Buying Real Estate in Mexico from the US & Canada: Do I Need a Property Manager?

Owning a new property in a foreign country, with its different customs and languages is very different from homeownership in your home country, especially at a distance.

The way we see it, our role is not limited to the property purchase transaction, it also includes guiding you from start to finish, including advice on how to best manage the differences between owning property in your home country and owning property in Mexico. We always recommend property management to new owners as a best practice for the transition to your new vacation home as absentee owners.

Why? They look after all the aspects of home management that you do not have time to do or can’t do from a distance in a different language. 

This is in addition to any staff on the property. This will make it easier and smoother and more enjoyable for you in your new home. The decision will be up to you, however, we must advise.

Here is a handful of some of the services professional property management offer to foreign absentee owners: 

  • They can be your eyes and ears here on the ground for the property.
  • They speak the same language as you so communication is clear.
  • They speak the same language as the people of the country.
  • Act as a cultural bridge for different customs and practices you will encounter as an owner.
  • Communicate with your employees, instruct them.
  • Pay your employees using correct channels according to govt law
  • Ensure tasks are performed properly and timely.
  • Service-oriented staff at check-in /check-out for yourselves and friends and family.
  • Concierge services offered as if in a hotel.
  • Pay all bills and services such as electricity and water and your yearly taxes and bank trust.
  • Pay security and other local costs for you.
  • Assist with operating permits and other state and local government requirements.
  • Present monthly account statements in English of where your money is going exactly.
  • Keep up to date with local requirements and law.
  • Guest services (for yourselves included when needs arise)
  • Airport transfers if requested.

Also available if desired is rental support. 

Our advice would be to contract with a property manager for 6 months. This way, you can get used to managing this new asset. Then, you can choose to end or extend the contract with the property manager.

5 Top Riviera Maya Real Estate Trends 2021

5 Top Riviera Maya Real Estate Trends 2021

2020 was a surprising year for real estate in Riviera Maya real estate. Many have asked me what do I see is in store for 2021?

While Covid settled in 2020, we thought our market would just dry up. Contrary to that, 2020 proved to be a very strong year for real estate in Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Puerto Aventuras, Puerto Morelos. Will we see more of the same results in 2021? Whether you’re selling, buying, or staying put, here are some 2021 real estate trends that are important to you.

These are just my views based on my experiences of 16 years here in Riviera Maya and also reading based on what is going on in the US, or strongest neighbor.

Riviera Maya Real Estate Trend #1: Slim Pickings for Home Buyers

Okay, this is probably the most difficult to believe: It’s true, the desirable properties got snatched up in Covid. Really cool properties that you always saw for sale online, have now been sold. New products are still coming in line sure, but we still see less growth of new than in previous years and higher absorption of the great location resale properties.

But don’t worry, we’ll walk you through what to expect if you enter the market.

What Slim Pickings Mean for Buyers

Low inventory means you need to be prepared. It also means you should trust what your agent is telling you about the market not just what you “see online”.

We KNOW the truth of the market status. We live here and work it full time.

The internet is a big messy advertising medium for Riviera Maya Real Estate with a high inaccuracy of price and availability. ASK us, we can verify the true status for you of any property.

  • Somethings’ gotta give. If you can’t find the property you want, be willing to trade some “nice-to-haves” for your “must-haves.”
  • Be open to other possibilities. What if the location where you’re planning to buy is too competitive? You might be surprised at the gem in a less popular neighborhood. Working with a real estate agent at LivingRivieraMaya.com who really knows the area is the best way to find a home that fits your budget and lifestyle.
  • Be clear about your finances. This is primarily a cash market. VERY few options for mortgages to foreigners. Know what you can afford in cash and the timing of when funds will be available.

Contact US, your real estate experts in Riviera Maya

Riviera Maya Real Estate Trend #2: Prices

In the US in November, home prices grew by an incredible 15% compared to 2019. We can’t say that here, yet. Price homes in the US rose to a national median of well over $300,000. This marks more than 100 straight months of year-over-year price gains. This is partly the reason for our increased velocity of Playa del Carmen real estate transactions, and other Riviera Maya real estate destinations. Investors had more available cash to float from their primary residences to invest in Riviera Maya Real Estate.

What I can foresee for 2021 is that the speed with which Riviera Maya real estate is bought and sold should continue to increase, as long as PRICES are reasonable. Why do I say this? Real estate in Playa or Tulum is still primarily a cash-based, second home market for investors. Keep your prices reasonable when selling to make it accessible for these reasons.

What Prices Mean for Buyers.

Be real with how much house you can really afford.

Don’t make stupid low offers if you really want to own that ONE. We have seen some disappointed buyers who worked hard at looking and deciding, only to go away empty-handed because they were looking to steal property because of Covid. Yes, due to Covid we did see some flexible sellers, but not stupid low prices.

For more help on buying a home in this crazy market, check out our free Home Buyers Guide. It has all the answers you need to buy a home in Mexico with confidence.

What Prices Mean for Sellers

If you have been trying to sell for a year or more, this is good news. You can expect to accomplish this goal as long as the prices are reasonable.

To get the best offer for your home, list it with us, an experienced real estate agency that really knows your local market.

Having said that, be sure to work hard with any offer that comes in so you don’t lose an opportunity.

Some buyers may try to gut punch you with a low number. Work it, don’t ignore it.

We have seen some really low offers turn into really serious negotiations that close and I believe this will continue to be the case for 2021.

Source: Global Property Guide

Riviera Maya Real Estate Trend #3: Mortgage Interest Rates In the US Are Still Super Low

Bottom line? This means you can take out a line of credit on your existing home there and buy a home in Playa del Carmen or Tulum or Puerto Aventuras.

We see more people wanting out of the cold and into the warmth; more people can move their dreams forward, rather than wait; many people are tired of being confined and want the warmth and openness of Mexico.

The average mortgage interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 2.31% in November 2020—the lowest it’s been since Freddie Mac started reporting nearly 30 years ago!

And now economist geeks think interest rates will continue to hover around 3% in 2021, which is still pretty low.

This represents a good chance to cash out there and buy a home in Playa del Carmen or Tulum or Puerto Aventuras or anywhere in Riviera Maya.

What Lower Rates Mean for Buyers

Sure, interest rates are low right now—which can help you get into Riviera Maya Real estate market. Just be careful to calculate how much you can afford and let us know truthfully.

What Lower Rates Mean for Sellers

If interest rates stay low, buyers will be more motivated to buy your home sooner than later. But if interest rates do start to increase later in the year, just plan for your house to be on the market a little longer.

Riviera Maya Real Estate Estate Trend #4: Online Real Estate Services Are Growing

No doubt you’ve heard of real estate services like Zillow that allow you to browse or list homes for sale online with the click of a button. But did you know that online services are now offering to buy and sell your house for you?

We Offer Services as “Virtual” Agent

It’s a great way to view a property or get to know an area. Book an appointment with one of my trusted experts to get started. We dedicate the time and energy to you to show you real-time what a property can look like, distance to the beach, distance to town, restaurant facades, whatever you want to see.

In 2020 at LivingRivieraMaya.com we saw an increase in online closes by 45% over previous years. Some people had never even been to the town they purchased in and not physically seen the home prior to closing.

I see this as a continued trend in 2021, especially for those Canadians who are must quarantine for 14 days when returning from travels.

Online Closings

In related news, digital technology is also making it easier to handle document-based tasks virtually. For example, many home transactions are using electronic signature apps and remote online notarization to streamline the process.7 In other words, there’s a chance you can buy or sell a house this year without getting out of your car or ever-changing out of your bathrobe and slippers.

Real Estate Trend #5: Confidence

Equity probably won’t decrease through 2021.

With most housing markets at low risk for a downturn, Freddie Mac (US) believes home prices will continue to rise in 2021—but at a slower pace of nearly 3%.

Real Estate in Riviera Maya usually follows tourism and tourism is buoyed by the US economy and the economy in the US is a lot driven by real estate equity.

Does this mean a strong velocity of sales in Riviera Maya real estate for 2021? If we just base our predictions on all the above, yes. However, there are always mitigating external factors that we cannot predict.

A real estate market crash looks unlikely.

With all the uncertainty behind everything that happened in 2020 and with home price growth possibly slowing down in 2021, you might be wondering if the housing market could collapse. Well, it’s impossible to know for sure, but economists suggest a housing crash is unlikely. Again this = CONFIDENCE.

After all, the super-low mortgage rates are motivating investors to bring some cash from the US or Canada and enter the Playa del Carmen real estate market, which increases demand. Many investors and buyers are looking to move full time to Playa del Carmen or Tulum.

But there’s still a very low supply of home listings. This is keeping home-buying competitive and allowing home price growth to soar.

Take Control of the Trends With a Top-Notch Real Estate Agent

Whether you’re selling or buying, you can take advantage of the current trends by partnering with a professional real estate agent at LivingRivieraMaya.com

Find your real estate agent today!

Buying Property in Mexico- How to Do it Safely and Profitably.

Properties purchase in MexicoSo you just got back from vacationing on the coast of Mexico. After days spent by the Caribbean Sea you have fallen in love with the place- to the point where you now want to buy property in this little bit of paradise.

And who could blame you? Mexico really is heaven on earth…

The great news is that buying property south of the border is possible! The laws have changed considerably in the past 10 years allowing foreigners to purchase property in Mexico. Even the areas along the coasts and borders, formerly designated as the “prohibited zone”, are now available to foreign buyers.

You will need to abide by a few rules, however, if you want to avoid any unwanted hassles. To make a safe and secure purchase in Mexico, be sure to follow the below procedures:

  • Before you do anything, you’ll need to set up a trust called a “Fideicomiso”. A qualified and licensed bank administers real estate through this trust on behalf of the beneficiary, (the owner). The term of this trust is 50 years but can be renewed for another 50 if needed.
  • You’ll also need to ask the seller for the legal title and certificate of no tax liability upfront.
  • Always be careful to NOT give earnest money to the seller! This concept does not exist in Mexico. Neither does escrow. Real-estate agents are not licensed and won’t have a separate account for earnest money. You may be able to find agencies in your country to provide these services.
  • The closing deal will have to take place in the office of a Notario Público. A specialized attorney, the Notario Público acts as a key person in the purchasing process. His duties include: (i) examining the documents of the selling party to ensure their accuracy and legitimacy; (ii) verifying the title; and (iii) searching the public records to determine the status of the seller’s title to the property and the existence of liens against the property.
  • Last but not least, foreign buyers should always be advised to consult counsel in their country of origin or a Mexican counsel regarding real estate transactions. They also can contact title companies in their home country to answer questions about conveyance issues, title searches and title policies for a prospective property as well as escrow account considerations.

The procedures for buying property in Mexico will be different than they are in your country but there are some similarities. Always proceed with caution and educate yourself on the rules and regulations before investing your money to make a secure and profitable purchase in Mexico.

 

Call us today for more information !

Judi Shaw | 1 604 628 7247 Direct | +521 984 116 3251 Mexico Cell

 

About Living Riviera Maya Real Estate

Living-Riviera-Maya-Real-Estate-Broker

Thinking of moving to the Riviera Maya for your retirement? Looking to invest in real estate in Playa del Carmen? Look no further! With more than 18 years in the Riviera Maya, Living Riviera Maya Real Estate is there for you.  Looking for resort real estate, your dream home, a vacation rental condo, land for building, an investment property such as a hotel, restaurant, that’s what we do !

With one foot in Canada (British Columbia) and the other one in Mexico (since 2003), our agency has a deep understanding of North American clients’ (American and Canadian) needs and has helped countless of them find their own piece of paradise in the Riviera Maya.

How do we do that? By giving our clients the best advice on all levels and at each stage. We have relationships with many professionals in the Mayan Riviera, for:

– legal support,

– tax advice,

– mortgage consulting,

– immigration assistance,

– rental and property management connections,

– and so much more…

Playa del Carmen’s real estate market is booming. Whether you’re looking for a small getaway condo, or hotel to purchase, it is a land of opportunity for people who properly navigate the complicated matrix of foreign investment here. But beware! Due to a lack of Realtor licensing, real estate investments can sometimes become tricky or risky which is why it is highly recommended to deal with an experienced real estate professional.

Living Riviera Maya prides itself in having the best possible credentials to guarantee and secure any transaction:

  • Licensed with CREA (Canadian Real Estate association)
  • Member of NAR (National association of Realtors)
  • Member of Luxury Home Marketing Institute
  • Resort and second home property specialist with NAR
  • Transnational referral certificate (TRC)

You can count on our passion for Playa del Carmen’s exciting real-estate market, our extensive knowledge in international transactions and our unique customer service to make the whole process easy, safe and hassle free, every step of the way!