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Buying a Retirement Home in Mexico: A Practical Guide

30 June, 2015

With warm winters,close proximity to the U.S. and a highly affordable cost of living compared to other luxurious beach destinations worldwide,it’s no surprise that Mexico is home to more Americans who are living outside of the United States than any other international locale. 

“The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City estimates that more than 1 million Americans live in the country either full or part time,” writes U.S. News & World Report. “Today,the real estate market has stabilized,and values are again beginning to move up,due to the influx of Mexican buyers,increased purchasing by Canadians and the return of U.S. buyers thanks to the improved U.S. economy.”

Also of note,property values are likely to continue to rise from their current valuation,since the U.S. Census Bureau forecasts a doubling of the nation’s retired population of 65 and over. In fact,this key demographic is projected to grow from 43.1 million in 2012 to at least 83.7 million by 2050,and there’s every reason to believe that U.S. retirees will continue to live well in Mexico as their population expands.

One of the greatest things about deciding to buy a retirement home in Mexico is that the options are so diverse. For example,you may be attracted to the arid beauty and dramatic shorelines of the nation’s Pacific coast,or you may prefer to live among the ancient Mayan ruins and tropical beauty of its only Caribbean coast. And still others opt to settle down in one of the picturesque and historically significant inland colonial towns.

Regardless,there are a few things to consider when searching for your ideal retirement property in Mexico to help ensure that you find a home that suits your needs and will deliver optimal resale value in the future. Keep in mind that today,Mexico’s real estate market has stabilized and prices have started to move up,which is not really surprising,considering property values in Mexico actually suffered much less than in the U.S. during the housing collapse of 2008. The current stability has a strong foundation,built upon a new influx of prosperous Mexican buyers from the nation’s growing middle class,along with retirees and expats of all ages from the U.S.,Canada and around the world.

If you’ve decided to make a colonial town like Merida or San Miguel de Allende your new place of residence,chances are that you were attracted to the historic homes (some dating back as many as 300 years!!) in the old town district. Despite the fact that Mexico real estate is a bargain compared to many worldwide destinations,these homes can run anywhere from $500,000 all the way into the millions if they are turnkey and move-in ready,so you may want to consider looking for a nice fixer-upper instead.

This strategy could offer the best deal and long-term value for the money and many of these historic homes are simply in need of some TLC. But the best thing is the home is likely to come in at below market value despite its inherent potential. With a little guidance from us and help from some highly qualified local builders and talented artisans,these properties can be remodeled to suit virtually any style.

Then again,if buying a no-hassle condo or home overlooking the sea is more your style,you may want to consider the many options for property management. Snowbirds and income investors alike can turn a nice profit simply by purchasing a property with the intention of renting it out either short or long term. From Cancun,Playa del Carmen and Tulum in the Riviera Maya on the Mexican Caribbean,to Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas on Mexico’s Pacific coast,the many beach towns and popular expat communities throughout the country are all characterized by walkable,friendly neighborhoods that are brimming with boutiques,bakeries,restaurants,art galleries,pubs and cafes.

Finally,remember that foreigners can buy and legally own property in Mexico! But it’s often tough to get accurate,reliable information about this fact to help you fully understand the process of making it happen,so contact one of our professionals any time and we’ll be happy to answer any and all questions you might have. In fact,you can even utilize your IRA or 401(k) to buy real estate in Mexico – just ask us how!