Buying a House in Mexico: Your Complete Guide for 2023

Buying a house in Mexico is a life-changing decision and certainly not one to be taken lightly. Purchasing property in any country, including your own, can be overwhelming and stressful but when you add additional factors like language barriers, foreign language contracts, and bureaucracy into the mix, it becomes even more so.  

This article was written by a British Travel Writer who has been based in Mexico for the last two years. (Me!) You are in good hands here because not only do I live in Mexico, but in 2023, I purchased a three-bedroom, four-bathroom detached home in the Yucatan as a foreigner. 

So, I can offer first-hand advice on everything that you need to know and consider when investing in Mexican real estate. 

Buying a House in Mexico in 2023 and Beyond 

Whether you are looking at buying a house in Mexico as a foreigner with a view to making Mexico your permanent home, purchasing a second vacation home, retiring, or buying an investment property, this article is for you. Fortunately, for now, at least, it is very easy to buy a house in Mexico as a foreigner. 

You don’t need to have residency or citizenship in Mexico, nor do you have to meet a particular income level or intend to make Mexico your permanent place of residence or tax domicile in the future. All you need is the means to get the required funds, a valid form of ID (your passport), proof of your current permanent address, and a tourist visa printed in your passport. 

There is a lot of incorrect information online about buying a house in Mexico, a lot of which is influenced by negative stereotypes of Mexico and many people’s skepticism about doing anything in a country known for its corruption. While scams do exist and you need to have your wits about you, the process doesn’t need to be as complicated or terrifying as the naysayers would have you believe. 

Stages of buying a house in Mexico 

The stages of finding and buying a house in Mexico can essentially be simplified and broken down as per the below. This should help give you an initial idea of the process and then later in the article, we will go into more detail on each point 🙂

  • Browse Facebook Marketplace and real estate websites to search for homes in your desired area. Employ the services of a realtor if you prefer

  • Organize viewings and review the properties you like

  • Make an offer and once accepted, enter a contract

  • Sign the contract and pay the deposit to hold the property

  • Wait for the notario to perform a title search, do all of the paperwork, and change the final deed into your name

  • Close the purchase, pay the remainder of the funds, and pick up the keys!

Think carefully about where you want to live or purchase property 

Whether you are buying a house in Mexico as a place to live or as a real estate investment, it’s something that you should consider carefully. If you are not already living in Mexico and you are basing your desire to live in the country off of past vacations and visits, I would urge you to do a “trial run” and spend an extended period of time in Mexico first of all, so that you can take a closer peek behind the curtain and into the reality of living in Mexico. 

Vacations are not a good representation of reality. Using the Yucatan where I live as an example – the colonial city of Merida can be beautiful and some days you are wandering through the colorful cobbled streets of Centro feeling like you are in a movie set. 

Then, when the summer hits and the “mild” 30°C days give way to days of 47°C heat that feels like you are in a furnace, heavy torrential rainfall during the rainy season, flooded streets without drainage, and hurricanes and tropical storms that knock out the electricity for a few days, it feels more like a survival movie. 

I love living in Merida and I wouldn’t change being here for the world. But you need to be aware of the good and bad aspects of the place you are considering relocating to. 

Stay somewhere during the low season or the rainy season to take a look at practically how you would cope with living there year-round. Rent Airbnbs for 28 days at a time in different areas and neighborhoods so that you can get a feel for which parts of town you prefer for a long-term base. 

Is the location desirable if you want to rent or sell in the future?

You may be intending to purchase your home in Mexico with the view of living out the rest of your days there but our situations can always change. So it is worth considering how desirable the Mexican property would be to other people if you decide to rent it out or sell it in the future. 

I live in the Yucatan capital of Merida. It is the safest city in Mexico and it is quickly emerging as one of the best new cultural getaway destinations in the southern part of the country. 

Its location makes it the perfect jump-off point for embarking on a Yucatan road trip and visiting Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Mayapan, and other Mayan ruins and gorgeous Yucatecan beaches. The construction of the Tren Maya train that will run from Cancun and Tulum to Merida, Campeche City, and various other destinations across the Yucatan peninsula will make the city even more accessible and likely encourage more tourism in the near future. 

