Yucatan, your (second) “home sweet home”
Yucatan is famous for its Spanish colonial architecture found in abundance in such cites as Izamal, Valladolid, and the state capital, Merida, also known as “The White City”.
At the beginning of the 20th century Yucatan experienced an economic boom based on cultivation of the plant, “henequen”. A huge demand emerged worldwide for this natural fiber plant used to produce sacks, ropes, and anything that required a strong, breathable material, and Yucatan was the world’s number one henequen producer and exporter.
Today, the state of Yucatan is experiencing a different kind of economic boom. Merida and the Yucatecan coast have become a favorite for American and Canadian baby-boomers who are seeking a better quality of life at a reasonable price.
The Yucatan coast is ideal for active retirees. Just 40 minutes away from Merida’s International Airport, via a four lane highway, Progreso, Chelem, Sisal, Celestún and other beach sites are very similar in appearance to the beaches of Southern Florida.
These coastal properties are quickly being acquired by foreign (and Mexican national) buyers that have an understanding of the value that is offered by the state of Yucatan. For example, coastal properties located in the nearby Caribbean state of Quintana Roo have risen astonishingly in the past five years, where one can easily spend $275,000 USD and up for a 20 meter lot without electricity or paved road. The coast of Yucatan still has relatively low beachfront prices starting as low as $20,000 USD.
Yucatan has positioned itself as a relaxing foreign residential community with world-class spas, boutique hotels, high end restaurants, shopping malls, signature golf courses, residential communities, and the state with the lowest crime rate in all of Mexico.
Merida has increased its air connectivity with the US, Canada and Europe via direct flights from Houston, Miami, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Toronto, Rome, Milan, (and even Havana and Belize City).
Beachfront real estate in Yucatán is primed to emerge as one of the smartest investments of the next decade. With 80 million Baby Boomers now retiring, vacation homes in non-traditional markets are becoming more and more popular as people seek safe, low-risk opportunities with major profitability.
Yucatán fits the profile of a great investment decision: it has a stable, growing economy, real estate prices are affordable, it’s a popular tourism destination, and market trends are headed in the right direction in terms of appreciation.
The coast of Yucatán keeps growing with leading regional developers, investment in vacation homes, marinas, beachfront resorts and hotels, boasting major infrastructure improvements as well as self sustainable ecotouristic projects.
BUT MANY AMERICANS AND CANADIANS STILL HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT WHETHER FOREIGNERS CAN REALLY OWN PROPERTY IN MEXICO?
The answer is yes, Americans and other foreigners may obtain direct ownership of property in the interior of Mexico. However, under Mexican law, foreigners cannot own property outright within the restricted zone (50 kilometers from the coast and 100 km from the border).
Instead, a real estate trust must be set up to hold title for them. Since foreigners are not able to enter into contracts to buy real estate, they must have a bank act on their behalf.
In 1971 the Mexican Government solved this problem, by creating the Fideicomiso. A Fideicomiso is a legal concept that allows foreigners to acquire property in the restricted zone through a bureaucratic process in which they set up a Mexican bank trust. The bank actually holds the deed. Through the trust, foreigners enjoy basically the same rights as Mexican citizens.
Buying a home, business, or other property in Mexico can be an exciting and stress-free experience, as long as you have knowledgeable and trustworthy people working on your side to guide you through the process here in Mexico.
For more information, you may wish to consult this guide for foreigners seeking to buy property in Mexico: