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A foreigner’s guide to buying property in La Riviera Maya

House in the Riviera Maya in the Bali development. There is a pool with water, umbrellas with beach seating, and in the back a gym with treadmills.
Source: UH Lifestyle.

Are you a foreigner interested in buying property in México? Here’s what you need to know about the process, from legal requirements to practical tips. Mexico is a beautiful country with rich culture and history, and owning a property in La Riviera Maya can be a dream come true for many.

However, buying a property as a foreigner can be a complex process. There are certain legal requirements and procedures that must be followed, and it’s important to work with reputable professionals to ensure a smooth transaction. In this article, we’ll provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions. Let 's get started!

Can I Own a Property in Mexico as a Foreigner?

Yes, foreigners can own property in Mexico. However, there are certain restrictions and legal requirements that must be considered. For example, foreigners are not allowed to directly own property within the “restricted zone”, which includes land located within 50 kilometers (31.06 miles) of the coast or 100 kilometers (62.14 miles) of the border.

Instead, foreigners must use a bank trust, known as a “fideicomiso”, to hold the title to the property on their behalf. Outside the restricted zone, foreigners can directly own property in Mexico. It’s important to work with a reputable real estate agent and attorney to ensure that all legal requirements are met when buying a property in Mexico as a foreigner.


Woman holding keys in her right hand and a small wooden house in her left hand. She wears a white blouse.

Source: Ultraskrip/1892437435;


What is Fideicomiso?


A fideicomiso is a type of bank that foreigners must use to purchase property within the “restricted zone” in Mexico. In a fideicomiso, a Mexican bank holds the title to the property on behalf of the foreign buyer. The buyer is the beneficiary of the trust and has the right to use, rent, improve, or sell the property. The bank acts as a trustee and is responsible for ensuring that all legal requirements are considered. 

A fideicomiso lasts for 50 years and can be renewed. It’s important to work with a reputable bank and attorney when setting up a fideicomiso to ensure that all legal requirements are met and that your rights as a property owner are protected:


  • A fideicomiso is a bank trust used by foreigners to purchase property within Mexico's "restricted zone.
  • The foreing buyer is the beneficiary if the trust and has the right to use, rent, or sell the property.
  • A fideicomiso typically lasts for 50 years and can be renewed.


Is it Hard for a Foreigner to Buy a Property?


No, it is not particularly hard for any foreigner  to buy property in Mexico. The process is similar to that of the other foreigners buying in the country. We can guide you through the process.

Can I get residency if I buy property in Mexico?

Buying a house in Mexico does not automatically grant you the right to stay in the country for an extended period of time. As a foreigner, you can enter Mexico as a tourist and stay for up to 180 days on a visitor visa (FMM). If you want to stay in Mexico for longer than 180 days, you can apply for a temporary resident visa (residente temporal) which allows you to stay in the country for up to 4 years. 

It’s important to know that owning property in Mexico does not actually qualify you for a temporary resident visa; you must consider the visa requirements, which include demonstrating financial solvency. It’s always a good idea to consult with an immigration attorney to determine your eligibility and guide you through the visa application process:

Type Period of time Requirements
Visitor visa Up to 180 days Valid passport, completed FMM form. 
Temporary resident Up to 4 years Valid passport, proof of financial solvency, completed visa application.  
Permanent resident Indefinite Valid passport, proof of financial solvency, family ties to a Mexican citizen or permanent resident, completed visa application.

Is La Riviera Maya a good place to buy a house?

Yes, Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya is considered a good place to buy property. The city has become popular among real estate investors, who are investing in Playa del Carmen at a fast pace. Playa del Carmen real estate is one of the leaders because of its popularity nationally and internationally. 

People are always visiting Playa del Carmen, which creates a fantastic opportunity for investors. Playa del Carmen is considered one of the top high rental yielding beach towns/cities in the world.

HU Lifestyle Bali Development. Panoramic shot of all the houses, around the jungle.

Source: HU Lifestyle.


Can I buy a house for 100k in La Riviera Maya?


It’s possible to find properties for sale in La Riviera Maya for around $100,000 USD. However, it’s important to note that the availability of properties at this price point may vary depending on the location and the concurrent real estate market condition. 

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