Playa Del Carmen Houses
…how to choose the correct house here…
About a year ago something happened with my buddy.
He was always throwing his money away on lottery tickets and scratch-cards, and I was laughing my ass off at him.
Fifteen years he’s been trying this nonsense.
I told him that if he hadn’t wasted all his money like this, he might have had enough to at least get one round of beers in.
Then he phoned me up and laughed in my face saying he had won.
I started apologizing profusely and arguing that I always believed in his random gambling.
I was almost begging him to believe me.
Then he laughed some more.
I had to ask, “how much?”
Turns out he only won $25.
However, in the split-second before he answered I’d already decided what I would tell him to spend his millions on: a Playa Del Carmen house.
Yes, if there is one thing I dream of, it’s of owning a house here.
I’ve tormented myself about it so much that I know everything about the real estate scene here.
So I hope if you’re reading this, then a Playa Del Carmen house is more than just a dream, and you’ve got some cash to back up the dreaming!
Why Playa Del Carmen Houses Are Awesome
Playa Del Carmen is a beautiful place to live.
If you’ve decided to buy a house here, then congratulations – welcome to paradise!
Also welcome to an eccentric bohemian lifestyle that’s the antonym of boring.
Playa Del Carmen is also growing faster than The Incredible Hulk.
It’s just expanding to the point that nobody knows when it will stop.
The Riviera Maya is the Mexican government’s big development project over the next 20 years.
So buying a Playa Del Carmen house is a very, very wise investment.
In 10,20, or 30 years time, you’ll have made far more money than my buddy’s $25 lotto winnings.
What To Consider When Looking At Playa Del Carmen Houses
Like buying property anywhere in the world, the price of houses here are dictated by the market.
The most expensive houses are those that are closest to the beach, closest to 5th Avenue, and contained within gated communities (like Playacar).
But there is great value to be had in most neighborhood locations here.
Almost all the neighborhoods in Playa Del Carmen are safe, although I wouldn’t recommend buying on the inland side of Highway 307.
For one you’ll be too far away from the beach.
I recommend coming to Playa Del Carmen and spending time in different neighborhoods.
Check out the vibe and the potentially new neighbors.
Some of you will like staying in a place with lots of Mexican character.
Others might prefer areas where there are only affluent foreigners.
Negotiating A Good Deal For Your New House
Because of the development plans, Playa Del Carmen houses are now part of a seller’s market – the prices just keep going up.
However, there is lots of choice for any prospective buyer.
So don’t go falling in love with “the one.”
If you see ten Playa Del Carmen houses, and they don’t work for you, then don’t worry.
There are still hundreds more to try.
The price of a Playa Del Carmen house is usually negotiable.
Even if it isn’t, you should always try out some aggressive bargaining.
Many owners want to sell quickly.
This might be because they’ve already made a load of profit and don’t care.
Or they might want to get out of Mexico for some reason.
Remember that you’ll also likely pay some association fees for the swimming pool or security services.
However, they are a lot less than in the states – I can guarantee you that!
Furthermore, the quality of Mexican homes are not always the best.
So you might have a high maintenance bill before you start.
Can Foreigners Own Playa Del Carmen Houses?
In a word yes.
But the real estate laws in Mexico are complicated when it comes to foreigners.
Since 1973 the foreign investment law has meant that foreigners can buy property anywhere in Mexico apart from the restricted zone that is 32 miles from the coastline.
That means that all of Playa Del Carmen and pretty much the whole Riviera Maya is part of the restricted zone.
However, a new law was passed in 1993.
This made it legal for foreigners to buy property in the restricted zone as long as they had a fideicomiso.
What Is A Fideicomiso And What Does It Mean For Buying Playa Del Carmen Houses?
The fideicomiso is a bank trust.
It’s kinda complicated, but I’ll try my best to explain.
If you want to buy a house in Mexico, then you instruct the bank to become the legal owner of the real estate.
You retain all the ownership rights and may sell, lease, mortgage, or pass on the house to your heirs.
However the fideicomiso, or bank trust, is authorized by the Mexican government to allow foreigners to buy land in the restricted zone.
Most fideicomisos are granted for 50 years and then have to be renewed.
It usually costs you $350 pesos plus 10% of the cost of the house.
However, this law may have changed recently.
Because my Spanish is horrible, and the laws and statutes are not as accessible as they are in the states, I have not looked this up recently.
Consequently, you will definitely want to check the requirements with a local attorney.
Supposedly there is a new law in the works that overrules the old law and allows foreigners to own land and real estate within the restricted zone I mentioned before.
Other Costs And Taxes When Buying A Playa Del Carmen House
If you’re buying property in Playa Del Carmen, then you’ll want to make sure you have a reliable local attorney to help you through it.
Fortunately they are much cheaper in Mexico than in the States.
NOTE: You will have to pay a 2% sales tax on the property.
Then the cost of other legal fees comes to about 4% of the cost of the Playa Del Carmen house.
The capital gains tax in Mexico is currently 28% for foreigners.
The Law Often Changes In Mexico!
When buying a house or property here, be aware that the real estate laws are often changing in Mexico.
It’s really important that you get some local advice from a trusted attorney.
Don’t go buying a house just on this information!
In recent years there has been a forward moving tendency to make it easier for foreigners to buy real estate in Mexico.
But you never know what might happen if a nationalist government grabs power!
In any case, there is no doubt that Playa Del Carmen houses are an excellent investment.
The area is developing quickly, and the quicker you get here, the better you will do for yourself.
If you’re already planning to buy in Playa Del Carmen then congratulations.
And if you’re buying lottery tickets and scratch-off cards, then I promise not to laugh at your winnings…
Lots of love,
It’s your turn. Do you have any tips, some just shouldn’t, or advice about buying a house here? Please leave it in the comments section below!