Tips for buying a vacation home

So you’ve decided it’s the right time for purchasing a vacation home. There are so many things to consider when making this big decision. A super exciting time in your life, to have your home away from home, a place you can relax, enjoy time with family and friends, and unwind from the stress of day to day life. But where do you even start?! Here are some helpful tips for buying a vacation home in the Riviera Maya.

1. Location, location, location.

The first tip is choosing the location. You’ve decided on the Riviera Maya, congrats, you’ve made a smart choice! Next question – where in the Riviera Maya? There are so many great areas and cities, our top two are, of course, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

Why Playa del Carmen?

The cosmopolitan feel of Playa del Carmen might be what first made you fall in love with this city, but just wait, there’s more. Building restrictions have kept most of the developments to 4 stories or less, so you’ve got this small town feel, with the perks of living in a big city. Great shopping, great restaurants, and great nightlife, in a walkable city, and you can find Playa del Carmen real estate for less than $200K just blocks from the beach.


Why Tulum?

Want a little slower pace? Tulum is where it’s at right now. Developed differently than Playa del Carmen, the Tulum real estate offerings are located a little more than a mile from the beach, but still an easy bike ride to get your toes are in the sand. The great thing about Tulum is the relaxed, laid back vibe. But make no mistake, this small town has developed into an extremely hip & trendy area that has extremely luxurious real estate options, fine dining, and boutique shopping. All within minutes from one of the best beaches in the world.

2. Set your budget.

It’s important to come into this big decision with a plan. Know what you can afford and the buying options for foreigners in Mexico. 99% of the deals that happen are cash purchases, the mortgage options for foreign buyers are very few and the interest rates are high. There are ways to secure financing in the US or Canada, some buyers take out 2nd mortgages on their primary homes to use that for capital or use investment funds (IRA, 401K) to purchase their vacation home.

3. Understand the buying process.

From offer to closing, the buying process here runs around 45-60 days. You and your agent write the offer, your agent presents the offer, and the negotiating begins. Once the offer is accepted, all the pertinent documents are sent to your attorney here in the Riviera Maya, to be reviewed and ensured everything is legally in order. At this time, the promissory purchase contract is drafted. All parties sign and the down payment is made. After this, your attorney is working behind the scenes to set up the bank trust or fidiecomiso. Once the bank trust is set up, all the closing docs are collected and bam, it’s time to sign the title! Your final payment is made, keys are handed over, the champagne is popped, and congratulations, you own a vacation home in the Riviera Maya!

4. Have a rental plan

One of the first questions we ask clients when they are looking to buy a vacation home is “how do you plan to use the property?”

Do you plan to rent the property when you aren’t using it? Will you depend on that income to pay the bills? Or is the rental income just the icing on the cake? Right now, there are a lot of options for rental properties in both Playa del Carmen and Tulum. It’s best to go into this purchase with realistic expectations when it comes to rental income. If this purchase is for you and your family, to enjoy retirement and/or vacations in paradise

And number 5 – the MOST important of all the tips we can give you . . .

5. Choose a real estate agent that is professional, knowledgeable and reputable.

We cannot stress this enough. Finding a vacation home without an agent, in a foreign country, whether you speak Spanish or not, can be confusing and risky. You need someone in your corner, to help you every single step of the way. To recommend a good lawyer, to help you understand the process, to negotiate on your behalf, and to make sure you get the best deal. And as the buyer, it doesn’t cost you a peso to hire a real estate agent, commissions are paid by the seller or developer. All of the real estate agents at Moskito are members of the real estate association here – AMPI and NAR – and held to a high standard of professionalism. Moskito has been working in this industry since 2006.

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