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Buying Property In Cozumel, Mexico
Can I Buy Property in Cozumel?
Once you have visited Cozumel for the first time, chances are you will want to come back again and again. Many foreigners that visit Cozumel just one time find that they want to come back every year. Safety in Cozumel is fantastic, food and culture are exquisite, celebrations are constant and the people of Cozumel are friendly and kind.
But not long ago, purchasing property in Cozumel – or any place in Mexico – was out of the question. It was not uncommon for banks and lending agencies to reject any application for property ownership in the country, and foreigners would struggle to find any way to finance a home.
But times have changed, and foreign ownership of property in Cozumel is possible. However, the method of purchasing property is very different in Mexico compared to other companies, so make sure you understand these differences before you consider property ownership.
Things to Know About Property in Cozumel
- In 1973, Mexico introduced the Foreign Investment Law. The Foreign Investment Law allowed foreign individuals and families to purchase land within Mexico anywhere but an area called “The Restricted Zone.”
- Cozumel DOES sit in the Restricted Zone, however, an amendment that passed a year later allowed foreigners to purchase land within Cozumel provided they go through a bank trust within Mexico known as “Fideicomiso.” Provided you use Fideicomiso, you can purchase land in Cozumel.
To buy land in Cozumel, you must perform the following complicated, difficult actions:
- Choose a bank to be a “trustee.” The bank must be located in Mexico.
That’s it :) Though the bank is a “Trustee” to your estate, you own the rights to the property in its entirety. The bank cannot do anything with your land. It is all yours. The only reason you must use a bank as a trustee is because the Mexican constitution does not yet allow foreign ownership within the Restricted Zone (even though it was Mexico’s government that created this system to circumvent the law).
Though the process may seem strange, it has been in place for over 3 decades and continues to work well today with few complaints. You can buy, sell and trade the land at your leisure, and you are in complete ownership of it.
There are only a few additional points with buying land in Cozumel:
- You will very likely want to hire a property lawyer. These are not hard to find, but try to search around for one with good reviews. They also do not cost very much.
- There are fees associated with putting the bank in charge of the trust. Rest assured these fees are very low, with fees as low as $400. There are also yearly fees that are also fairly low.
- The trust lasts for 50 years. Once the 50 years is over it must be renewed. It can be renewed by either yourself or an heir.
Additional fees and taxes associated with home ownership still apply, much like they do in any other country. In addition, the paperwork and escrow process itself can be quite difficult, especially if Spanish is not your first language, so make sure you utilize that property lawyer. Otherwise, home ownership in Cozumel is a definite possibility for those considering a place of their own.