Last year, over 30 million people from around the globe visited Mexico. And it’s no surprise — Mexico is an extraordinary country full of wonderful options for guests looking for an experience, an adventure, breathtaking nature spots, and delicious cuisine. With all these amazing characteristics, you can imagine how many people become fascinated with the idea (or dream) of purchasing a home in Mexico.
While there are many factors to consider, it’s important to ask these basic questions before purchasing a second home or vacation spot in Mexico.
- Can a non-Mexican own property in Mexico? If so, what is entailed for a foreigner to purchase a home?
The easy answer is yes - a foreigner can own real estate in Mexico. Initially, the Mexican Constitution stated that foreigners could only buy property outside of the Mexican restricted zone, which lies 31 miles (50 km) from the coastline, or 62 miles (100 km) from the borders of Mexico. However, recent laws allow foreign investors to own property within the restricted zone using a fideicomiso (pronounced Fee-day-ee-co-me-so), which is similar to a bank trust that is recorded in public records. A fideicomiso has an annual fee and lasts for 50 years, but there is no limit on the number of times it can be renewed. While the bank holds the deed to the property, the buyer is named the beneficiary and has legal rights to occupy, rent, modify and sell the property. Please remember that you should work only with a professional real estate company and/or agent and a licensed real estate attorney throughout the purchasing process.
- Where should I look?
Before purchasing, you should take your time and thoroughly research the weather and confirm there are easily accessible utility options in the city or area you’re considering. Discover the area’s major highlights, speak with locals, and determine what will best suit your future lifestyle needs. I also suggest joining expat forum groups online - most people are very willing to share information about their own experiences in Mexico.
- What type of property should I buy?
First, decide if you’re looking for a vacation home, an investment property, or a seasonal home. There are many options, including private homes, homes in private communities and condominiums in beautiful complexes. Weigh your options and make a list of pros and cons so that you can easily come to the best conclusion. Make sure to consider your personal needs and wants, your finances and extra costs, and to compare pre-construction purchases with resell options.
- How hands-on am I required to be?
Having a second home comes with a lot of responsibility- it’s not always easy to maintain two properties at once. If you aren’t able to visit your second home as consistently as you’d like, or you don’t want to spend your vacation time doing yard work and other chores, consider hiring a property management company to handle any repairs or necessary maintenance while you’re away.