With that in mind, I knew that if I decided to move back to the UK or go traveling long-term in the future, I could easily rent my house out on Airbnb, find a long-term tenant, or even sell it. House prices in Merida have been steadily increasing for over a decade, and the trend looks likely to continue going forward.

Other places of tourist interest like the Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, San Miguel de Allende, and Baja California Sur have similar potential. 

We had considered building a house in rural Jalisco but ultimately decided the location was too remote

Desirable and undesirable places to invest 

Conversely, before settling on Merida, despite living in the Yucatan for two years, I had also considered relocating to one of the little villages in the Sierra Madre Occidental of rural Jalisco. I was drawn by their high altitudes and cooler climates (I’m British!) and went to look at properties and plots of land in San Sebastian del Oeste and Mascota. 

However, after driving along the winding rural roads 2.5 hours away from Puerto Vallarta, I decided that not only was the location a bit isolated, but the area was somewhere that most international tourists hadn’t even heard of and it would be extremely difficult to find someone who wanted to vacation there or rent it from me. 

There have even been safety warnings for that particular stretch of road in Jalisco and while I personally think that the safety concerns in Mexico are often overplayed, I know that perceptions and the popularity (or lack thereof) of certain places weren’t going to change overnight. 

Where to search for houses for sale in Mexico

Just like with purchasing property in your own country or anywhere else in the world, you should organize viewings of the properties you are interested in before you are even considering making an offer. Point2homes is a good site and a lot of real estate agents and independent sellers across Mexico pay to list their properties here. 

In fact, this was the principal site that I used for my search and where I ultimately found my house. 

You can also ask for any recommendations on local property websites and realtors in Facebook groups for ex-pats in a particular area (e.g. ex-pats in Merida, ex-pats in Oaxaca, etc.) 

In Mexico, a lot of things are done via Facebook Marketplace – including property sales. 

So, as odd as that sounds, it is definitely worth checking there too. 

Obviously, any random person can list something on Facebook Marketplace, and the sellers are not vetted so if you do find a place of interest via this route, it is even more imperative than ever to make sure that you have good legal representation and a reputable notary public. 

If you find a property that you are interested in on one of the websites, you can send them an email or call the listed number. I would recommend calling as my emails often went ignored, even when the realtors I reached out to were English speakers. (I also speak Spanish). 

A lot of the developers did not speak English so if you cannot speak Spanish or you don’t have a Spanish-speaking realtor to go with you, you can use Google translate on your phone to help make things easier for yourself. 

Visiting preventa sites still under construction in Merida, Yucatan
Visiting preventa sites still under construction in Merida, Yucatan

Organizing property viewings in Mexico 

Since realtors work on commission, once you chat with an agent about one listing, they will help you find other similar properties that you might be interested in that are within your price bracket. It is usually easy enough to organize viewings quite quickly for the coming days, the following week, etc. 

If a property is pre-sale and is not yet completed, you will be sent digital renders and promotional videos to show you what the final product is going to look like. As appealing and sexy as they might look, they are just that: false digital images. 

So if you do decide to consider purchasing a pre-sale property, it is important to also go and look at the construction site so that you can see that the property is actually being built, and better visualize what the house will be like when it is completed. 

What to look out for at viewings

There are a lot of new construction projects popping up across the Riviera Maya, the Yucatan, Puerto Vallarta, and Los Cabos in recent years, to satisfy the demands of foreign buyers. Some real estate developments that I went to see were tasteful gated communities consisting of just 8-12 houses.

Others were sprawling projects consisting of thousands of houses all crammed tightly together with little privacy. (Literally to the extent where 4-5 neighbors would be able to see you chilling in your garden thanks to how the houses were all stacked together like Lego). 

Sometimes I found that things seemed smaller in real life than they looked in the images and renders. Your viewing is your opportunity to visualize whether you really see yourself living in the property. 

Look out for things like mold/dampness, and any damage or things that need to be repaired. If there are things that need repairing, clarify if the seller will fix them. 

