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.

Buying Real Estate in Mexico


Although having a real estate license IS REQUIRED in Playa del Carmen and all Quintana Roo, according to a law passed in 2015, it is estimated that only less than 1% of those who are selling real estate are licensed. Continue reading

Moving from Canada to Mexico

A Few Items to Consider Moving From Canada to Playa del Carmen, Mexico or Moving to Tulum or all Riviera Maya

Today’s world of connectivity allows easier access to jobs and various opportunities on a global scale. As a result, there is a greater movement of people across borders to live or retire in Playa del Carmen, or invest in Tulum or buy in Riviera Maya, Mexico. These exciting moves are accompanied by obligations to make a successful move. To ensure a smooth transition with very few bumps along the way, we suggest taking the following steps:

Moving To Your New Destination

Contact us at Living Riviera Maya Real Estate for your move to the area.
We specialize in helping you successfully invest in real estate in Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya.

1 604 628 7247 ;

Many of our associates of Playa del Carmen Real Estate Mexico, including me, as owner/broker have expatriated completely from Canada to Mexico. We can share our experiences with you so you relocate from Canada to Playa del Carmen, to avoid any unwanted surprises. Our specialty is orienting and educating you in the real estate market of Playa del Carmen and all Riviera Maya, so you find the right property, at the right price, in the right area, that fits all your requirements.

There is so much to consider when moving to Mexico to Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya and buying property. Me and my team at Playa del Carmen Real Estate Mexico take our role seriously. We have been successfully advising investors of Riviera Maya Real estate since 2003. Our orientation during your buying process includes info such as the locations of schools, hospitals, health service providers, public services, fun things to do, and lifestyle wishes and wants.

When making a real estate investment in Playa del Carmen and moving to Riviera Maya we make sure you have all the best legal advice.

Before you Move

We highly suggest making a checklist:
-Create a detailed packing list of what needs to go and what can stay or be given away/donated.
-Arrange packers, movers, storage, research moving companies. If you plan to import large pieces, you will need a customs broker. Most successful buyers who move here choose not to import.
-Take a course in Spanish either in your hometown or here in Riviera Maya. Knowledge of a few basic words and expressions can go a long way.
-We will introduce you to the right bank to set up new bank accounts so you can transfer funds as required.
-Join any social media expat sites and join clubs. They have already made the move and they could provide you with some great tips.
-Make sure your passports are valid for at least 6 months after you exit Canada. Have several copies ready for when you arrive to distribute as needed.
– Visa for stays longer than 120 days are required for Mexico. You can begin your application for a temporary resident visa at the Mexican consulate closest to your hometown. Once it’s approved, you will complete the process here in Inmigracion in Playa del Carmen. We have a team of people to guide you through the immigration process when you arrive in Playa del Carmen.
-Bring citizenship documents, police checks, birth certificates, etc.

Leaving Canada – The Canadian Tax System

First, the good news stated simply. Mexico does have a tax treaty with Canada, which helps Canadians avoid double taxation and help prevent tax evasion. However, a move to Mexico or buying property in Playa del Carmen or Riviera Maya does not necessarily mean that you automatically are considered a non-resident for tax purposes.

Depending on your ties to Canada, the number of days you spent there, and other factors, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may consider you a: Factual Resident, Deemed Resident, Non-Resident or Deemed Non-Resident.

If you are a non-resident or plan to become one, then properly exiting the Canadian Tax System is crucial. Playa del Carmen Real Estate does not offer tax advice for Canadians. However, we can refer you to a Canadian company that specializes in this. Trowbridge Specialists can simplify the process for you.

Call us at Playa del Carmen real estate Mexico and we will hook you up with their information. 1 604 628 7247

If you do not take the proper steps there is a potential for double taxation on your worldwide income, application of incorrect tax rates and penalties, and/or interest accruing. In order to terminate your Canadian Residence in the tax system, you will need to file a departure tax return indicating your date of departure. We recommend you speak to your tax advisor or we can refer you to one.

This date of departure varies if you have a spouse or dependents or if you are becoming a deemed resident of a new country. Furthermore, on your departure tax you may need to include a deemed disposition – if leaving the country, the CRA treats any property you own as if it was sold at the current fair market value when you become a non-resident. Depending if there is a capital gain or capital loss, taxes may be applicable or a loss could be claimed on your return.

While you may have physically left Canadian soil, there are usually ties to Canada that remain, such as real property, bank accounts, RRSP’s, etc. These ties may provide reasoning for the CRA to penalize you if not properly addressed.

As a non-resident who owns a rental property that earns you income, you are obligated to report this income to the CRA. There is a non-resident withholding tax at a rate of 25% of the gross rental income.

However, the non-resident withholding tax can be significantly reduced. There are certain forms to be filed with CRA by your appointed agent. Playa del Carmen Real Estate Mexico will put you in touch with a specialist in Canada.

