Real Estate in Playa del Carmen – Can I own property in Mexico?


  1. Can I own property in Mexico? Yes, Mexican foreigners may obtain direct ownership of property in the interior of Mexico. Mexican foreigners can also own property along the ocean front. By Mexican law, properties within the 50 km of any ocean front and 100 km of any country boarder are acquired via a bank trust or via establishment of a Mexican Corporation.
  2. Can the Mexican government confiscate my land? Foreigners often worry about their land being expropriated by the Mexican government. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, Mexico may not directly, or indirectly, expropriate property except for a public purpose. This is the same as “Eminent Domain” in the U.S. Where it is necessary to expropriate land, swift and fair market compensation must be paid, together with accrued interest.
  3. Do I need to hire an attorney?  Here in Mexico, real estate closings are handled by Notaries, which are government appointed officials and they have the authority to handle the complete closing transaction. Before closing, the Notary will revise all documents to make sure everything is in order. You may, however, contract an attorney to represent you as well, here at GO RIVIERA MAYA RENTALS we highly recommend that you do so and we could refer you to our trusted attorneys.
  4. How long can a foreigner reside in Mexico per year?  When you arrive to Mexico, a tourist visa is issued. The maximum amount of period on these visas is 6 months. These can be updated at the local migration offices. You also have the option to apply for a FM3, which has 12 month periods of validity. FM3s can be obtained if you are a property owner, or if your employer is a Mexican Corporation and for several other special cases.
  5. Can I as a Mexican Foreigner, purchase property within the restricted zone under a Mexican corporation entity?
    It depends, if you want to acquire for residence purposes you need to acquire with a bank trust. If you want to acquire for commercial purposes you can acquire via Mexican Corporation with certain procedures and requirements. If you want to acquire for other purposes other than residential, you can acquire via Mexican Corporation with certain requirements and procedures.
  6.  What is an FMT? Is the tourist visa that is obtained when first entering into Mexico. These can continually be renewed by simply leaving Mexico within the allotted six month period, and then reentering.
  7. What is an FM3?Is a document for a person who wants to live at least part time in Mexico, but does not necessarily intend to make this their permanent home. To be granted and FM-3 status, you must prove you have sufficient resources to be financially independent, or meet certain requirements to be able to work or own a business in Mexico. FM-3 “Rentista” status is available to anyone with a monthly income (from investments, social security or other retirement) of less than $1,000 USD plus under $500 USD for each dependent. If one owns property in Mexico, the amount of income required is reduced by nearly one-half.
  8. If I decide to sell my property, can anyone buy it? Yes, you can sell to either a Mexican national, or Non-Mexican Foreigner. A Non- Mexican would also be required to set up a bank trust.
  9. What are my rights as a buyer? The Trust is a legal substitute for fee simple ownership, but in many cases, the Trustee is the legal holder of the property. As Beneficiary, you have the right to sell your property without restriction. You may also transfer your rights to a third party or pass it on to named heirs.
  10. Can I own property near or in front of the ocean?  Yes, laws passed in 1973 and 1993 have made it possible for foreigners, foreign firms, and Mexican firms with foreign participation to acquire interests in coastal real estate through a bank trust.
  11.  Do I need an FM-3 to buy property in Mexico? Anyone, even someone in Mexico on a tourist visa, may buy property. It is stated that: If you sign a contract, rent a house or condo, buy a house or condo, or lease property (i.e., campo’s), you are no longer a “tourist” and therefore, are invited to apply for an FM-3. But in order to acquire property, it is not necessary to possess an FM3.
  12.  If the buyer is a foreigner, is his interest limited in the balance of the 50-year period? No. Upon application, a foreigner automatically receives his own renewal 50-year permit. However, this is not mandatory.
  13. How much will my closing costs be?
    Closing costs will usually run between 5-7% of the sales price of the property. They are determined before closing by the Notary. Notaries in Mexico are more than just clerks, but state government appointed lawyers who have the power and authorization to close real estate transactions in Mexico. The closing costs include their fees, transfer taxes and establishing the trust. Closing costs may increase if you include title insurance and financing fees. Your real estate agent will assist you with the closing process.





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