Visiting preventa sites still under construction in Merida, Yucatan

Do you need a property inspection? 

If you find a house during your search that you are strongly interested in to the point that you are considering making an offer, you can consider paying for an inspection. This means that a third-party structural engineer will come to the property and check that everything is okay with it and that it is generally in good condition. 

They will check for things like dampness and humidity/moisture problems, make sure that the electrical outlets are working correctly, check the water pressure, examine the roof, and look for any structural issues. This is mostly for your own peace of mind but if large issues are found, it can help you either renegotiate the price of the house or potentially avoid a lot of expense when you first move into a new home.

Property inspection prices vary depending on the area. In the Yucatan, you can expect to pay around 4,000 pesos for a third-party inspector. (Circa $226 USD/£187) 

If your realtor cannot help connect you with a third-party inspector, again, you can ask around in expat Facebook groups in your area. The inspection is to be paid for by the buyer, 

Obviously, nobody can see behind walls but it could be good to have an idea of what you are getting into. In my case, my partner is an engineer so we actually decided not to go ahead with the inspection, partly because I was buying a fixer-upper that we knew needed renovations anyway and the seller had been upfront about certain issues. 

Buying presale properties in Mexico

You can save a lot of money when buying a house in Mexico by buying something preventa (pre-sale), or by building a house yourself. The savings aren’t modest either

You can save anywhere from $50k to $75k and up if you commit to purchasing something before the construction is completed. 

Since completed houses often have upwards of a 30% profit markup, you can save even more money by building something yourself and working with an architect and a team of builders if you have the knowledge (and the patience) to do so. 

Houses are offered at cheaper prices at preventa because the builders are trying to raise funds to invest in the rest of the construction project. They often need the money that people offer for presale purchases to even finish the project in the first place. 

Things to think about when considering pre-sale properties

A lot of new build projects may have houses that are set and ready to go now but construction on the street/neighborhood is likely to be ongoing for the next year or two. You should look out for this as it is often the case that one or two houses on a street are sold and occupied, and the rest of the street doesn’t even exist yet, nor has the road been paved. 

You need to consider whether or not you will be happy with living in what is essentially a noisy construction site for the coming weeks and months, when building work often starts as early as 7 a.m. We rented a new build house in Cholul, Yucatan for a period and there was simply no escape from the noise. 

The time to delivery is another factor to take into consideration. Preventa houses that are still under construction may come with an estimated date for completion in six months time but projects can be (and often are) delayed. 

plots of land for sale in Mexico
If you want to build a house in Mexico, you need to start by driving around looking for plots of land for sale with signs like this one

Building a house in Mexico 

Before finding a house I wanted to buy, I was initially considering building a house in Mexico from scratch and only decided against the idea because I felt that I couldn’t deal with the stress. In Mexico, you can essentially build a house in as little as 3-6 months and most of the construction workers are paid after completing each task. 

For example, they will be paid x amount after building a specific wall, or y amount once the foundations of a certain room are complete. So, the workers tend to work fast because they want to make as much money as they can, as quickly as they can. 

It’s not like in other countries where builders drag their heels and take as long as possible because they are paid by the hour. The first step to building a house is to find a suitable plot of land.

You will find some lots for sale on property rental websites but for the most part in Mexico, people just write their phone numbers on handmade “for sale” signs outside the lots. This means that you typically have to drive around the area looking for lots, asking around, writing down the phone numbers, and making calls. 

As a foreigner, you cannot purchase ejido land – village land owned by several members of a community. So you will need to clarify with the seller and the notario that the land you are interested in is not. 

Construction costs in Mexico

Construction prices vary significantly from state to state and city to city, and factors such as the remoteness of the location or the spec of the house/the quality of the building materials play a role. Prices are constantly changing and for the most part, they are trending upwards and becoming more expensive.

In 2023, we were quoted $8,500 pesos per meter squared (m2) of construction to build a house in Merida. In rural Jalisco, we were quoted $14,500 pesos per m2 because the location was remote and it was trickier for the workers to take the materials there. 