If you have RRSP’s, dividends, retirement compensation, continued social security benefits, royalties, are earning interest, or other types of income, make sure to advise these companies of your non-resident status as they may need to remit withholding taxes to the CRA on your behalf. As a non-resident earning this type of income, they should issue you an NR4 slip – this slip reports any withholdings and income to the CRA.

While the above are only a few noteworthy tips, always do your research and work with industry experts for investing in Playa del Carmen Real Estate Mexico for your transition to Riviera Maya.

Love your new life on the beach.
Do it the right way and don’t make mistakes.
Playa del Carmen Real Estate Mexico can help you navigate through all the steps.

1 604 628 7247 ;

Riviera Maya Film Festival Returns for Fifth Edition

Riviera Maya Film Festival Returns for Fifth Edition

Photo courtesy of Riviera Maya Film Festival on Facebook

Last week the Riviera Maya Film Festival returned for its fifth annual showing in Playa del Carmen. One of the area’s most anticipated yearly events, RMFF brings the people of the Riviera Maya the best in independent cinema, at absolutely no cost to the public.

As if the Riviera Maya didn’t offer enough with its beautiful weather, ocean views and warm people, you can now add world class cultural events to the area’s list of attractions. Along with the Jazz Festival in November, the electronic music festival in January, the RMFF is yet one more activity bringing art and diversity to the Playa del Carmen public. Imagine spending your summer nights viewing the latest international films, out in the open air with your toes buried deep in the Playa del Carmen sand.

With a history of 980 showings to 81,000 spectators, this year the RMFF delivers 59 more films, 43 national premieres and one world premiere, promising something of interest for nearly everyone to enjoy. Some of the films are just works in progress, others are national premieres on the cusp of international acclaim.

This year the festival worked with the Goethe Institute which sponsored the showings of 2 German films: 24 Weeks and Who is Oda Jaune? The RMFF also treated viewers with a screening of the latest Pedro Almodovar film, Julietta. The festival closed with Don Cheadle’s new movie Miles Ahead in which he both acted and directed. The movie chronicles the turbulent life of the groundbreaking musician, Miles Davis. Both Miles Davis’ son and nephew planned to attend the screening.

Riviera Maya Film Festival

Photo Courtesy of Riviera Maya Film Festival Facebook Page

But the RMFF doesn’t forget to include films made in its own country. Along with international films, included on the roster are 13 films made in Mexico.

Over the past five years the RMFF has grown to distinguish itself as one of the finest cultural events in the Mexico Caribbean. Not only providing quality films that otherwise would not be shown in the community, the festival gives a much needed platform for independent film directors to showcase their work. As Italian director Asia Argento explained, “Independent cinema would die if it weren’t for this type of initiatives.”

While the RMFF ran from June 24-30 in Playa del Carmen, it moved onto Isla Mujeres, Tulum, and Puerto Morelos as of July 2. So if you’re in town, be sure to check out what this premiere cultural event has to offer.

About Living Riviera Maya Real Estate


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!

Akumal and it’s many secrets. Turtle season is here

Turtles have been swimming in the oceans of the world since dinosaur times. Only during nesting season do they come on shore, and then just for a few hours in the middle of the night.

Photo credit Allen McGregor

Photo credit Allen McGregor

The Yucatan Peninsula beaches along the Caribbean coast (known as the Mayan Riviera) are historic nesting sites for sea turtles. (From Punta Venado to the Sian ka’an Biosphere).

Akumal in particular, which means “place of the turtles” in Mayan language, is a privileged spot. That’s why Akumal is also a great place to go diving with turtles.

The nesting season for sea turtles in Mexico is May to October.

One of the amazing things about sea turtles is that when they are ready to mate and lay eggs, they return to the beach where they were hatched. Apparently sea turtles can recognize their natal beach by its smell. Mating is done in the ocean. Only the females come on shore. When a female turtle is ready to lay eggs, she swims to shore, sniffs the sand, and, if it smells right, pulls herself up the beach with her large front flippers. Once above the tide line, she uses her front flippers to dig a shallow pit for her body. Then, using her back feet, she digs a hole about 18 inches deep. Then, lowering her tail, she begins to drop her leathery, ping pong sized eggs. A female turtle may nest several times a season, laying about 100 eggs.

About two months after eggs are laid, the baby turtles, which are the size of a silver dollar, hatch and scramble to the sea.

All seven sea turtles species around the world are classified as endangered due to pollution, human activity and global warming. They also face habitat destruction and accidental capture in fishing gear. In Mexico, they have launched various initiatives as well as a preservation program to save the Green sea turtles. For more info you can check on:  Flora Fauna y Cultura de Mexico  and Centro Ecologico de Akumal

*Photo from Allen McGregor– titled “Sea Turtle at Akumal Beach Mexico” on Flickr