Buying Real Estate in Tulum, Mexico
Buying real estate in Tulum has increased in popularity as rapidly over the past several years as the land values in the area. Travelers from all over the world come and see the breathtaking beaches, the kind and loving people and the colorful and lively culture, and become mesmerized. The question of how to buy real estate in Tulum is being asked more and more frequently as many people are trying to buy land in Tulum before prices increase further.
Buying land in Tulum has also gotten easier over the past many years. Many pieces of land are already titled and buying from the Ejido has gotten more streamlined and much more straightforward then it was originally thought to be.
All of Tulum, and an additional 45 km inland, lie within the restricted zone. The restricted zone is deemed by the constitution of Mexico to be 100 km (62 miles) from any Mexican boarder and within 50 km (31 miles) from any coastline. And it states that land within this zone may not be owned by foreigners. In order to comply with federal law but also promote foreign investments within Mexico, the government established 2 ways that land within this area could be owned and utilized by foreigners.
To buy land in Tulum as a foreigner, one must go through 1 of 2 channels. The first and most common option, is through a fideicomisos. These are, in essence, a trust like in the USA, in which a Mexican bank would be the trustee and the foreign buyer the beneficiary. If purchasing land within the restricted zone one must also obtain a permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This permit allows a buyer the ability to enter into a contract with the bank and can usually be obtained within a few days. When named as the beneficiary of the fideicomisos, a foreign investor has all the rights and privileges as any other owner including to build structures, run a business and sell the land.
The other option to purchase land within the restricted zone as a foreigner is to have an established Mexican corporation. By law Mexican corporations are permitted to own land anywhere within Mexico. Setting up a corporation is a legal matter and a Mexican attorney should be involved.
Purchasing land in Tulum and the surrounding area is often done so directly from the Ejido. Ejido land is land that is owned by the native people who have lived there for many generations. This land, given to the communities after the revolution as a means of maintaining themselves, largely through agriculture, has now sectioned and is available for sale in lots.
When buying land in Tulum from the Ejido there is some additional paperwork and fees in order to transfer the property but can easily be handled by a Notary Public and/or a Mexican attorney. A lawyer that is licensed within Mexico will be able to draw up contracts and review conditions of the sale and will be aware of all current laws within Mexico.
While a Mexican lawyer is advised, it is not mandatory. The services of a Notary Public (Notario Publico) however are mandatory. By Mexican law only a Notary Public can prepare a deed for properties within Mexico. In the end it is the responsibility of the Notary Public to ensure proper paper work and transfer of real estate in Tulum.