You can find “inspiration” for your home design by visiting various properties (or just browsing their photos and renders online) and then sending your preferences to an architect so that they can create a render for you. A render will typically cost between 8,000 and 10,000 pesos and will be customized to factor in the size of your lot, any design requests, etc. 

The build versus buy decision 

As mentioned, you can usually save a fair amount of money by building a house yourself but it all comes down to you and your personal preferences. It is the time versus cost savings decision. 

If you are an anxious, stressy person like me you might find that buying is better for your mental health. You need to have a view that building your house in Mexico is a fun project to work on rather than a chore and accept that everything doesn’t always go according to plan, especially not in Mexico. 

Cost savings are a big factor, and building a house rather than choosing to buy one also means that you pay significantly less tax. When you build a house, you only pay taxes on the lot, Whereas if you are buying a completed house, you pay taxes on the total value of the house.

However, you also need to be prepared to monitor and essentially micromanage some of the building work that takes place at the construction site. Even if you know very little about the process of building a house, you should expect to travel to the site at least once a week for updates on what is going on to make sure that work is actually taking place and to make sure that no materials or equipment are stolen from you.

This is something that not everybody wants to deal with. You can still find very reasonably priced houses that are a few years old and need only minor work or touch-ups done to them. 

So you don’t need to feel like you are losing lots of money by buying. 

Do I need a realtor in Mexico? 

It is not imperative to seek out a realtor in Mexico, although a realtor who is well-versed in helping foreigners buy homes can potentially help make the process a lot easier. 

You can have one realtor represent you, or you can go by yourself to different viewings and properties. The most important thing is to have a notario – a legal representative to help you navigate the minefield of handling real estate papers in Mexico 

The realtor’s commission is usually paid for by the seller and is not something that you typically need to worry about as a buyer.

I actually viewed over 10 different properties in Merida and Jalisco before choosing the house I wanted. I didn’t commit to one specific realtor because I happened to find all the houses independently myself through Point2homes and Facebook Marketplace. 

The house that I chose was actually represented by an agency so I did end up kind of acquiring a realtor based on my chosen house. My realtor was American so I had thought that he would be able to guide me through the process more as he had helped other foreigners secure their dream homes in the past. 

Unfortunately, his communication was poor and I was constantly having to chase up updates with the contract, the process, etc. and it was like pulling teeth. There were other properties that he represented that were within my budget that I would have been interested in and he didn’t even bother to take me to, and I felt that I was lumbered with him just because of the house that I liked. 

So for that reason, I wouldn’t say that having a realtor was essential. 

Working with one realtor exclusively 

Some realtors may request that they represent you exclusively. While it sounds convenient that someone will be doing the work for you and sending you houses that meet your taste and budget, keep in mind that they will often exclude places that they don’t represent meaning that you potentially miss out on some nice places that may have been of interest. 

However, if you find a listing that you like and ask someone to be your realtor for it and they were not previously representing it, be aware that you may be asked to cover their commission. 

Finding a notario in Mexico

Finding a trustworthy notario (Mexican lawyer who specializes in real estate) should be one of your key priorities when buying a house in Mexico. Once a property is under contract (promesa de compraventa/ contrato de compraventa), the notario will do an extensive property search to make sure that everything is okay with the sale, the deed, etc. 

They will then manage the administrative tasks and work on your behalf to have the legal property deed (escritura) put in your name. Your realtor may be able to advise a trustworthy notario that they often work with, or you can ask around in expat Facebook groups. 

Before choosing a notario, it is a good idea to chat with other foreigners about their experiences with them. Dont just go with the first person that you hear about, make sure that there are lots of testimonials to back up their reputability first. 

I initially contacted MexLaw who have a great reputation and a team of English-speaking Mexican and American lawyers based out of their office in Playa Del Carmen. (However, you can work with them remotely on your property purchase in any part of Mexico). 

They seemed great but I ended up working with a local Mexican notario in Merida. If you struggle to find a notario and working with fellow native English speakers is important to you, you can consider reaching out to MexLaw. 

