10 important things to know before investing in the Riviera Maya as a foreigner

10 important things to know before investing in the Riviera Maya as a foreigner

If you have visited or heard about the Riviera Maya, you already know that investing in the area is a very smart decision.

The Riviera Maya is one of the most popular touristic destinations with millions of visitors from all over the world every year. With a great infrastructure it counts with one of the most important international airport with direct flights to the United States, Canada and Europe.

If you are an investor  the Riviera Maya is the perfect place for you, with a cheap cost of living, English spoken everywhere, the use of dollars as a currency, and a plenty of activities to do from nature to theme parks and shopping malls.

As a foreigner you can enjoy this and more, here are a few important facts to consider:

1. Can foreigners own a property in Mexico?

Yes, like any other Mexican citizen with the exception of the properties that are located within the restricted zone.

2. What is the restricted zone?

The restricted zone in Mexico refers to the properties located in a range of 100 kilometers from the borderline and 50 kilometers from the coastline.

3. Which are the legal vehicles to purchase within the restricted area?

To buy a property in this zone as a foreigner is required a fideicomiso, also known as a Real Estate Bank Trust.

4. What is a fideicomiso on the restricted zone?

The fideicomiso is a bank trust, granted in a 50-year renewable term, in which the Trustee Bank holds the property in trust for the beneficial use of the purchaser (beneficiary).

The fideicomiso is authorized via a permit issued by the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Secretary of Foreign Relations).

5. Who is the trustee bank?

The Trustee bank is the Mexican bank authorized by the federal government to act as trustee (Fiduciario). It is worth mentioning that the properties held in trust are not assets of the bank and the size of the bank does not affect the properties they represent. In the rare case that the bank goes into financial difficulty, the property is transferred to another trustee bank; you do not need to file for a new permit in such case.

6. The parties in the Mexican real estate trust transaction are:

  • Buyer (Trustee) / Substitute Trustee (takes the place of the main trustee on in case of death, they can be cross-referenced for better protection of their rights
  • Seller (Trustor)
  • The Notary, government official who certifies the transaction as completely legal additionally signs the trust
  • The Trustee Bank represents the trustee’s interest during the 50 year period of the trust permit. Approves and signs the deed’s final draft
  • Counselors and closing agents review the draft of the act; coordinate all the parties to a closing date.

7. What is a notary?

A Notary Public is a licensed and expert attorney, certified and appointed by the state government to act as an official representative of the government. A Notary in Mexico has far greater responsibility than a notary in the United States or Canada.

8. Can I renew my fideicomiso if it expires?

A trust is issued in 50-year increments, which can be automatically extended by an additional 50 years at the end of that term. Under current law, at the end of the combined 100-year period, you will need to apply for a new foreign affairs permit to extend the term.

9. Can I sell or rent the property?

In your agreement, you will have all the specifications regarding the use that you can give your property; this includes selling and renting. To sell the unit, this is transferring your trust right to another person; this is called a rights location.

10. What taxes are required to pay annually?

The property tax is paid by a percentage of the cadastral value of the property. Compared to the United States, in Mexico, the property tax is approximately 90% cheaper.


Don’t think twice, invest in the Riviera Maya smartly and safely, in GMB we are here to help you and guide you through the process.


Kenya Bates

Related posts


“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” Albert...

Continue reading
by Caro Ortíz

Puerto Aventuras exclusivity and added value in the Riviera Maya

Puerto Aventuras is a spectacular residential and vacation community located in the heart of the...

Continue reading
by Kenya Bates

Spring Break in the Riviera Maya

Easter is coming and with it the holidays, where people look for a moment of relaxation, in places...

Continue reading
by Kenya Bates

Join The Discussion