ancient Mayan city, is fast becoming a highly sought-after bohemian enclave for the young and young at heart. 

Where to Start

Whether you’re looking for land, a house, or a condo in Mexico, online real estate listings can be an excellent option.

Websites are still starting to grow in Mexico, but here are the most common ones to help you launch your search:

Realtor.com
Point 2
MexHome
Top Mexico Real Estate
Century 21 Global
Baja 123

The Process

The overall process of buying real estate in Mexico usually looks like this:
Make an offer and agree on a prices
Sign the sales contract
Pay a deposit
Initiate creation of the Fideicomiso
Obtain permission from Secretary’s office to complete the purchase
Conduct a title review and get an official valuation
Sign the title
Pay taxes, collect fees, and initiate the property registration
Final registration
Pay closing costs
Register ownership within three months of closing


In the end, if Mexico is your family’s go-to vacation destination, you tend to prefer a specific area over others, you have a somewhat flexible work/life schedule, and you enjoy being around beautiful scenery and lively, rich culture, a vacation home in Mexico may be just what you need to take your relaxation and your life to the next level. 

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