Making an offer on a property 

If you have found a house that you like the look of, you can move forward by making an offer. This can be done informally via WhatsApp, email, etc. 

If the buyer accepts, that is your binding agreement until the contract is drawn up.

In Mexico, it is customary to offer the asking price, and lowball offers are often unproductive and may mean that you are not taken seriously as a buyer. 

If you really like a house, it is better to offer the asking price rather than potentially lose out on the house of your dreams just to try and save a couple of thousand dollars. The real estate market is booming lately and the seller likely won’t have to wait all that long for a better offer.

Still, there is some leeway if the house is in disrepair, needs a lot of work done to it, has been abandoned, or has been for sale for some time with no movement. I actually made an offer on my house that was 8% below the asking price and it got accepted but as I mentioned, it was a fixer-upper and there were a lot of issues with it. 

The property had been abandoned for several months prior and had some humidity issues that needed to be addressed. One of the toilets in one of the bathrooms had been essentially smashed in half (?) and needed to be replaced. 

There were many small, superficial damages that collectively added up and meant that the house wouldn’t be livable immediately after purchase so my lower offer was acceptable. I wasn’t just offering a lower price for the sake of doing so. 

Signing the sales contract 

A contract (“contrato de promesa”) is usually drawn up a couple of days after the terms and price of the sale are agreed. Unfortunately, in my case, it took weeks to get to this stage because my seller was American and did not have a Mexican tax ID number (RFC) nor did she have the time to travel to Mexico to obtain one, so it delayed the sales process quite a bit before we could even get started. 

Contracts are usually in Spanish, but if you are working with a realtor or an agency that often works with foreigners, it may be bilingual. The contract exists to protect the interests of both parties and is usually fairly standard, but it is useful to have your notario or lawyer read over it too. 

Electronic signatures are not accepted on Mexican real estate contracts. So, you must either sign the contract in person by hand or have a printer and a scanner ready so that you can sign the document, scan and email it from home. 

Paying the initial deposit 

You are expected to pay the deposit within 5-7 business days after signing the contract. This is usually between 10% and 20% of the property value but with some promesa deals, you might get a better discount if you pay more upfront. 

For example, they might offer a 5% discount if you pay a 30% deposit upfront and more money before delivery, a 10% discount if you pay a 30% down payment upfront, etc. 

Even if you are not offered such a deal, it is worth asking to see if you can negotiate the price down further, especially if you are an all-cash buyer and you have the funds ready. 

The deposit must be sent by WIRE transfer (aka a SWIFT transfer if you are coming from the UK/Europe). Unfortunately, you cannot use WISE, but I was able to use my REVOLUT account which meant not having to pay huge bank fees.

Check with your bank about their procedures for doing a WIRE transfer before you get to the stage of needing to transfer the deposit. Some international banks may let you initiate WIRES by yourself online but they may have limits.

In some Mexican states, like the Yucatan, sometimes the seller wants to keep the deposit until the deal is completed. For your own security and to stop them running off into the sunset with your hard-earned money, this is best avoided. 

You can pay your notario to place the funds into an escrow account where they will be safely stored until the deal is closed. There will be a small additional escrow fee to pay which is no doubt worth it for your peace of mind.

What happens when the property goes under contract 

When the property is under contract, it will be marked as “pending sold” and its online listings and advertisements will be removed. Nobody else will be permitted to view the property. 

From this point, you can essentially wait and go about your life until you are contacted by your realtor/notario when they notify you that the deal is closing. 

The notary’s office will apply for a permit from the foreign affairs office, and where applicable, send the necessary paperwork to the bank to form the Fideicomiso. 

This entire process can take between 40 and 90 days depending on how long it takes each party to process the relevant paperwork. You should expect delays, particularly if this process is likely to take place over the holidays. 

Entering into a fideicomiso agreement with a Mexican bank 

One of the most popular real estate myths about buying a house in Mexico is that you cannot purchase property along the coast. This is false so rest assured, you can have that beachfront condo in Playa Del Carmen if you want it. 

