Published On: Fri, Feb 21st, 2014

The Riviera Maya – Making a Clear Path for Expats to Live the Dream in Paradise

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Over the past 10 years the Riviera Maya has grown from a quiet hidden getaway to being a rising star, not just for tourism but as a prime expat destination.  In the most recent few years people have caught onto the fact that the Riviera Maya is safe and indeed a technologically advanced and suitable place to live and retire affordably; all the while being surrounded by the paradise of the Caribbean Sea and the most beautiful beaches in Latin America.

I started Top Mexico Real Estate in 2008 with the idea of helping foreigners achieve the dream of living and buying in Mexico safely and fully educated.  Since I started the business things have evolved tremendously both for area realtors and for foreigners seeking to purchase property in Mexico.

It is beyond important to stay in tune with every law, every procedure and to make information perfectly clear to the clients.

After founding Top Mexico Real Estate I worked to achieve the first national level university degree in Mexico Real Estate business and have become an active member of AMPI (National Association of Realtors).

I have been invited to take oath as Secretary of the Tulum Chapter of AMPI which I gladly accepted.  I will be sworn in as Secretary on February 20th 2014 in Cancun with the rest of the new regional board members of AMPI.  My goal is to continue to create a safe and easy buying experience for all foreign buyers and to promote ethical practices in the real estate community.

Top Mexico has a great team of professional agents who not only hold excellence in their jobs but practice with integrity.  At Top Mexico we are buyer’s agents which means that we are working hard on the buyers behalf to, not only search for suitable homes, but to provide the best education possible, using our own knowledge and professional recourses.

The special thing here is that most of our agents are people who have experienced the dream of coming to live in Mexico and have done it themselves.  The best advice you can get about living or buying in Mexico is from people who have been in your shoes.  We all have stories and can help our buyers based on a series of experiences that we have encountered, which is what I believe makes us excel in customer service.

Today over 1 million Americans and Canadians are living on the coast of Mexico.  Cancun is the number one vacation destination in all of Latin America, with the Riviera Maya following as number two.  People are coming, falling in love and essentially staying.  You know we have all said this on vacation before – “I wish I could live here.” Well many people have proven this is not such a far off thought after all.

And while the amazing white sand beaches and outstanding Caribbean Sea may be just enough to steal your heart and keep you forever, there are many more reasons why the Mexican Caribbean is reeling in the northern countries residents.  Why you ask?

Think about how this sounds!  Extremely low cost of living including health care and prescription coverage, beautiful weather, amazing surroundings rich in natural beauty, culture and rich history, year round golf, scuba diving, fishing, theme parks, close proximity to natural wonders such as Chichen-Itza and other archaeological sites.

And while all this has already gotten you hooked, once you introduce the fact that homes in the Riviera Maya are much more affordable and that property taxes are basically pennies compared to the United States that is what puts the icing on the cake for people. And this, combined with everything that I mentioned, is why foreigners are flocking to buy property in the Riviera Maya and other parts of Mexico.

The Riviera Maya and Mexico are particularly attractive to retires because of how far they can stretch their retirement dollars.  You can get more home for your money in a more desirable location and really take advantage of the lower health care costs.  I should also mention that sunshine and warm weather can contribute to a healthy and active lifestyle retirees are searching for.

Areas like Playa del Carmen and Cancun are booming for expats!  In this moment you can find every necessary Americanized convenience, plenty of shopping, and international food choices both in restaurants and in the supermarkets.  As Americans keep rolling in the demand is continuing to be met.

And same when it comes to real estate.  New homes and condo developments are being built with the American and Canadian mentality.  Developers and architects are asking – “how can we build to perfectly accommodate the expat demand?”

New residential communities like El Cielo and Valle Bambu are accommodating a quieter and family friendly lifestyle outside of the downtown areas.

Major projects like Alea Zama in Tulum are meant to add an easy life for expat living all the while maintain the quiet Mexican Caribbean feel that it has always held.  There are new preconstruction opportunities popping up everywhere which gives even more incentive to foreign buyers to purchase now before values increase.  And they will increase.

There is truly an option for everyone seeking to live a life in the Riviera Maya whether you are coming to retire, live with your family, start a small business or just come to enjoy a vacation from time to time.

The important thing to consider is that as a foreign purchaser of Mexico Real Estate should become well educated about the buying process before making a commitment.  It is extremely important to choose an agent that you feel comfortable with and that you feel has your best interest at heart. Ask for credentials and seek out an AMPI certified real estate broker in Mexico.

-By Thomas Lloyd



Thomas Lloyd

Thomas, from Indiana, is a graduate from the prestigious Krannert School of Management at Purdue University, where he obtained a degree in Administration with the Financial Management option.

He has been working professionally in Mexico since 1995, and in 2011 he was the first person to ever attain a new nationally regulated Real Estate degree and professional identification number for the Country of Mexico.

In 2009 he was voted Realtor of the year, because of his professionalism, attention to customers and knowledge of procedures and the market. Also, he has been active in the real estate community serving on the real estate association’s Honor and Justice Committee.

Thomas founded TOP Mexico Real Estate to help non-Mexicans have an enjoyable and safe experience as they purchase and invest in real estate in Mexico.

Mexico Travel Care




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  1. Danielle says:

    hi I would greatly appreciate your help. If you could point me to the right direction that would be great. I am thinking about moving to Playa del Carmen. I am 52 years old, I am a secretary and I would need to find a job there and of course and apartment to rent.any information you can give me would greatly be appreciated. Thank you Danielle

  2. merissa says:

    Hi Thomas,

    I’m contacting from a Toronto based production company ( and we are looking for Canadian and American ex-pats who ditch their jobs back home to open a restaurant/bar or grill in paradise. Seeing as you’ve helped people make the change, I’m wondering if you know anyone who has done this successfully? Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
    Merissa Simonian

  3. MARK YCAZA says:

    Hello, I am thinking of traveling to the Tulum area once I retire within the next 10 months. I am looking for information of renting a small house or apartment while I explore and learn about the area. I have visited on vacation and would like to see about living in Tulum for a part of the year. Please contact me at the e-mail address above and feel free to send any contact information you feel would be helpful. I hope to vacation there at the end of 2015 and use the time as a fact finding trip to start making plans to move there in early 2016. Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated. Regards, Mark

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