Building a waterfront home in Mexico is a dream many foreigners entertain while plugging away at their 9-5. We answered a few common rumors regarding foreigners owning property in Mexico, in case you want to make those dreams come true.
Can foreigners legally build or own a home on the beach in Mexico?
Yes! of course, foreigners can build or purchase a home on the beach in Mexico. You do not need to be a Mexican citizen to buy real estate in Mexico.
Is it true that the property will not be in my name?
Some foreigners believe the property must be registered under a Mexican citizen’s name, and this is not true. Although the Mexican Constitution has specific requirements about foreigners owning certain property, the government does not want to discourage foreign investors, so the solution is to hold the property in a fideicomiso.
What is a fideicomiso?
A fideicomiso is a bank trust governed by federal law; the bank holds the property in trust with you as the beneficiary. You, as the owner, retains all legal rights of ownership, including the right to renovate, sell, rent, and of course, include your property in your estate planning.
Is it true that a fideicomiso is only a lease?
No, although the trust is assigned in 50-year increments, it is renewable by you or your heirs at any time for as long as you own the property or until you become a Mexican citizen. If you become a citizen, you will no longer need the fideicomiso.
Which properties must be purchased through a fideicomiso?
Land that is within the restricted zone which includes any property within 50 kilometers from the coast and 100 kilometers from the international border.
Is all waterfront property available to foreigners to purchase?
No, some land is considered Ejido, which is property designated as communal land by the government intended for Mexicans only. This land was originally intended for agriculture and can not be sold off and titled. Beware of anyone trying to sell you cheap waterfront property in Mexico.
If I buy beachfront property, can I stop people from using the beach in front of my home?
No, the beach is not private property. The twenty-meter strip of beach from the mainland is considered the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone and must be accessible to all. Attempting to restrict or block the public from using the beach can result in prison and fines.
When you are ready to build or renovate hire a professional architect to realize your ideas, deal with the red tape of permits and licenses, adhere to current regulations, safety requirements, and complete the project on budget.