International buyers are flocking to Mexico to find the ideal vacation home or permanent residence. In fact, 2013 saw a 10 percent rise in the number of new residency requests – a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, especially with the growing number of retirees who are opting to call Mexico home.
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“Americans now make up more than three-quarters of Mexico’s roughly one million documented foreigners, up from around two-thirds in 2000,” writes the New York Times. “The number of Americans legally living and working in Mexico grew to more than 70,000 in 2012 from 60,000 in 2009, a number that does not include many students and retirees, those on tourist visas or the roughly 350,000 American children who have arrived since 2005 with their parents.”
The demand for real estate in Mexico is centered around the country’s most popular destinations, including Cancun and the Riviera Maya on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, which includes Playa del Carmen, the island of Cozumel, Puerto Aventuras and Tulum, along with Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas on the nation’s west coast. Real estate in these areas provides a much greater value than comparable homes in Florida or Southern California, thanks to Mexico’s low cost of living, modern infrastructure and affordable healthcare.
Real estate in Mexico’s top locales also provides a quick return on investment compared to other markets, thanks to the ever-increasing demand. Whether you are looking for an income-producing vacation home, a condo or a large beachfront villa, there are plenty of fabulous properties to choose from. In fact, many areas routinely become sold out of rentals during peak times, which is great news for buyers who are interested in rental income.
Also of note, Mexico’s government is currently making changes that will allow foreign buyers to own land outright along the coast for the first time in nearly a century. But no worries – today, buyers can still easily purchase and own land in these areas, only by entering into a partnership with a Mexican bank, which holds the property on your behalf in a real estate trust known as a fideicomiso. As the beneficiary of the trust, the buyer maintains complete control over it and the property, including how it is used and any subsequent sales or investment decisions. Although the current requirements are not overly restrictive in nature, lifting the regulations will bring an additional flurry of activity to the nation’s hottest real estate markets.