Basically, a centuries-old law in Mexico would prohibit foreigners from purchasing land close to borders or coastlines because this is how the USA took over Texas and California. The law is no longer really applicable but it takes time to change legislature and so in the interim, fideicomiso agreements are used as a workaround. 

A fideicomiso is a bank trust whereby you enter an agreement with a Mexican bank. They essentially buy the property for you and you purchase it through them.

That might sound suspect but it is above board and has now become relatively standard practice. The agreement is valid for 50 years and can be renewed indefinitely. 

Rest assured, the property is yours. This is not a lease and you have full owner rights. Nobody can just come and take your home away and the fideicomiso offers additional protections – e.g. you are free from liens, seizures, etc. 

Costs of a fideicomiso 

You need to pay around 50,000 pesos to start the fideicomiso agreement (the exact amount varies depending on where in Mexico you are), and then it costs around $500 USD a year to maintain the trust. If you are purchasing a property from another foreigner who already has a fideicomiso in place, it makes things simpler because they can simply transfer the agreement into your name. 

This can save you around $2,000 to $2,500. 

You will need a fideicomiso if the property you are purchasing is within 50km of the coastline and 100km of land borders with other countries. My house in Merida is inland in the central part of the Yucatan state but since it was just 43.5km from the coast, it meant that I had to enter into a fideicomiso. 

Your attorney/notario can recommend a Mexican bank for you to set up the agreement with. They probably have a preferred institution that they usually work with as default. 

Don’t write off smaller, local banks in favor of large national ones as the smaller ones can often provide a better, more personalized service. 

Legal fees and additional considerations 

As with anything, it is a good idea to over budget when buying a house in Mexico and be prepared for a few hidden costs. If you are buying in cash or you have a limited amount of credit, it is better to choose a house that doesn’t eat up the entirety of your budget. 

Your final closing costs which include legal fees, notary fees, fideicomiso fees, taxes, etc., can be as much as 5% to 10% added to the cost of the property purchase price so do factor that in accordingly. You also need to think about any travel costs while scouting for houses in Mexico, and rental costs, etc. while you wait for the property to be ready. 

I rented a car in Puerto Vallarta and stayed in hotels in Jalisco while driving around looking for plots of land, before flying to Merida and staying in Merida hotels while meeting with realtors. These trips, while necessary, did end up costing over $1,000 USD overall. 

Property acquisition tax (ISAI) can cost anywhere from 2% to 5% of the total value of the house. In the Yucatan, it is 2.5% in most of Merida, but 3% along the beaches of Mexicos Gulf Coast. 

Legal and notario fees can cost upwards of 70,000 to 100,000 pesos overall. (Upwards of $4,000 USD). 

Closing the property purchase 

When the deed (escritura) and all the other documents are set and ready to go, your notario will notify you that it is time to close the purchase. At this point, you need to transfer the remainder of your funds for the property purchase by WIRE into the notary’s escrow account. 

Again, double-check the WIRE process with your bank beforehand. This is important because, for example, my primary bank in the UK only allows me to transfer £10,000 per day by WIRE unless I physically go into the branch which was less than ideal when transferring money to Mexico for a house purchase.

You will be handed the keys immediately after closing, and then you can set about moving into the property and making the house your own. 

The notario will then send all the signed documents to the federal government office in Mexico so that they can register the property under your name. Then, you will receive further documentation from the public registry confirming that you are the homeowner. 

Mortgage and credit options in Mexico 

I bought a house in Mexico outright in cash after selling a business (actually I sold my previous travel blog, High Heels and a Backpack for six figures). I do not come from money but I appreciate that I was in a very privileged position to be able to purchase a house outright. 

A lot of foreigners that are buying a house in Mexico are cash buyers and credit options are not widely available (for foreigners or Mexicans). My partner is Mexican and has an engineering job that makes him extremely well-paid by Mexican standards and yet he can only get credit of around 1.2 million Mexican pesos (circa $68,000 USD). 

If you are American or Canadian, you may be able to obtain financing in your own country but it is something you need to investigate before starting to search for a house. You should not rely on obtaining credit from Mexican institutions. 

