Investing in real estate in the Riviera Maya is a very exciting process, but there are a few main guidelines that will help you along the way.



Beach at sunset in Tulum

 

If you are dreaming about investing in Mexico real estate or in any other foreign country, you probably also have some fears about dealing with the legal process, local customs and in general, this might feel like jumping into an unknown territory with closed eyes.

At the same time, you are motivated by the profit you will make and by the idea of owning a vacation house in a destination you love. You are confident it will work out and are excited about the prospect.

If you are considering Mexico, you are not alone. This country is already home to roughly one million Americans, for example.

Quintana Roo is the fastest growing state of Mexico, where many North Americans, Italians, Argentineans, Spaniards and many others decide to own vacation homes, open businesses or simply invest in land, such as in the current boom town, Tulum.

However, before you jump into the unknown waters, make sure you are familiar with the process of owning real estate in Mexico. Here are some simple guidelines to keep in mind:

1. Ejido land. If you are buying real estate in Mexico, the first thing you want to do is make sure that the land you are buying has a title. Keep in mind that a lot of land in Mexico still remains in ejido status, which means it is in the hands of communal groups - land-owning cooperatives. It all happened during the Mexican Revolution, when the government took land away from large haciendas that owned it illegally and gave it to the indigenous inhabitants who had lost it. This land is technically owned by the Mexican Government but used by local communities. Ejido land cannot be sold to non-ejido members until it is converted into private property. There are exceptions where non-ejido members can acquire ownership rights to ejido land, but the ownership rules are not very secure, especially for foreigners, who cannot legally become ejido land owners. Our advice is to stay away from ejido land and to demand a title right away. Double-check the authenticity of a title with a title insurance company, a lawyer or an accountant.

2. Buy titled land. In many places in Yucatan (and throughout Mexico), you will have to purchase your land through a bank trust (called a fideicomiso). You might want to consider a fideicomiso even if you are in the zone where you don’t have to (it is officially required for restricted areas, located 50 km from the coast). It will ensure you a clear title and it offers some tax advantages, too. There are some signs that the Mexican government might abolish the requirement for fideocomiso, but in the early 2015 it is still required.

3. Find a good notary or notario publico (who is a lawyer in Mexico with a degree in Law, has experience in the field, has passed certain exams and has been appointed by the State Governor). Your notary will be the one who walks you through all the steps of the legal process. In Mexico, notary public has the power to certify all the important documents, and responsibility to manage and store original records. Your notary public will prepare the deed of the property and ensure all the paperwork and permits are in order. Every singe piece of documentation you deal with in regards to your property should be reviewed by notary public.

4. Spend time in Mexico. Don’t buy land in a place you are not familiar with. Take vacation there, talk to local people, get to meet other expats and land owners, and form your own understanding about the area, how it is expected to develop in the next few years and all the pros and cons of the place, such as: how are the local restaurants? do you have enough opportunities to practice your favorite sports? to socialize? It is very important to have a deep understanding of the location from the economical and social perspective. Make the final decision only once you know for sure this is the place for you.

 

RELATED: FAQs About Buying Land in Mexico

 

Contact us if you wish to buy land or property in Tulum and the Riviera Maya or are looking for architects/ constructors.

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