How to Buy your Dream Property in Mexico as an American [2024]

October 7, 2021

How to Buy your Dream Property in Mexico as an American [2024]

Published at : October 7, 2021

The enduring appeal of Mexico’s breathtaking landscapes, idyllic beaches, delicious food and rich cultural history draws in droves of travelers and vacationers each year. But Mexico is more than a spot to spend a few days enjoying a resort. It's also the perfect place to find great value on a real estate investment, a retirement home, or a family vacation home.


Although the Mexican constitution once prevented foreigners from purchasing real estate in certain areas, the Mexico real estate market is now wide open, meaning that Americans can buy property in Mexico wherever they see fit.



Can Americans Own Property in Mexico?


For Americans, buying real estate in Mexico is easier than ever before, but the process has some important differences from American real estate markets.


This short guide will explain the essential steps involved in buying a house in Mexico, and how Zisla can help you find the property of your dreams.




Straightforward travel policies make it easy for foreigners to spend lengthy amounts of time in Mexico without the need for complicated paperwork. Canadian and American citizens can stay in Mexico as tourists for up to 180 days without a visa.


Because it has been such a popular tourist destination for so long, it's easy to find affordable, direct flights from major American cities to various Mexican destinations. This ease of access is another reason why so many Americans purchase vacation properties in Mexico.



Although the steps involved might seem peculiar to foreigners at first glance, the help of an experienced real estate agent makes buying property in Mexico just like any other real estate transaction. 



How to Buy Property in Mexico as a US Citizen in the Restricted Zone


Anywhere within 50km of a coast or 100km from a national border is considered part of Mexico’s “Restricted Zone,” although the name is slightly misleading. In the Restricted Zone, the only restriction faced by foreign nationals is that they must buy any property through a bank trust agreement. 


This agreement, called a fideicomiso, is sanctioned by the Mexican government. When using an authorized bank, fideicomisos provide all the same property rights that Mexican citizens enjoy. Through a fideicomiso, Americans are able to rent, lease or sell Mexican real estate in the Restricted Zone however and whenever they like.


To establish a fideicomiso, foreigners must apply through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and register in the Public Registry of Property and the National Registry of Foreign Investment. 


Even if buyers are unfamiliar with this type of arrangement, the process of creating a fideicomiso is actually quite easy to navigate with the guidance of your lawyer and real estate agent.


To read more about this setup and other subtleties in the Mexican real estate market, read our detailed guide on how to buy Mexico real estate. It explains everything you need to know!


1- Initial Offer


Once you find the property that suits your needs, the purchasing process begins when you make an initial offer. This is a standard part of real estate transactions in many places that informs the seller of your intent to purchase the property in question.


2- Promissory Agreement


After the eventual acceptance of the offer, once all negotiations are final and after everything has been agreed upon, the next step is drafting a promissory agreement. In this document, called a contrato de promesa de compraventa in Spanish, the buyer and seller will agree to a timeframe to finalize the purchase. 

The promissory agreement is the official hard copy version of the agreement, including relevant details of the transaction (such as the price) negotiated by the parties.


3- Walkthrough, Delivery & Title Transfer


In Mexico, properties are often delivered before the title gets transferred to the new owner, an order that is uncommon in the United States.


For Americans buying in Mexico, this means that you will receive the keys to your new property before the title is transferred to your fideicomiso. It is at this point that, following a satisfactory final walkthrough and inspection, a signed delivery statement will register the delivery of your property.


Following the delivery statement, buyers will receive a notice for the amount of the closing costs. Once they are paid, the fideicomiso will take possession of the property title, and the local public registry will issue the final deed.


Make Sure to Explore These Mexico Real Estate Areas


If you have been considering buying property in Mexico, make sure to put the regions of the Yucatan peninsula at the top of your list of prospects.


Yucatan Real Estate

Yucatán State is an area that has flown under the radar, thanks to the popularity of neighboring Quintana Roo. Even though word is starting to get out, the Yucatan real estate market presents great value for real estate investors and ideal destinations for snowbirds.


Quintana Roo Real Estate

You can find some of the most popular resorts in Mexico in this sunny state, but the hidden value in this area is found in the small towns along the Riviera Maya.

In Quintana Roo, the real estate in Playa del Carmen offers everything you would expect in a world-class travel destination, while real estate in Tulum presents great value, even as this hotspot continues to grow in popularity. 


Buying property in Mexico as an American is Within Your Reach!

Whether you want to buy real estate in Mexico for an investment opportunity or just to have some fun in the sun, Zisla can help make it happen!


Help me find the perfect property in Mexico

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