Property taxes in Mexico

Property taxes in Mexico are usually pretty reasonable and at the most, are only a couple of hundred dollars a year. Since my house is in a gated community, property taxes are higher, and there are also additional fees that I need to pay for the security, refuse collection, and maintenance of living in the community. 

(Circa $50 USD a month). 

Switching bills and utilities into your name 

When you move into your home, you need to contact CFE (the Mexican electric board) and the local water supplier to switch everything to your name. You need to choose an internet company for your WIFI/internet connection and be prepared to be patient as this can take a while in Mexico. 

Shopping for furniture in Mexico 

When you finally have the keys to your new house, you can start with the fun task of decorating it. There are honestly a lot of great furniture stores in Mexico that sell tasteful, classy pieces at reasonable prices. 

Gaia Design Mexico is a good furniture department store that has branches all over the country. It’s a nice choice for sofas, chairs, living/dining room furniture, and accessories like rugs, cushions, lamps, etc. 

Liverpool department stores have a dedicated furniture section but while some pieces are nice, Liverpool always seems to be overpriced and more expensive than what you can find in smaller independent stores. 

In the Yucatan region, you will find Gran Chapur department stores which are also a little expensive. IKEA isnt really a “thing” in Mexico yet (their first store was only very recently opened in Mexico City) but Amazon is a pretty popular place to shop for cheap bits and pieces. 

You can find stores by searching “mubeles” (furniture) on Google Maps for the specific city you are in. Most malls, etc. have independent furniture stores and around the Yucatan and the Riviera Maya region in particular, you will find a lot of cute places selling Tulum-style bohemian furnishings made with wood and wicker. 

FAQs About Buying a House in Mexico 

Do you have any further questions or concerns about buying a house in Mexico? The answers to some frequently asked questions on the topic are detailed below for your consideration. 

Hopefully, you will find the information you are searching for there. If not, please do not hesitate to reach out to me and I will do my best to get back to you as soon as I can. 

Can I get Mexican residency through my property purchase in Mexico? 

You may be able to obtain Mexican residency through your property purchase depending on the value of the house. Requirements for temporary and permanent residency in Mexico have changed in 2023 and applicants need far more substantial savings/income than they did previously. 

You can obtain Mexican temporary residency through your property purchase if your property has a value of at least 40,000x the Minimum Daily Wage. This works out at around $437,000 USD. 

Since a lot of houses are sold for substantially less than this, it might be that you need to go down a different route for temporary residency. If you can prove that your monthly income is over a certain amount, or you have had a certain amount of money stored in savings for more than six months, you can obtain temporary residency this way. 

However, unfortunately, both routes mean that you need to travel back to your home country and apply for residency through the Mexican embassy there. If your property purchase is over the required value of $437,000 USD, the same lawyer/notario that you bought your house through can help you with applying for residency. 

Can foreigners buy property in Mexico? Do I need residency? 

Yes, foreigners can buy property in Mexico and no, you do not need to be a resident of the country. You can invest in real estate here on a tourist visa (or even remotely from overseas).

Residents of most countries can travel to Mexico for six months at a time on a tourist visa so Mexico can be the perfect location for a second holiday home, based on the amount of time you are able to spend here.  

Final thoughts on buying a house in Mexico

Buying a house in Mexico can be a stressful and involved process but fortunately, things run more smoothly here than you might realize and the process of purchasing and closing on a house is not all that different from doing so elsewhere. The most important thing is that you do your due diligence and work with a trustworthy notario. 

This article is a work in progress and will be updated periodically as I move into the house, decorate it, fix it up, etc. 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions about relocating to or traveling in Mexico 🙂

Buen Viaje! Melissa xo 

Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer based in Merida, Mexico and the Editor-in-Chief of Mexico Travel Secrets. She has over seven years worth of experience in working in travel media and has travelled to 57 countries, mostly solo. Throughout her career, Melissa has produced written content for several high-profile publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, the Huffington Post, Rough Guides, and Matador Network.