Tulum Real Estate Experts

A Guide to Purchasing Real Estate in Mexico as a Foreign Buyer

Mexican Real Estate Laws for Foreigners Expats
Mexican Real Estate Laws for Foreigners Expats

Mexico has been an increasingly popular destination for foreign real estate investors due to its beautiful landscapes, favorable climate, and lower cost of living. 

However, navigating Mexico’s real estate market can be challenging without understanding the country’s property ownership laws and regulations. 

This comprehensive guide outlines everything a foreign buyer needs to know before purchasing real estate in Mexico.

Rules and Restrictions on Foreign Owners

In Mexico, foreign buyers cannot directly own property within 50km of the coastline or 100km from any land borders. However, there are two options for legally purchasing property in restricted zones:

  1. Bank Trust (Fideicomiso): A bank holds the property title in trust for the foreign buyer, who maintains all rights of ownership
  2. Mexican Corporation: Establishing a Mexican corporation allows foreigners to buy restricted properties under the corporation’s name

Outside these zones in Mexico’s interior, foreigners can legally obtain direct title deeds like Mexican nationals.

Finding the Right Property

Hiring a reputable real estate agent well-versed in local markets is highly advisable for foreigners. An agent can help you:’

  • Navigate listings to find properties meeting your criteria
  • Interpret titles and ownership documentation
  • Broker negotiations according to local norms
  • Ensure appropriate taxes, fees, and legal processes are handled

Thoroughly research factors like location, pricing, appreciation potential, and infrastructure when selecting a property. View multiple options before committing.

Financing and Legal Protections

Secure financing from a reputed Mexican bank before finalizing a purchase agreement. Banks often require 30-50% down payments from foreign buyers. Review all contracts with a real estate attorney. Verify ownership history, zoning status, liens, and applicable taxes. Title insurance provides added protection.

Post-Purchase Costs and Requirements

Carrying costs for property owners include utilities, maintenance fees, insurance policies, property taxes, and condo/HOA dues. 

Establish a Mexican bank account to pay for these easily—record post-dated checks for annual taxes. Renew your bank trust or corporation annually to confirm legal ownership.

In Conclusion

Purchasing real estate in Mexico has significant advantages if executed judiciously. By following the recommendations outlined and seeking local expertise, foreign buyers can overcome legal hurdles and facilitate smooth acquisitions. 

Conduct thorough due diligence and make the most of professional guidance to ensure your purchase is viable, protected, and aligned with your long-term goals.

Chief Take Aways 

  • Restricted zones where foreigners cannot directly own property
  • Using a fideicomiso (bank trust) to purchase property in restricted zones
  • Setting up a Mexican corporation to buy specified properties
  • Working with real estate agents and lawyers for guidance
  • Conducting due diligence on titles, costs, taxes
  • Post-purchase costs and legal requirements
  • FAQs on subjects like ownership structures

Mexico Real Estate Terms Defined

The Restricted Zone:

In Mexico, a designated area is the “Restricted Zone,” where foreigners are restricted from directly owning property.

This zone includes all land within 50 kilometers (31 miles) of the coastline and 100 kilometers (62 miles) of the borders.

However, there are legal mechanisms that allow foreigners to acquire property in the Restricted Zone.

Fideicomiso (Trust Agreement):

To bypass the restrictions in the Restricted Zone, foreigners can acquire property through a Fideicomiso, a trust agreement established with a Mexican bank.

Under this arrangement, the bank holds the title to the property on behalf of the foreign buyer.

The buyer becomes the trust beneficiary and has complete control over the property, including the right to sell, lease, or pass it on to heirs.

Purchasing Property through a Mexican Corporation:

Another option for foreigners is to establish a Mexican corporation to buy property.

This option is more suitable for investing in commercial real estate or large-scale projects.

However, it’s important to note that this option requires more complex legal and tax considerations.

Taxes and Fees:

When purchasing property in Mexico, foreigners should be aware of the taxes and fees associated with the transaction.

These may include the acquisition tax, notary fees, and registration fees.

It’s advisable to consult with a local attorney or real estate professional to understand the specific costs involved in a property purchase.

In conclusion, Mexico offers attractive opportunities for foreigners interested in investing in real estate.

Understanding the country’s real estate laws, such as the Restricted Zone and Fideicomiso, and purchasing through a Mexican corporation is crucial for a successful property purchase.

Foreigners can confidently navigate the Mexican real estate market by consulting with local experts and conducting thorough research.


Q: Can foreigners own real estate in Mexico?

A: Yes, foreigners can own real estate in Mexico. However, certain restrictions and regulations need to be followed.

Q: Are there any restrictions on the type of property foreigners can own in Mexico?

A: Foreigners can own any property in Mexico, including residential, commercial, and vacant land. However, there are some restrictions on owning property within the restricted zone, which includes areas within 50 kilometers of the coastline and 100 kilometers of the borders.

Q: What is the restricted zone in Mexico?

A: The restricted zone refers to areas within 50 kilometers of the coastline and 100 kilometers of the borders. Foreigners can still own property in the restricted zone through a trust called a fideicomiso or by establishing a Mexican corporation.

Q: What is a fideicomiso?

A: A fideicomiso is a trust agreement that allows foreigners to own property in the restricted zone. The property is held in trust by a Mexican bank, acting as the trustee on behalf of the foreign buyer.

Q: How long does a fideicomiso last?

A: A fideicomiso can be established for a maximum period of 50


In conclusion, understanding Mexico’s real estate laws for foreigners is crucial for anyone considering purchasing property in the country.

You can ensure a smooth and successful transaction by familiarizing yourself with the restrictions, requirements, and processes.

Whether you are looking for a vacation home or an investment opportunity, Mexico offers many options for foreign buyers.

With the proper knowledge and guidance, you can navigate the legal landscape and make your real estate dreams a reality in Mexico.

Please get in touch with us with any questions,

Compare listings

Price Range From To
Other Features