How to buy a beach house in Mexico as an american

Septiembre 13 de 2023



First of all, yes, you can buy a beach house in Mexico as a U.S. citizen. For many americans, owning a beach house in Mexico is not just a dream, but a tangible possibility. Mexico's stunning coastline, vibrant culture and relatively affordable real estate make it an attractive destination for those seeking a seaside retreat. 

However, the process of buying a beach house south of the border involves navigating a unique set of regulations and considerations. In this blog, we'll walk you through the essential steps and information you need to know about how a U.S. citizen can buy a beach house in Mexico, turning that dream into reality.

7 things to consider when buying a beach house in Mexico as an American

  • Restricted Zones: Mexico has restricted zones where foreign citizens cannot directly own property. These restricted zones typically include areas within 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) of the coast and 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) from the border. To own property in these zones, you would need to do so through a Mexican bank trust called a "fideicomiso" or by establishing a Mexican corporation.

  • Fideicomiso: Most U.S. citizens who want to own beachfront property in Mexico do so through a fideicomiso. This is a legal trust arrangement that allows you to have all the rights of ownership, including the ability to buy, sell, and develop the property, while the bank holds the title in trust for you. You pay an annual fee for this service.

  • Mexican Corporation: Some individuals, especially those looking to invest in multiple properties or engage in commercial activities, choose to establish a Mexican corporation to own real estate. This can be a more complex and costly option compared to a fideicomiso.

  • Local Regulations: Be sure to understand the local regulations and requirements for property ownership in the specific area of Mexico where you're interested in buying. These can vary by state and municipality.

  • Legal Advice: It's highly recommended to consult with a Mexican attorney who specializes in real estate transactions to navigate the legal and regulatory aspects of buying property in Mexico.

  • Taxes and Reporting: Be aware of tax implications in both the U.S. and Mexico when you own property in Mexico. You may need to report your foreign assets to the U.S. government and pay property taxes in Mexico.

  • Residency Requirements: Owning property in Mexico does not grant you automatic residency. If you plan to live in Mexico for an extended period, you may need to apply for a Mexican visa or temporary residence.

Learn more about the cost of living in Merida, Mexico


How to buy a beach house in Mexico as an American citizen?

Here are 7 steps to buy a beach house in Mexico as an American citizen:

1. Do research and Location Selection:

Start by researching different beach destinations in Mexico to identify the area that best suits your preferences and budget. Consider factors such as climate, amenities, proximity to services, and local regulations. Visit potential locations to get a feel for the area before making a decision.

2. Determine your Budget and Financing:

Determine your budget for purchasing a beach house in Mexico. Keep in mind that in addition to the property's purchase price, you'll need to account for closing costs, property taxes, and ongoing expenses. Explore your financing options, including cash savings, a mortgage in the U.S., or financing through a Mexican bank if eligible.

3. Select a Real Estate Agent or consultancy:

Find a reputable local real estate agent or consultant who specializes in the area you're interested in. They can help you navigate the local market, provide property listings, and assist with negotiations. Ensure they are familiar with the legal requirements for foreign buyers.

4. Conduct Due Diligence and Property Inspection:

Once you find a property you're interested in, conduct thorough due diligence. Have the property inspected by a qualified professional to assess its condition and identify any potential issues. Review all property documentation, including the title, to ensure there are no legal encumbrances or disputes.

5. Hire Legal Assistance:

Hire a Mexican attorney who specializes in real estate transactions. They will guide you through the legal process, assist with the creation of a fideicomiso (trust) or a Mexican corporation if necessary, and ensure all legal requirements are met. Your attorney will also help you understand local property laws and taxes.

6. Be careful with the Purchase Agreement and Closing:

Work with your real estate agent and attorney to negotiate the purchase price and terms. Once both parties agree, a purchase agreement (contrato de compraventa) will be drafted. This agreement outlines the terms and conditions of the sale. At the closing, you will sign the deed, transfer funds, and take possession of the property.

7. Be knowledgeable of your Post-Purchase Responsibilities:

After acquiring your beach house, it's essential to keep up with property taxes, maintenance, and any other ongoing expenses. Be aware of your tax obligations in both Mexico and the United States, as well as any reporting requirements related to foreign property ownership.

Learn more about: How to buy a house in Merida, Mexico?


7 attractive beaches in Mexico for an American 

If you are looking for the best beach to live in Mexico, here are some of the most incredible places to consider:

  • Telchac Puerto:

Telchac Puerto is a charming coastal town located about 50 miles north of Merida. It offers a tranquil beachfront setting, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a quieter, more laid-back lifestyle. The town has a small but welcoming expat community, and its picturesque beaches are perfect for relaxation, swimming, and fishing. Telchac Puerto maintains a traditional Mexican feel and is known for its seafood cuisine.

  • Chelem:

Just north of Progreso, Chelem is another beachfront community known for its affordability and peaceful ambiance. This fishing village has become a haven for American retirees and expats looking for a tranquil beachside escape. Chelem's beaches are relatively undeveloped, and the town has a close-knit community atmosphere. It's an ideal place for those who want to experience a slower pace of life.

  • Chicxulub Puerto:

Chicxulub Puerto is located near Progreso and is known for its quiet beaches and stunning sunsets. This peaceful coastal town offers a relaxed way of life with easy access to Progreso's amenities and services. 

Chicxulub is also known for its ecological reserve, the "Ciénaga de Progreso," which attracts birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. The proximity to Merida adds to its appeal for expats looking for a balance between beach living and city conveniences.

  • Sisal:

Sisal is a charming coastal town located in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, known for its pristine beaches, historic charm, and tranquil ambiance. For an American citizen considering relocation, Sisal offers a unique blend of natural beauty and a laid-back lifestyle that can be highly attractive.

  • Tulum, Quintana Roo:

Tulum is famous for its laid-back, bohemian vibe, and it's home to some of the most picturesque beaches in Mexico. The Mayan ruins overlooking the sea add a unique touch to the area. Tulum is perfect for travelers seeking a more tranquil beach experience.

  • Los Cabos, Baja California Sur:

Comprising Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, Los Cabos offers a blend of desert landscapes and pristine beaches along the Baja California Peninsula. It's a hotspot for sportfishing, golf, and luxury resorts, with beautiful sandy shores and dramatic rock formations.

  • Sayulita, Nayarit:

Sayulita is a charming surf town on the Pacific coast known for its vibrant atmosphere, colorful streets, and excellent surf conditions. The laid-back vibe and welcoming community make it a great place to unwind.

  • Zihuatanejo, Guerrero:

Zihuatanejo is a picturesque fishing village with a tranquil ambiance. Its beaches, including Playa La Ropa and Playa Principal, are calm and perfect for swimming. Visitors can savor fresh seafood at local restaurants and explore the authentic Mexican culture.

Learn more about: Is it worth it to retire to Merida, Mexico?


Some of the best beaches in the world are in Mexico, which makes this country one of the best places to live if you are looking for a paradisiacal place to enjoy with your family or to meet new friends.

Remember that in IDC Living we have several properties on the best beaches of Mexico, plus we can provide legal advice to buy your next home safely. Do not hesitate to call us if you want to receive personalized advice at no cost.

We hope this article has been of your interest!

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