From the tropical Yucatan peninsula to the rocky shores of the Pacific ocean––and the mountains, colonial towns and deserts in between––visitors flock to Mexico in search of the food, weather, culture and welcoming hospitality the country is famous for. Mexico is also very affordable, making it a popular spot for Canadians and Americans in particular to retire.
Despite the economic contraction caused by Covid-19, Mexico’s real estate market remains strong. Some of the most popular places to purchase condominiums in Mexico include the bustling “Riviera Maya” towns of Cancun and Playa del Carmen. This region, located on the Yucatan peninsula, is one of the safest and most biodiverse areas in Mexico.
It is perfectly legal for foreign nationals to purchase property in Mexico, but there are restrictions on the kind of land you can buy. Mexico has “restricted zones,” which are typically 31 miles (50 kilometers) from shorelines and 62 miles (100 kilometers) from international borders. Outside these zones, foreigners can purchase property with minimal hassle, but inside, the property must be held using bank trust agreements called fideicomisos. This is very common and will apply to a considerable amount of properties located in and near the beach towns. Foreigners also cannot purchase ejido land—land granted by the Mexican government to local indigenous people—of which there is a considerable amount in the Yucatan region. It is imperative that you hire an experienced real estate attorney to help you navigate the system. Make sure there are no language barriers and have all of your contracts drawn up in both your native language and in Spanish. You’ll also need a Mexican will (written in Spanish) with clear instructions on who the property should be passed onto in the event of your death. Below, we have selected three trusted resources to assist in your Mexican home or condo search.
TOP Mexico Real Estate
This top-notch agency has an excellent reputation and office locations in Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Its founder, a graduate of Purdue University, received the first nation-wide university degree in Mexico Real Estate Business. On their website, you’ll find listings for Cancun and Playa del Carmen condominiums as well as other types of beach and centro (in town) properties. You can also peruse an impressive selection of listings, virtual showrooms and webinars on everything from culture to legal tips and an entire blog about retirement living in Mexico. TOP Mexico Real Estate specializes in assisting American and Canadian buyers and employs their own team of professional agents including brokers and buyer representatives.
Century21 Caribbean Paradise
Century21 is a trusted name in North American real estate and they have a strong Mexico presence. With more than 2,000 agents in 142 locations throughout Mexico, they boast the largest real estate network in the country. Whether you are looking for a condominium, land to build on, investment or development opportunities, commercial properties or a private home, their locally-based team is well-versed in Yucatan living and can help you navigate the ins and outs of purchasing real estate in the region. The agency has offices in Playa del Carmen and Cancun and they offer a full suite of services including appraisals, home inspections, financing, engineering, construction and development. Bonus: their multicultural staff speaks several languages such as Spanish, French, English, Italian, Polish, Russian and German.
Cancun Playa Realty
This small, boutique agency offers a wide variety of land, condominiums, private homes and commercial properties for sale. For example, we found everything from an ultra-modern, 576-square-foot, one-bedroom loft in Playa del Carmen with 24-hour security, a pool and on-site laundry facilities for $77,000 USD to a beautiful 2-bedroom villa near Tulum centro for $175,000. Although their website is not as user-friendly as the others, this agency is run by locals who know the region inside and out, so don’t count them out. What they lack in online frills, they make up for with personal service and on-the-ground knowledge. They can also help you find rental properties por provide property management services for your Mexico home.